The average amount of pocket money that kids are now getting is somewhere between £5.75 and £6.50 per week. It varies from survey to survey.
But how does that break down by age? Obviously, it depends on individual circumstances, but a rough guide is:
How Old Should They Be ?
This is going to be a personal decision. However, once your child can count confidently and understand the concept of money then it’s an appropriate time to start. With our grandsons around the age of 6 seemed an appropriate time to start.
From the age of 6 our grandsons could fully grasp the concept of saving and spending. Having pocket money has helped them understand that sometimes they have to save up for something that they want.
How do you decide how much?
Again, this will be a personal decision and you can use the average amounts in the table as a guide. Our grandsons have a small base weekly amount of pocket money that they receive. The 11-year-old gets £3, the 9-year-old £2,50 and the 6-year-old £2. They are expected to do small things around the house for this such as clear their plate and glass from the table after dinner, pick up and tidy their toys / books away and put their dirty clothes in the wash basket not the floor!
However, they can earn extra pocket money each week by doing additional chores around the house. Sorting the clean socks into pairs ready to put away can earn them 50p and cleaning their football boots is another 50p.
I can’t say they’ve ever done enough chores in a week to break the total average weekly amount for their age group yet!
Personally, I think it’s good that the boys are expected to do some basic chores to earn their pocket money as it’s good for them to learn that everyone should help out around the house. The additional chores give them the opportunity to do more to earn more, a good life lesson.
What are age appropriate chores?
You can come up with your own list of chores but here are some ideas of suitable chores by age below. I’ve also popped a start chart in for normal chores you expect your kids to do. You can download the Chore List and Star Chart by clicking on the image below.
Age 6 to 7
- Water the garden
- Water indoor plants.
- Feed pets.
- Clean the sink
- Wipe kitchen worktop
- Mop floors
- Fold washing
- Match clean socks
- Unload dishwasher
- Help choose meals
Age 8 to 11
- Chores on 6 to 7 list plus
- Wash dishes
- Wash the car supervised
- Prepare a easy meals
- Clean the bathroom with supervision
- Rake leaves up in garden
- Learn to use the washing machine
- Put laundry away
Age 12 to 13
- Chores on 8 to 11 list
- Change light bulbs
- Change the vacuum bag
- Dust, vacuum,
- Clean bathrooms
- Clean mirrors
- Clean the fridge
- Cut the grass supervised
- Prepare an easy occasional family meal
- Take the rubbish bin out
How to manage pocket money
We are well and truly in the digital age and you may decide to give your kids their pocket money in cash or you may choose one of the online banking apps for kids.
We contribute to our grandsons’ weekly pocket money, so we decided with our daughter that GoHenry would work best for all of us. It allows us to put money directly in their accounts and it lets G manage their pocket money, ticking off chores as they do them. The boys get their own Cash Cards and can monitor their pocket money through the app. It works very well for us.
Here are 5 of the apps out there at the moment.
The GoHenry website and app (£2.99 per month with 1 month free) are designed to encourage money confidence and is available from age 6. Parents create an account for each of their children who then receive ‘bank’ cards in their own name. The ‘bank’ cards are pre-paid Visa cards that they can use in shops and cash machines.
The GoHenry app lets parents set weekly pocket money and chores and there are also safeguards you can put in place on spending.
iAllowance (Free) is a tool for tracking pocket money, chores and rewards. You can run multiple banks for different children, set up specific chores and rewards that run on a regular basis. There are great graphics and you can give the kids access to see their accounts without being able to edit them.
RoosterMoney Pocket Money Tracker (4+ & Free) allows parents to manage multiple kid’s pocket money accounts while children get their own Pocket Money Dashboard online. Parents can boost pocket money for certain achievements and completed chores with the RoosterMoney Plus account (£1.99 per month)
Opsper (8+ and £2.50 per month) is very similar to GoHenry in that it has a prepaid debit card and you can link chores and monitor spend and add limits. Allocating funds to the account is quick and easy, and the first six top-ups in a month are free (after that, there’s a 25p charge per transaction).
Nimble (8+ & £15 per year) comes with a contactless Mastercard and an app you and your kids can download.
It’s similar to GoHenry and Osper. Although, one of Nimbl’s most interesting features however is its micro-savings. This lets kids choose an amount between 5p and £5 to move to their savings account every time they use their card.
The annual fee is slightly less but you get charged more for transactions. You get one free withdrawal per month, after that its 49p every time you take money out of a cash machine or £1.50 when overseas.
What are the benefits of pocket money?
1. It may work out cheaper for you as long as you stop buying them comics and sweets etc and let them use their pocket money
2. It can limit Pester-Power. Kids learn very quickly the art of pester-power and how to use it. However, when it’s their money they are spending, they suddenly become more savvy spenders.
3. It will teach them the value of money. It’s amazing how they will decide they don’t need something when it’s coming out of their pocket money.
4. It will teach them how to budget and manage their money. Our eldest Grandson loves saving some of his pocket money and watching the balance grow, I’m not sure what he’s planning on spending it on.
5. If they are doing additional chores to earn extra pocket money it can help provide them with a useful sense of purposes and achievement.
You may decide that giving your kids pocket money isn’t for you and that’s fine, you have to do what works for your family. But it does have its advantages and can be a useful learning tool.