For a lot of generations now, many parents have given their children pocket money. The amount will vary, with some getting none at all and some getting a significant amount but being made responsible for buying things like their clothes with it. Knowing whether you should give them money at all and how much can be difficult especially for parents with children are different ages who may have different demands. It is worth asking yourself a few questions to help you to decide:
Can I afford it?
It is really important to make sure that giving pocket money is something that you, as a parent, can afford. You need to make sure that you can cover all of your household expenses before thinking about giving pocket money. You also need to set it at a level that you will be able to afford. It can be hard to ignore children’s demands for certain amounts of money or for items that they want, but you need to make sure that you can manage financially. Do not set out to give them a certain amount a week or month if you fear that you will not always be able to afford it. Make sure that you discuss with them that you may not always be able to give them the same amount so that you do not feel under so much pressure to do so, if you do decide to give them some.
Do they need it?
It is worth thinking about why they want the money and whether they really need it. Consider why you are thinking about giving it to them. It could be because they have asked you, you feel you should because other parents do or a completely different reason. Consider whether the reason is a good one and if you should be given them money. If they already get everything they ask for then they do not really need money to spend. If they want to spend it on things like sweets then again it may not be a good reason to give it to them. If they are saving up to buy something or just saving for the future then you may feel that this is a better reason for giving them money.
Should they earn it?
Many parents insist that their children do chores to earn their pocket money. This could be anything from keeping their room tidy to cleaning the family car. It is obviously up to parents to decide whether they should earn it and how much they should od to earn it. By earning t, it shows children that in life you have to work to get money. However, others could argue that they may refuse to do jobs around the house unless they get paid and this does not set them up well for when they are adults and have to do this. It is a personal decision and some parents might decide to give some money and then pay children extra if they do chores or might decide on a completely different system.
Should they save or spend it?
If the children are young then parents have a lot of influence on what they should be doing with their money. Parents might like to encourage children to save their money so that they get into good financial habits. This can be tricky though if the children have plans to spend it on something specific. A compromise that some parents make with their children is that they spend some of it and save some of it. This can get them used to saving, but will not mean that they miss out on buying things they want. There are lessons to be learned by spending money. If you buy items and then realise that there is something better you wish you had got, or want something expensive and have to save for it, these are both important life lessons. If children can make poor spending decisions when they are children and have regrets about those, they will hopefully remember them (perhaps with some gentle reminders from their parents, as they get older). This could help them to make better spending decisions when they get older.
There is no doubt that it can be a tricky decision to make. It is so important to start by making sure that you can afford to give pocket money in the first place. Try not to feel pressures. Then think about how it will all work, how much they will get and how often, whether it will be regular or ad hoc and whether they have to earn it. Then think about if you want to save it or spend it or a mixture of both. There are lot of factors, but it is good to get it sorted out beforehand because once you start doing things in a certain way, it is very hard to change it.READ MORE
Many of us are worried about getting into debt, but with wages not rising quickly but other costs going up it can feel that it will be inevitable that we may need to borrow money so that we can just manage. However, it is well worth trying as much as you can to make sure that you can manage before you resort to borrowing. This is because in this situation, you could find that things get even harder when you have to try to repay the money that you have borrowed and you may end up getting further and further into debt.
Therefore, it is wise to have a think about your current finances and what you can do in order to change your situation. There might be quite a few different things that you can try and so you need to think about a selection of options and give more than one a go to give yourself the best chance of staying out of debt.
- Downsizing – the first thing to consider is whether you can downsize t reduce your general costs. If you can move to a cheaper home, which has lower rent and is smaller so lower council tax and costs less to heat, this could make a significant difference. You may also be able to downsize your vehicle to one that costs less money to insure, tax and drive. Although both of these options are big changes to make, they could make a significant difference to how much money you have to pay for other things.
- Comparing prices and switching – everything that we buy has a price. However, if we buy items form different places, we may find that the prices will be lower. This includes everything from short term credit to coffee. So, think about every single thing that you pay for and whether there are cheaper alternatives that you can consider. You could switch providers for your electricity and broadband, change phone or television contracts, buy second hand clothing rather than new and start shopping at a cheaper supermarket. Obviously, you will need to make sure that you are getting good value for money and that you are happy with what you are buying. Sometimes buying cheap means that you get such poor quality things do not last long or they are just not very nice, but this will not always be the case. Sometimes paying extra for a fashionable brand name, is just not worth it at all.
- Reducing spending on luxuries – it can be wise to cut down on buying items that you do not need. We all buy things that are not necessary such as paying towards hobbies, going out, holidays, extra clothes, gifts for people, alcohol, snacks and things like this. It can feel like if we go without any of these things that we are depriving ourselves of happiness. It is important though to remember that marketing companies are very clever at telling us what to think and that we can be happy without spending too much money. We also may not need to cut down on everything, but just be pickier about what we actually choose to buy. We may find that we will start to find it easy to go without certain things, as we do not really need them that much. It will all depend on how much you buy really.
- Selling things you own – if you want to make a chunk of money to help you manage then selling things that you own and no longer need is a good idea. Although the money is not as good as having an income, as you will not be able to keep making more, it will still be helpful. It is relatively easy to sell things these days, whether you choose to do a car boot sale or table top sale or decide that you would like to sell online. There are many ways to do it and it could mean that you could end up with a nice chunk of money and a tidier home as a result.
- Increasing pay from work – if you already have a job then it could be worth thinking about whether there are any ways that you can make more money from it. It could be that you could try asking for a pay rise. This may not be possible or may not work, so alternatively you could see if there is any extra work you could take on. Another possibility is to see if you can apply for a promotion to get a role that is better paid or move to a different role within the company where you can earn more money. You could also look for a new job in a completely different company if you can find any jobs like this that offer a higher salary.
- Take on extra work – it may be easier to keep your main work situation as it is and take some additional work. This can be tricky, particularly if you already work long hours or have a family life, but there are options that might work. You could consider taking on evening or weekend work, but this might be too much. If so then maybe some freelance work could be better. You may be able to find something online that you can do form home. This would suit someone who is less able to leave the house for work or who is already working full-time and wants to not have to go out to work even more hours. Then are many different online jobs that you can do and some are easier than others. The less skilled work is not paid as much, but it can be fun and still give you some extra income.