More pocket money? Your parents may not like to hear it, but it's not really such a bad idea. In fact, pocket money enables you to learn how to take responsibility for your own finances. But then you need to go about it the smart way and follow the tips we've given here.
Smart tip 1:
Agree on what you spend your pocket money on
Agree clearly on what you pay for yourself and what your parents pay for. Got a hobby or like going out? What's the situation with clothes, footwear, your mobile phone bill and bus fares?
The older you are, the more responsibility you can take. If you're 10 years old, you can always pay for your own soft drinks in the sports club. If you're 17, you'll probably also want to start choosing the clothes you wear and where you buy them.
Smart tip 2:
Decide on a set amount
How do you work out how much pocket money you should get?
- Make a detailed list of what you're going to buy yourself
- Look up how much the things on your list cost
- Sit down with your parents and work out how much on average you will spend each week or month
Ask if you can have a joint look at the household budget. Work out how many hours your parents (or the average Belgian) has to work for, say, a pair of trainers.
Smart tip 3:
Decide on a set time
If you like to know where you stand, choose a set time for receiving pocket money from your parents. That could be, for instance, every Friday or the first of every month, so that you can plan what you spend.
Smart tip 4:
Everything's spent right away! What now?
Pocket money means freedom to do things on your own, but also the freedom to make mistakes. And even for a smart young thing like yourself, things can occasionally go wrong. If you spend all your money at once, you're not going to go begging to your mum or dad for more money. Better to grin and bear it and do things differently the following month.
You will have to start thinking ahead and deciding what to do with your money. And that's a valuable lesson for later in life. Give priority to what really matters, such as being able to buy warm winter footwear, to order something other than tap water in the pub and to pay for a bus ticket home.
Smart tip 5:
What if you genuinely can't get by on your pocket money?
Sit down with your parents and write down what you've spent over the past month. Perhaps you're not getting enough pocket money and you can all recalculate your budget. Or maybe your taste is too expensive and you should look around for a student job. Tough love!
Smart tip 6:
Thinking about buying a special gift for your significant other? Or looking to set aside funds for those summer festivals? Then saving is the way to go (in any case, you are too young to borrow money). Of course, you don't have to hoard everything, but make sure you always have something left over at the end of the month and put it away.
Smart tip 7:
Cash or card?
Piggy banks may be cute, but a bank account of your own is more practical after reaching a certain age.
With a young person’s account, you can:
- Pay and withdraw cash using your bank card (or smartphone)
- Use the K'Ching to check your balance, transfer money to your friends, and more besides
- Pay online
If your parents are concerned, it's reassuring for them to know:
- A current account is free of charge if the holder is younger than 25
- You can't go ‘into the red’ as a minor
- Your parents can set a spending limit
- They can keep an eye on things as they hold a power of attorney
- You'll be learning how to bank (online) and that's essential
8. Prepaid Mastercard:
the perfect pocket-money card
Another smart way to give pocket money is to use the Mastercard Prepaid Card. Like a credit card, it gives you the freedom to pay online and when you're abroad. The big difference is that you have to load it with a certain amount in advance. So when the card's empty, the shopping stops too!
Go to www.kbc.be for more interesting stuff on young people and finances.