One of the most asked questions we get is ‘how much pocket money should I give?’. Ultimately its what you are comfortable with and can afford. However, we have pulled together some tips and averages to help give you a steer. Remember, these are indicative - pocket money doesn’t have to be expensive and that children, given pocket money in the right way (however much) can learn the skills and confidence to manage their cash responsibly and get immense satisfaction out of it.
What the other surveys say:
Halifax’s annual pocket money survey reported that children aged 8-15 received a whopping average of £5.98 a week in pocket money. Bear in mind that this data will be affected by the larger amounts given to older ages. The RBS pocket money survey which covers children aged 7-12 found most children received between £4 and £4.99 pocket money. Only 4% of their sample received over £5.
The Roosterbank average:
At Roosterbank, our average is lower than other surveys, currently £3.74 according to the latest pocket money index. This is in part because our age range is much wider (we have children from the age of 3 receiving some form of pocket money). The average pocket money amounts we have calculated are a good indicator though and as a rule of thumb, parents are giving 40p for every birthday with boosts for jobs, chores and birthdays forming around half of that total.
Other top tips for deciding how much pocket money to give:
Work out what you expect your children to cover with their pocket money.
This is a great way to focus on what you should be giving them, especially if you are finding you are shelling out large amounts for sweets and magazines like one of our parents James did.
It can also be a great way to get your child involved and thinking about budgeting. Getting them to tot up all the things they get a week from you by way of sweets and other treats will show them how much you spend on them and then you can have a constructive conversation over what you expect them to cover . They might suddenly be a little more careful on what they spend their money on and it should ultimately save you money in the long run.
Consider a ‘Basic Pay’ and bonus system.
Offering pocket money with conditions attached is widely viewed as the best route for awarding pocket money. This way children learn that money isn’t just handed out to them for doing nothing. These conditions are completely up to you of course and could range from successful completion of a reward chart to a batch of basic jobs you’d expect your kids to do as a ‘minimum’ each week. Agreeing a small amount of ‘income’ for these conditions each week gives your child something to focus on and lets them anticipate what they should be doing with their cash when they get it.
A bonus system can be employed for extra bigger jobs or other achievements if you wish. This could be a great way of getting older children into the idea that money is earned and not just given. The most important thing is to be clear about the rules that govern your pocket money routine and stick to them – so as to avoid troublesome niggles along the way!
TOP TIP: Don’t spoil your children by giving them too much.
Everyone in the Roosterbank office agrees on this – give your children too much and you will end up giving them a warped sense of what pocket money means.
You don’t need to give a lot of pocket money to give your children immense satisfaction and get them thinking about their money wisely.