Sunday, October 16, 2011

Importance of Pocket Money For Kids & Parents (Part:1)

New Blog!!

Yeah.. I am talking about Money first time on My Blog . After 12th std of my studies, once I started going colleges, I was always interested about understanding relation of our Life with Money and after finishing College study I was inclined to Financial planning. I started looking around and exploring the diversity of life and observed that People are running for money. If you ask people, why do they live ? Most of them would answer without hesitation that they live for Money, they live for money to fulfill the basic requirements of their family, after all money is needed by every person to live gracefully in society, although limits (how much money?) always differ.. person to person with age, place and necessity.

So dear readers, this blog is about POCKET MONEY.. the sweetest form of Money. This is sweetest because, we just start getting it from our lovely parents.. right there in our home. For rest all other forms of money, we have to work hard, we have to go out, we have to work under Boss , we have to make lots of compromises and blah..blah and blah.

Pocket Money is  an amount of money given to children every month to  fulfill their needs. It is small amount of money given by parents to meet the petty cash expenses of their kid.
It may be used by them for spending on :
-     --     Candies
-     --     School lunch / breakfast
-     --     Toys
-     --     Books
-     --     Gift

Children can spend their pocket money to  themselves, their friends or family members. Generally , pocket money is given on monthly basis, sometimes it is given on periodical  basis during special occasion and festivals also. Some families believe in paying pocket money to kids on adhoc basis too, as and when required and demanded by kids.

Pocket money may be needed to those kids specially , who used to go school by Bus. The amount may be useful while camping, picnic also. It may be used as an emergency / contingency fund during any accident or unseen event.

I personally feel that if we maintain a discipline about Pocket money, we can teach several important aspects of money and life using and setting some principles about it.  I would like to mention that Pocket Money  is the foremost and important stepping stone to Money-driven world. If we wish to secure the future of our Child financially, we can use this simple tool to teach the basics and importance of Money. Parents may differ with my ideas and perspectives to allow pocket money to kids or not, but I advocate for it. The child can feel responsible and important after this initiative.

When to Start :
Like other skills, Child learns attitude and get used to Money from home. The best time to start may differ for rural and urban areas, I think 3+ year Age is suitable to start. Children learn to identify coins and rupees by the age of 8+ year year and can buy chocolates , ice cream etc . They should be able to use basic mathematical skills as like Addition, subtraction also. Although, it is needed to monitor their money management till they grown up and start earning their pocket money / salary, specially till 12th std.  Just gift them a “Gullak” or a  money box, you may mark this date in your Diary. This little event may change his life positively. Now, the child would start making choices, saving and waiting for the things they want. You can realize the development of sense of responsibility and independence about money after issuing Pocket Money first time.

How much  Pocket Money :
We can not devise or use a formulae. It depends upon family income, family budget, lifestyle, education standard and age of the child also. It depends upon residential area / locality. We should also  think about the pocket money given to their friends also. Take account of bus charges / auto charges to school, breakfast / lunch expenses estimation before fixing the pocket money. The pocket money should be reasonable and comparable. If it is less, it could lead to inferiority complex. The money may be increased with progressing age and need of the child.  You may start by as low as Rs. 100 per month, set the limits as 40 % for saving, 20 % for emergency needs, 20 % for chocolates and balance 20% for stationary needs. Monitor and review their requirement and expenses for first 3 months and then you can judge the reasonable amount yourself and the child would be satisfied also.

You can top up their pocket money by incentives , as and when required ( as per special occasion, festival , summer vacations or  special achievement). You can ask them to help in household activities as like – Gardening, house keeping, maintaining cleanliness, helping family and others.

You can increase their Pocket Money once in a year , increment date may be new session of study or birthday of your child.

Advantages
We can teach several important aspects of Money to our children using the Pocket Money technique. Some points may be :

  •  The value of money,
  •  Useful Spending : needs & habits,
  •  Importance of earning money,
  •  Why and How to save money,
  •  Simple Interest, Compound Interest, Inflation
  •  Borrowing and repaying
  •  Basic Accounting and maintaining a Ledger
  •  Basics of financial and money management.
We can teach them about Budgeting and Financial Planning basics too. This will help them to understand and practice the benefits of Planned expenditure and savings.

It is not necessary by child to spend all the Pocket Money for the given period. Motivate and train them about Saving. The child should write down the expenses date wise, head wise. They  should put a side  some % / fixed part of the pocket money for Saving. Ask them to prepare a Contingency Fund. Help them setting up their short term and Long term financial requirements, planning and meeting the goals. They may save their pocket money to buy a gift for their parents  or siblings too, if it is costlier one . If the saved money grows up to  a substantial amount, the same can be transferred to Bank A/c. It is also advised to open a Joint / Kids Advantage Bank A/c in the name of child. If the child grows up and particularly after the age of 10+, you should make him aware about banking practices also, i.e.
-          How to deposit money
-          How to withdraw money
-          What is Interest, how it is calculated and compounded
Risks
As we know that every good thing has bad aspects too if mishandled. So be cautious about the money spending habits of your child. Check his ledger / notebook (given to him for maintain and writing about expenses). Check if there is any pattern of expenses. Cross check about their spending habits if seems doubtful.

You must explain your kids about how to spend and when to spend . Advise them that they are independent to spend the money but as per set directions, principles and limits.


Although pocket money is often treated as casual fund in regular house hold budget, but it has importance and the concept can be used effectively by parents to develop understanding of money matters to child right from their early age and it would be very beneficial with age. Remember It is one of the first way to let them learn the basics of Managing Money ..the very important skill needed for life ahead. Do one thing for sure, encourage them for SAVING. They may start it by collecting coins and currency notes marked with images.

I hope for your valuable comments. Do wait and visit again if this topic sounds interesting to you, I have lot more to share about Tips on Financial planning..

Copyright@Santosh Kumar, 2011
Picture courtesy : Google Images

21 comments:

  1. Sounds like good advice. In the United States we call the money an allowance and it is usually given weekly. A lot of parents only give the allowance if it has been earned by doing household chores. Having a guideline for the child and teaching them about saving and spending wisely sounds like a good plan. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Pocket money should be given to kids on regular basis, this is stepping stone towards financial Planning. I also recommend for a fixed pocket money / allowance for housewife also.

    ReplyDelete
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  4. @Rita : I always believed in the policy of pocket money, lets teach our children about Money matters.

    Thank You.

    @Hanslata : Pocket Money for parents(housewife??), a new overhead?? Just joking!! There should be some allowance for them also.. Thanks for the suggestion.

    ReplyDelete
  5. @ Rina Maurya : Thank you for visiting. Do visit again.

    @ Kanu : Thanks. Do visit again.

    ReplyDelete
  6. nice ..quite a review...
    I haven't given any pocket to my kid yet.. nor did I feel ..nor did he ask..maybe school system is different.. lunch expenses are paid to school on monthly basis and other expenses are taken by us ..yes piggy bank is used for coins ..BUT may be when they grow up ..like age ten or so we might need..
    its very useful tips you have given!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I don't think that pocket money should be given and its necessary for the kids. Sometimes the kids misutilize with the pocket money given to them and the parents have to be alert. Wonderful post.

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  8. @Antakshari : If your suggested option is real & practical one, Provide more details on your website / Blog too. I will refere and recommend also.

    Thanks for visiting.

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  9. @Harman : Agreed.. you and your child may interested with the subject when kids will grow and cross the age of 10+. Do visit the 2nd part.

    @Babli : Agreed with your concerns, The concept of pocket money is useful only for alert guardians. Have you read "Rich Dad Poor Dad", may be interesting reading for you also.. Do visit the 2nd part, I will cover your concerns and some new tips on the subject. Thanks. Check my new poem about "Diwali".

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  11. So Kind of you, After all some one like you has presented the importance of pocket money gracefully.

    Ram Pal

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  14. Kids learn better if they are given pocket money. They understand the value of money and since then they cultivate the habit of saving the money for future. It is very important that you give your kids pocket money. However, keeping an eye where they are spending their money is also very crucial.

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    Apoorva
    Home Loan in Lucknow

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