Teaching children the value of pocket money: are we doing it wrong? 10

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Children today are richer than ever, earning an average of $10.36 in pocket money per week. But in an increasingly digital, cash-free age, their understanding of money could be in danger.

We had a lively discussion today in the Starts at 60 office about pocket money. For some of us, it was an unattainable luxury; our parents simply didn’t have the money to spare. For others, it was a reward for every chore and good deed. Some of us were taught that cleaning was something that had to be done – we were outright shocked to find other kids were getting paid for it!

No matter how we were raised, we all agreed on one thing: pocket money is a great way to teach kids about financial responsibility, instilling values that can last them a lifetime.

However, children’s understanding of pocket money today could be very different. In the era of PayWave, online shopping and App Store purchases, parents today face a new challenge: how can we teach children the value of money in a cashless society?

According to new research by Commonwealth Bank, children today face some interesting new hurdles:

  • 61% of 6-year-olds believe it’s free to watch movies on their parents’ phone or tablet.
  • 18% of 7-year-olds believe it’s free to order something online.
  • 40% of 5-year-olds believe “you can use a plastic card to get free money from a machine in the wall”. (More touchingly: one third of 5-year-olds believe there is somebody on the other side who hands their parents the money).

Most of today’s parents choose to give pocket money the traditional way: with physical cash. Even more encouragingly, Aussie kids are still great piggybank savers; nearly half will set aside all their pocket money.

The vast majority of children’s purchases are in traditional brick-and-mortar stores. However, with more than a quarter of kids are now shopping online this is figure likely to go up as physical cash becomes a thing of the past.


Did you get pocket money as a child? How would you teach the value of money to children today?



Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. My grandkids do jobs for pocket money, part goes to saving, & part goes to something they buy for themselves…the same as I did with my kids.

  2. My kids had to work for their pocket money so do my grandkids they also receive money as presents and have to manage it

  3. I never got pocket money, I ended up a good money manager, my children also did not get pocket money they too manager money very well. It’s all about teaching your children about credits & debits.

  4. We got pocket and we had to do jobs for it. My daughter did the same and now she knows the value of money thanks to us. They have to learn money does not grow on trees and they have to work for it.

  5. We had a choice of pocket money or our weekly treats of a comic each and an ice cream when the van visited. We chose the comic cos there was four of us and that meant we got four times the fun. Better than a tiny amount of cash.

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