Pocket Money...yes or no

One thing is for sure that we all have been there. I mean as kids we all felt at some point our parents didn’t give us enough money to spend. But the funny thing is that as soon as we became parents we started acting differently. Many of us have derived numerous theories about why kids shouldn’t be given pocket money. Well, quite a contradictory approach I must say. Whatever happened has happened. But now you must evolve and change according to the times.

Let us see how we can make our kids financially independent, responsible & happy at the same time:

How much is not too much?

We live in an economically diverse era. We have people managing their households in 5000 & struggling to manage in 500000 as well. Now, the question remains how much the child should be given. Well, the answer to this not at all complicated. Just consider few determinants like the age of the child, the city you live in & spending preference of your child. The most logical way is to decide this amount after consulting your kid. I am not saying that the figure should be decided basis his/her wish. But please consider their view. Let them give you adequate justification for their requirements. The very democratic approach I must say, but indeed ideal in this case.

How much monitoring is needed?

I will strongly suggest that please don’t keep hounding your kid for clarification over every single penny spent. Nonetheless, keep a tab if they have been exhausting the money way too soon. You may wish to give them a tip or two but, in my opinion, let them learn. Let the process of failure, learning & relearning happen. Every mistake & blunder while spending the money will be their valuable lifelong lesson.

Teach how much to use & save

This implies especially to younger kids. As soon as you decide & start giving pocket money to your child. Keep telling them that they have to manage certain things from these amounts of money only. Anything extra will mostly not be entertained. Teach them the magic of self-control & budgeting. These key learnings will save them from any embarrassing encounters with you for extra money. Managing in limited resources is indeed an invaluable lesson which we must teach our kids irrespective of our income-level.

When to stop or reduce?

Well, don’t think that your kid is entitled to get money from you forever. They must understand that until they develop the capability of earning their buck this flow of money will be there. As soon as they attain maturity to handle complex tasks. You may wish to convert their pocket money in an incentive scheme. Let them lend an extra hand in household chores or let them go for some part-time work set-up to earn their own money. This will not be very pleasant for you as well but this shift is highly necessary.

Be very clear about one thing that managing finances well is a very essential life skill for today’s generation. I understand it has always been an important thing in life but the challenges which our next generation is going to face will certainly be much different than ours. Hence preparing them for this essential aspect of life is indeed our responsibility. So sooner we start the better it is.