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Money and consumerism

Learning how to earn, save and spend money are important skills for life. People who have good money management skills usually go through life feeling more in control.
Children who receive regular pocket money are more likely to develop good money management skills.


Generally, children’s attitude to money comes from what they learn at home.

Teaching children to be thoughtful about spending is helpful for the future. They need to realise what choices mean. If they spend their money on one item, then the money is gone and there is no alternative but to live with that choice.

Pocket money can be a big issue. However, there is no one rule that’s right for everyone. Parents need to make decisions about the amount of pocket money and whether to link pocket money to doing chores.

Although parents may set requirements for what pocket money must cover (i.e. entertainment, clothing), it is very important to let teenagers make their own spending decisions. Making purchases that they later regret, will help them learn about using money carefully.

It is not normally advisable to stop pocket money as a punishment as this can cause resentment. However, asking children to pay a certain amount each week for something they’ve deliberately broken, can help to teach them about value and responsibility.

When you think about your child’s spending, remember that children who are less than 10-years-old can be greatly influenced by advertising. It is good to point out to them the tricks that advertisers sometimes play.

Prepared by the Parenting Research Centre
© Victorian Government Department of Human Services

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