The Great Pocket Money Debate


It was around the time last year when my elder son turned six, that the issue of pocket money reared its ugly head.

It wasn’t the first occasion I had considered the idea; for quite some time my son had been asking for toys he would see on television ads, or that his friends would take to school to show him. Occasionally we would purchase one as part of a special treat, or I would spread the word at birthday time.

More and more though, he had been requesting toys that I didn’t want to buy him. Maybe I thought they were poorly made, or a gimmick. Whatever the reason, we simply don’t have the disposable income to buy the kids toys all the time.

I must admit to wimping out a little: we haven’t yet introduced a regular allowance, but we have offered cash for jobs like car-washing, vacuuming and sweeping. I’ve loved seeing the pride on his face as he finally earns the last dollar towards the latest {insert junky toy here}, and the excitement as he counts his earnings one more time to make “for absolutely sure” he has enough money. And then, of course, it’s time to con mum in to a trip to the shops…

When do you think is the best age to start
giving a child pocket money?


4 thoughts on “The Great Pocket Money Debate

  1. Our eldest is five and we haven’t started pocket money yet, but would be interested to know when others do. I definitely like the idea of them earning the money through chores, good behavior etc. Do you place any restrictions on what he is allowed to buy?

    • Hi Brenda! I only have one rule, and that is “no guns”. I have tried to convince him on occasion that what he wants is a waste of money, but then I try to remember that it’s a learning curve for him, too. When he saved up $2 to have one turn on those big claw games that are supposed to grab you a prize (but never do), only to watch it disappear in five seconds… I think he understood why I never gave him money for that! I will still buy the occasional Lego pack, book etc. What do you think your kids will spend their money on? Karen

  2. I really need to try to give my boys pocket money more consistently – they need to learn how to handle it and make mistakes while they are young! I struggle a little bit with what jobs to give them for pocket money – as I want them to know that helping around the house is just part of being a family – we do not get paid for that πŸ™‚

    The best method that has worked for us so far is to automatically give them half their age in pocket money – however if they do no do their allocated jobs, they have to ‘pay’ someone (either a brother who has jumped on it or mum) for doing it for them. My boys all help out around the house, but I guess 3 is about the age when they like to have their own money πŸ™‚

    I really like this post – anything to do with organising kids I love to read πŸ™‚ Kitchen organising, lunchbox Ideas, party or celebration table set ups, maybe a picnic post πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Trina! I’ve never heard of giving money back – that’s a really interesting way to look at it! I’m trying to remember to involve my boys in lots of little jobs around the house, “just because we’re a family and we help each other”, and saving the big ones like washing cars for the cash. It’s tricky to know where to draw the line. My six-year-old asked for some cash for setting the table the other night. Umm, nope! But together we thought of some big jobs like helping Dad trim the hedge, and vacuuming both cars. The weather’s fab over here in Perth – a great time to work on a picnic post for you. πŸ˜‰

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