How much school pocket money should you give your kids?

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Kids these days can't seem to do without school pocket money. But how much money should we give them and what are the rules around giving your child an allowance? Read on for some useful information regarding these matters.

Kids these days are so much more knowledgeable about money than most of us were when we were young. They also seem to need more cash in the form of school pocket money than we ever got as kids – for a variety of things, ranging from snacks to books.  I remember the only pocket money I received was for when I pulled my mum’s grey hairs out…which wasn’t even on a regular basis!

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How much school pocket money should we give our kids?

It’s highly unlikely that children nowadays will be satisfied with the occasional dollar here and there for doing tasks such as pulling out their mum’s grey hairs…which begs the question, exactly how much school pocket money should we be giving them?

We asked mums of theAsianparent’s Facebook parenting groups how much school pocket money they give their kids, and for what purposes.

Primary 1 – 6 school pocket money

Mums in these groups agree that between $1-$5 a day is adequate for their children. One mother, however, gives her child $10 (this includes bus fare). The money is most often spent on food, and sometimes on books and other knick-knacks. If the kids have co-curricular activities on the day, they get extra (up to $5).

Here are some of the things mums in these Facebook groups had to say:

Mother of a P2 child: “(I give) $2 plus some coins in case he need to call me from school.”

Mother of a P4 child: “My boy brings food for recess and there is (sic) water dispenser in his school. We give him $2 a day. He saves them in his piggy bag and uses the money to buy stationery or snacks. Sometimes he will join his classmate and eat food in the canteen.”

Mother of a P6 child:During P6 is $10. Coz (sic) she need to stay in school daily and had (sic) to pay$3 extra for the bus ride hm (sic)”

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Giving school pocket money to kids is the norm these days…but are we using it as an opportunity to teach our kids valuable lessons about money?

Secondary 1-3 school pocket money

Mothers with kids in Secondary school said they give their kids between $5-$10 on a daily basis (with one mum giving her child a monthly allowance). This money is used for food, and also to buy items from the bookshop and as bus-fare. If the kids have extra classes, many mothers double the amount.

Here are some of the things these mums had to say:

Mothers of Sec 1 children: We normally give 20 (sic) for a week. The balance she normally keeps. Sometimes she has to get project materials she uses. But sometimes not enuf esp (sic) when they have CCA”

“$20 initially when he was in sec 1, after a few wks (sic), he said not enough. So now is $25 per wk. my hb (sic) also gv (sic) him extra $10 to keep as emergency. In case he forgot to gv (sic) him. He can use.”

Mother of Sec 2 children: “$60 per mth (sic). I gave (sic) them monthly as i want them to manage their own money.”

While some parents think giving kids money on a daily basis is not a good idea, school pocket money actually has advantages, some of which are listed below:

  • Giving your child a fixed allowance from a young age will encourage him to learn the value of money. He learns to budget and buy only what the cash he has on hand will allow him to.
  • Pocket money can teach your child how to save. This can be done by giving your child his allowance in smaller denominations so he can save part of it as soon as he gets it.
  • It allows kids to make choices about what they want to spend their money on.
  • An allowance gives kids a certain sense of responsibility for budgeting their own money.
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Giving your child a school allowance can teach them valuable lessons regarding money management from a young age.

Having pointed out these benefits of school pocket money, it’s still important to keep the following points in mind when you decide to give your child an allowance.

  • Consider factors such as your own financial circumstances, the child’s age and their understanding about managing money, as well as what they really need the money for.
  • Start off by giving pocket money on a daily basis and encouraging your child to save at least 20% of it in a piggy bank. Once your child has got into a pattern of saving, you may want to move on to weekly, and then monthly allowances.
  • Reward your child each time he fills up his piggy bank. Be sure to get a piggy bank in a size that is relative to the child’s age or he might get discouraged if it takes too long to fill it up.
  • If your child is old enough, involve him in deciding how much pocket money he should get. Start by listing items he wants to spend his pocket money on, i.e., food, books. This makes it easier for you to decide how much money to allocate. But remember that just because an item is on the list, the expense does not necessarily have to be covered – you need to decide if this is a valid request or not!
  • It is important that when you give pocket money, you stick to the agreed amount and not hand out extra money throughout the week. This will help the child to budget and manage what they spend.
  • If there is an occasion where you want to give them more money, agree that the amount is an advance from the next pocket money payment or that they do something to earn the extra money.

We hope you found this article useful. How much school pocket money do you give your child? And what advice do you have about allocating pocket money to children? Do share your opinion with us by leaving a comment.

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