We’ve teamed up with RoosterMoney, the pocket money app, to bring you some helpful tips on starting a pocket money routine. Here at My Gator Watch we’re keen to support you in allowing your kids a bit more independence when the time is right. Whether that’s their first outing to the park with friends or taking a trip to the local shop to buy ice cream. Pocket money is a great way to get your kids started on the road to understanding the value of money, and can be great fun too!
If you’d like to try the RoosterMoney pocket money app, the main app is free, but as a Gator Watch user you can get 25% off the RoosterPLUS subscription using the code GATOR25 here, https://www.roostermoney.com/mygatorwatch/
So without further ado, here’s RoosterMoney’s top tips on setting up a pocket money routine…
1. Deciding how much pocket money to give.
A good place to start is to agree what you expect your children to cover with their pocket money. One approach we like is to look at “Wants” versus “Needs”. You can decide what “Needs” you want to cover for them, and what “Wants” they should be covering themselves. This is also a great way to introduce the concept of budgeting, however old they are. Getting them to add up all the things they get a week from you, like sweets and other treats, will illustrate how much you actually spend on them. If they all of a sudden have to cover the chocolate and magazines with their own money, you can be sure they’ll start thinking about what they buy much more carefully! If you need help on deciding how much to give, then RoosterMoney has pulled together the average pocket money given by age, to help give you some context.
2. Tie pocket money to conditions
Chores and Jobs
Linking pocket money to jobs around the house can be a great way to reinforce that money has to be earned. Even as adults, getting something we feel we’ve worked hard for feels hugely rewarding, and it’s the same with kids. They’ll appreciate that new toy even more if they feel they’ve had to earn it, and they’ll be proud of it too. They’ll also think carefully about how they spend it – something the academics agree with too! And remember to be clear what jobs are extra money earners versus jobs you expect them to do as part of the family.
The top jobs given on RoosterMoney are:
Reward charts are a great way to get your children started with pocket money, especially if you don’t feel ready for actual money, and would prefer to use stars instead. (With RoosterMoney you can actually set the currency to ‘stars’ for that exact reason). You can pay-per-chore, per-star, or only pay once all stars or chores are completed. In our experience, children love to see the progression that reward charts give them, and we’ve created a template here if you want to give it a go.
Rewarding your kids for good behaviour is popular with a lot of parents of younger children on RoosterMoney. While it can be extremely effective, it’s important to keep it positive too. Many parents use the threat of not getting pocket money as a means of getting their children to do something. But we don’t recommend taking money off them for bad behaviour as this doesn’t encourage children to save carefully for fear their hard earned cash will be raided at any moment. One to watch out for!
3. Start talking about money more
Being open about money and having positive conversations about it with your kids is key. Only 52% of parents talk to their kids about money matters, but if we shield our kids from some of the realities of money, we’re only delaying their learning process. Try using everyday occurrences to spark the conversation, whether it’s why you’re turning the lights off, where the money in the ATM is coming from, or what to do with that fiver from grandma. Holidays are full of good ‘teachable moments’ too – If you’re eating out, playing ‘guess the bill’ can be an interesting insight into their perception of what things cost – and if you want to notch it up a level, help them convert the bill back into pounds!
5. Pick goals to save for
Some kids love saving for the sake of saving, but a lot of kids (and adults) need to have goals to aim for. Starting with those goals is one of the best ways to teach kids about money. Ask them what they’d like to save up for, and by when, and work with them to formulate a plan of how to achieve it. Small things like sweets and magazines are a great start, but when they want bigger things like a phone or tablet you can offer to match what they put in once they’ve saved 50% of the total value, or add 10% at the end of a set period. Iit’s all about finding incentives that can keep them engaged! And once you’ve agreed what you’re saving for, print out a picture of it, and stick it to the fridge so they can see what they’re saving for to make it feel more tangible. Saving for goals is also a great way to exercise their capacity for delayed gratification.
6. Be consistent
Being consistent with whatever conditions you’ve set is key to ensuring the lessons stick. When you’re in the sweet shop, or in the last aisle of the supermarket, if they’ve spent all their money, don’t undo all your hard work by offering to buy that magazine or pack of sweets if they’ve don’t have enough money – it’s not a ‘need’ after all! Learning that ‘when it’s gone, it’s gone’ can be a powerful lesson.
7. Make it fun and make it stick!
Making it fun is our mantra at RoosterMoney! A lot of people think of money or banking as boring, something we think should change – which is why keeping it fun for the whole family is really important. Whether it’s decorating a reward chart, setting challenges for yourself as well as the children (why shouldn’t you be rewarded for cleaning too) or making sure everyone is involved in deciding which is the best value lego set. This will ensure that your children are fully engaged in the pocket money process and there are fewer arguments for parents to deal with – which is always a bonus!
RoosterMoney is a pocket money tracking app designed to help parents teach their kids the value of money in a digital age.
Simple, progressive and gameful, RoosterMoney uses the latest technology to bring to life all the sound traditional financial principles we were brought up with (or wish we were!) and make managing money relevant and smart.
From as young as 4 years, you can sign up to the digital tracker which lets your children keep track of their money, save towards goals and earn rewards while you oversee what money goes in and out of their account (you remain the Bank of Mum and Dad without making deposits).
RoosterMoney encourages families to learn together so that parents can actively educate, motivate and empower their kids financially and gives everybody the reassurance that they’re fully prepared for the future.
The app is available on iOS and Android as an app, or you can download it on Kindle Fire from the Google Play app store. https://www.roostermoney.com/