How much pocket money should you REALLY be giving your children?

AS families are forced to juggle ever-tightening purse strings with children's growing expectations, the topic of pocket money can be fraught with tension.

It doesn't help when your kids' peers seem to get an ever-expanding allowance – so how much should you really be giving out?

One survey suggests that 84% of British parents give notes and coins to their children, typically an allowance – including some discretionary spending – of £7 a week.

Yet, by 2028, banks predict that for every 10 occasions when adults buy something, they will only use notes and coins once.

For the rest, we will mostly use cards or digital payments.

How much pocket money should you give children?

Fabulous consulted Dr Rebecca Chicot – author of The Calm and Happy Toddler and co-founder of Essential Parent – to get her thoughts on dishing out allowances.

Figures show that, in the UK, under fives receive an average of £2 a week and children aged five to 15 get £5.

From age 15 upwards, the average increases to £9.50 a week.

Although this can help guide parents on how much pocket money to give, Dr Chicot thinks it's important to make a decision that is best for your household.

She says: "It very much depends on a family's budget and what your child is expected to buy with their pocket money.

"For example, if they go to the swimming baths or the cinema, do they use their pocket money?"

How much to give your kids depending on their age

Under 5s:£2 per week

5-15: £5 per week

15 and over: £9.50 per week

Are there any ways to reduce the stress around pocket money?

The fact is, there is no magic number that is right for everyone.

However, by considering the tips below, you can ensure you make the best decision for your family.

1. Use tokens to save up for a family experience instead

Dr Chicot says: "Instead of pocket money you can create your own tokens that allow your child to save up for an experience.

"Children love to spend time with their parents and have their mum or dad join in with an activity rather than just watching from the sidelines.

"If your child helps out you can reward them with tokens (which you can make together out of an old cereal packet) that they can save to ‘win’ a fun activity like playing a board game together.

"I can still remember how exciting it was to have both parents play a game of Monopoly with me and my siblings, a real treat."

2. Don’t have pocket money

Dr Chicot says: "Do not feel like you have to provide your child with pocket money if it’s not something that you want to introduce into your home.

"Lots of families don’t have pocket money. This doesn’t mean that the children aren’t expected to help around the house.

"You can explain that while you can sometimes afford the occasional treat (like ice creams on a hot day) you cannot afford pocket money each week."

3. Teach children to earn and save money

Dr Chicot says: "Children can really learn valuable lessons by learning to save and even make money.

"If you are struggling to give pocket money you can suggest that your older child can do simple jobs for money (as long as this is done in a safe way).

For example, your teenager might offer to mow lawns for neighbours for a small sum or take old toys to a car boot sale."

Who knows, they could end up like this schoolboy, 8, who made a staggering £13,000 flogging eggs.

4. Don’t take away pocket money as a punishment

Dr Chicot says: "If your child has saved up their allowance, it is their pocket money. It sends a confusing message if you take arbitrary amounts away from them at any time."

5. Encourage team work

Dr Chicot says: "To avoid pocket money becoming divisive in the family, allow your children to work together as a team – don’t pit them against each other.

"Let them work together on a project like a car boot sale, or clearing the garden, for a shared reward such as all going together on a local park run, or shared money."

6. Accept different children have different attitudes to money

Dr Chicot says: "Although it is possible to encourage a child to work hard and save, do not be surprised to find that your children are all different.

"Some may want to do jobs and save, but some children are just not very interested in money and may be more eager to save for experiences or just less interested in money across the board.

"This is not surprising, as adults have different attitudes to money too. You can have an ongoing conversation about money and pocket money with your children, from young children to teenagers."


If you'd like more help managing on a budget, get inspiration from this mum who feeds a family of five for just £16.60 a WEEK.

Check out One Pound Meals chef Miguel Barclay's two-course family dinner that costs just £1.25 each.

And these money-saving tips can help anyone sort their finances… from families to working parents and the self-employed.

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