How much pocket money should I give Belle? It’s up to you…

“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.

"Save 4 it"

Pretty cool right?

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.


Belle gets a surprising amount of pleasure from logging into her part of the site to just to check her balance.

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!

"How much pocket money?"

Fingers crossed Belle…



  1. crystaljigsaw
    29 August, 2012 / 7:17 pm

    Simply, I have absolutely no idea! I don’t give Amy pocket money but just give her money if we go shopping together so she can spend it herself. She isn’t responsible enough to be in charge of an online bank account, and though has several money boxes and money in the bank, I couldn’t possibly let her loose with it! For a child who is responsible however, this is a great idea, especially in this day of technology.

    I’ll be interested to read other responses to this question.
    CJ x

    • 30 August, 2012 / 7:51 am

      That’s basically what I do now – if we’re out somewhere for the day and I’m feeling generous, I’ll give Belle a couple of pounds to spend, but it’s really not very structured at all. One of the good things about Roosterbank is that it gives the child the illusion of being in control, without any of the risk, so they can practice managing their money. The money is virtual, so if they do decide they want to buy something, the parent gets an email asking them to approve it. I really like this – no mystery parcels in the post!

  2. 29 August, 2012 / 7:37 pm

    if she feels she is mature enough for pocket money then she is mature enough to accept some responsibility for it.
    I feel £5 is a nice amount, but she has to do some small tasks in return, she will have to earn her money in the adult world. Could be simple things like laying the table and putting her own clean clothes away.
    If she wants something big she has to save for it, this teaches her patience and waiting for something which and helps her to work with a debit card later rather then wanting to use credit cards.
    Also feel if she has likes of a comic she has every week or something similar, she should buy it for herself as this teaches her budgeting and doing without one thing to have another.

    ok just my thoughts, others may be totally different.

    • 30 August, 2012 / 7:53 am

      It’s a really good point about credit Elaine. I am really firm about borrowing of any kind. I’ll never lend her money, even if she knows she is getting some soon for some reason, and in fact I’m even quite strict about lending if she hasn’t brought her money out with her. Quite often she’ll end up not buying something because she has left her purse at home, as I really don’t want to encourage the idea of being able to borrow money at any time.

  3. 29 August, 2012 / 7:39 pm

    S gets a pound a day max, if she remembers to ask.. She has a computerised “my personal bank” where she keeps the stash of birthday and xmas money.. anything more than that she has to work for, household chores, car cleaning (its only small car) she paid 50% towards xbox for her birthday.. I’d like to teach her the value, she won’t be smashing it up anytime soon! She always keeps her room tidy(ish) anything she breaks she pays for! (Hence she’s not a fan of ball sports ;)

    • 30 August, 2012 / 7:54 am

      Gosh, a pound a day is generous – what percentage of the time does she remember to ask?! I know Belle would be there at 7am every day :-) I think you’re right though about teaching the value of money, and having to be responsible for breakages is an interesting idea.

  4. 29 August, 2012 / 10:08 pm

    I’m a firm believer in children learning the value of money early on. My 11-year-old earns her pocket money by helping out with things that I wouldn’t ordinarily expect her to do, like washing up, taking out rubbish, laying the table, making her own breakfast etc. So she’s in the driving seat really. She gets 20p a time, which, if she’s only helpful three times a day, still adds up to over £4 in a week, which is more than enough at her age. I know some people take pocket money away for bad behaviour, but if she’s earned that money through her own efforts, it’s inviolate, no matter what.

    My only problem is that when she’s a bit older I’d kind of like her to want to help with those kinds of things without expecting to be paid! Not sure how I’ll make that transition!

    • 30 August, 2012 / 7:58 am

      Now THAT is a really crucial point Mandy, and I have that issue a lot, especially as my other daughter is older. There are lots of things that I feel they should both just DO, as they are part of the household, and everyone needs to pull their weight, and it’s preparing them for adult life. I really want to avoid that situation where you ask a child to do something simple like clear the plates away and they ask ‘how much do I get for it?’

      Plus, if everything is a choice, then you can have a day where they refuse to do anything to help, because they don’t want the money, and then what do you do? It’s really tricky isn’t it. Is your daughter fairly consistent in what she does on a day to day basis?

      • 30 August, 2012 / 9:24 am

        No, it all very much comes down to what mood she’s in and how much income she’s got that week from unearned sources like Granny! Oh, and if her younger brother is in the dog-house for whatever reason, she’ll don her halo and be super-helpful and ingratiating to show us how wonderful she is and he’s not!

        Certain things, like keeping her room tidy and hanging up clothes, are not negotiable and she doesn’t get paid for those, so at least there are a few things which she just has to be responsible for without reward. Perhaps we’ll move the goal-posts with the other stuff when she’a a bit older, for example she might not get paid any more for washing up, but she could earn money for taking the dog out or popping to the shop for me instead.

  5. maryyucel
    30 August, 2012 / 6:47 am

    I’d go with a very small basic amount – enough to buy a big chocolate bar or something, and then bonus money for doing chores-with-a-good-attitude. Up to around £5 I guess.

    • 30 August, 2012 / 8:03 am

      I like this approach – a bit like a sales job with a basic pay and commission! (She’s not getting a company car though, that’s for sure.)

  6. Arabella Bazley
    30 August, 2012 / 7:22 am

    I always got enough for one bar of chocolate and a comic. And then a Saturday job to top it up, which at 10 you may feel is too young and illegal. Some friends got their Child Benefit which I assume they saved as they were not awash in cola, and some got an all inclusive treats and clothing allowance which they had to manage themselves. As you said you would average things out, I suggest a chauffeur driven car, an account at Harvey Nichols and an all inclusive monthly mobile tariff – I’m feeling mischievous!

    Seriously though, nowadays it’s probably a better idea to give enough for chocolate and a comic and then stick a tenner in a pension fund for them. An early start makes a huge difference.

    • 30 August, 2012 / 8:02 am

      Haha! I knew when I wrote that about the average that there’d be one…;-)

      I had some friends when I was younger that got their child benefit and it always made me cross. Partly it was jealousy, but also I think even then that I felt a little bit uncomfortable with it as a universal benefit. For us, the child benefit was often what made the difference in any week, and yet here were these other families, who didn’t even need it, and were just giving it away as pocket money? It felt a bit wrong.

      The pension fund is a good idea though. You’d definitely be better off sticking the child benefit in one of those if you didn’t need it.

      Also, if you’re the second child, do you then get less pocket money?!

  7. 30 August, 2012 / 8:42 am

    Its a couple if years off, but when I turned 13 my parents gave me a big allowance (£130 per month) but that had to cover everything – my bus pass, clothes, my bit of the phone bill (no mobiles back then), lunch at MacDonalds, cinema – the only thing my parents paid for were school uniform and shoes (I guess you can’t give a 13 year old responsibility for buying their own shoes – they’d sacrifice their foot health for another trip to the cinema). It taught me pretty quickly how to budget and make the money last the month.

    Something I plan to do with my kids when they are big enough for pocket money is to make chore magnets for the fridge. They choose a chore and when its done, they take the magnet and I give them money. The amount they get will depend on how horrible the chore is; 50p to hoover the living room, 20p to unload the dishwasher, 70p to sort out the recycling. Thats bound to be cheaper than getting a cleaner!

    • 31 August, 2012 / 3:22 pm

      Gosh, that is a big allowance! How did you get on with that? Did you manage to make it last for the whole month for everything you needed? I just worry that if I gave a big monthly amount like that to Bee she’d blow it all in Starbucks on the first day… (No offence Bee, but you might…)

      • 31 August, 2012 / 3:25 pm

        I seem to remember blowing it all pretty quicky the first month, but then when my parents wouldn’t give me any more and still made me pay my phone bill at the end of the month, making next months allowance smaller I cottoned onto budgeting pretty quickly!

  8. 30 August, 2012 / 8:47 am

    I like the idea of a basic rate plus a bonus for helping out. Can you also deduct funds for bad behaviour? Probably not the best advice!

    I would have loved that money box when I was younger, I’d probably be a LOT better with money now if I’d had one!

  9. rinsimpson
    30 August, 2012 / 9:48 am

    I don’t have kids yet, as you know, but I would say that certain duties should be done as a regular contribution to being part of the family, and then extra jobs can be done to earn money. Regular pocket money for fun stuff is kind of redundant if you get her the things she wants as and when, but perhaps she could get a token £2 a week which is her responsibility, so that she can learn the value of money / saving etc. In my (albeit limited) experience, kids get so much money for Christmas / birthdays etc they don’t really need much more!

    • 31 August, 2012 / 3:24 pm

      £2 a week is much more along the lines I was thinking. (I had thought about £1.50…) and I’ve actually been really surprised at the responses so far, as a lot are much higher. She did seem to get a lot more money this birthday, turning ten, than she ever has before, so perhaps this is the age at which people feel they can start just giving cash instead of toys!

  10. 30 August, 2012 / 2:09 pm

    Love the idea of it being online, really prepares them for what lies ahead!

    • 31 August, 2012 / 3:25 pm

      It really does – so many people bank and shop online nowadays, I think it’s really important to learn how to do it safely and sensibly.

  11. Jo
    30 August, 2012 / 8:56 pm

    A friend of mine has teenage kids. She said they get their age in money plus a pound each month so Belle would get £11.00, it didn’t seem like a bad idea to me…

    • 31 August, 2012 / 3:25 pm

      I like the idea, but why the extra pound at each age? Is it just to make it sound more fun?

  12. 31 August, 2012 / 8:51 pm

    Wow, I was only having this discussion last night! My son is 11 and starts Secondary school next week. He’s never really had pocket money but if he wants a magazine or sweets I will get it for him. He has a mobile phone (grandma got it) and £10 a month gives him BBM and free texts leaving him £5 for emergency calls ( he’s been good at texting where he is etc). He will be having packed lunches but also would like some money for the occasional lunch from the canteen. We have agreed £10 month for the phone and £5 a week for lunches which will be on his account half termly and once it’s gone that’s it! He’s helpful at home- unpacks the dishwasher, helps with the washing, will pop to the shop etc so I like the idea of rewarding him for these jobs! He currently exchanges the chores for Xbox time ( I’m strict and limit him!) so I could give him Xbox time and cash! I want him to be able to go to the shop sometimes on the way home with his mates, but not everyday!!!! I like the idea of £11 because he is 11 but with an average magazine costing about £4 and a bag of crisps or choc bar 50-60p, it doesn’t go far! ITSELF don’t know the answer really, I’m thinking £24 a month as I will be saving £48 on childcare

    • 18 September, 2012 / 3:35 pm

      It’s so tricky isn’t it?? Going up to secondary school is a big deal, and I think you’re right about the shops after school thing. I agree that you don’t want him to be spending money on sweets everyday, but nobod wants to be the kid who never has any money at all do they? It sounds like he’s a really lovely boy, even without financial incentive, and I’m sure he’d love to be rewarded!

  13. 2 September, 2012 / 7:43 pm

    I would probably do £2 a week basic pocket money then up to £3 earned through chores but I would also do it so the £2 basic went to the online and the rest in her hand for a very simple fact that to appreciate where her money goes she will learn far more in the act of handing her money over and seeing her purse empty which will help her learn to make wiser decisions on what she spends her money on (okay I know we all have at least one item in our wardrobes that proves we never learn)

    • 2 September, 2012 / 7:43 pm

      at the end of the week if she has anymoney left it can always be transferred to have online account

  14. 5 September, 2012 / 5:36 pm

    I think amounts can vary a lot depending on the parent, but this is definitely a good opportunity for you to instill some long-lasting ‘hardwork pays’ values into her, doesn’t have to be much but it will be a good incentive if she knows that the more effort she puts in the more she is rewarded.


    • 18 September, 2012 / 3:35 pm

      Absolutely! I can be a little lacking in the ‘work ethic’ department sometimes, so it’s definitely something I want to instill more in my children.

  15. 13 September, 2012 / 2:11 am

    Aah – pocket money. I think when they’re kids it doesn’t need to be lots. We have a rule of your age x 30p, per week. So our 9 year old gets £2.70 per week. She’s recently asked for it monthly so we’ve switched to that system (x 4 or 5 saturdays). The younger ones get the same system.

    Plan is that when she’s a teen she’ll also get a monthly ‘clothing/living allowance.’ Similar to the post above, uniform and shoes from us – the rest for herself.

    I had the same as a teenager (and I think it was also the age we stopped getting pocket money). Some months I’d be down the charity shop/factory outlet and spend the rest on Captain Commando at the arcade… but it at least it taught me the value of budgeting and saving.

    My view is that pocket money should be unconditional. I don’t like the idea of paying them to help in the house. You don’t get paid to wash the dishes right? So why should they not do it because it needs to be done.

    On the other hand, the opportunity to do something else to earn additional money is a good one. My mum (who started Wilkinet) used to let us do Saturday jobs from about 10. At 13 I was able to earn about £10/hour doing the quality control and ‘folding up’ the Wilkinet. She priced it at the same rate she’d pay herself. I used to be able to do this in about 30 seconds:

    My Dad on the other hand would pay us to collect firewood for the living room wood fire at a rate of about 30p/hour. But at 7 that was ok, half a day and you’d be a couple of quid better up. I remember my older brother going hell-for-leather for a week in the holidays. My Dad was gutted when he had to hand over £20 for a massive pile of sawn branches and wood.

    Magazines are ridiculously over-priced. Remember 30p Beanos? We’re living in Shanghai now. I thought the pocket money would go further, but it’s all just as expensive as the UK.

    • 18 September, 2012 / 3:38 pm

      Gideon!! How are you? I was just talking about you last week, as I just got back from Kind und Jugend on Sunday, and Peter was saying you were in Shanghai now. What are you doing there? How is everything going for you?

      As always, your advice is very sensible. In fact, the discussion we had last year about what to charge as a self-employed day rate replays in my head every time I pitch for work :-)

  16. 7 April, 2016 / 9:47 am

    Sorry gave up reading all the comments

    Squidge is now 7 and gets 50p a week no quibbles and 5p for every word correct at school in spellings (50p max). Then she has the option to spend when out (also devolves me of spending my money on tat!) or save it up and buy something bigger/more expensive. I get less pestering for things if I say “how much do you have?”.

    Bob is 3 nearly 4. She get 50p a week which I keep for now.

    I learnt when Squidge was younger I spent when pestered! But Bob is not as interested yet, but I know I have a budget to spend which is her money so to speak.

    A ten year old possibly get £2 a week no quibbles, plus design a job sheet with payment amount to earn extra (think carefully about the jobs, how much to pay and how often a job can be done each week!)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.