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Created on 15.07.2022

Time for a youth salary? Tips on how to handle the alternative to pocket money properly

As parents, have you decided to start paying your child a youth salary? By following these tips, you will find out how to handle a youth salary as an alternative to pocket money.

More independence, but also more personal responsibility when it comes to finances: With a youth salary, young people get both. According to the Youth Salary Association, children are generally ready at the age of 12 to start receiving a youth salary instead of pocket money. They can use the fixed monthly amount to cover certain living costs that they have agreed on with their parents beforehand, for instance money on clothes, getting a haircut, or a mobile phone contract. This approach means youngsters learn how to be careful with their money, how to set priorities when it comes to what they buy and how to plan on a long-term basis. This makes things easier for parents as well because they are spared countless arguments about money thanks to clear rules. It’s important parents and their children plan and implement this step together, and that the children understand that switching from pocket money to a youth salary is actually beneficial to them.

Find out how you as parents, together with your children, should go about deciding what the youth salary should be in the article “The link will open in a new window Youth salary instead of pocket money: how to calculate it for your child”.

Tips from the Youth Salary Association

Once you have decided on a youth salary, it’s time to think about how to implement it in daily life. These tips from the Youth Salary Association should help you.

Tip 1: Explain the differences between spending money on leisure, essentials and saving up.

It’s important children are able to distinguish between expenditure on leisure time activities (e. g. tickets to an amusement park), essentials (e. g. a new winter coat) and saving up in the long term for more expensive items (e. g. a new bike or snowboard). If you decide to factor more expensive purchases into the youth salary, it may be worthwhile for your child to save up the relevant amount in a separate savings account.

Tip 2: Show your child how to keep track of their expenses.

The statement for the account you are paying the youth salary into will give you a good idea of personal cash flows if your child is paying for things electronically. It may also be a good idea for your child to keep a rough record of their finances so they can compare earnings against expenses. This could either be done in writing or online using a budgeting app, for instance the app provided by The link will open in a new window Show your child these options and explain the benefits. If they suddenly need a full set of new clothes because of a growth spurt, they can actually back up and justify a request for an increase in their youth salary quite easily with a record of what they’ve spent.

Tip 3: Consider getting a prepaid card for shopping online

It’s a very good idea to get a prepaid credit card for online purchases. This will allow your child to shop online or download songs, but only if they have put money on the card beforehand (out of their youth salary). The prepaid credit card is different to a traditional credit card: A prepaid card can only be used to spend money that is actually there.

Tip 4: You don’t have to fund everything your children want. There are other options, too.

If your child’s youth salary is not enough because they want to buy more, you don’t need to intervene yourself. Suggest they try and earn additional money by doing babysitting, errands for elderly neighbours, or by helping out more at home.

Remember: Be sure you only allow additional earnings for household chores that are not part of normal, day-to-day life, which really help out the family, and which are done properly.

The youth salary also always marks the beginning of a new phase that sees children taking a big step towards independence, together with their mums/and or dads who are there to offer a helping hand. This involves challenges, but above all else joint decisions that help shape and indeed enrich the relationship between children and parents.

Useful to know

If your child embarks on an apprenticeship, their youth salary will usually be replaced by an apprenticeship salary. If they attend a secondary school, you should adapt their youth salary to the new circumstances and continue paying it to them. To find out more about the youth salary, visit the The link will open in a new window Youth Salary Association website.

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