Why pocket money is important for your child

By giving pocket money you give your child self-confidence. Managing their own budget gives them a feel for money.


"No you can’t have that Teddy!" Of course your child thinks that is unfair. You have nothing at all against soft toys. You simply know that your child already has many and therefore would only play with a new teddy for a few minutes. They will benefit more from buying a different toy. But your child can only understand the value of money when he pays for something himself.

What age should pocket money start from?

Your child learns to add up at the latest when they start school. From there they can count the money in their wallet and work out if it’s enough for a packet of stickers or a bag of Gummi bears. You can start with one franc pocket money every week from the first school year. The Swiss Advisory Council recommends paying pocket money weekly, since small children can’t judge longer time periods well. From the age of ten they can receive pocket money monthly. It is also important that you regularly pay pocket money and that it’s not dependant on behaviour. Even when your child hasn’t cleaned up their room that one time, they should still get their pocket money on the allocated day.

How much pocket money is appropriate?

Recommended by the Budgetberatung Schweiz ( Source: 2016)

Year

Year

CHF

CHF

Year

6 years

CHF

1.-

Year

7 years

CHF

2.-

Year

8 years

CHF

3.-

Year

9 years

CHF

4.- weekly

Year

10 und 11 years

CHF

25.- to 30.-

Year

12 and 14 years

CHF

30.- to 50.-

Year

from 15 years

CHF

50.- to 80.- monthly

How much the pocket money should be depends on your family budget. If the household has a lower income you should mention it. Then the child better understands why they perhaps get less than their school friends.

Giving responsibility step by step?

Trust grows with age. Perhaps at 12 your child would like their own smart phone. Or at 15 they would like to go on holiday with friends.
Work out with your child how much of their pocket money they can put towards such wishes. Then they learn to be responsible for bigger budgets step by step. You can find examples of which transactions your child can take on with his pocket money, and how much that should then be, under budgetberatung.ch/taschengeld.

Let your child make their own decisions about their pocket money?

Even when all of the first week’s pocket money gets spent on sweets you shouldn’t complain. Later your child will stand in front of his favourite new comic with an empty purse, convincing him that next time he will make a better decision about what to spend his pocket money on.
Of course it is sometimes difficult. But you shouldn’t replace the pocket money that has been spent. Even when your child pleads with you. Only when your child learns the consequences of their actions, can they learn to control their budget.

A lot of talk about money!

Not every child learns how to handle money quickly. Sometimes the saving for a dolls house doesn’t work out or your child gets upset that you don’t give them more money. Then you need to work out a solution together.
If your child really wants something you could give them, for example, a special deal whereby they get a small <<loan>>. Perhaps you could ask your child to look after their younger sister or help with gardening. For older children it’s possible to have a casual job.

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