I have written before on our approach to pocket money with the kids. You can read the full post here – Pocket money for kids, but basically our approach is this:
- Every child receives pocket money.
- The amount of pocket money varies depending on age.
- Once in secondary school there is a big increase in pocket money, but the kids are then expected to pay for lunches at canteen if they want them, credit for their phone and other small miscellaneous items.
- Pocket money given is not attached to particular household tasks being completed. Pocket money is given to the kids as part of sharing the family’s wealth and as an introduction to financial literacy.
- The kids have household tasks they need to complete independently of their pocket money, as they are members of the household and need to contribute to its upkeep. You can see how we organise this here – Family contribution schedule.
For years though we struggled with how to hand out the cash, where the kids should keep their pocket money and just generally remembering to pay them on time!
So my the clever Mr I created a spreadsheet for us and for the last year we have electronically kept track of the kids’ pocket money. The spreadsheet lets us keep track of:
- weekly payments
- pocket money spent by the kids
- extra money added to their savings by the kids
We keep this spreadsheet as part of our daily expenditure tracking file (you can read more about that in this post – Budget basics). This means that both myself and my husband can update it any time and if the kids are out and find something they want to spend their pocket money on I can instantly check via my phone how much money they have saved up.
How the pocket money tracker spreadsheet works
This systems means that we actually don’t hand over any cash on a weekly basis, but simply distribute cash to particularly kids as needed. This is easier for us as parents as we don’t need to make sure we have the right money on hand to distribute on a weekly basis and the kids like it because it makes it easy for them to see how much they have saved and also what their future savings amounts could possible be.
For the two older boys if they want any money, to spend after school for example, they just let us know the night before and we have it ready for them in the morning.
There are four steps to using the pocket tracker spreadsheet which are numbered on the spreadsheet image above and are as follows:
- Step 1: You enter the amount each child receives per week for pocket money.
- Step 2: The spreadsheet has a formula in each cell. It automatically adds the weekly pocket amount to the balance.
- Step 3: If during the week a child has received any money which they wish to add to their pocket money savings, they hand it to us and we then add the amount to the spreadsheet as incoming cash. The formula in column two takes this into account and adds it to the balance.
- Step 4: If during the week a child has spent any money we then deduct the amount in the spreadsheet as outgoing cash. The formula in column two takes this into account and deducts it from the balance.
Each child has their own section in the spreadsheet and at any given point in time we can see how much pocket money they have. The spreadsheet has made managing pocket money much more streamlined, easier and accurate for us.
You can download a copy of the spreadsheet by clicking on the link below.
How do you keep track of the kids’ pocket money?