You may have seen this recent feature in the Daily Mail, where writer Kelly Rose Bradford confesses that she regularly dips into her seven year old son's pocket money to fund her own purchases. In the feature, Kelly's work colleague Joanne pulls a sour face at this and tells her off for treating her son's cash as her own.
Now I must confess that the sour-faced Joanne in question is in fact my good self. Marvellous as I believe my fellow writer Kelly to be, she and I are going to have to disagree on this one. In fact I think that it's important for children to have their own money which is out of bounds to adults, and to learn how to use it wisely. I wouldn't automatically take any money that was given to my partner, and neither would I do it to my child.
What about you? If you're running short of cash, would you dip into your child's savings? Is it more acceptable to do this for some purchases than others?
So if it was needed to pay this week's rent, is that better than using it to buy a latte from the coffee shop?
Like everybody else I have times when my cashflow goes kaput. I keep a box at home for loose change, so that tends to be my last resort. But my daughter is a real saver and has about £100 in her money box, which she guards like a hawk. Occasionally I do have to borrow a bit, especially if there is a last minute school trip to be paid for. So I will borrow from her, but I tend to pay back with a pound or two in interest.
I think that it's important for children to have and handle their own money, and to pay for things in shops themselves. That way they get to see exactly how far their funds will stretch, and don't live their lives assuming that the limitless Bank of Mum and Dad will always pay.
If you are treating your child's cash as your own, when do they get to learn these lessons?
How do you treat your children's money? Do you keep it separate or use it if you need to? Leave a comment and have your say