Housework, pocket money & savings
Giving pocket money to children helps them learn about money management. When children get pocket money they have to make choices about spending or saving it. If they’re saving up they learn about waiting for things they want.
The Care Allowance is intended to cover pocket money. Pocket money is not meant to cover the cost of meeting children’s basic needs such as clothing, toiletries, food or bedding. These costs are covered by the Care Allowance.
Payment of pocket money should not be linked to the child’s behaviour or used as a punishment or a reward.
Let kids learn by mistakes
Letting children manage their own money, within guidelines you set, boosts confidence and shows you trust them.
Explain the cost of technology
Many children own and use smartphones, tablets and laptops. Talk about the value of these, and who will cover the costs of phone calls, data, shopping and in-app purchases.
It is normal for children to contribute to family life. Some children have housework they’re responsible for. Children learn a lot from doing housework including how to care for themselves, a home and a family. They learn skills they’ll need when they leave care, like preparing meals, cleaning, shopping. They also learn relationship skills like communication, negotiating, cooperating and working as a team.
When children contribute to family life, it helps them feel valued and competent.
- Give children a say in the housework they do
- Don't give children housework that is too hard for them
- Give housework you value to give a sense of responsibility and participation
- Do housework together until the child is able to do it on their own
- Letting children help others in the home can help them gain a sense of self efficacy
- Show an interest
- Praise positive behaviour
- Don't engage in power struggles if a child does not want to complete a task - find something they can do
As they grow up, children start to understand about saving money for something they want. Help encourage children to save by
- Always saving some of their pocket money or birthday money
- Helping children set short-term and long-term savings goals
- Getting involved with school banking
- Setting up a savings account with restricted access, making it harder for them to spend the money straight away - talk to your care team about this
- Help children to shop around for the best savings account - many banks offer no-fee accounts for people under 18 years
In Western Australia children over 15 MUST have a bank account.
See the links below to your state based carer resource for more information.
You can find helpful resources by visiting these websites.