carrying the milk bucket to feed the calf

Pocket money or wages for a four year old

N isn’t old enough yet to get proper pocket money.

It’s obviously different for every child, but we’ll probably do similar to what my mum did and agree that he can get pocket money on the assumption that he’s kept his room tidy (it’s not looking optimistic for the future at the moment!) and he helps out around the house doing the usual things like putting his stuff in the dishwasher and helping put clothes away etc.  Anything essential he needs, we’ll just buy.

But he will have ‘wages’.  All the nephews and niece have had wage jars.  Usually they’re kept at the farm, but N has his at our house.  He does have a normal piggy bank for money he gets given, but the wage jar is specifically ‘earnings’.

N already has the grand total of £6.50 in his wages jar.  The money’s mostly come from my brother-in-law, because N likes to help feed a lone calf, So if he helps do jobs on the farm, he’ll get given some wages.  He does get really exciting when he comes in with some money, although he never gets round to spending it, so hopefully we’ll aim at saving it instead.

The other week he was helping to unload some heavy bags with his 13 year old cousin. The OH left them to it, unstrapping the bags ready to unload.  Straight away N was following instructions from his cousin, and managed to unstrap his much faster.

removing the straps off the feed bags

Then he had to roll up the straps

rolling up the straps

And put the metal clasps away.

moving the straps

Then it was time to feed the calf.  I presume it’s a calf that its mum didn’t want or couldn’t cope with but N loves going to feed it.  The pair of them mixed the milk up, and N managed to walk the bucket round to the calf’s box.

carrying the milk bucket to feed the calf

It was lovely to see them working together. To N it’s just fun and being like his dad, but add in the occasional ‘wages’ and hopefully it’ll bring other skills and knowledge.  He already knows a lot more about some aspects of farming than I do.  Once his wages jar becomes a bit fuller, and he can see the money growing, then hopefully I can start adding some subtle education on money, saving, spending and teaching him how to view and work with his money he’s earnt.

Of course the downside with N’s enthusiasm and him always wanting to be on the farm, is that I never get to see him at weekends…or during the week because as soon as we’re home from (previously) nursery/school and work, he’ll take any chance possible to go and see his dad on the farm.

Do you have helpers round the house or business?  How do you deal with pocket money?

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  1. What a great little helper. We need to start doing this with B and giving him chores and pocket money for it. What a great idea. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

  2. Oh I try and get my eldest son to help with chores – my daughter (she is 15) is great, Luke is too – just a bit more resistant! Pickle who is nearly three is a bit little yet! I treat them as a reward rather than pocket money.Kaz x

    1. A reward makes sense. When we were kids we had tasks we were just expected to do, but anything on top we could get money for (eg I used to do the ironing)

  3. Oh look at him! What a great way to instill work ethic and help him to understand the value of money. I love the idea of this, and I definitely I’d lean toward teaching them to earn money rather than just being given it xx

  4. Great post, I’ll probably do what my parents did and give my daughter pocket money for doing chores i.e tidy room, do the dishes, clean the car etc. I really do think its great for kids to appreciate the value of money from an early age x

  5. I always try to divide the chores with my son, to give him a sense of responsibility. :} I do have my own specially lovable helper.

    1. It might take longer to do the chores, but it’s nice when they get excited by it. Last time I vacuumed, N asked to do it. He did 2 rooms for me!

  6. I have to admit i find it hard to get my little man to help me sometimes, but on the other he is brilliant when outdoors with daddy, think its because he just loves be outdoors. I might encourage him to help inside with the wages

  7. Great post. I think things are different now and money seems to be more readily given out. Def a great lesson to teach a child about the value of money and love that it’s called ‘wages’. So cute to see him on the farm. He looks like he will make a great farmer!

    1. Thanks for the comment Nicci. You’re so right about it being more automatic nowadays. When I hear about the average pocket money allowances each year I’m astounded. We used to be lucky to get a tenner each month by the time we were teens!

    1. Oh that is sweet. N was always good about tidying at nursery, but try as I might, he won’t do it at home. Rewards don’t really work for him, although I’m trying that for other things.

  8. Love this idea. He must be developing so many skills and learning about money at the same time. I’d love our children to have grown up on a farm. Such a wonderful environment for little ones.

    1. It is a wonderful life for them, so much outdoors and interesting learning. There are downsides too – the need to get in the car to go anywhere is one.

  9. I love this idea. I think it’s really important for kids to learn the value of money from a young age. My son has a part time job now which really helps, but I was probably a little slack about making sure his room was tidy before that.

    1. So right. Kids and tidy rooms. So hard to get them to tidy. N’s is a tip, but he’s got so much furniture in there that isn’t really needed. I want to get a cabin bed so there’s lots of storage and a desk in there, hopefully to get rid of some other storage, but OH says the ancient flowery divan bed is fine…it’s not!

  10. awwwww this is so cute and I love the idea of a wage jar! Well done N, keep going and you’ll be a millionaire in no time! 🙂 xx

  11. My two are 2 and 5 and we currently use a sticker chart, where they get stickers for being good and extras for helping around the house or doing really well with school work. I’m definitely keen on moving on to “wages” when they’re older. My friends’ parents did and I always thought my parents were missing a trick by giving unconditional pocket money. I want to teach them about the value of money and working hard to earn it and I think this is a great introduction.

    1. So hard to know what’s best to do. My mum used to just buy us the things we needed, but to get pocket money (a pittance by today’s rates) we had to sign a contract with her to say to get our pocket money we had to have our rooms tidy/inspected each day. My brother didn’t get pocket money for months, while I did (but just shoved everything in my wardrobe!)

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