“Can we do it now?” Belle pleads, her nose about two inches from mine, her legs and arms twitching. I don’t know how she does it, but she has this ability to get right up in your face, like a really over-stimulated squirrel with some sort of attention disorder. It’s very annoying.
“What?” I snap, flapping her away with my hands.
“The Roosterbank account! Can we do it now?” she asks.
Roosterbank is a new online saving and shopping website for children and is, to be fair, something I would have loved as a child. Possibly almost as much as I loved the money-box I had that automatically sorted the coins into separate columns and then told you how much money you had.
With Roosterbank though, the fun graphics are online instead of on your bedroom windowsill, and the idea is to encourage children to earn money, save and spend responsibly. As a parent, you can set up to add a regular amount of pocket, and add or take money away on an ad hoc basis. No money has to actually leave your purse at this point either – the cash only changes hands when you make a purchase, until then it’s purely virtual savings.
“Alright, alright!” I give in. She has been asking me every four minutes since I mentioned it, despite us being in a yurt in the middle of Bodmin Moor, with only a mobile phone, a dubious internet connection, and no electricity. Anything though to keep her quiet for a few minutes.
“Yay!” She bounces up and down for a bit, ADHD squirrel style, and her eyes grow wide. “So how much pocket money are you going to give me then?”
And therein lies my question – how much pocket money do you give a ten-year-old??
It’s probably one of those things that’s in the parenting manual I forgot to queue up for when she was born, but I’ve no idea. I’ve managed to get away without having to really hand over much cash so far, but I know it’s not going to last. How much do I give her though? And, more importantly, should there be strings attached? Should I be expecting a return on my investment – a tidy bedroom perhaps, or regularly cleaned teeth – or is pocket money meant to be unconditional? I just don’t know.
We set up her account, with birthday money rather than weekly pocket money at the moment, to avoid me having to make a decision, and for now she seems content to just login and check out her page and play some games. From time to time when we’re out, she’ll make me log in on my phone. She says it’s because she’s forgotten how much money she has and needs to check. I think she just likes looking at the little digital counter and feeling pleased with herself.
Still though, the pocket money question remains, and as soon as she has blown her birthday money Belle is going to be keen to get herself a regular income stream. So here’s what I thought I would do, in an interactive-reality-blogging styley…
Given that I clearly don’t know what I’m doing, I want you to tell me how much pocket money you think Belle should get every week, and whether or not she should do anything in return. Maybe you think she should have a shiny sixpence and be grateful, or perhaps you’d give her £10 a week and make her do her own food shopping? It’s up to you. I’ll then look at all the responses, and try to come up with an average, and that will be what she gets!
Fingers crossed Belle…