It’s always a good thing to start kids young when it comes to any field. Be it languages, emotions, conflict resolution or any other activity, the earlier you start them, the better they will get at it over time.
And while we say this, we’d also like to share an unpopular opinion and that is making your kids financially independent. Don’t get us wrong, we don’t mean sending your child to work. Instead, making them aware of how money works.
Speaking about finances with children is either shied away from or not considered important. But kids need to know the concept of money and how to manage it. The earlier you expose them to it, the more responsible they will get at it.
Managing money for kids starts from the time you give them pocket money. From snacks to books and the occasional game or two, kids need to know how much pocket money they should spend and where.
That’s why giving school pocket money is a great starting point for children. But unlike the old days wherein a dollar or two did the trick, kids are dabbling with more amounts of money (thank you inflation!). And here’s your opportunity to teach them how to manage their school pocket money wisely.
We asked mums of theAsianparent’s Facebook parenting groups how much pocket money they give their kids and why. Here’s what they had to say.
Do note, the responses have been edited for clarity.
How much pocket money should we give our kids? Image Source: Pexels
How Much Pocket Money Should You Give: Primary 1 – 6
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 a 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, it’s $10. Because she needs to stay in school daily and has to pay $3 extra for the bus ride home.”
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?Image Source: Pexels
School Pocket Money For Kids: Secondary 1-3
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 for a week. The balance she normally keeps. Sometimes she has to get project materials she uses. But sometimes it’s not enough, especially when they have CCA”
“$20 initially when he was in sec 1, after a few weeks, he said not enough. So now it’s $25 per week. my husband also gives him an extra $10 to keep as an emergency. In case he forgot to give him. He can use.”
Mother of Sec 2 children: “$60 per month. I give them monthly as I want them to manage their own money.”
Advantages Of Handing School Pocket Money To Children
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 buys 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.
Giving your child a school allowance teaches them valuable lessons regarding money management from a young age. Image Source: Stock
How Much Pocket Money Is Good: What Parents Must Remember
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 of managing money.
- Start off by giving pocket money on a daily basis and encouraging your child to save at least 20 per cent in a piggy bank. Once your child has got into a pattern of saving, you may want to move on to weekly and monthly allowances.
- Reward your child each time he fills up his piggy bank. Get a piggy bank in a size that is relative to the child’s age. Otherwise, they might be 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. 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 validate their request.
- Stick to the agreed amount and do 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 they have to do something to earn the extra money.
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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