Raising Financially Savvy Tweens

Raising Financially Savvy Tweens

The annual visit to the hometown means the children come back loaded with cash. That their birthday is around the corner and that this is the only opportunity for both sets of grandparents to pamper them silly, makes it only worse.

Last year they collected huge amounts of money from various relatives and then had huger arguments over what was to be done with it. I vetoed all their plans and amidst an epic battle deposited it all in the bank.

This year I categorically banned everyone at home from giving them cash. And if someone (who I wasn’t able to intimidate) did hand them some, I appropriated it right away and directed it into their accounts.

Very high handed of me, I know. But I do dislike the constant obsessive discussions about money with little thought for saving.

When the children were younger I tried to get them to save but it didn’t quite work out. And I gave up on the idea.

As they turn eleven perhaps this is the right time to give the money thing another serious shot. I’ve considered giving them pocket money as also paying them for household chores but I’ve not been able to work out the How of it.

The questions that bother me are:

  • How much and how frequently should they get pocket money?
  • Also, how do we demarcate what it should be used for?
  • Should I pay them for household chores?
  • If I do, how do I prevent them from putting a price on ALL household chores?
  • Or refusing the ones they aren’t paid for?


After much research and thought here are ideas that I think might work for me:

1. Start giving them pocket money

…a small amount maybe Rs50 or Rs100 a month. They can use it for candies or small stationery. As I see it, that is all they should need to shop for on their own.

2. Make a Spending Jar and a Saving Jar.

I loved the concept. To prod them towards saving I will offer to double whatever their Saving Jar has at the end of the month. Also, whatever goes into the Saving Jar goes straight to their accounts unless they need the money for a specific purpose like a birthday or an anniversary.

3. Take them to the bank

…..and let them handle their Pass Books so they feel a sense of ownership for the money rather than thinking, ‘Mum took it away’.

4. Make them my Financial Assistants

Let them participate in day to day handling of money – for instance when we go grocery shopping or out to places like McDonald’s. They can do the Math, pay the bill and give me an account.

5. Put up a stall and try to handle profit and/or loss

Our apartment complex lets kids put up stalls for Children’s Day. So they could put up a stall and try to work out the Profit/Loss. We used to have things like this in school where we’d put up stalls of Bhelpuri or Aaloo chaat – simple things that we could make and sell. In fact it isn’t a bad idea to get more children involved in this initiative.

6. Involve them in household budgeting

….specially for special events. I intend to start right away with their birthday – planning the expenses and deciding how much should be spent on what.

This post is rather exploratory and I know this really isn’t enough but I hope to make a start. I’d love to hear your views on how you get your children to understand about spending and saving. Have any of you tried paying them for household chores? What kind of chores did you give them? Was it a monthly thing? How did you handle it if they missed a day or a few days?

I’d love for you to share.


Linking up with  Kreative Mommy for her #MondayMommyMoments. Do drop by for ideas from other mums.

31 Replies to “Raising Financially Savvy Tweens”

  1. I love your ideas in this post and agree with your approach. Children tend to live for the moment and so the concept of saving for anything is quite difficult for them. How brilliant that they can set up a stall – they will learn a lot from that. Thanks so much for sharing with us at #TweensTeensBeyond

  2. It’s really hard at this age isn’t it? Mine have to do chores as part of just being in this family so in term time, it’s feeding the animals and loading the dishwasher type things. In the holidays they may have to hoover or polish too. They are 15 and 17 now so I think they should be helping out. They get monthly money straight into their back accounts. We set these up when they were 14. They also have to buy their own clothes and shoes. We give them a fair amount but occasionally top it up with the old note when they go out with their friends. My eldest has a job too. When they were younger they could earn money with extra chores and this money went in their tin which they received at the end of the week. They usually earnt enough to buy sweets or small toys. I also took money away from this tin too when they misbehaved but in retrospect I don’t think that was fair because they had already earnt it? I don’t know. It’s a tricky one! Thanks for the post and it was interesting reading others comments too. #tweenteensbeyond
    Oldhouseintheshires recently put up this amazing post…How to survive teen driving lessons in 5 easy steps.My Profile

    1. Wow! This is truly impressive. I so hope when mine reach 16 or 17 they become this responsible. I love how your children help out at home. You seems to have struck the perfect balance between helping them out and letting them be. Thanks for dropping by.

  3. I absolutely loved all your tips .Specially the one about making them money asistants and helping them plan. PLUS doubling the saving jar .I wish the Government would do that too !Do you have experience in banking nd economics .Really clear headed about this .I am bursting with ideas now .Thank you for sharing your ideas on #MondayMommyMoments .
    Amrita Basu (Misra) recently put up this amazing post…Thankful for Weekends:Thankful Thursdays Blog hop 29My Profile

    1. Thanks Deepa. Enjoyed the prompt because it made me put down ideas I’d been thinking about for a long time. We’re already implementing some of the ideas.

  4. We have recently introduced a teen debit card and pocket money includes chores like I) tidy bedroom ii) clean bedroom iii) plates out iv) muck in – I can’t say amount in your currency unfortunately but it’s not a huge amount and yes we have withheld it when the job isn’t done. Tough love. Thanks for sharing with #tweensteensbeyond and introducing Shailaja to us Tulika

  5. I know what you mean about over generous relatives! When mine turned 11, we introduced a monthly allowance and opened a bank account whereby they could put money in and out, including cheques and cash from over generous relatives. I think the earlier they are introduced to budgeting and handling money the better. It is great that you are thinking about ways to help them with this now. Good luck and let us know how it goes. #TweensTeensBeyond
    Jo – Mother of Teenagers recently put up this amazing post…Tweens, Teens & Beyond #11My Profile

  6. Interesting points, Tulika! I actually like the idea of letting them handle their passbooks. Do you know what we’ve done for Gy? We’ve opened a mutual fund account in her name. All cash/gifts/ rewards go straight into that fund, courtesy the husband. His idea is that it will go towards securing a future for her and this will work too! Of course, I do give her tiny rewards like 10 or 20/= for simple tasks now and then but I don’t make it a habit, mainly because I want her to do chores as a habit not as a means to receive a reward. The allowance thing is something I am considering, but still not sure how to go about it. Hmm, food for thought.
    Shailaja Vishwanath recently put up this amazing post…How & When to have the Puberty Talk with your DaughterMy Profile

    1. Investing in mutual funds is a fabulous idea. Only I don’t understand them so well myself. I’ve been watching the heavy advertising of late and am wondering if I should try to figure it out. I have the same concerns about paying for chores so have put it on hold for now. I did start the pocket money, though.

  7. I personally haven’t had to deal with this yet, because my little one is still on reward magnets, but I have wondered about paying them for chores, so I will be back here to read what others think too.

    But I loved the starter steps you have listed out, Tulika. Especially the one about setting up of stall to sell small things during colony events. I know my neighbors back home have raved about how much of a success that was with their kids. They learnt to plan, work towards a common objective, strategize, and market, and they were also more cautious about spending their hard earned money. 😀
    Shantala recently put up this amazing post…Blogger Version of Existential Crisis #ChattyBlogs – June LinkyMy Profile

    1. We used to have such things in school and it really worked for us. In our complex because the adults are putting up stalls along with the kids, people tend to gravitate towards them (the adults) because obviously the food would be so much better. Maybe we should plan an only kids do.

  8. Well I can managing teens when it’s real tough to teach something to 5 yr old. Just last month, we were at her grandparents house when she openly announced in front of the whole khandaan mom takes away all my money which you give me grandpa 🙂 I had nothing to say then…. phew. Yes teaching them at young age is the only answer I like the idea of spending jars.. will try this out. Thanks
    dipika singh recently put up this amazing post…5 Ways to Teach Value of Money to KidsMy Profile

    1. Ha ha.. kids I tell you! They know exactly how to embarrass you. Don’t worry though, I am sure everyone will understand why you take away all his money. He’s still a baby after all.

  9. I used to be a regular visitor of this blog a few years ago. I remeber H’s gada in particular. I also off and on read pieces of the blog over my Feedly reader. My regards to you Obsessive Mom, for continuing to chronicle this wonderful blog and i just stopped by to say ‘hi’.

  10. i also like the spending and saving jar concept. someone also mentioned a third jar called the sharing jar. Once my boys are big enough to understand the concept of money, i definitely plan to implement this idea with them

  11. I don’t have kids, but I know what my mom did when I was a kid worked out very well for me. I was paid for household chores from the time I was tiny- I think maybe 3, I know by the time I was 4, and if I wanted anything at the store (I was a huge Barbie doll fanatic so that was usually it) I had to save for it or wait for birthday/Christmas. Because of this I have always been a great saver! LOL Truly, I can remember being maybe 8 or 9 and debating whether or not a toy was worth spending the money on- and now I’m a grown up who ALWAYS saves. I may be dull but I have a nice nest egg. Thank you mom (can’t really do that but I’m thinking of her as it would be her birthday today)

    1. You had a wonderful mum. I hope I can do the same with my children. It’s a good idea to give mo gifts other than on birthdays or Christmas and give pocket money instead.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

On my other blog: Beat About The Book

Dopehri #BookReview

Dopehri #BookReview

Book: दोपहरीAuthor: Pankaj Kapoor I don’t know why I took so long to pick up this book. It is written by an actor I love; an erudite, eloquent, thinking actor. It’s set in my hometown. It has a promising title and gorgeous cover page. I really can’t imagine why I didn’t pick it up earlier. […]