As we stroll down the toy isle of the supermarket I can hear James behind us in his element surrounded by toys. He of course, like most children wants everything in sight and regularly pesters us for toys he wants or in his words NEEDS!. This has been a regular occurrence since he has been old enough to ask for toys we of course don't want him to think he can just get everything he asks for and so came about the conversation about pocket money.
Of course there are lots of things we naturally want to teach our children such as sharing, manners and right and wrong but I also wanted my children to learn about the value of money. I wanted them to know in simple terms that money doesn't come from trees and sometimes we can't just have the things we want we must save or earn those things.
So after a bit of deliberation we decided we would give James £1 a week pocket money. We went out and brought James a nice new piggy bank to save his pocket money in and explained to him we would be giving him £1 a week which he could save up to buy the toys he wanted. He was over the moon and to start with thought his £1 would buy him the world. We initially had to explain to him how much things are and how many £1 coins he would need to buy each item but he soon understood.
After some time had passed he had built up a good amount (and had a little birthday money) so we took James to Toys R Us, they have little mini trolleys which he took and we let him take the lead. He filled his trolley to the brim with all the toys he liked and then before we got to the til we explained how much money he had and explained that he had to choose the toys he really wanted as he couldn't buy them all. So he sorted through them and picked the toys he really wanted and without tears which we were worried about and off he headed to the til!
It really worked! Not only did he learn about the value of money but it made him think about the toys he "really" wanted and just the toys he had picked up on a whim.
James was beaming with delight as he handed over his saved up coins and proudly told the checkout lady he had saved them all himself. He carried out his big bag full of toys all the way to the car refusing to let anyone help and the look on his face said it all he was beaming with a smile and so proud!
When Evelyn came along we knew we would need to do the same for her. So now Evelyn also has a money pot too as we want James to see that they both must save for things they want and so she gets the same £1 each week. Of course we do occasionally treat him to things from our money but not all the time and I think he really appreciates the toys more knowing he has brought them himself!
As he gets older we may start giving him the opportunity to earn more money from helping out around the house etc but for now he is perfectly happy with his £1 a week and learning about the way money works.
Do you give your children pocket money?