Rediscovering the 'Me' in 'Mumeeeeeee'

'I have always thought that there is no more fruitful source of family discontent than a housewife’s badly-cooked dinners and untidy ways'. (Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, 1861)

September 8, 2010

Money for nothing

I've had a few discussions with friends recently about two things: pocket money and the tooth fairy (of course we also talked about quantum physics, the political state of the Middle East and how many eggs it takes to frighten Tony Blair - but money was top of the agenda).

Opinions on the matter of 'how much' pocket money or tooth fairy money to give your child seem to vary hugely, and I wondered what everyone else thought.

To set my stall out, we have recently started giving our (nearly) 5 yr old pocket money for doing a few simple jobs such as tidying his bedroom, setting the table and taking his dinner plate up to the sink. He gets a 50 cent coin, or smaller coins to the value of 50 cent. He loves getting this money and is keeping it all in a little purse. Other friends are giving between 3 to 10 euros pocket money for children of a similar age - some do little jobs for this, others have to do nothing.

The tooth fairy hasn't been required at our house yet, but I have recently heard of 3 euros and, in one case, 50 euros (gulp) being given per tooth.

I may be completely out of touch, but am of the opinion that at this stage, the 'amount' of money isn't what's important. Surely it is about the concept of starting to value reward (in terms of the pocket money being given in return for a few jobs) and starting to save up your coins in your piggy bank ( or purse in my little boy's case!).

What do you think? I am the reincarnation of Ebeneezer Scrooge, or is a small coin enough at the age of 5?
Image of Retrospot Piggy Bank from DotComGiftShop



  1. I think your way seems perfect for his age.

    My son will be getting pocket money as soon as he can count to 100 :-)!

    As for the tooth mouse, it may depend on which tooth has fallen out (or how much cash we have in the house!).

    Some of those amounts seem ludicrous, for 50 euros I would pull out a couple of teeth!

  2. Marie gets 20c for each of the 5 tasks she performs everyday (make her bed, set & clear the table, tidy up her playroom, put her dirty clothes in the basket and keep her slippers on). If she goes to the bold corner, she loses 50 cent. Potentially she can earn 5 euros a week.
    As for the tooth fairy, she gets 2 euros as she insists that the tooth fairy only gives 1 coin per tooth. She panicked when she received 5 euros in coins and thought the tooth fairy's purse had a hole in it.

  3. I am going to give a pound a tooth, which is the going rate here!

  4. The tooth fairy leaves a £1 coin at our house, but on one occasion it turned up at their dad's house when they were there for the weekend, and she left £10. Stupid bloody fairy.

  5. Blimey, 10 euro for a 4 year old. My 6 year old tomorrow gets 50cent but that's not regimented and only beginning. My older boys have a savings club in school, my 7 year old last yr got 2 euro a week and my 9 year old 3 euro. I give extra money for extra jobs and treat them to sweets or a magazine on occasion but I also remind them that we need to be careful with our money, that we can't have everything we want and that they can save for things they want over and above presents.

  6. Well, my boys also have a list of jobs to do to qualify for their pocket money and we're at €2.50 / week pocket money, €1.20 for a tooth. Why? Well €2.50 is around 100Rubles which is the only denomination I can be sure to have to hand each week, and it seemed harsh to give my older boy too much per tooth when his younger brother is so far off losing his teeth - so he gets 50R a time for that. Mind you, I have heard of the tooth fairy handing out 1000R per tooth around here, so I suspect we're not typical.

    OH yes, and another reason for this level is that the sort of stuff that they might save up their cash for is around 2x or more the price here than it would be back home...(once we get back to London it will be £1 and 50p, I can assure you!)

  7. No pocket money in this house. However we do the tooth fairy alright, well at least we did until last week an adam sndler movie confirmed to my 9 yr old, there is no such thing. €5 per tooth was our limit. The amount meant nothing to her, it all went in the piggy anyway,

  8. My son is six and we're considering starting him on about a euro a week. But we haven't yet. And the tooth fairy - I just haven't thought of yet, but I suppose I'd better start.


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