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Should I give my child pocket money?

Giving pocket money allows children to learn how to manage their own money. Use it to teach them how to plan ahead and save up for things.

When should a child start getting pocket money?

Start to help your child understand about money as early as possible. Long-term financial outcomes in life can be predicted from five years-old.

Children who have responsibility for their own spending and saving decisions show better understanding of the value of money. They also know the difference between needs and wants.

Read our article on how do I educate my children about money for advice with helping children of all ages to learn about money.

How much pocket money should you give?

This should fit the child’s age and your beliefs around money. Also consider your budget. Will your child buy all their treats or will you pay for extra games, sweets and apps?

The average UK pocket money is around £7 a week. But how much money children get is less important than that they practise with their own money.

Remember needs change as children get older. Planning ahead will help you to budget and your children to learn what they need to save for.

Different ways to give pocket money

Here are some options on how to handle pocket money:

  • Weekly pocket money to buy sweets, games, and other treats. 
    Children can then save up for what they want and only get toys or treats at special times such as birthdays or holidays.
  • Weekly pocket money with extra occasional toys and treats.
    While this might avoid children getting upset, parents say children still pressure them for extras and don’t learn the value of things.
  • Earning pocket money by doing chores around the house. 
    Some parents think earning money sends a good message. Others think children should help out because they are part of the family.
  • Weekly pocket money, with extra earned from household jobs. 
    Some parents like this idea as their children get regular money to manage but can earn extra.

Children’s savings account

Opening a savings account can help to encourage children to save from an early age and teach them the value of financial responsibility.  Find out more about how you can give your child a financial head start and the different children’s savings accounts available.

Let your children make their own spending choices

Whatever you decide to do, it’s important to talk to children about their choices, and show them different ways to use money.

Give your child the freedom to make decisions and learn from their mistakes and successes with their own money. Talk with them about how their choices worked out and what they have learned.