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Pocket money

money; spending; pocket; allowance; saving; working; chores; jobs;


What is pocket money?

Pocket money is money that you get that you can spend. It may be that your parents and caregivers give you money every now and again, or you may get a regular amount of money, for example every week or once a month.

piggy bankSome families don't give pocket money regularly, they just hand over money to their kids when they want it. Sometimes people in the family may give you money for birthdays or Christmas. Some of it may turn out to be pocket money - money that you can spend on what you want.

But many families start saving accounts for kids and expect part of their pocket money should be saved.

Recent research has suggested that about two thirds of kids start getting pocket money when they start school - but many families can't afford it or do not want to give their kids pocket money - the decision is one the grown-ups need to make.

How much should you get?

That depends on what your parents/caregivers can afford, how many kids there are in your family and how old you are.

  • A little pre-school kid may get a dollar, but older children might get more.
  • It also depends on what you and your family decide is to be done with it. You may be given some money for saving and some money for yourself.
  • You may be given money but you have to do your chores around the house. If you don't do them you might not get so much money.
  • You may not be given pocket money but you may be paid for each job that you do well.
  • Each family is different.
  • Some kids do paid casual work. They may save some, use some to help out the family or keep some as pocket money.

Managing your money

Many parents and caregivers who can afford to, give kids pocket money so that they:

  • use the money to buy things that they want
  • get used to handling money and finding out what things cost
  • are responsible for looking after money
  • learn to save up for things that they want
  • may learn to save part of their pocket money for when they are older
  • have to manage on the amount of pocket money that they get
  • learn what is good value for money
  • learn to shop around for the best price.

piggy bankManaging your own money can give you lots of choices. You may choose to buy a school lunch once a week, hire a game or DVD, or negotiate that mum or dad give you a dollar for every dollar that you save, so that you can save up for something special such as a bike.

It's difficult to manage money if you don't get a regular allowance, but even a small amount regularly can soon grow if you are saving hard for something.

money treeThere are lots of lessons to learn when you have pocket money.

  1. If you spend it all at once, then there is no money until your next 'pay day'.
  2. If you make bad choices then that's tough! You'll be more sensible next time.
  3. If you break something when it isn't an accident you may have to pay back the cost of it.
  4. If you are saving for something and don't put that money away first, it takes a very long time to get what you want (because you have usually spent your money on something else).
  5. If you borrow money, you have to pay it back.

pocket money
These are good lessons to learn when you are young. Money has to be worked for and it doesn't last long unless you are really careful and make good choices.



What kids say

"I have to do 10 chores a week to get pocket money." Jacob

"I don't have to do chores but I get $1 a week anyway." Haydn

"I get $6 a week, it goes up with my age." Rachel

"I get $20 a fortnight, half of which is for chores. I put $5 in the bank and $15 towards new stuff that I need." Kathryn

"Every week, if I get my homework done and my diary signed I get $10. Every 4 weeks I put some in the Bank, the rest I can save or spend." Bethany

"We save half of our pocket money every week." Nathan, Anthony, Sam

"I get $10 a week for doing chores. I don't get it if I don't do the chores." Amy

  doing chores

"I get money sometimes, so I put it into my piggy bank and I use it when I need to." Matilda and Alex

"I don't save any. I spend it when I go shopping." Amber

"We put birthday and Christmas money into the Bank, but we spend pocket money." Nathan, Anthony, Sam and Tess.

Most of the kids thought that having regular pocket money might be a good idea because they said it would help them to understand money better.

Dr Kate says

Dr Kate"Some families may not have enough money to give their kids any pocket money. If your family is struggling at the moment then you can help by looking for the best value, being extra careful when checking change and not getting upset if your friends have money and you don't.

Money is great to buy things with but it can't buy the most important things in life."

Have a look at Being happy.

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We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.


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