Giving the children weekly money means that they learn to take responsibility for their money and understand its value. But when should you start with weekly money and how much should you really give the children?
Children are facing finances at an earlier age now than before, often in connection with games on tablets and phones, but at the same time they have difficulty understanding the value of money. Today, we hardly handle cash at all, but draw our cards or use the mobile phone for payment. Giving children weekly money is about introducing children to the economic everyday life we live in, and teaching them priorities and making financial choices.
What age should you start giving children weekly cash?
A reasonable age to start with weekly allowance is associated with the start of school as the children start to become a little more independent. Already in preschool class, the children are introduced to numbers and then it is a good age to start introducing the weekly allowance as well, but you obviously choose the time yourself and get to know yourself when it feels natural to start.
How much should the children receive in weekly money?
The most important thing is not the amount you give the children, but the most important thing is that you actually talk to the children about the economy and teach them the meaning – for example that money can run out and that you cannot afford everything but must prioritize and save. A general rule is to adjust the weekly allowance according to how old the child is and what you agree on what the money should go to. In the beginning it is mostly about learning, and the weekly money may be used for candy, but in connection with the child growing and wanting to be able to go and have a snack, buy games or the like – then maybe a little more is needed. We give you some guidelines for thinking:
6 – 10 years
$30-50 a week is enough. This is about being able to buy Saturday candy (and maybe save a small part depending on the choices they make).
10 – 14 years
$100-200 per week. To get a little more space to make your own “bigger” choices, such as buying games, having a coffee with friends or the like.
14 – 16 years
Here it may be convenient to start with monthly money instead of weekly money. A larger sum per month requires more planning so that you do not waste all your money directly, much like a salary in adulthood. Start talking to the child about what to spend the money on, maybe they want to start buying clothes themselves, go to the cinema or something else.
16 – 18 years
Now the children are often so big that they start to make their own demands. Here it is important to agree with the children on what the money will be enough for. They probably want to buy clothes themselves, and maybe they talk about a new mobile phone? Agree on a sum (suggested child allowance) and what this money will be enough for. Here it is also possible to start making higher demands on children, if you have not already done so. Maybe they should get an extra job to afford more things?
Cards or cash?
The use of bank cards is also increasing at a young age. For young children it is good to start with cash to make it more concrete and easier to understand. But kids today have a great understanding of technology and digital money behavior so don’t worry about being too young when it comes to that point. They do not necessarily have to carry the card with them, but let them have it lying at home in their wallet, so it is no problem to start with cards at an early age.
Do not pair money with chores at home
Some choose to give the child weekly allowance when they perform chores in the home. Many economists believe that this gives the wrong vibes and that all family members should help in the home without demanding payment. On the other hand, you can agree on extra chores such as big cleaning or gardening to earn extra money.
Teach children to save
Teaching their children to start saving and setting concrete savings goals makes it all the more fun and makes it easier for the children in the future.
Hope you got some more inspiration for the way of thinking itself, rather than the sum. And remember that all children are different, both in their small age and in their teens. They will make counterclaims at some point and they will make financial mistakes, but let them do it and learn from it. The most important thing for you as a parent is to be open about finances and explain what money, priorities and savings mean.