Pocket money as the name suggests is
money given to children to take care of petty expenses.
This amount of money can be given by parents' everyday,
every week or every month or even on adhoc basis, as and
when the child requires it. As long as the child has the
freedom to spend the money, it will be deemed as pocket
Parents extensively differ in their perspectives
of whether or not to give pocket money to children. Some
parents believe that pocket money should not be given since
will make the child feel that 'parents money is not
could lead to fights between children',
competition amongst children on the amount of pocket
money they get'
of control on where children spend the money'
However, giving pocket money to
children has several advantages:
feel a sense of independence and responsibility towards
spending the money the right way. They learn &
understand the value of money. They also learn to
understand that amount of money is limited and they
need to always choose between their various desires
to ensure correct use of their pocket money.
get into the habit of planned income and expenditure.
They also learn about saving & budgeting. For
eg: if they want to buy a present for their mother's
birthday, they will need to put aside some amount
of money every month to collect the commensurate amount
and buy the gift.
pocket money to children also makes them feel an important
part of the family since they know that they get a
part of the family's monthly income.
Some parents even believe in
their children earning pocket money. What does that mean?
It means that parents can often inculcate values/ beliefs/
actions in their children by rewarding them for it in the
form of pocket money. In such cases, parents divide the
pocket money amount in two parts:
Once parents are clear that they
want to give pocket money to their children, they also need
to decide when is the good time to start giving the same
to their children. Once children start spending sometime
away from their parents in going to school, sports classes,
tuitions, etc, they need to carry some amount of money on
them. This could be a good time to start giving them pocket
money. Obviously, in the beginning, the amount of money
should be small and should be periodically reviewed as the
child grows. For eg: you could decide that every birthday,
you will give an increment to your child’s pocket
money. Additionally, if your child excels in academics/sports,
they could get higher pocket money increments!
that is given on a timely basis.
that is earned against some house jobs. For eg:
every Sunday, you could start giving a fixed sum
of money to your son if he helps his father in cleaning
the car. Or if your daughter helps around in dusting
the house. This will in a way also inculcate the
habit of weekly cleanliness in them since childhood.
Similarly, if you strongly wish to inculcate the
value of ' helping others' in your children, you
could promise them an extra sum of money during
summer vacations if they help your maid's child
learn the basics of math.
When parents start giving pocket money to children, they
need to explain to them where the money is to be used.
For eg: when you first give Rs.50 to your daughter, you
need to explain that this money is to cover her school
special lunch, candies/soft drinks requirements for a
week. If the child is given money without any direction,
you could run the risk of the child using the money is
a way that does not agree with you. In such cases, parents
need to be very careful in not micro- managing where the
child spends the pocket money, else the child will get
irritated and will not get the ‘sense of independence’
that parents want to instill in the child.
Parents must explain to children that pocket money is
to be used over the week/ month and hence children should
plan their expenses over the time frame. It must be made
clear that in case children use-up their money earlier,
they will not be given extra money. Pocket money will
be given only on the fixed day as decided. This will help
children learn the concept of planned expenditure and
Parents must always ensure that they give comparable
pocket money to their children. It should neither be too
much or too little compared to friends. Giving more pocket
money than friends will make your child spend more and
consider money as frivolous and easily available. If your
child gets less pocket money than his/her friends, it
will lead to an inferiority complex and the child might
start resenting you.
Last, but not the least, parents
must be careful not to use pocket money as a way of punishment
to their children. Often, parents use ‘suspension
of pocket money’ as an easy way of punishing their
children. This format of punishment is not wrong to use
but must be applied carefully. I.e if the child has a
broken a beautiful vase and you want him/ her to understand
the value of the same, you can penalize the child by deducting/
taking away the month’s pocket money. But you cannot
start using pocket money as a weapon to get the child
to abide by all your wishes. For eg; you might want your
child to have two glasses of milk everyday which he may
not want to; in such cases by incentivizing the child
for more pocket money will be wrong to do since such a
format of giving money is not pocket money but ‘bribe’.
Similarly, pocket money penalty cannot be used as a blanket
punishment to all wrong – doings. If the child starts
feeling that he/she will never really get pocket money
due to some punishment, he/she might be tempted to steal
money from parents.