His First Pocket Money

A few days ago I saw a discussion on Facebook about teaching children how to budget and the value of money. I entered into the debate and 'chatted' with Jen from Mum In The Madhouse (who has quite a few posts on this) about when to start giving The Boy pocket money. Personally I feel that at not quite four years old, he might be too young for it as a regular occurence but decided (upon discussion with Mr. TBaM) that we'd give him some holiday spending money in a little wallet. That way if he saw a little knick-knack or toy he fancied, he could make the decision on whether or not to buy it,  guided by us.

Today, we were in Pecorama in Devon and in the shop he started looking at a few little toys and asking, "Shall we buy this?". This was the perfect time to start teaching him that things cost money and that he has to make a decision on whether he really wants something or not. My mum spotted a little wallet on the shelf and I popped £2.00 inside. I then showed him the wallet and explained that we were going to give him some pocket money for him to choose what he'd like to buy. In his hand at the time he had a wind-up train, but was eyeing up a squidgy, spiky, gel thing. He could have bought either for the money. Then he spotted a flag which he could also have afforded.

He stood in the shop, desperately trying to decide, and I fought the desperate urge to just buy all three for him. It was hard.

I patiently explained he could choose to buy one, but he couldn't have all three. He walked away from the flag, and put the squidgy thing down, picked up the train and trotted off to the counter to pay for it with his wallet. The young girl behind the counter was incredibly patient and she spoke to him, talking him through each stage of the transaction (where I also paid for the wallet!) before handing him his change and helping him put it in his wallet, and giving him his receipt and train in a bag.

First pocket money

Look how proud of himself he is!

The Boy wouldn't let anyone else carry his bag, and is very excited that he might be able to buy something else tomorrow with some more pocket money. He has no concept that £1 is more than 20p yet, that's a bit sophisticated for a 3 year old. However, this is the first step on the way to teaching him about finances and budgeting.

My little baby is growing up!

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  1. says

    That's a fantastic idea. I'm getting too soft at throwing things in my shopping basket when CK asks for them. Might be time to give him a little bit of spending money when we're on special days out and explaining that he can pick something for himself to the value of it.

  2. says

    I think I might try this with JR as he has no sense of value and thinks that he can have whatever he sees in the shop I'll maybe start with his £2.50 dance money each week

  3. says

    That's so cute and he does look very proud!

    I must say my nan still gives me £2 a week which I use to buy something for lunch the following day or sweets, but its the fact she still gives it to me that makes me smile lol

  4. says

    We give pocket money in this house for doing something good, like trying a new meal at dinner time etc. They have to earn the pocket money to try and teach them naughty children don't get rewards

  5. says

    So good to introduce them to budgeting and paying for things with their own money. We have always done this with ours and from a young age they have had to earn their pocket money too. It is paying dividends now as we really need their help in the family business!

  6. says

    Oh bless him! He really is growing up! For a long time, Eva went for the bigger coins rather than looking at their value and even now she believes that more pennies is more money. She still doesn't have a real concept of money. She does get pocket money but not regularly and she thinks having £10 makes me rich! I wish haha!

  7. says

    This is a great idea and one that we need to introduce with Bud in the not too distant future. He's a bit spoiled by other people (and us, if I'm honest) and I'd like to start making him realise that there is only a finite amount of money he can have spent on him. I think I might wait six or so months and try implementing something similar.

  8. says

    i bet he loved that experience of being able to make a decision himself on what to spend his own money on. i adore the photo
    we have started a similar thing with B but with rewards stickers to 'earn' money. i keep meaning to blog about it but haven't had chance yet!!!

  9. says

    Yay! All my kids had £2 a week pocket money from the age of 4 and my boys learned about the value of money very quickly. Sometimes they will save for months – my younger son even bought a laptop – and other times they will spend it every week.

  10. says

    Miss B got her first pocket money about 6 weeks ago, she will be 6 in August. She has to earn it though and can get up to a maximum of £3.50 a week. She has her own chores to do and I told her to pick what she wants to do, so she chose filling the washing machine. Along with that she also has to make her bed and open her curtains. They started getting golden time at school too so if she gets all her time and does all her chores she will get her £3.50

    I think it's invaluable, she's learned the value of money and how if you want something you need to work for and save for it. But most importantly she's learning that once you spend it, it's gone! So far she's bought 2 big lego sets and a new purse 🙂


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