Kids and money

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  • Understanding the value of money

    Go shopping together so they can see how much things cost. Make sure older children know how to keep their money safe (like in a money belt around their waist), especially if they go Christmas shopping on their own.

    Help them to budget by handing out pocket money on the same day every week. If they’re trying to save up for something expensive (a special gift for Dad, perhaps) you might consider matching their savings to encourage them and to make their goal more achievable. It still teaches them the value of money.

    The important thing is that they contribute to present-buying, and don’t just assume they can rely on Mum. Remember, if they think they can twist your arm for money, they’ll have a shock when they get into the real world.

    What to do if…

    *She wants to blow her pocket money on something unsuitable. Let her. ‘If it’s her own money, it might be a lesson,’ says psychologist Dorothy Rowe. ‘We all have to learn it at some time!’
    *He wants more pocket money. When did you last raise it? Many parents increase it on birthdays or at Christmas, so think about whether you can afford it.

    She’s got a paper round, should I still give her pocket money?

    Seems a bit mean not to, doesn’t it! But it depends on what you expect her to buy with it.

    A new survey of 11 to 15-year-olds by Nat West revealed that 46% of teenagers spend their pocket money on sweets and snacks and 41% spend it on clothes.

    If she needs a new pair of jeans anyway, is it fair for her to pay for them herself? Only you and your budget can decide that one.

    More help and advice

    Expert advice on giving kids pocket money
    How to teach your kids the value of money
    How to tackle pester power
    Seven ways to teach your kids big stuff