Who knew this topic would crop up before my eldest reached 6! But it has. And after possibly not enough discussion, we've agreed to give Hugh a small allowance each week in exchange for doing small chores (that he should just do anyway in my opinion) around the house. His jobs include setting the table for dinner, putting his clothes in the laundry, bringing his lunchbox and drink bottle to the kitchen after school and keeping his toys tidy. It sounds like a lot for a 5 year old to be responsible for when I write it all down like that, but I still think it's all quite reasonable to expect him to perform all these jobs in exchange for his $2 each week.
It all started well and Hugh was super-motivated in the beginning. He did all his jobs and was even asking if "there was anything else he could do?" for extra credit (aka money). He saved up his target amount of $25 in no time at all and made his first purchase at Myer with his wallet in hand, barely able to see over the store counter. It was a Nerf Gun he'd been saving up for. It has a motorised barrel and shoots 10 darts in incredibly fast fashion (I know first hand just how fast since I copped one in the eye at very close range!!).
Sadly though, ever since he got the gun, his drive to earn more and do his jobs has waned. Not surprisingly in hindsight. I think we perhaps handled the whole pocket money situation quite badly. Our "deal" with him is that he has to save half his money, so since he's spent $25, he now has to save another $25 before he can shop again... And that was our mistake.
I found this amazing blogpost at Frugal-Mama today. It's written by 10 year old Sofia Suardi, and it's all about how pocket money works in her house. How much she gets, the rules about saving/spending etc and how she even has to log her money movements into a special book. It was a real eye-opener for me and has me thinking about revising the whole PM agreement. It's a grand opportunity to teach the boys really valuable lessons about how to handle money. Have a read of Sofia's post here and see what you think.
I'd really love to hear what happens at your place. Do your kids get an allowance? Tell me everything!