Emma’s Fostering Blog
Shouldn’t all children have pocket money- it develops a sense of independence, gain skills in understanding the value of money and develop budgeting skills which are essential for independence.
There are many arguments in that expectations are too high, no pay rise, yet more and more is expected from the maintenance for the child. They want designer clothing and footwear, sports kit, the latest gaming consoles, I-phones, holiday’s, gifts entertainment and hobbies. I know when Foster carers are complaining by discussing money they are portrayed as mean by the media.
The advantage of giving pocket money is that it gives children valuable experiences in managing their financial affairs. Let’s face it Foster children struggle and as care leavers, the earlier we introduce money and savings the better. If they blow their money then, they’ll learn they have to wait until the following week or month when they get their next allowance. Now they have a safety net, we need to be careful as many have unrealistic expectations of life after care and unlike your own children the safety net will go and when they leave us they will not be able to keep up this level of spending that they had.
Dan and Adam are expected to do chores or complete their homework before they get their pocket money, this is just a normal expectation in many homes and isn’t anything to do with being ‘Looked After’ I think by giving pocket money it increases the normalisation and helps them to not feeling different from their friends. I pay money into their bank accounts weekly as I’m helping them learn to budget; School dinner money, clothing allowance and pocket money and once the money is gone, it’s gone.
I don’t want them set up for a life of misery, It’s called tough love, I know they will be fed and warm, everything is here they need.
They do over spend and they are learning from this but eventually they will become care leavers relying on a small income to get by on, they will be adults so they won’t be able to maintain the lifestyle they previously enjoyed. In addition to pocket money they save on a regular basis for driving lessons, car or travel.
From day one, I am thinking about the transition to care leaver, so that’s it is not going to end bad for them, like finding a job, or need to borrow a tenner and find that they can’t go to the bank of mum or dad’ and its heart-breaking knowing that.
My thoughts are learning about money should be like learning to read – you learn at school, but it needs to be reinforced at home as soon as possible. We’re an increasingly cashless society, and thanks to the invention of cashback it’s easy for children to assume that the supermarket is the source of all of your funds