Like most kids, our son J goes through phases of obsessing over particular things whether it be a certain toy, a tv series or most recently, money.
J has numerous money boxes which have been given to him over the years. He divides his money between his various tins and pots all of which he looks after in his bedroom. A little while ago we noticed that J became rather taken with emptying his money boxes, counting his coins and then more worryingly hiding small piles of coins and notes here and there around his room.
When asked why he did this, J explained that he was worried his money may get stolen. We enquired as to who might steal it from him and to be honest he wasn’t really sure. I reassured J that whilst Paul and I may sometimes dip into his money-box to pay the window cleaner when we are caught short, we always put far more than we borrowed back into his box thus resulting in him acquiring interest. J seemed rather pleased by the idea of acquiring interest and has since encouraged me to borrow from him whenever I fancy I wonder why…
I have asked J very kindly to refrain from hiding his money in future as it could cause a potential hazard for E who may find the coins and either deposit them into her own money-box or stick them god knows where else. Either that or it could result in complete loss of J’s much-loved moolah by it being accidentally hoovered or tidied up without us realising.
J agreed to stop moving his money around and I was fairly sure that the issue had been dealt with. Four days later I went into J’s room to make his bed and to tidy around. I once again found that he had emptied his money boxes and had hidden the contents around the room. When he arrived home from school that day I asked him to tidy it all away and warned him that I had already asked him once not to do this and wasn’t best pleased that he had done it again.
After he had tidied the money away and we’d had another chat I got in touch with Paul to discuss what we might do. We decided that rather than punish him for having such a keen interest in money we should reward him by offering him some incentives to earn some pocket-money.
The Pocket Money Plan
We discussed the amounts and frequency and decided that £5 a week seemed appropriate given that J is now seven-years old and will probably want to save for some new toy or game which will no doubt cost the earth and be more attainable in a shorter space of time.
Paul and I decided that we needed to set some goals for J to achieve in order to earn said pocket-money. We came up with a list of ten targets which J must achieve in order to ‘bag the bootie’.
- To complete all Homework’s set by school including practicing spelling on a daily basis.
- To read at least half/ all of his reading book each day.
- To complete some Maths work (either through using SumDog, maths software that the school uses or by completing work set at home).
- To do some writing each day.
- To practice his trumpet at least 5-10 minutes per day.
- To use good manners (to always say “Please” and “Thank you” without having to be asked).
- To stay focused and try his hardest at Karate.
- To make his own bed each day.
- To complete chores around the house when asked.
- To listen and pay attention when spoken to by others especially in the mornings when he is usually in a Zombie like state.
After J had sat and completed his homework on Thursday I sat him down and discussed the idea of earning pocket-money. I explained the targets we would require him to complete, the amount of moolah on offer and the frequency of payment available should he agree to the conditions.
We discussed how much he might be able to save over the space of a year if he saved £5 each week, J seemed rather worried how he might store all this money and I then explained the concept of a bank. He has agreed that once he has collected £100 he will open a bank account which he is also rather excited about as am I!
Putting The Plan Into Action
J was over the moon at the idea of being able to earn some money and was surprisingly keen to get started on the targets set. We have made a tick list as a visual aid for him to see whether he is ‘hitting the targets set’ and it seems to be working really well so far.
The Pocket Money Plan has already made a massive difference as rather than having to tell J off for doing something wrong we simply remind him that he must remember the conditions set and that if he isn’t able to abide by them then he will miss out on his pocket-money at the end of the week.
The Pocket Money Plan has been so effective that we have even started using it with our three-year old daughter E! Obviously she won’t be getting paid quite as much as she is still only very young. We have agreed upon £2.50 a week in exchange for her working towards five simple targets tailored specifically for aiding E’s development.
- To help when asked with simple chores and tasks.
- To use good manners (to say “Please” and “Thank you” without being prompted).
- To practice pencil control through drawing and following dotted lines.
- To use the toilet independently (without our assistance)
- To eat without fuss during meal times.
We weren’t planning on introducing pocket-money up until now but it seems to make sense as rather than the kids wanting something and begging us to buy them the latest this or that, they can now chose to wait till an occasion such as a birthday or Christmas or they can save their pocket-money and get it themselves!
It has also given them both an incentive to do specific things without us having to nag them and when they forget we simply remind them of the agreement. It’s a win-win situation and so far seems to be working really well!
Do you give your children pocket-money? How old were they when you first started? How much and how often do you pay them? Do you use targets or any other system of earning pocket-money? I’d love to hear all about what you do/ don’t do in your household so be sure to get in touch by commenting upon this post, dropping me an email or sending me a message via social media. I’d love to hear your thoughts upon this.