Why I refuse to give my kids any pocket money

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock 

My husband and I decided a few years ago that we weren't going to give our children pocket money. No matter how much their best friends gets paid, or what financial incentive system the next-door neighbours have in place, pocket money wasn't going to exist in our house.

It's true that many of my children's friends do receive pocket money. Every Sunday night, when they have ticked off their jobs for the week, their room is tidy and the towels are picked up off the bathroom floor, they walk out to the kitchen ready to collect.

I have a bit of an issue with this.

To me, keeping your room somewhat presentable, picking up a wet towel after you have used it, and helping to fold the washing is just part of being in a family. It's your contribution to helping keep the household running.

My message to my children is this: You are part of a team. You are part of a family that works together on a daily basis to live a lifestyle that we all enjoy. Together. I am not now, nor will I ever, pay you for doing things that are part of our every day.

A friend of mine gives her child pocket money for getting into the shower without an argument. That's not teaching them about money - that's bribery!

My children still have jobs to do, we still have a chart that they can tick off, but instead of getting a $5 note for their effort, the end result is that we all have a lot more time to spend as a family, because Mum and Dad aren't busy spending the weekend doing the housework.

When I asked some of my friends why they choose to give their kids pocket money, their answers were all fairly standard: "It teaches them to have responsibility with money". "It's about them learning that you don't get something for nothing." "It's the first step in teaching them that they have to work for money."

To a certain extent I would agree. It does teach them how to be responsible with money - if they save it. It does teach them that they have to work for money - if they actually work for it. However, there is more than one way to teach these things, and my choice to not give them pocket money teaches them something that my husband and I see as far more important. It teaches them that we are all in this together. That they are a part of our family and they are a part of our team, and, like it or not, they have to do their bit.