Do you talk about money with your children?

Growing up money wasn’t a subject that was spoken about that often with my parents.  Even now it’s a subject that isn’t discussed regularly.  My parents taught me and my siblings the value of money by giving us age appropriate chores to complete and in return we earnt pocket-money.  Which in turn helped teach us the value of money. 

We quickly learnt that if there was something we wanted we would have to save our pocket money until we could afford it.  Of course there were times when we just wanted to spend it on sweets but more often than not we saved it until we really wanted something.  There were times I remember moaning about having to do chores like nearly everyone else but I always did them.  At first my parents would try to guide us with our decisions on what to spend our pocket money on, helping us to work out how much we needed or how much change we would have.

In the last year we have started to teach our own children about the value for money.  Trystan actually initiated the conversation by asking if he could have pocket money.  So we sat down and had a conversation about how he could earn some money.  The children have been encouraged from an early age to tidy away toys and to try to keep their bedrooms tidy so we wanted something else that they could earn pocket money for.  Around the same time Trystan asked if he could help look after the family cats so it made sense that if he helped feed the cats every day he would earn a set amount of pocket-money.  Luc decided he also wanted to earn pocket money so his chore is to help with the chickens every day.  He lets them out as soon as he gets up, feds them and then puts them to bed in the evenings. 

There have been a few occasions when the older two have asked if they could earn extra money but as of yet we have not increased their chores.  Looking after the animals is also teaching them about responsibility along with the means to earn some pocket money.  Rowan has recently started complaining that he doesn’t get pocket money, he would like a ‘job’ to do, like his brothers.  At the moment we haven’t decided on a ‘job’ he can do mainly due to his age but it’s something that we are going to have to discuss soon. 

One Poll carried out a survey for The Money Advice Service in March 2015 of 2,000 UK Parents of children aged between 11 -18 years.  The research revealed the average amount of pocket money children between the ages of 11-18 years old receive from their parents by age. The amount was shown to rise an average of £1.78 – or 18.4% – per year:

Age of child                    Average amount of pocket money received per week
11-12 years                                      £7.01
13-14  years                                    £7.99
15-16  years                                    £10.52
17-18 years                                     £14.70

Do you think these are a reasonable amount for children of these ages?  The older two boys earn £2.50 a week for completing their chores, they are 9 and 10 years old.

When it comes to talking about money with children dad of 3 and I talk about it equally.  We don’t involve the children in discussions about the household budget, the household bills and finances are so detached from the children’s lives that things like the water rates or electricity bill don’t make sense to them.  However if there is a trip or after school activity they want to do, we will sit down and discuss the cost and implications with the children.   At present we feel that this is sufficient their ages.  As they mature there will come a time when we will address household bills with them and how they can contribute. 

The research for The Money Advice Service found that:

Only half (52%) of parents say they discuss money matters regularly with their children. The key reasons parents feel uncomfortable broaching the subject of money with their kids are:
– Children shouldn’t have to worry about money (43%)
– I feel awkward discussing money – even with my own children (26%)
– My parents never gave me any money advice (19%)

Talking about money with children doesn’t have to be daunting, Dr Elizabeth Kilbey has five tips for you:

1. Subtly integrate it into your child’s life. You don’t have to have a big ‘money chat’ to bring up the idea of good money management. When you go shopping for example, encourage your child to make a choice between two items so they understand they can’t ‘have it all’ or explain to them that whilst two products are very similar, one is cheaper and it can be sensible to go for that one.

2. It’s never too young to start. My own experience backs up the Money Advice Service’s academic study which shows that money habits begin to be developed prior to the age of seven. Children shouldn’t have to worry about family finances, but you can help them understand money without doing this.

3. Be confident. This is your opportunity to help your children develop positive, beneficial habits. Even if you aren’t the best at money management, you will still have lots you can pass on to your children.

4. Have a go. Money is a very practical subject and children can be very hands on learners. Find ways for your children to handle and use money whenever possible and having pocket money can be a great way of doing this. In younger children, role play can be used – for example playing ‘shop’ using pretend money.

5. It’s ok to make a few mistakes; it’s how we all learn, and that applies to money as well. It’s far better for children to be making mistakes with little or no consequences than them facing bigger money issues when they are older which could have a bigger impact.

You can find more advice about helping children understand money by visiting The Money Advice Service

The Money Advice Service is an independent organisation. It gives free, unbiased money advice online at, over the phone on 0300 500 5000, and face-to-face right across the UK. The Service was set up by Government and is paid for by a statutory levy on the financial services industry, raised through the Financial Conduct Authority. Its statutory objectives are to enhance the understanding and knowledge of members of the public about financial matters (including the UK financial system); and to enhance the ability of members of the public to manage their own financial affairs.



1 thought on “Do you talk about money with your children?

  1. Stuart says:

    I think £5 maximum – I think too much money is spoiling kids (earned or not)

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