Over the years I have started attempts to start giving my eldest two pocket money, but failed miserably. This was most possibly down to them not knowing the value of money and me forgetting to go to the cashpoint! But now J is 9 (10 in October) and Brooke is 7 (8 in September) and I truly believe they need to learn the lesson of budgeting and saving. So me and hubby have come up with a pocket money plan to get this sorted, I want my children to grow up knowing the value of money and having the essential skills of budgeting, I don’t want it to be a hard lesson when they are older and can get credit cards and get into trouble. As you all know, J has autism and other learning difficulties, so for me, this is a massive life skill he needs to learn for himself in order to live a hopefully average life. Now J has been focusing on money at school recently, and his homework is money orientated so this will hopefully help him with his maths too.
So the plan is we give J a whole £5 a week on a Sunday. On a Sunday because it means he has to think about the weekend after, especially the Saturday before pocket money. Brooke will get £4 a week. Now this sounds alot, but bear with me and all will be explained.
Now the £5 isn’t standard and regardless of behaviour, each will have to do their jobs and earn it. The kids jobs include keeping their bedrooms tidy, cleaning the door handles and door frames, helping me load and unload the dishwasher, tidying away the plates from dinner…the list goes on. But if they are naughty then they lose a bit of pocket money. But if they behave then they can earn it back. It’s kind of a reward system which J responds well to at school. We will have a visual chart for them both on our fridge where they will be able to see how much they have earnt for the Sunday ahead. It will have coins which stick underneath each name to show their pocket money.
So what do they have to do with their pocket money? If the children want to watch a film on our large cinema surround sound mega set up, then the children have to pay £1 each. This is counted as a ‘cinema style treat’. If they watch tv upstairs on their tv’s, which is something they both do at night before bed, then they have to pay 20p. They also have to pay for any sweets, treats and magazines they want, as well as save for that special something. So today we are off to set up the kids a new bank account each for them to save and pay into(don’t want them seeing their savings we have been squirrelling away). J is already sure he wants to save for a special Star Wars LEGO set which was about £30, so the boy has saving in mind-a great start I hope! Brooke isn’t as enthusiastic and has no plans for hers yet other than to spend it on sweets! I shall be hopefully convince her to buy herself a little treat which she will need to save for, I mean what girl can resist a sparkly nail varnish?!
So what happens when they spend all their money and realise they don’t have enough left for tv time? Well tough luck, thats the skill of budgeting. You loose out and have to wait until payday again. I know it probably sounds harsh, especially when they are so young, but I honestly believe this is an important lesson they need to learn.