5 parents share how much allowance they really give their kids and teens.

Thanks to our brand partner, ZAAP

Pocket money sure has changed since I was a kid.

I literally did not get a cent for doing the dishes or keeping my room clean or being the perfect daughter that I was.

These days, I don’t know any child who doesn’t receive some sort of remuneration for contributing to the house – or for even just their delightful existence.

But what’s so interesting is the way that happens varies greatly from family to family.

The age, the amount, whether it’s chores-based, and what it’s supposed to be spent on, are all points for negotiation. And it’s a privilege to be able to afford to give children allowances in the first place.

Some families give pocket money in cash. Some allow family sharing of banking details via apps – which is becoming more relevant as the world becomes increasingly cashless.

One of the best ideas is ZAAP – Australia’s first low-cost, prepaid Mastercard for school-aged children – that is available as a card and a wearable band. You can choose from more than 50 different designs, or kids can even design their own card by uploading an image, such as a selfie.

I like that it’s fully controlled by the parent via an app, so you have complete visibility to their spending, and they’re learning how to be responsible with money.

And if they’re not, you can stop access at any time. You don’t have that kind of power after you’ve handed over cash!

Money transfers can happen instantly, so your child is never stuck in an emergency. Put that on your Christmas present radar.

But seriously, with options like ZAAP, it’s useful to know how other parents handle pocket money.


Here’s what five of them, including myself, have to say about doling out the dollars to our tweens and teens.

Nama, 43

Child: Winston, 12

We used to do pocket money when he was little, but now Winston does so many things independently – school by bus, the movies with his mates – he really needs ready access to money, so he has a flexible allowance which depends on what he does each weekOne thing I find interesting is that he doesn’t like handling cash – I guess that may be a generational thing. Everything has to be a tap away!

But he needs flexibility, so he can for example head out with his friends for a milkshake after school. He’s also craving the responsibility and independence of learning to handle his own funds.

Even though I feel like the richest woman in the world with my son, obviously I am not in monetary terms. Being a sole parent on a single income house means I watch every cent. So we do talk about what he should and shouldn’t spend money on.

So far, the most Winston’s ever spent on an impulse purchase was $18 for a book…I’m pretty happy with that. The rest of the time, he sticks to the essentials like a snack after school with his mates and paying for the bus. He also shouts his friends to an occasional chocolate bar here and there, if they’re short on funds. I LOVE that he does that. It’s a sign of kindness.

Eventually, I’d like him to be able to budget for the things he really wants, like games and even his phone, which is on a family plan. That will happen as he gets older.

Claire, 39

Child: Lola, 10

Lola gets $10 pocket money a week (if chores are completed of course!)

As I rarely carry cash these days I tend to transfer this to my daughter’s ZAAP account.

It’s a simple process of transferring money from my personal account to my ZAAP parent wallet, ready for use if and when I need to move money to Lola’s ZAAP wearable. This can be done instantly ensuring that she always has funds available to her.

I recently sent Lola to stay with family in Perth for school holidays and as I didn’t want her to be carrying cash, I loaded her wearable band with funds if and when she needed it or when funds got low. She used this for movies, food and even bought her family a “thank you for having her present” all by herself (she was pretty happy with that!).

Amelia, 35

Child: Sam, 10

Sam is getting to an age where she wants clothes – a new outfit for every week, it feels like! But because we do invest a lot on her tennis, I’ll limit it to $200 per month and that’s all she gets. I think that’s pretty generous for a 10-year-old, and she’s very lucky we can do that because she’s an only child!


Gabriella, 37

Children: Sophia, 11, Duncan, 9

We are strong believers in earning pocket money in our house. The kids need to know they are part of a team and must contribute. They also need to learn how to do housework. And finally, they need to understand money.

That’s why we set a rate of $5 a chore, and the kids can earn as much as they are willing to work.

Soph and Dunc are paid in cash on a Friday night so they have spending money for the weekend. They’re allowed to buy what they want. But no doubt that will go electronic once they are old enough to get their own phones – about 13.

Liza, 39

Child: Luke, 14

We don’t believe in ‘pocket money’. We call it an allowance, and everything Luke wants for himself must come out of it. It’s not ‘spare change’ – he has to learn to budget with it.

Luke gets $60 a week, which sounds like a lot, but that covers snacks with his friends, movies, that kind of thing. He has to look at his week and see where he plans to spend. A present for Tom’s party? OK, that’s $30, and $30 left over.

If that means he can’t go to the corner shop after school every day for a week, so be it.

We’ve been looking for the right app to use so he can have access to his money independently, and do things like save what he doesn’t spend…in the rare event that happens!

If you’re looking for the ideal pocket money product and financial literacy tool for your tween/teen this Christmas, make sure to check out ZAAP’s website to place an order today

Tell us, how much do you give your kids each week for their allowance?


The Smart Approach To Pocket Money with the only Tap and Pay wearable and custom design card for kids in Australia.