Money in your pocket

Whats that all about then, money, cash – crickey a bit of a luxury for me nowadays in these tight times – and with the children always needing something – or just plain wanting it.

My son always says, mummy if you have not got much money then I can pay for it.
And now his (250 free) business cards have been delivered this week, he has been talking about selling some of his drawings, books and illustrations to his friends for 50p. Because as he says ” 50p is not that much, so people are more likely to buy” (good business sense).

And as a bonus he adds ” maybe when I have sold a few, perhaps when I am 10, I will give half of the money back to you mum”

Well maybe he does appreciate me after all. (but he is only seven now)

But how do our children pay for things? what do you do with yours? and what is the best way to teach them the value of money?

Way back when we were on holiday, I witnessed a poor boy in Newquay zoo gift shop being told he could not have a souvenir today because he had been bought something yesterday.

Fair enough I suppose, but as adults we choose when and what to spend our own money on and that is the why I give my boys their own money, to spend when and how they like. (even my four year old, since he was 2 and a half).

It started when I got fed up of them hassling me to but them “a toy” every time we were in any shop. And it strains the budget and they get upset when you say no.

And then you take a step back and look at it from their point of view and realise that unless you give them some of their own money, then they have no other way of buying things for themselves than by asking you.

And all they witness is the adults all around them flashing their credit cards and buying whatever they need, whatever they want, whenever they want it.

Kids can’t distinguish between the fact that its just food, or desperately needed new clothes for them (mummy never buys herself new clothes).

So I decided that by giving them a regular amount of pocket money each week, I could manage my budget to what I could afford, and they could learn the value of money, whilst having an amount to spend on ” a toy, magazine, sweets, whatever” and save it up for the bigger things.

I recently witnessed another mum and her 8 year old son who had managed to save £60 and was now spending it on his long coveted lego star wars set. (and it was not his birthday or christmas)

It works well, and even my youngest son saved up to buy a new toy story Woody doll, after the one he got christmas 2011, lost its head after about 14 months later. (literally his head broke off, but my son just copies some of the antics from the films – and clearly disney have not factored that into the build quality).

And the added bonus of the pocket money is that it allows for a bribe tactic, with my newest motivational chart being “do I deserve my pocket money?”

If their weekly behavior is not up to the standard that I think it should be then their charts are marked accordingly with a deducted amount of money. Different amounts for different categories.

As ever they are available to buy from my website, and there is an option to edit your own headings appropriate to your own child’s needs,

and with chart sales picking up, its time to get your order in, and take advantage of the Free Santa chart during October and November.

But whether you choose to use a chart or not, you have to admit, its a win win all round:

  1. parents can motivate their kids to positive behaviour with pocket money.
  2. kids can save their money for the extra special big mid-year treats usually only achieved at christmas or birthdays.
  3. parents manage their own budget – no more random expensive toy buying
  4. kids learn the value of money – and only get to buy what they can afford

Quote from a recent chart customer:
“these are a fantastic idea and work well to encourage your little ones in a positive way”


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