Trends: Pocket Money - To Give or Not to Give

Trends: Pocket Money - To Give or Not to Give

Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore

Mangalore, Jun 19: Pocket money, junk food, fizzy drinks, modern gadgets, speed machines, branded clothes and accessories and many other lifestyle related habits and hobbies are all part and parcel of today’s children especially teenagers. So what if petrol prices in India have witnessed sharpest rise recently or Indian rupee has hit an all time low and our economy has been suffering from the impact of spiraling inflation? There seems to be a corresponding increase in the pocket money given to children by parents these days, even if it meant many parents struggling to meet the so called ‘requirements’ of their children.

The trend of pocket money has become a real nuisance for many parents as the requirements of their wards have gone beyond their means. With children of a few neo-rich families especially those who have seen a sudden upsurge in their fortunes thanks to the real-estate boom in Mangalore, indulging in reckless spending, other children get influenced and pressurize their parents for more pocket money just to become a part of the ‘gang’. The trend has affected not only the teenagers but also the higher primary and high school children for whom having large amounts of pocket money has become ‘fashionable’ or is just cooool. Working parents who don’t even find quality time to sit and reason it out with their children often succumb to the pressure tactics and give in completely forgetting that their filial love would become a double edged sword if goes unmonitored. There is every possibility that unrestricted pocket money would pave the way for wayward behavior, bad company and bad habits by children.

Savitha Shenoy, a mother of two teenagers says that she has a real problem on hand as her boys often cite the example of their friends and classmates who always have a stack of 500 rupee notes in their pockets. “Whenever I question about their asking too much pocket money they say I am old-fashioned and live in 19th century and my views are outdated. They cite the names of their classmates who spend freely and say they spend very less as compared to their friends. Such talks often lead to confrontation at our home as I find it difficult to meet their growing demands and many times either my children or we parents end up in tears”, says Savitha Shenoy who works as a private financial consultant. This must be the dilemma which many parents and teenagers face these days.

Not long ago ‘pocket money’ to ordinary middle and lower middle class children was something that was unheard of in a city like Mangalore. With the liberalization of economy and with the emergence of many middle class and a few more neo-rich families, the need to show off their newly acquired status and wealth has become too irresistible for many. The result, their young children are showered with trendy gadgets like high-end smart phones, iphones, ipods, are persuaded to spend recklessly on branded clothes, given pocket money much more than they need and are encouraged to eat out in posh joints.

Most parents these days definitely have an awkward and difficult problem on hand schools and colleges to find it difficult to arrest the trend of too much pocket money in the hands of teenagers. Donald Pereira, parent of a high-school student whose daughter graduated to college this year says “during every PTA and other meetings the Rector and Head Master of the school had requested the parents not to give mobiles or more pocket money to the students. Such a plea did not have any impact on parents. I think either the parents don’t realize the mistake they do or children succeed in blackmailing their parents into succumbing to their whims. The splurge by some students has a negative impact on other students also and I had difficulty in convincing my child to some extent”.

Another accountant who works for a builder says she has seen a big stack of notes in the pocket of child of the builder who is studying in 7th. His father has also given him a mobile when he is in higher primary school. “The father (a builder) became rich after the birth of his son and he believes his son has brought him oodles of good luck. He therefore does not hesitate to satisfy his every craze”, she says.

A high school teacher who prefers anonymity says that that many children of the so called nouveau riche in her school have been setting a bad precedent for other students. “There was this boy who used to entice other students with 50 or 100 rupee note to write notes for him. I think that is the worst scenario we can see apart from the tendency of young children falling prey to what is called as ‘soft’ drugs and other habits. The problem goes out of hand when the child enters the college where teachers are unable to have a close scrutiny on students unlike in high school”.

Whether one agrees or not this trend has a deleterious impact on young impressionable minds. So much so, getting Rs. 3000/- to 4,000/- per month as pocket money is not ‘cool’ any more. Anything above Rs 5000/- is just ok for many teenagers. Many college students prefer to go to hotels rather than getting packed lunch and a decent lunch costs not less than Rs. 50/-. Even at Rs. 50/- per day, lunch cost per month comes to Rs. 1,500/- for a teenager. Imagine the burden it has on a lower middle class family! Then there are other expenses that a normal college going student incurs. Some students complain there is no provision for having lunch in college premises and hence they don’t carry packed lunch. There is stiff competition in the field of education and providing decent education has become quite an expensive proposition for the middle class families. The irksome pocket money trend has only added to their existing burden.

Extra pocket money also means encouraging deviant habits among teenagers. With myriad attractions outside the college campus and countless temptations to indulge in, these teenagers fall easy victim to those who want to wreck in the lives of these young children, the future of this country and thus break the backbone of our economy.

There is no denying the fact pocket money offers a fantastic and surefire opportunity for youngsters to learn the basics of finance, the importance of money and the ways of managing it. Being too strict with their child may also be counter-productive as it may encourage the habit of stealing by the child to gratify its minor needs. But giving them lot of money at a young age when they are unable to discern between what is good and bad may prove to be perilous. Further, there should be a limit on the pocket money given to children so that they are able to learn the true value of money and don’t fritter away the hard earned money of their parents. It is not just the money that matters. It is also the question of the future of their children.


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Comment on this article

  • moin, lucknow

    Thu, Sep 13 2012

    you are right buddy and nice discription.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • shaikh mohd. rizwan, Karkala

    Wed, Jun 20 2012

    Dear readers,
    It is better to teach the kids at early age the value of food,clothing and money.
    The extravaganza and lavish life can make them creed which they have to stop as they grow.
    In my time 25Paise is big amount for us and we use to go to school with stitched half pants.Now the lifestyle and demand are highly unimaginable.
    The pocket money is the necessity but respect and the value is also important to remember for the new generation.What could I suggest them look the poor before you spend.
    Jai Hind
    Jai Hind

    DisAgree [10] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ashwin, Bejai/Mangalore

    Tue, Jun 19 2012

    Just like 2 side of a coin .. even this article has its " other side " just me for example .
    i used to get the pocket money of Rs . 30 per day ( 97/98 ) when i was in my PU and it never changed when i reached degree too , except weekends which was Rs . 50 n festivals 200 to 500 ( depending on which uncle n aunty come home) , out of this Rs. 30 i had to fill petrol , have lunch , and yes meet my girl friend too .. i knew the financial situation at home , so i never used to pressurize my parents a lot , but yeah then i used to sell used handsets, used cars and bikes , deal with some small time property business etc etc and make sure at the end of the day i have a 100 in my pocket . but i went a little out of line with this , dont want to get into details but yes i can say i got a little more stubborn and arrogant then i used to be . i wish i could only take that Rs 30 use a bus , pack lunch from home etc so that my parents could have command over me . nevertheless things didn't turn out bad . i still love my parents n they love me, i earn now and give them back ... so i think to keep the child under control giving pocket money really helps . but if you want to see your kid be a self made very adaptive in nature kind,then yes limiting the pocket money is the answer ..

    DisAgree [9] Agree [23] Reply Report Abuse

  • jacintha, mangalore

    Tue, Jun 19 2012

    If the bonding between parents and children is fine, in most of the cases, children will make reasonable demands as per their parent's ability, which after certain discussion, parents can agree to.
    Sometimes, yes children do fall in bad company, which requires different techniques to tackle, sometimes, parents may have to seek external help.

    I have observed, parents to display their 'arrived' status, to show how they have 'liberal thinking', do mis-guide the child early on. For the child it becomes habitual and an expensive affair for the parents later on.

    Let us accept that parenting is not easy, children watch our every move, they also understand our feeling of 'inferiority' and how we try to cover it up. They imbibe the same.

    A confident child, will reason out with friends, and with self, what is good/bad.

    So, let us learn to be parents. Times have changed is a oft said phrase. Let times change for better.

    DisAgree [9] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vijay Shetty, Hongkong

    Tue, Jun 19 2012

    During my college days there was nothing called as pocket money, i had a bank account and an ATM, i used the money as and when required. My Average monthly expenses were 50k a month including maintanence of my Tata Sierra Royal Enfield Bullet. Today probably one will need atleast 100k per month. College Days are Golden Years , i never regret a single day of my college life. I am a successful Businessman in Hongkong Today.

    DisAgree [42] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ted, Mangalore

    Tue, Jun 19 2012

    Indian Statistics Hard to Digest

    • Hunger remains the No.1 cause of death in the world. Aids, Cancer etc. follow
    • There are 820 million chronically hungry people in the world
    • 1/3rd of the world’s hungry live in India
    • 836 million Indians survive on less than Rs. 50 a day
    • Over 20 crore Indians will sleep hungry tonight
    • 10 million people die every year of chronic hunger and hunger-related diseases. Only eight percent are the victims of hunger caused by high-profile earthquakes, floods, droughts and wars
    • India has 212 million undernourished people
    • 99% of the 1000 Adivasi households from 40 villages in the two states, who comprised the total sample, experienced chronic hunger (unable to get two square meals, or at least one square meal and one poor/partial meal, on even one day in the week prior to the survey). Almost as many (24.1 per cent) had lived in conditions of semi-starvation during the previous month
    • Over 7000 Indians die of hunger every day
    • Over 25 lakh Indians die of hunger every year
    • Despite substantial improvement in health since independence and a growth rate of 8 percent in recent years, under-nutrition remains a silent emergency in India, with almost 50 percent of Indian children underweight and more than 70 percent of the women and children with serious nutritional deficiencies as anemia
    • 57 percent of the children aged 0 – 3 years are either severely or moderately stunted and/or underweight
    • Malnutrition contributed to seven million Indian children dying, nearly two million before the age of one
    • 30% of newborn are of low birth weight, 56% of married women are anaemic and 79% of children age 6-35 months are anaemic
    • The number of hungry people in India is always more than the number of people below official poverty line (while around 37% of rural households were below the poverty line, 80% of households suffered under nutrition)

    DisAgree [10] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • Pappu Desai, Adyar/Vadodara

    Tue, Jun 19 2012

    Should given minimum 'Pocket-Money' from time-to-time and advise importance of it. Otherwise children's indulge in stealing 'money' from here and there even from father's pocket. It's example from my childhood days. Reason behind there is no other source for children's to obtain money apart from there parents/elders. After grow-up they understand and stop stealing automatically in there life time.

    DisAgree [8] Agree [22] Reply Report Abuse

  • prasanna, mangalore

    Tue, Jun 19 2012

    I am agree with Rakesh shetty.your 100% right.

    DisAgree [25] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • geoffrey, hat hill

    Tue, Jun 19 2012

    A real eye-opener, but the nouveau riche prefer to play possum.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lyn, Mangalore

    Tue, Jun 19 2012

    In my view, instead of just giving pocket money, children should be asked to earn their pocket money by doing certain chores at home everyday. This may perhaps make them not only to understand the value of money but also get them into the habit of helping at home. Money (small amount) should be given weekly or monthly only if they have done their work well.

    DisAgree [7] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dr Urban D'Souza, Udyavar/Malaysia

    Tue, Jun 19 2012

    Pocket money syndrome!
    Millions of children not even get square meal a day!!! Tragedy of 60 year odd democracy.Lakhs of teenage children get thousand of rupee as daily pocket money. What it means pocket money??? By being affluent or wealthy parents need not pamper their children uncessarily as the same wards may be beyond control one day to their parents itself. Children as well as parents try to compete for their pseudo-existence - neigbor is our sole target, be it a child or mature citizen. If classmate(neigbor) gets daily 500, need to get atleast 100 more, so also with parents. Dear parents, be wise and use your common sense while upbringing your child. You may read so many tragedies with life of teenagers and the culprit for all those - ME and YOU - Parents. A child may demand moon from the sky, but think and make a habit of counselling your ward about the life, values of life, difficulty of earning money. Also make a habit of visiting poor orphan children homes along with your growing children and show them the difficulties of them. A child is just like red hot iron, if you do not hammer him the right way, he may not shape into a normal personality. So every parent has the duty to inculcate the values and moral bindings. If each parent want to express their love in the form of money or material things, every mama and dada you are wrong. Instead of occupying 18 hours of a day just to earn more and more, just spend atleast 2 to 3 hours with your growing children. Explain each child your own difficulties when you were a child and your upbringing. If you are living with your family in a modern home in a city(condo, flat, villa etc, take every year time or vacation to visit, stay and spend time in the village where you were brought up. These good practices shall pay a big reward later when your kids are fully grown up adults. All parents, please be reminded that, poverty is a big blessing and rich is a curse if you do not handle it correctly. God Bless.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • Tony Crasta, Mangalore/Sydney

    Tue, Jun 19 2012

    I don`t think it`s a good idea to give pocket money to the children when they are in their elementary school years. It would be better-off, the parents give money to them whenever they need, as long as their demands are genuine and reasonable.

    At the high school and college stage, however, it is a different matter - one needs money for various reasons - and it would be wise for the parents to give their children pocket money judiciously and in limited amount. In such cases, they would do well to monitor their wards closely as to how they are spending such pocket money.

    It was shocking to learn from the article that it is not unusual some children/students these days get pocket money as much as Rs.5000 per month!. I would say this is simply over indulgence!.

    During our times, we rarely got any pocket money when we were at school and even during College years - either we carried the lunch box in the morning or we came home at lunch time. I remember clearly when I was in High School at St.Aloysius, during the one hour lunch break we had, I had to walk fast up to my home on the Alvares Road near Kadri Market for lunch, and back to the school, in bare footed on that mid-noon hot and steamy tar road, covering each way within 25 minutes or so, leaving just 10 minutes to swallow my lunch.

    As the article says, things have changed drastically over the years, and the present generation of children and students have too much of easy times and money as well.

    Nice article by the way, by the Daijiworld Media Network, which is quite useful indeed!.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lydia Lobo, Kadri

    Tue, Jun 19 2012

    Me and my siblings received pocket money during our High School age. But, it did not come easy our parents made us water the vegetable plants, watch the cattle, fetch fire wood, collect farm produce like coconut/betel/cashew nut, help in farm work - all when we were free from our school work or during vacation. We learn a good lesson - Kai Kesaradare Bai Mosaru.

    We blame today's youth of smoking, alcoholism, drug addiction, roaming round with boy/girl friend - who is to blame ? None other than the parents ! Today the youth have quite a lot of money with them as pocket money and no account is asked about it.

    Agree there are no farms, we live in small houses or flats. But there is still work that the young members of our family can do. Fetching milk/market stuff, cleaning the house, throwing the garbage - distribute the work and reward accordingly ! They swill learn the responsibility as well as the value for money ! You may be rich or may have servants today but some day they will not be around. Think how you will manage with a child who does not even know to wash his/her plate !

    DisAgree [3] Agree [37] Reply Report Abuse

  • wasim, sharjah/UAE

    Tue, Jun 19 2012

    well said daijiworld!! I appreciate your each and every words!! Its a Life we are facing day by day :)

    DisAgree [4] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • R.Bhandarkar., M

    Tue, Jun 19 2012

    Pocket money without 'Control'
    Is sure to take it's 'Toll'
    Starting from these little 'Doles'
    Many a career has been hauled over the 'Coals'!

    DisAgree [6] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • sunil, mangalore

    Tue, Jun 19 2012

    Jokul ethedha haal atha.... 7th std dha jokuleg cigrette la pint japun

    DisAgree [4] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • suvasini, Mangalore

    Tue, Jun 19 2012

    Now a days we here so many bad incidents, it is just becoz of the parents who give extra pocket money. Extra pocket is a slow poison to our own children. It is a good article all the parents should read.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ahmed, Mangalore

    Tue, Jun 19 2012

    Too much is too bad as well too less is also too bad. Time to think "How many children we want and can effort?

    DisAgree [5] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sanjeev Kamath, Udupi / Bahrain

    Tue, Jun 19 2012

    Never blame the child, who is a reflection of the parents. It all depends on the upbringing, values and culture inculcated in the child and degree of trust. Don't keep the child's pocket empty lest he/she resorts to unethical ways of getting money.

    DisAgree [7] Agree [28] Reply Report Abuse

  • Venzil Fernandes, Mangalore

    Tue, Jun 19 2012

    I think pocket money should be given to children but parents should see that they maintain strict in the matter of money and should give pocket money only to a limit of extent where it is required for a every child.
    Even children are requested you should understand the value of your parents money. they work hard only for you guys and they want you to study hard and have a good name to the society. so its up to you how you use and save it.
    Have a great day:-)

    DisAgree [5] Agree [28] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rakesh shetty, mangalore

    Tue, Jun 19 2012







    DisAgree [30] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

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Title: Trends: Pocket Money - To Give or Not to Give

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