Earning: what to do when their friends get more

Young girl looking into a window of a lolly store

Having spending money is important for kids, so what to do when their friends get more? Read on to find out

Whether it’s for tuckshop treats, music and app downloads or clothes, having some regular spending money is important for our kids, especially once they hit the tween years. But how do you manage the situation, when your child complains that “everyone” earns more money than they do? Here are a few tips to help:

Question whether everyone else really earns more

While your child’s perception may be that “everyone” earns more than they do, the reality could be different. An online study conducted by Commonwealth Bank last year found that almost 80 per cent of parents pay pocket money, with the average rate for tweens just over $11 per week. Some will earn more, of course, but they’re in the minority. It may also be important to focus your child in attainable saving goals they can achieve with the money they do receive.

Show them how to make the most of their money

Budgeting is a really important life lesson for everyone. So teach your kids some smart spending tricks to get the best value from the dollars they have available.

For example: books, ebooks, CDs and DVDs are free to borrow from the library. Sending an email is cheaper than sending a text. Grocery store purchase chips with tap water is than forking out for chips and a soft drink when out with friends. Whatever it is that your child usually spends their money on, there is likely to be a cheaper alternative.

Give them more responsibility (within reason)

If your tween wants more money, then give them more responsibility to go with it. Something that many young adults struggle with when they first move out of the family home is making their income  cover all their needs. So why not let your child practice these skills now? 

Think about some costs that your child could take responsibility for. Paying for school excursions? Buying their own prepaid phone card, or bus pass? How about a clothing or technology allowance? They might make some mistakes along the way, but it’s a fantastic learning experience.    

As a parent you know your child better than anyone. And you will know what amount of pocket money seems sensible and affordable. Remind them that it’s not how much you get that’s important, it’s what you do with it that counts.

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