What’s the right age for pocket money?

At what age do you start giving pocket money to your kids? Should pocket money be earned by doing chores? We asked over 1,400 mums - and got an expert's opinion

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Pocket money… it can be a tricky one. What age do you start giving it (if at all)?

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Do you only give it for chores, or for good behaviour? Is it even necessary – when you could just buy your child the odd thing as a treat?

Maybe you think giving your kids pocket money and letting them save it or spend it on things they want is a good way to teach them the value of money?

We asked more than 1,400 parents when they’d start giving their kids pocket money – and their answers really varied.

The most common ages were:

  • 5 years (21%)
  • 6 or 7 years (both 14%)
  • 8 years (13%).

And a few said they’d give pocket money to children as young as 4 (6%) or younger (5%).

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Lots of people mentioned that it would be given once their child was old enough to understand the value of money – and only in return for doing chores.

A mum of 3, whose oldest child is 12, told us: “My 3 sons all earned their pocket money by helping me with jobs to do. They then learn the value of money.”

And another told us her 6-year-old daughter “gets £2 a week for doing chores around the house and can spend it on activity packs from the £1 shop or a book.”

Another respondent revealed she’d been giving her child pocket money since the age of 3, as she thinks it’s good to help children understand the value of money as early as possible.

What does the expert say?

We caught up with educational psychologist Naomi Burgess on this one. She made the really good point that by the age of 5 many children are counting and recognising numbers.

Giving some pocket money at around this age can be a great way to help them understand the link between simply counting and learning about monetary value. 

She also gave this top tip: “Why not begin by going on-line or cutting out some pictures of items they could buy with the amount you decide and together you can share a simulated buying experience, before starting on the ‘real buy’? It’s a great way to begin.”

This tag cloud shows some of the key words that came up from comments on this topic…

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What do you think?

At what age would you /did you start giving your child pocket money? do they need to earn it? Tell us in the comments below or over on Facebook

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