Children and pocket money; what you need to know

When to give it, how much and what for

Pocket money is something a lot of parents are unsure of, especially in terms of what age your child should be when they begin to earn it. The reality is there are no rules as such and you should do as you feel is right and not feel compelled to give your child pocket money because everyone else is. Here are a few things to consider in regards to pocket money and a few tips on how to teach your child to manage their money properly. 
  • When to start giving pocket money- There is no real age limit on when you should or shouldn’t begin to give your child pocket money. However, it is advisable that if you are giving your kiddie pocket money that they should understand money and how it works. Is your child able to count money and realises how much things are? Can your child work out how long it takes to save for certain items and be patient in waiting? If your child is, then he/she is probably ready to be given pocket money. 
  • How much? – This ranges family to family and you should consider how many children you have and how much you can afford to bestow your kids. In most cases, it ranges from €5-€20 but there are no rules and you can change the amount as you go along. 
  • Chores/pocket money – Some parents like to use pocket money as a bargaining tool in getting their kids to do chores around the house and that is your decision. Other parents give pocket money regardless to encourage their kids to save and be responsible with money. Either way is fine as long as you agree with your child on the terms!
  • Limiting your child’s freedom with their money- Pocket money is your child’s money but it is always good to write down some ground rules in regards to how they can spend it. While you should let your child spends it as they like you may not want them to buy a certain lolly as it is bad for their teeth! Have some rules and go from there.
  • Dealing with the consequences of spending irresponsibly- Some kids will be great savers and put aside money weekly, building up a little pile for when they want to buy something extra special. Other nippers will run out the door and spend every cent they have each week until they finally figure out that they are buying nothing that is in any way worthwhile or good! You can act as a mentor to your child and show them how to save and if there is something they want work out how long it may take them to save the required amount. If your child is well-behaved and trying hard to save you could consider adding on a few shillings to help them. Not saying that you should give them the full amount but showing your kid that you will meet them along the way and contribute will teach your child how important saving is and they will appreciate your help. 
Written by Emma Hayes. Emma is a writer with Family Friendly HQ and also writes her own parenting musings over at

Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

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