It’s an age-old debate between kids and their parents which will never end. How much is enough when it comes to pocket money and should kids do chores to earn it?
It’s an issue for even the most cash-laden celebrities as Sir Elton John has revealed that he makes his kids do chores for their pocket money to teach them about “value”. And David Beckham told viewers of the Late Late Show about making his oldest son pick up a weekend job to earn his own spending money.
The annual UK-wide Halifax Pocket money survey – which examines the saving and spending habits of eight to 15-year-olds – revealed this March that the average weekly pocket money for children is £7.04, (its highest level since 2007), yet unsurprisingly 41 per cent of kids, almost half, think that’s not enough.
And then there’s the question of whether pocket money should be given automatically, or should it be earned? We wanted to know what local parents thought about the issue and took the debate to our Ni4kids Facebook page…
The majority of parents were in complete agreement with our quoted celebrities and believe that kids should work, a little at least, for their money. Mum Debbie Hanna wrote, “My kids get pocket money and do chores. They are nine and 10 and strip their beds and bring down and sort all their washing. They stack the dishwasher, take out rubbish to the outside bin, lay the table, put away toys, tidy bedrooms and put clean clothes in their drawers and wardrobe. Their pocket money is £2.50 a week.” Paula Gowdy agrees saying, “My 14 year old son gets money when he needs something and in return he does little weekly chores.” Mum Leigh Camlin believes that chores should be age appropriate stating, “My son gets pocket money but I don’t make him work for it. When he’s older I will be asking him to help around the house, but right now I think it’s okay to let him be a kid. He’s only seven.” While Joeleen Cummings pointed out the fact that pocket money ‘teaches budgeting for things like youth club and tuck shops or treats.’
One of our commenters, Lesley Hunter feels that kids should be “given basic pocket money for keeping their own room tidy, school things ready, shoes polished etc. And extra can be earned by doing things like cleaning the car and emptying the dishwasher.” Louise Green was in agreement revealing, “My children are 11, nine and four and all earn a little bit of pocket money each week for simple age-appropriate tasks, from washing dinner dishes, hoovering, sorting and tidying toys. They enjoy earning their own pennies.”
Danielle Moore acknowledges that, “I had to work for my pocket money and my children have to work for theirs. In my opinion it’s the best way to learn the value of money. It means so much more knowing you earned it.”
Many parents like Maryellen Byrne also highlighted the importance of completing chores irrespective of financial reward. She stated, “I have four kids aged 10, nine, seven and four and they don’t get pocket money. They do chores around the house everything from feeding animals to stripping beds. It’s important for them to know that some things have to be done regardless of reward.” And Elaine Donaldson wrote, “My daughters have chores that they do not get pocket money for. I want them to grow up understanding that you do not get financially rewarded for helping out. They can and do extra tasks to earn money. It’s about teaching the value of money and instilling a good work ethic.” In addition Sara Kennedy stated, “My nine-year-old does not get pocket money for basic household chores as this is part of working in our family team and being a helpful considerate member of the family. However, he can and does earn pocket money if he does tasks like washing the cars, helping with painting, cleaning the fence.”
Parents like Carol Gibson said that they reward their children ‘based on positive behaviour’ rather than completing chores. Claire McCabe said, “My 10-year-old gets pocket money weekly and the amount depends on behaviour, schoolwork and chores. Usually £10 per week.” Seanine Currie agreed writing, “My nine-year-old daughter gets treats when she has worked hard at school or had an achievement and she has various activities after school which she knows we spend a lot of money on.” Mum Lisa Lawden also pointed out that money can be earned from other accomplishments, she told us, “Mine earn theirs either through extra chores, doing well in school or at their sports.”
We agree! Kids doing light chores for pocket money or earning it through school and extracurricular achievements makes sense to us. It teaches them that in life you have to work for reward, and when you do it can really pay off!