Save, save and save some more. Isn’t that what pocket money for kids is meant to be all about, teaching them the importance of saving? Wrong.
According to Dr Elizabeth Kilbey, the resident expert on the All New House of Tiny Tearaways, its actually about the whole process, so spending it is just as important, and parents would do well to remember that and “let go” so that they allow their children to experience the joy of spending their money, as well as saving it.
Why is spending important?
But surely we should be stopping our kids from buying yet more of those tatty pink, glass bracelet thingies, or those rather annoying, but ever popular, collectibles, including the latest “unbelieveably cute animal in my pocket” or whatever the latest craze is? Again, not necessarily.
If your child is demonstrating that they are able to save money for a period, then perhaps we parents should back off in our control-freakiness, and actually let them spend that money on the latest craze to sweep the nation. Only then will they realise that sometimes its better not to waste money on the plastic tat, and buy the nice silver jewellery instead a few months later. That won’t break, you see?
Learning through mistakes
Our kids learn, and they make their mistakes through their experiences, and why should pocket money be any different?
In fact, thinking about it, haven’t all of us adults learnt rather well from our mistakes with money? Remember that new gadget that you wanted to buy for aerating the lawn; that it was rubbish and broke after a week…well…there you go…
Chatterbox recently used her £1.00 a week pocket money to buy some rather cheep dress up bits and bobs. The tiara broke after a day. The next time we saw something like that, she said:
“Mummy, I’m not going to buy that, its probably going to break because its a bit cheap.”
And you know what, she was right; she had learnt from the last time. Mummy’s strained expression when she let her buy that last piece of tat was all worth it in the end…I think.
Why a balance is important
There is pleasure in the saving, of course, but the joy in spending shouldn’t be missed out on. Dr Kilbey quite rightly points out that this is really “hoarding” and not actually saving at all. Saving implies you have an aim; for example, my little girl wants to buy herself some Sylvanian Family toys. She has a goal, and there is a pleasure in reaching that goal, and then undoubtedly adding those loveable mice to the clutter in her bedroom. This is also a great way for her to begin to learn about money management too.
After the great high of spending, there is the lesson that you need to start all over again for the next big thing…perhaps a nice new top for mummy, yeah? No, the merekat family? Ah well…
For more top tips on pocket money, do pop on to YouTube and see the Britmums chat with Dr. Kilbey (representing pkymny.com) which I had the pleasure of taking part in too. Some excellent advice and discussion on there. Nice to know its not just me that finds pocket money a bit of a minefield.
What are your top tips around pocket money for kids?
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