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.
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