Pocket money – an alternative approach ~ #IfShesHappyImHappy

How To Teach Your Child The Value Of Money Pocket Money Spending Saving Earning Jobs Parenting Kids Virtually All Sorts

Pocket money – an alternative approach

I recently introduced a regular feature #IfShesHappyImHappy and this week I’m talking about pocket money.  #IfShesHappyImHappy is all about the cycle of happiness – you being happy, making your child happy and it coming full circle to make you happy again!  You can read it here if you missed it.

How To Teach Your Child The Value Of Money Pocket Money Spending Saving Earning Jobs Parenting Kids Virtually All Sorts

Our approach to pocket money is probably not the most common one.  But perhaps it’s more common than I think.  Maybe you can tell me!…

Whichever way you look at it, money is something that our children will have to get to grips with in some form.  Be it physical money or by bank transfers or ‘plastic’.

Money makes the world go round…

Money is said to make the world go round and even if she has modest amounts of it when she’s older, hubby and I both agreed that our daughter needs to be empowered by it and not see it as a ‘problem’ or even worse, ‘dirty’.

We both agree that our daughter should understand that generally you have to work for it.  Yes, it’s nice to have some given to you, but more rewarding to have earned it.

To that end, we introduced weekly jobs for her.  In the early days, she earned 1p for each box she ticked on her weekly ‘job sheet’, of which there were 5 boxes a day.

So that’s potentially 5p a day, if she chose to do the job.  We’ve never put any pressure on her to do a ‘job’, simply telling her that she wouldn’t get her money if she didn’t do the job.  Of course, there are days when she’s sick and on holiday from school.  In which case, she gets her money anyway, because most people get sick pay and holiday pay after all!

So, what are her jobs?

We started with tidying, putting clothes in the linen basket and helping to hoover her bedroom.  That takes us up to the present day when she also sets the table for tea (by that I meaning putting the cutlery out.)

It works really well and there have only been a few occasions when she has ‘opted-out’.  At the end of each week, she counts how much money she’s earned by counting the boxes on her job sheet.  Sometimes we purposefully over pay or short-change her to see if she’s really counting and notices – which she does!  She’s honest when overpaid too!

What’s the point?

The point is not the jobs she has to complete but that she’s empowered, just like we are (generally!) in the real, grown-up world of work.  She has free-will and has experienced the consequences of choosing not to do a job (or 2…).  But she’s also felt empowered from earning her money.

Just the other day, we were out shopping, she saw something, knew she didn’t have enough money and said she would pay me back.  I felt mean by saying ‘no’ but otherwise, there’s little point in doing this little exercise at all…  It’s about earning money, maybe saving and spending as you earn it.  Not about spending it before you’ve earned it.

Unwittingly, our 7 year old is already learning about the value and power of earning money and that fuzzy feeling you get when you’ve saved for something or simply ‘earned’ something.

And that’s good enough for me because…


  How do you approach pocket money?   Please share your thoughts in the comments below or tweet me @AllSortsHere



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How a pocket money plan nearly backfired!


Our daughter (6 years old) has been learning about the value of money since she was around 4.  We started off by giving her small jobs to do each day.  She then had to tick a box at the end of the day, so that by the end of the week, she would receive money depending on how many boxes were ticked.

Real money.

We’ve continued with this and each week she decides what she would like to spend her hard-earned coins on.  But recently, she’s seen the benefit of saving her coins to enable her to buy something better.

Enter stage right ‘Moosey’ a Kinder Surprise fluffy toy with little chocolates.

 Normally, our local shop sells groceries, magazines and general every day stuff.  Like local shops do.  But the other week, they introduced their ‘seasonal’ aisle… including Moosey and friends!

Our girl asked me how much the toy was.  So we looked at the label together and she said, “499 coins”.

I told her she would need £4.99 to buy the toy and asked her how much she had got in her purse at home.

Not enough was the short answer.

Now, I could have caved in and told her she could pay me back with her pocket money next week.  But what’s the point in that when you’re trying to teach your child the value of money and encouraging to save instead of spend every week?  Spending just because they can.  Granted, she’s 6 but money’s a serious thing later in life.  If she can learn not to spend what she hasn’t got, then I think we’re teaching her a real life lesson!

Back to the story – we happened to go into the shop again a day or so later and Moosey was still there.  So our girl asked if she could do some extra jobs at home.  What a little entrepreneur!  And she did do a couple of extra jobs but she still didn’t have enough.  Besides, the Bank of Mum and Dad isn’t a blank cheque…

Nearly a week later and she noticed that Moosey was gone.  Big whoops!  We asked a member of staff (the manager in fact – that’s how much she wanted Moosey!) and were assured they would usually get more Christmas stock in.  They even offered to try and order one just for her!

But on the sly, I went in several days in a row to see if there was any update, to receive a woeful shake of the head from said manager.

Things were not looking good.  This plan of not backing down and not caving in was back-firing!

…until I browsed the good old internet and yippee – I found Moosey!  Available in quite a few shops actually!

That weekend we happened to be in a Tesco that we don’t often go in.  I left our girl with hubby browsing while I nipped off to teh seasonal aisle.  And. I. Found. Moosey!.

I went back to find our girl and hubby and told them to follow me…  her little face lit up when I showed her Moosey sitting patiently on the shelf, waiting for her 🙂 (well she’s on our stairs in the picture but you get the idea!)


Cute, isn’t he/she?  (Our girl tells us ‘she’.)  It’s no wonder that this fluffy toy caught our daughter’s eye in the local shop.

So, it was a happy ending in many ways ~ I didn’t cave in and act as her ‘credit card’.  And our daughter learnt the act of patience, saving and that good things (often) come to those who wait!

So, readers, that is how a pockey money plan nearly backfired! 🙂

Has something similar happened to you?  How do you approach pocket money and savings with your kids?  I’d love to hear!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere


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Parenting – How to teach your child ‘consequences’

parenting how to teach your child consequences jobs money pocket money earning choice
Parenting: sometimes it goes to plan, sometimes it doesn’t.  I recently shared how we are teaching our little girl the value of money. Here’s the post again if you missed it.  A few nights ago I replied to a comment on this very blog of mine that our little girl is seeing the consequences of her non-actions.  That is, she went to tick the box on her ‘job sheet’ that showed she had tidied downstairs.  But I put my finger over it, pointing out that she had decided not to tidy downstairs.
I might add as an aside here that I had already given hubby the discreet ‘heads-up’ that we might have a meltdown on our hands.  Why?  Because she had decided not to tidy.  I pointed out to her just the once that she wouldn’t get her coins if she didn’t tidy and she was fine with this.  So I didn’t push it and got her ready for bath time.  It was at this opportune moment that I told hubby to brace himself and that we had to see it through because otherwise, what’s the point in doing it all?  He agreed.  Good.  We were solid, our armour was polished and there was no chink in it!
So, as I was saying before my ‘aside’, as per every other night, I reminded our little girl after her bath that she needed to tick some boxes off her job sheet.  She merrily ticked away, telling me what each box was for.  My finger remained over the offending box and she jumped up to tidy what I (purposefully) had left.  Et voila, the box was ticked, she counted the coins that she had earned that day and she was a happy little girl who had seen the consequences of choosing not to do her little job.
To me, this proves that we’re heading in the right direction with the pocket money ‘concept’.
What have you done to show your little one ‘consequences’?
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How to teach your kids the value of money

When our little girl was around 4 we started to introduce the concept of pocket money.
pocket money value of money children kids parenting saving piggy bank coins jobs chores tasks responsibility spending
She got a penny for doing things like:
  • helping to wash the car (she loved doing this before and definitely loves doing it now!)
  • Pressing the ‘on’ button for the washing machine
  • At random times (when she was safe or when the smoke alarm went off (when I’m cooking!) and she looked to see if there was a fire
This approach has worked really well for us.
We also introduced a ‘penny for the pictures pot’.  On a Monday morning, if our little girl wanted to watch TV, she had to put one of her pennies in the picture pot (as do we!)  The penny lasted all week and stopped the pictures from running out! 😉
Now that she’s finished her first year at school (!), we’ve tweaked the pocket money to add value to the concept.
Our little girl has a ‘job sheet’ and daily, she ticks boxes for the relevant day of the week (of which there are only 4 boxes for each day, I might add.  Child labour, this is not!..)
Each day she has the choice to:
  • Straighten her pillow and duvet (the phrase ‘making’ your bed did confuse her – they are still so literal at nearly 6!)
  • Tidy her bedroom
  • Tidy her desk and toys downstairs
  • Put her clothes in the linen basket
She’s not always overly happy to do the tasks admittedly, but in the main it’s been received really well… because she gets rewarded for her time.
The weekends are her days off because everyone has time off!
For each job she gets 10p and for any extra jobs (such as car washing), 5 p.  So she generally earns around £2.50 per week.
And she does earn it.
Not only does she count the coins when she puts them in her purse, she also adds them up by value.
We vary the denominations of her coins too.  So we might give 2 x 5p, 5 x 1p and so on.  And she notices if we short-change her and is even honest when we give her too much!
So far, she’s saved up a couple of weeks for a new bag (a bag at 5!) and it’s making her really think what she wants to spend her cash on.
As for the TV, we’ve increased the price to a penny a day.  So we each put 5p in the ‘picture pot’ on a Monday which lasts up to Friday with minimal watching at the weekends.
If she has not watched TV on a Monday, it ‘costs’ only 4p until the Friday for the pictures.
So our little girl is making decisions and also realising the consequences of the decisions.
The next step is to open her a bank acocunt for any savings she might want to keep hold of.
It’s really important for us to show our little girl that:
  • you have to work (sometimes very hard) for your money
  • you can often decide what you spend your money on and when it’s gone, it’s gone until next time
  • money has real value
And it really seems to be working!
How do your little ones earn their pocket money?
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