Saturday 7 December 2019

How much should I be shelling out in pocket money?

Photo: Getty Images. Picture posed.
Photo: Getty Images. Picture posed.
Louise McBride

Louise McBride

The amount of pocket money given to children varies hugely from family to family. It depends on what the family can afford, the number of children, and the attitude the parents have towards money.

The average amount of pocket money for a child in primary school is about €10 a week, according to Money Doctor, John Lowe. That increases to €20 for a child in secondary school and about €60 for a child in college, according to Lowe. "My children are all virtually raised now but we had one year where we were shelling out €90 a week in pocket money," said Mr Lowe. "Parents should introduce the concept of money from as early an age as possible. That includes saving, borrowing, repayment and so on. If your children learn good money habits while they are young, they will grow up to be happier."

Other parents we spoke to believed that a reasonable amount of pocket money for a 16-year-old was between €50 and €100 a month.

A part-time job can be a good way for a child to learn about money - as long as it doesn't impinge too much on their studies.

"At the age of 16, I feel a child should be encouraged to get a part- time job," said Dragon's Den star, Ramona Nicholas. "Some of the best performers in our company have grown up in a family business and have been helping out from a young age. It's certainly something I will be taking into consideration when my own son gets older. A strong work ethic can get you anywhere in life."

Pocket money itself can teach children the concept of earning money. "At some point, your children need to understand that income has to be earned," said Mr Lowe. "From this will flow a sense of freedom, financial independence and work standards. Earning doesn't just mean being paid to work; it also means how money is received, so I would include pocket money in this category. What you want is for your children to understand that the harder they work, the more they will receive."

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