Homeschooling / Parenting / Unschooling

Why We Don’t Give Pocket Money

Why We Don't Give Pocket Money

My children have convinced me that they don’t need pocket money.

In fact, I feel like if I was to introduce the idea now it would actually be taking something away from them.

Let me explain.

A photo posted by Sara ( on

Here they are, my oldest two, little bundles of excitement at the checkout purchasing something they had been saving up for. In the past month, they’ve saved up $150 together. I don’t know about you but I think that’s a lot for a 7- and 5-year-old!

After they’d paid and taken the bag containing their precious ‘Baby Born’ doll, they squealed and hugged each other tight exclaiming ‘I can’t believe we did it! We did it!’

And as I watched them I was so happy they could experience this excitement, and pride, and sense of accomplishment. And that it was all their own doing.

A photo posted by Sara ( on

I’ve been asked a few times before if we give the children pocket money and the answer has always been no, but honestly it hadn’t been something we’d really thought a lot about yet. They’re still relatively young and they’d never asked. But, seeing some of the things they’ve accomplished all on their own, we’ve decided that it’s not something we’ll be introducing in the foreseeable future. The more I think about it, the more I see that kids, at least my kids, don’t need pocket money. For many reasons, it seems an unnecessary addition to their lives.

8 Reasons We Don’t Give Pocket Money

1. We share money

Firstly, we buy the kids things they need anyway. I don’t mean anything they want. They don’t have the latest toys, lollies on every shopping trip, or the 10 kittens they’re planning to buy when they’re older. But if they come to us with a genuine reason why they need something then we talk about it together and work out if it’s something we can buy. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t, sometimes we have to explain that we have things we need to spend money on that are of a higher priority at this time. We try to include them in decisions as much as possible and explain our reasoning so they can start learning from a young age how we manage money. We also don’t want to have an ‘us and them’ feeling in our home, so everyone’s opinion is heard.

2. Encouraging an Entrepreneurial Mindset

When inevitably there are times they want money to buy something that is not in our family budget, they need to come up with a way to make the money themselves. The first time they did this I underestimated their capabilities! They both wanted cameras and decided to save up their money until they had enough to buy two. At 6 and 4 years old they saved for a whole year before they finally had enough to buy them! I was amazed at their persistence and dedication. They sold paintings, stories, cupcakes, and jewellery to family and friends.

As they’ve gotten a bit older, their ideas have also gotten more complicated. They’re currently working on performing a play and filming it so they can sell the DVD’s, making chemical free makeup, writing stories and a recipe book, and starting an online store of other homemade things. They are developing their creative and entrepreneurial thinking all the time. I wonder if giving them a set amount of pocket money per week would have changed this. Instead of having to be inventive all they need do to save money would be wait for time to pass.

Why We Don't Give Pocket Money

3. Creating Opportunities for Meaningful Work

Children LIKE to do meaningful work. They want to do real things! Self-chosen work for a purpose is so valuable. I want them to have these opportunities!

4. Showing Confidence in Their Capabilities

I want my children to know that I believe in them. I know they are capable of coming up with their own ideas to earn money when they need it. I am confident that they will find a way to meet their goals. They don’t need pocket money from me to help them with that.

5. We Don’t Pay for Chores

We don’t give money for chores. That would be quite difficult because we don’t have chores anyway, ha! Everyone contributes around here in an unforced matter because that’s what being part of a family is about. They like to help us because it feels good and they see that we help them too. We don’t believe in rewards and punishments, and to me, pocket money would seem like a reward. I want them to continue to be intrinsically motivated to contribute to family life, rather than only helping because they get money for it.

6. Sense of Achievement

Why We Don't Give Pocket Money

The sense of pride and achievement they feel when they finally save enough money to buy something they have been wanting is so beautiful to watch. I’m so proud of them and I don’t want to take the opportunity to have these experiences away from them.

7. Ownership Over Money

Any money that they earn is entirely theirs to do with what they like. I love that they are fully responsible for the whole process. From earning it, to saving it, to spending it. I want to stay right out of that and let them own it!

8. Natural Learning

We learn through experience and I think the best way for kids to learn about money is to have practice dealing with money. Sure, they could do this if I gave them pocket money too, but I feel like managing money they have earnt themselves is even more beneficial. Money that has come from their own hard work is much more valuable and meaningful to them. They care what happens to it! If they feel they have wasted it, then that’s going to have more of an impact than them wasting money that I have given them that will be replaced the next week anyway. They are learning about earning money, saving money, and spending money, and as they get older there will be even more to learn.

Why We Don't Give Pocket Money

I am grateful now that pocket money wasn’t something we introduced before seeing all the benefits to be had without it! It is definitely not something you have to do. In fact, in my opinion, there is a stronger argument against it.

What’s your opinion? Agree or disagree? Do you have pocket money in your home?


Why We Don't Give Pocket Money







June 20, 2016 at 3:34 am

I really like this post and the point you make! I agree, I think there’s a lot more to be gained by not giving children pocket money. Also, I have a completely unrelated question; in a few of your posts you have pictures of your kids helping you cook by using a vegetable cutter (?) to cut the veggies. I have been looking for one that looks like the one that you have but I can’t find one small enough. Could you please tell me where you got your vegetable/crinkle cutter (if that’s even what it’s called)?

June 20, 2016 at 4:35 am

I like encouraging entrepreneurship, but do they have a budget for their supplies? Where does the startup money come from?

What I do is give a monthly budget. It’s money that I consider part of our homeschooling money. The money isn’t tied to chores or anything material. They have to opportunity to spend, save or donate. I talk to them about how much money I have or don’t have to spend and we talk about how others might have more or less money than we do. I feel like there’s so much social justice that goes with learning about money. It’s really so complex!

June 20, 2016 at 5:40 am

I totally agree! If everyone did this, I think our problems with money ie. Credit card debt , money managing skills would be so much better if taught from such a young age. Instead a lot of folks wait until the kids are about to leave the house and expect them to know how to handle money

June 20, 2016 at 10:28 pm

I really like your way of dealing with the pocket-money question. Our oldest one started to ask for money as well as many different things when we went shopping. So we decided she needs some money of her own and started to give her pocket money. To give her the possibility to learn about the value of money. I would like to let her earn her own money, but she thinks about selling her pictures to family members and I know this would be a problem within our family. And the other possibility, selling her pictures to people she meets, is difficult because first of all the people buy her pictures because she is sweet and not because they want to have the pictures. So it is kind of begging for money. I´m not sure how to find a good way for her to earn her money. But this post got me thinking again.

    June 22, 2016 at 8:01 am

    And I forgot one point: do you buy something they made? Me daugther has lots of ideas of what products she could sell but I´m the first one who is supposed to buy her pictures, books, jewellery, flowers, food, … And she makes them often pretty fast, we call it with the money in mind instead of a great product in mind. And she is quiete disappointed if I call it nice but I don´t want to buy it. Or if I tell her I know you can do better. I don´t wan to judge her work but if I´m supposed to buy it, I will judge it.

    I was thinking the whole day about how we could change the pocket money system, because I really agree to your points. I just didn´t find a solution for our family.

      July 4, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      I don’t often buy things. But occasionally do if they’re going to sell something I want to keep LOL. I think they sell a lot of things because they’re sweet too! LOL. But I know that will change as they keep doing it. No one wants 100 paintings. So they will then have to learn that it needs to be something better/different if they want to sell it. I think it’s just all part of the learning.

susanne vinther
June 21, 2016 at 7:25 am

I really liked the points you make! All valid and to the point.
I truly hopemI remember them when I have children.

June 23, 2016 at 5:53 am

I totally agree! What an interesting, different yet refreshing read. I’d never thought of doing it this way.

July 1, 2016 at 6:26 am

This was really interesting to read. I especially like your points about meaningful work and ownership over money. Those things are so important.

On a side note, though: I did receive pocket money as a kid, and I felt a similar sense of accomplishment when I was able to buy something. Sure, all I had to do was “wait for time to pass,” as you put it, but that did not make finally being able to buy it any less special! Specifically, I remember purchasing a 30,- book at age 9 and thinking to myself: “WOW, that’s a lot of money…” and feeling super excited that I was finally able to afford it. It really drove home the value of money for me: months and months of saving finally allowed me to purchase that book.

So, regardless of whether kids receive pocket money or not, I think it is really important to let them manage money (their own money!) so they learn how to do it. I think you’ve got that covered, for sure ;).

May 23, 2017 at 1:10 pm

I love this and have actually been thinking along the same lines lately. I recently asked my 7 year old son how he could earn some money and he suggested selling his watercolor paintings. My question is do you help them with marketing? I showed him a friend who sells fine art through a Facebook page and now he wants me to create a page. I’m not sure how that would be perceived by others. How do you suggest to youe kids sell their art, crafts, etc.?

June 1, 2019 at 4:26 pm

I am currently writing an article (in German) on why not to give your children pocket money und found your posting on the web. And I am absolutely impressed by your kids’s achievements! As a matter of fact, I also told my parents I didn’t need pocket money when I was young, so I didn’t get any. – Instead, I got great and interesting jobs during the school holidays (like watering the neighbors’ plants etc.). Sure, I sometimes looked at my classmates with their cool clothes and smartphones for which they had paid with their pocket money. But then I remembered that I, in contrast to them, had really “earned” everything I bought.

And I understand your children’s joy when they finally held their own cameras and the doll in their hands. I’m 24 now, but buying what you were saving for still is the same joy for me. 🙂

May 24, 2020 at 12:59 am

I honestly think not giving pocket money is bad.

My mom raised me, for most of the time, in her own. And she refused to give me pocket money. And she brags about it to others as well: hey! I don’t give my child any money and it works! You should do the same!

Most parents argue that this way of raising a child helps the child not to become spoilt. But after experiencing it basically my whole life, I definetelly can say that I have come to resent my mom for it.

I saw her spending her money on buying new stuff, stuff that she wanted but couldn’t spare like 10dollars a month for pocket money. It’s just contradiction art and unfair. It just parents being manipulative and selfish. I, and other children, have to beg to get money. And by begging, one has always to justify for what one needs the money, thus the parent can, selfishly, decide which is good and which is bad.

As a child, and at any other point of growing up, one learns through experiencing. It’s for certain that children will buy stuff that’s useless or a waste of money, but adults do it all the time( You don’t need to buy alcohol, cigarettes, new clothes , make up, CDs ect). After learning what is and what isn’t, the child won’t be as confused when growing up.
When I was gifted 200 Euroes by a family member, I didn’t know what to do with it, so I was easier tempted to spend it all since those chances were so seldom. If I was given money , less but regualaru, I could have learnt what stuff I actually wanted and what was worth saving for.

I ain’t saying you should give your child huge amounts of money. Even 10-50dolars per month is appropriate depending on the age. But giving it none is just damn cruel.

I still resent my mom for her behavior to this day. What I buy is my business. Why do I need to be in the habit of letting her know what I intend to buy? And why do I need to learn to beg for money? Why do I need my mothers approval of the things I like and wanted to have? It just made me feel unmotivated and powerless.

Refusing to give their children pocket money just signals to me, that the parent is controlling and unthrusting of his/ her child.

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