Inspired Momx1

Friday, September 23, 2011

Should Your Kids Get Pocket Money?

I give my boy RM2 pocket money every school day ever since he started Primary 1 last year. I catered food for him from the school canteen last year so literally he did not have to spend a single cent in school. Some mothers told me it was unnecessary and advised me against entrusting him with managing his own allowance at this young age but I went ahead. I was curious to know how he would spend the money and in a way a lesson to him on ways to save money. Well, not a good start, I must say. The moment he got a taste of the power of money, he brought back more and more junk food and cute but low quality stationeries they tend to break/spoil after few uses.

We then came to an agreement that he must first seek consent before he could get anything from the school and strictly no junk food allowed. He still came back with some stationeries from school on and off but not for long, the thrill of money power soon lost its appeal when he realised he had lesser money left in the piggy bank every month end. To add salt to his wound, this bad mother even made him pay for things in his "want" list while daddy and I took care of the "need" list. We made a mistake for taking care of both lists previously! I knew we were heading somewhere when he started to think hard on ways to save money, I mean his own money before parting with it. He was starting to feel the pinch of spending his own money. We were heading in the right direction, we hope.

Having satisfied with his money management skill last year, he is entrusted with more money, a fixed monthly allowance of RM40 on top of a RM3 pocket money float starting this year. He has 3 lunch box days where I pack food for him from home and the remaining 2 days will be canteen days where he gets to spend maximum RM2 at the school canteen with no junk food rule still applies. I will top up the money provided there's at least a ringgit left in his wallet or no top-up at all and I am very strict on this. I told him that the RM1 must always be there as it is reserved for "the rainy days". The start of this exercise saw him spending his money on food to the max of his daily quota and then slowly back to RM1-RM2, never once has he emptied his wallet. Phew! *Pat myself on the shoulder*

I only realise I might have overdone it and it has somehow backfired when we have had this same converstation on a few occasions:

While in the toyshop/shopping mall/supermarket:

Ian: Mommy, can you buy this toy for me?
Mommy: Can, but you must pay me back.
Ian: Mommy, please.. buy for me.. I don't want to spend my own money.
Mommy: This is in your "want" list so you must pay yourself.
Ian: Please, mommy..Hmmm... I pay RM1 and you pay the balance, okay?
Mommy: No, it must be from your own money.
Ian: Please, mommy, please.. then I pay RM2 and you pay the rest, okay or not?
Mommy: *pulls hair & screams*

Lol... I didn't actually pull my hair out and screamed la. Blame it on me for drilling him too hard on ways to save money. I think I'd need some restrategizing to "soften the effect". :)

Do you give your kids pocket money? Care sharing?

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Blogger yvonne said...

I would prepare food for my girl and give her some pocket money to spend, maybe RM1. Not sure if there's any change of this plan, when she enters Primary 1....

But yes, kids should get pocket money and get introduced to 'budgeting lesson' early :p

September 23, 2011 at 5:12 PM  
Blogger Sheoh Yan said...

Now I give April RM1 everyday to school, I still prepare snack for her. RM1 like you said, is reserved for rainy day. Top up only when she spends, when she doesn't spend, I give her 50 cents extra to keep in her piggy bank. If she scores good result, and wins competition, I reward her with money too. She can keep this money in her drawer (not piggy bank). This money is to use to buy gift for father's day, mother's day, sister's birthday and etc.

September 23, 2011 at 5:19 PM  
Blogger Sasha Tan said...

i think its right for u to give him some money and let him manage it. And also make him pay for what he wanna buy too. *pat pat* good job !

September 23, 2011 at 6:09 PM  
Blogger Mumsgather said...

No, I don't give my kids pocket money. They have catered break at school so I didn't think it was necessary. I did that with my girl for two years. Now at Primary 3, I give her money as and when she needs to buy exercise books. She will ask from me and I let her keep the balance in her purse. Will be doing the same thing with the boy. No money till Std 3 and only as and when required. However, they do get plenty of leftover change from us which they keep in their piggy banks and we have taken out the full piggy once, counted them together and banked it.

September 23, 2011 at 8:10 PM  
Blogger reanaclaire said...

Not every day I gave my kids money.. only when they needed it.. cos normally they took bread to school last time.. my girl now drinks oats and soya milk before going to school and she takes a packet of biscuits for recess...each time i ask her, she said no need money.. funny one.. :)

September 23, 2011 at 9:15 PM  
Blogger Mummy to QiQi said...

Rm2 is quite a lot for primary one. For me, I only give qiqi 50sen to 80sen, depending what she wanna buy for that day. a bowl of noodle cost only 70sen in her school, and the most she gets is Rm1 at times when she say she wanna buy d rainbow paddle pop :)

September 24, 2011 at 1:18 PM  
Blogger Quay Po Cooks said...

I am all for teaching kids about saving and to spend within their means:D I am not so sure about giving money for good grades because money is an external satisfaction which do not last. What will stay with them is satisfaction that comes within. Just my two sens:D

September 24, 2011 at 11:47 PM  
Blogger Alice Law said...

I reckon yours are pretty good idea,(by creating want and need list).

I'd prefer my girl works for her pocket money, like washing car, and doing laundry. At least she would find money didn't come by easy.

September 26, 2011 at 10:54 AM  
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September 27, 2011 at 10:21 PM  
Blogger slavemom said...

hahaha Look at how hard he's trying to negotiate with u. We had planned to give my girl pocket money when she started Std 1. But somehow we stopped giving her everyday n oni as n when she needs money. I hv a strict rule of no junk food n unnecessary stationeries too. And I make her jot down her expenses in sch (mostly snacks) in her note book so she knows what she's spent on. This yr she hardly buys food from sch, prob coz there aren't much choice (food that she likes n allowed to buy) or the novelty of buying food has worn out.

October 10, 2011 at 1:22 PM  

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