What Age Should You Start Giving Pocket Money

Whether or not to give your children pocket money and if so when to start is one of many parenting questions that has no definitive answer. Starting young means little ones can save up for pocket money toys or buy gifts for loved ones, whereas older children may need money for all sorts of things and could even be expected to earn it.

We take a look how pocket money can be beneficial at different ages as well as possible negative impacts to help you decide when you should start to give pocket money to your children as well as the ways you can give it and the support children may need at different ages to help them learn to manage their money.

Starting Young

Many parents start giving their children pocket money around the age of 5 while others wait until they are older perhaps starting when they reach the big 10 or even when they start secondary school.

If you like the idea of starting young it is important to make sure your little one is able to understand the basics. They need to understand that you need money to buy things. They need to get that saving money will allow them to buy more expensive things. And they need to be able to understand that once they’ve spent it it’s gone. So if you spend it all at once there won't be anymore until next pocket money day.

A popular option with younger children is to have 3 jars or money boxes and to split their allowance into money to spend now, or whenever they fancy, money to save for something bigger, and money to share or donate. This way they learn the benefits of delayed gratification, they better understand the comparative value of things, and they learn the joy of giving.

These are also valuable money management tools that they will be able to build upon as they grow up. Studies have even shown that children who are taught how to manage their money at a young age are better able to manage it as adults and less likely to end up in debt.

Starting When Kids Are Older

As kids get older there are more and more things they want to spend money on and giving them an allowance can be a great way to reduce the number of requests for cash. They get a certain amount and they get to choose how they spend it.

With older children there is also the option to introduce the concept of earning money rather than just being given it. Although there is certainly the argument that children should not be paid to do their chores.

Once you have a teenager you might even change to a monthly allowance to help them learn about budgeting. Making sure for example that they have enough credit on their phone or enough money to get the bus at the end of the month. They are likely to make mistakes at first but far better they make them now than when they are out in the world on their own.


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