One of the things parents struggle about is whether and when to give their little ones pocket-money. My husband and I agreed we wanted to teach our daughter G the value of money. Three and a half years ago when G turned 10 years old, we started to give her monthly allowance.
Before that we asked our family and friends whose children were older than G about this. Then I found Nibud. Nibud is Dutch Budget Information Centre. It gives advises about financial management for all ages including tips. On Nibud website there is a chart of average allowance for children. It is in Dutch.
Image is courtesy of Freepik.
Teaching money management to young children is quite difficult as they are not capable to understand it. Money value is something abstract. It is something adults have in their wallet (bank notes or credit/debit cards) or retrieve from the ATM at the wall. One thing we have made it clear from the start was/ when G’s monthly allowance would be spent before the month was over, she would not get extra money from us.
Every time we go out window shopping, I try to teach her the value of money towards the quality of the purchased goods. So far G seems to get it well. She mostly spends her money on drinks and snacks when she hangs out with her friends at week ends. Aside from that, she doesn’t need any money because we provide things she needs.
We don’t give her money because she helps us with household chores. I am not paid because I cook every day for my family and my husband is not paid for setting the trash containers every week either. So why should we pay our daughter for cleaning the house which she does weekly? We ask her to do that because she is part of the household. We don’t want her to do the task because she wants to earn an extra money. There are families which reward the children who do it though, each to their own I believe. It just doesn’t feel right for me.
According to Dutch law children from G’s age (13 – 14 years old) are allowed to do simple tasks to earn money like babysitting, washing cars etc. When she is older G intends to work at week ends. My husband and I stimulate and support her on this as most Dutch teens do this. This is a good way to learn how to work for a living in a mini scale and dealing with responsibilities.
My husband and I don’t always fulfill little missy’s wishes when she wants something.We agree not to spoil her. If she needs anything for her school, we will of course purchase it for her. We try to teach her that she doesn’t need to immediately buy or get something just because she wants it so badly. I don’t want my daughter to be a spoilt brat. We provide things she needs not things she longs for. She receives the latter from us as a reward, to make it special for her.
When she informs us she has to buy something we always ask her these questions: What do you need it for? When do you need it? Can’t it wait? How much does it cost? How long and how often would you use it? Last question has to do with the value of money related with the purchased good.
Last year G started to save her pocket-money to buy expensive goods she wanted. She has learnt that saving is quite satisfactory as well. Last summer she purchased the Instax mini camera and Le Pliage bag from her own money she had saved and repleted with some amount she received as her birthday gift. She is proud of it. Now that she has experienced how saving is, she appreciates those things better.
What left now is my wish that G would keep this attitude towards money. That she would be able to resist the alluring messages she is confronted every day, on and offline. The messages which say ‘Buy this you need it’ or ‘It is the must have of the season, get one’.