Whenever you think that how much pocket money should be given to your sixteen year old… there’s just a big question mark hanging right there! Shouldn’t be too much, shouldn’t be too less. How does he/she manage their expenses, how they divide the money for various expenses? Do they actually learn something from pocket money? And the list goes on.
Essential vs. Frills
Decide what the pocket money is for? Essentials include the bus fare, mobile recharge, etc. whereas frills would include after school snacks, treats for friends and their wish lists! The major part of the pocket money should be essentials and adding a little frill will add that extra inch to your teen’s smile. Tell them that this pocket money is their bread, not butter! So basically, you get them the clothes, books and games, etc. and the pocket money should be 70% essentials and 30% frills.
Granted vs. Earned
Granted pocket money includes the money given by visiting relatives (the one reason, teens want the relatives to visit for), or the fixed amount you give them every month. Earned money is again a very interesting concept to make your teen do some chores. For e.g., if they buy grocery from the market they get to keep the change. So you can make the teens help you with daily chores and (for the first time) they will be happy to help!
Rewards vs. punishment
As the name suggests, you reward them for high grades, disciplined behavior or anything good they did. And the same applies with punishment. Overspending and borrowing money results in no pocket money for a week. This is a scientifically proven technique to improve your teen’s behavior. Keep in mind on what things to reward. Your teen doesn’t need to be rewarded for tidying up their room or doing their homework.
Saving vs. spending
The big question is how to make them save money. After all, we want them to learn a bit of saving too and the pocket money should definitely not trigger the downright spender in them. Parenting educator “Michael Grose” tells a simple technique to teach saving and charity to your teen. You need to place 3 jars in your teen’s room named “spending”, “saving” and “charity” and ask them to divide their pocket money in all three of them. Hence your teen learns saving as well as charity!