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Created on 13.03.2019

Pocket money – from what age, how much and what for?

When they receive their own first “income”, children practise how to manage money responsibly. Our six tips for parents regarding pocket money.

Most parents agree that pocket money is a good idea. When they have their own money, children and young people practise spending it independently, setting priorities and saving up for things − and they learn the consequences of their bad decisions.

But how much pocket money should they receive? From what age and what for?

Tips for parents

These thoughts and recommendations can help parents to find the right way to handle pocket money for their family:

Tip 1

Set the amount of pocket money in accordance with the child’s age, the family budget and the intended purpose. The link will open in a new window “Budgetberatung Schweiz” (in German) gives parents guidance.

Age in years Amount
Age in years
6+ (1st school year)
Amount
CHF 1 per week
Age in years
7+ (2nd school year)
Amount
CHF 2 per week
Age in years
8+ (3rd school year)
Amount
CHF 3 per week
Age in years
9+ (4th school year)
Amount
CHF 4 per week
Age in years
10 to 11 (5th–6th school years)
Amount
CHF 25 to CHF 30 per month
Age in years
12 to 14 (upper school)
Amount
CHF 30 to CHF 50 per month
Age in years
15+
Amount
CHF 50 to CHF 80 per month

Tip 2

Around 12 years old is a good time to introduce a “The link will open in a new window salary” (in German) for your child. With this set monthly amount in addition to pocket money, young people take on responsibility for a portion of their living costs.

Tip 3

Pay pocket money regularly and without being asked − weekly for younger children and monthly for children and young people from the age of 10. For older children the amount can be transferred directly into a bank account. This gives them the chance to practise using e-banking, debit cards and maybe even prepaid credit cards.

Tip 4

Make it clear from the start what the pocket money is intended for, e.g. for personal wishes, going to the cinema, their mobile phone bill... The children and young people can then choose what to spend their money on, within the parameters of these “rules of the game”.

Tip 5

Pocket money should not be used as a means of education and should be paid regardless of behaviour or performance at school. Extra work around the house can be rewarded with a “bonus”, however normal daily help should go without saying and not be rewarded.

Tip 6

Do not pay any extra money and do not pay any pocket money in advance. Making mistakes with their money early in life is part of the process and offers children and young people a valuable opportunity to learn.

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