Ask Joanne - How Much Pocket Money Should I Give?

11/09/2009 22:42 | Updated 22 May 2015

Send your parenting question in to life coach Joanne Mallon at this address and say if you'd like your name changed.

This week we've had a couple of questions about pocket money:

Camilla asks:

How much pocket money is appropriate for what ages?

I don't give my 10 year old any but at the moment he really wants a £20 computer game so I've told him he'll have to work for by doing little jobs and learning his times table properly. I think that will help him learn the value of money, but your thoughts appreciated

and Catherine asks:

How do you teach kids the value of money? We gave our son pocket money for a while but he always just played with the coins and they eventually got lost or spread around the house so we don't bother any more. He is just seven.

Here's life coach Joanne's reply:

Dear Camilla and Catherine

I agree with you that it can be hard for children to get the concept of money and saving up for things, but it's one of the most important lessons we as parents need to teach them. And yes, I think you are right that having to save hard for a big item that they want can really help them to value what they get. Plus you might get some boring jobs done along the way. My daughter recently saved up for a set of books, and to raise the £20 required she did the ironing, helped with washing the car, tidied her brother's room, mopped the kitchen floor and various other tasks, none of which did her any harm at all.

As to how much pocket money you give, I must admit that I don't give any at all (though I'm thinking about starting), as I have always believed that it was better for kids to earn their pocket money. But even if I was dishing out a weekly amount, I would make it conditional on the existence of a tidy bedroom. A recent survey here will give you some guidance on amounts for various ages. The average is around £3.50 per week.

What sort of money role model are you to your children? Do you spend or save? Do you moan about not having enough, or do you think that somehow or other you'll get by? Children are very sensitive to what their parents say and do, and will pick up most of their messages about money from you. Think about what attitudes you want them to have to money, and to what extent you are reflecting that.

For further reading on this, take a look at The Pocket Money Plan: A Practical Guide to Teaching Children About Money by Julie Hedge.

And if you have a child who likes computer games, I think Club Penguin is excellent for teaching about money values and the benefits of saving up, in a fun way.

best wishes


Send your question in to this address

More parenting advice form life coach Joanne at this link

Do you give your kids pocket money? If so, how much is the right amount? Let us know and leave a comment below

Suggest a correction