Money can sometimes cause friction and arguments between parents and their children. How much, when and how to give your children money can be a hard road to navigate and can lead to breakdowns in communication, complaining and even the odd teenage tantrum (we’ve all been there). So to help calm stormy waters when talking about money with children, here are the top five common causes of parent-child money arguments and some tips on how to resolve them…
1. "All my friends get more pocket money than me…"
Every family does things differently when it comes to pocket money. Talking to other parents may give you an idea of how much other children are getting or you can use the internet to find out the average national statistics. However, it doesn’t mean you have to match it. You should do what is right for you and your financial situation. Our top tip is to involve your children in these decisions to make them feel empowered and teach them valuable lessons in financial education and planning.
2. "Everybody else has got one"
Whether it’s the latest mobile phone or pair of trainers, peer pressure and comparison can be the trigger for many family arguments with children feeling they need to keep up with their classmates and parents feeling pressurised into spending more than they would like. A great solution to this is to set savings goals with your children so they can save towards bigger purchases. Setting goals is fundamental to learning the value of money and saving and also creates a sense of achievement when that purchase is made.
3. "I’m too grown up for pocket money"
An allowance is a great way to teach older children and teenagers how to live within a budget by providing them with a regular sum of money. By moving from weekly pocket money to a monthly allowance, you will increase their sense of responsibility, teach them about the importance of financial planning, and align cash flow with what they will experience in later life at work.
4. The "I need a credit card" debate
Parents should be extremely cautious about making their own credit cards available to their children, as they don’t provide a structure for learning about money in a safe and controlled environment and can send the wrong message. In fact, this was one of the drivers behind creating goHenry. We wanted to offer our children a safe solution to make their own purchases online and offline without always having to use our cards for that iTunes track or book from Amazon.
5. Running out of money in the holidays
We all know school holidays can be long and filled with exciting (and often expensive) activities, leading to children over-spending, running out of pocket money and demanding more money. This can be resolved by giving your children a chance to earn extra money through encouraging part time work. If you’re children aren’t old enough to get a part time job bring out the entrepreneurial spirit in them and have them think of ways they can do some work around the house or other opportunities like bake sales.
However, goHenry’s top tip for solving any money argument is open and honest communication. Education and involvement in decisions about money is vital — from common questions like how to save it, how to make it grow, and most importantly, how to spend it wisely. If you keep the channels of communication open with your children you should be able to minimise the risk of tempers flaring and arguments happening and as they say, prevention is always better than cure.