Social Media


Kid’s Pocket Money: When To Start And How To Do It

children's piggy bank
Family LifePost Category - Family LifeFamily Life - Post Category - Career & MoneyCareer & Money
ParentingPost Category - ParentingParenting

Introducing pocket money to your child – how much? When? And how often?

My mum recently told me that my 7 year old should start appreciating the value of money by receiving a regular allowance, so I plucked a random figure out of the air (AED 10) and decided that he should get it every Sunday (or when I remember – poor kid is currently about AED 200 down). We’ve since spoken to a few friends and changed our tactics, only doling out the dosh if my son completes a few chores each week so that he really does understand that hard work pays off and doesn’t just come to me with his hand outstretched like it’s his divine right!

The whole allowance thing can be daunting – give them too little and you’ll be the meanest mama on the block or hand out too much and you’re at risk of creating a spoilt brat. And while pocket money is almost a rite of passage for kids, giving it to them too early could mean they won’t understand the value of it or come to expect to be given money “just because”. I’ve heard stories of 4-year-olds being handed notes only to throw them around the house – not ideal!

Amongst my friends, the general consensus is that between the ages of 6 – 8 is around the right age for kids to start getting some money of their own because there’s no point in starting with children who don’t have a grasp on maths yet. There’s also the argument that it should start right after the tooth fairy starts to visit so that they can begin to save those magic coins – and also to link it with something that the kids want (new toys etc) that they can start saving for themselves.

kids allowance spending at the lego store

Most mamas I spoke with agreed that an allowance should come as part of an agreement that they’ll have to earn it. Emma, whose kids are now 12 and 14, says she started a little later when her eldest was 11 and her youngest 9, awarding them AED 20 each week if they ticked off everything on their list and removing the privilege of a weekly allowance if they didn’t. And her other tip? Not to actually hand over cash which can easily get misplaced but rather to use a fab app called Allowance Manager which you can use via the web or on your mobile and which solves that problem of forgetting the occasional week of pocket money (guilty!) by automatically adding pocket money weekly plus being able to reference which of the kids is getting how much and why. Emma says she specified an amount to post to each of her kids “accounts” and then gets a little message every time it happens – she can also add extras like Christmas money from grandparents or a “bonus” for VERY good behaviour!

So how about those chores then? Well here are a few you could list for starters if you’re looking to get going with pocket money each week:

  • Make your bed
  • Turn off all lights (is anyone else’s house left lit like a Christmas tree after they’ve left for school?!)
  • Put all laundry in the laundry basket
  • Lay the table
  • Clear the table
  • Load/unload the dishwasher
  • Help with any pets (walking dogs, feeding cats etc)
  • Prepare everything for school the next day – from uniform to book bags etc
  • Help with extras like carrying groceries from the car or cooking etc.

Don’t like the idea of linking chores to money? (ok yes, our kids should be doing more around the house and not expecting to get paid for it!) – then how about using weekly pocket money as a maths exercise where they need to add what they have or subtract what they’ve spent plus figure out how much they need and how long it’ll take them to get it before they can buy that toy/dress/Ferrari?

We can use money to instil values, to talk about charity and to help our kids pay for their own things even by starting with a few dirhams each week. That said, I’m off to pay my debts to my 7-year-old!

Read more: Saving For University: The 5 Mistakes Parents Make When Trying To Fund Their Children’s Education

This article was soriginally published on Sassy Mama Dubai on 8 November 2017.

Featured image courtesy of Getty. Internal image courtesy of the author.

more sassy mama

What's New

We're social
🍳 Are your children leaving for university this year? Send them off with *Midweek Meals: Three Staple Recipes Teenagers Can Master*. Recipes by @munchkins852 on #sassymamahk now.


Thinking of starting your own business? Make sure you read *Starting A New Business In The 852 Just Got Easier For Mumtrepreneurs* on #sassymamahk.

#mondaymotivation #mumtrepreneurs #hkbusiness

To all the awesome dads in the world, we salute you! Wishing you a very happy Father’s Day from all the Sassy Mamas 💙.⠀
Ahead of Father's Day check out #thatpapa *Eddie McDougall, Founder Of The Flying Winemaker (@theflyingwinemaker)*, one of the city’s most dynamic young papas.⠀
Go to #sassymamahk now to read Eddie's story and learn how a chance taste of wine from a discarded bottle led this papa to build a successful business and a beautiful family in Hong Kong.⠀
#fathersday2019 #ThatPapa⠀
Heading into the weekend like 🌈🍦. ⠀
#sassymamalove the rainbow hues of this little one.⠀
📷@wendology via our sisters @sassymamasg.⠀
#sosassy #sassymamahk #friyay
Is it just us or is this drink getting prettier by the second? *Mama’s Night Out June: New Drinks To Try This Summer* is up on #sassymamahk.⠀
📷 Sugar @easthk ⠀
#sasassy #mamasnightout #hongkongdrinks
Globe-trotting mama Nealy Fischer AKA @theflexiblechef creates recipes that are all about ditching perfection and going for flexibility. Head to our Eat channel for three delicious, fuss-free meals for the whole family to enjoy. ⠀
#sosassy #sassymamahk #FoodYouWant

We're social

What we're up to and what inspires us