Pocket money allotted daily or weekly by parents is the main source of cash for today’s teenagers around the world. Depending on where they live, teenagers have different financial needs. They usually use pocket money to pay for public transport fares, cinema tickets, entrance fees, or buy some snack while at school. As the living standards in many developed and developing countries are constantly increasing, teenagers need more and more pocket money to meet their daily expenses. In other countries experiencing a state of financial instability and currency fluctuations, teenagers need more cash every day simply to make up for the rampant inflation. The money they had yesterday could buy less things today.
Peer pressure is another factor that may make teenagers think that they need more daily cash. It is a really strange social phenomenon that in our age of rapid, almost frantic consumption, teenagers tend to be the biggest consumers, although they practically do not earn any money. It is true that there are some part-time jobs available for teenagers but, more often than not, they are booked for the boss’s teenage son or daughter. Also, teenagers who do a part-time job tend to do less well at school. Still, some teenagers may push their parents to give them more cash every day. They see that some of their classmates are better off and could afford more cool things and gadgets. In some cases, teenagers may start stealing small bills from their parents’ pocket to add a little something to their daily allowance.
It has been estimated, for example, that teenagers in Australia receive an average of $8.15 per week, while their Canadian peers are slightly better off as they are allowed about $10 dollars a week. Of all nations in the 27-member European Union, the French tend to be the biggest skinflints when it comes to loosening the strings of their purses, as they give their children just 17.7 Euro per month. Paradoxically, the kids of the nouveau riche in some developing countries such as Albania, Macedonia and the EU-newcomers – Bulgaria and Romania – feel really miserable if they show up in class with less than 10 Euro in their pocket.
In some families, teenagers ‘earn’ their pocket money by doing small chores every day, such as walking the dog, throwing out the garbage, doing the dishes after dinner, or vacuum-cleaning the house. As teenagers get a fixed amount of cash every day, they usually put part of it aside to buy a new CD of their favorite band, some cool clothes, or go to some big concert. So, children save, rather than recklessly spend, when they put some effort into earning their allowance.
More and more teenagers feel uncomfortable with receiving small sums every day and prefer to get their pocket money weekly or monthly so that they could plan their budget. Now I am thinking that ideally, a teenager should receive from his parents the equivalent of a minimum monthly salary per month. Alternatively, they could give their teenager his or her ‘minimum wage’ every Friday, so that he or she will have their pockets full in the weekend. Sound cool, doesn’t it? Yes, but it is better to teach your child financial responsibility. Give them the weekly allowance only on the condition that a portion of it goes toward their long-term savings. They can save the money to buy a bicycle or contribute to paying their college expenses. A small some of the allowance may be set aside for charity. This way, you will teach the child to value and share his/ her good fortune.