How we bought a playground with pocket money

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Last Updated on March 12, 2022 by Melissa S.

When you are on a tight budget, it can be hard to find the cash for “big” items for the kids. For example, we really wanted a swing and slide set for our garden. I didn’t necessarily want this to be a birthday or Christmas “present” as it would wipe out the money for any other gifts.

Also I knew it would be something to get years of use out of for our daughter and any future children so I saw it more of a furniture purchase than a toy.

This is where the pocket money comes in! We are very fortunate in that one set of grandparents gives my daughter £2 a week pocket money which equates to £104 a year. This is not handed over weekly, but my mother in law keeps track of how many weeks she has saved and then gives us it in larger amounts such as £40. I then put this straight into my daughter’s savings account.

person holding coin
Photo by maitree rimthong on

As she already has an ISA that is paid into each month for long term savings, we view this money as something to spend on things for her to enjoy now. Addtiontally, she gets birthday and Christmas money from the other grandparents (my mum thinks she has too many toys!) so this and any additional gift money all gets saved up, as well as top ups from myself and my husband.

This has allowed us to buy a climbing frame, sandpit, slide and swing set for £279 in 2017 – (price has since risen slightly) and a wooden playhouse this year for £433. (We put some money out of our birthday present budget towards this too rather than getting her lots of smaller gifts).  It is amazing how much it adds up to be, and in my opinion a much better use than buying more plastic toys for the house.

pocket money
The climbing frame we bought
pocket money

Tips for maximising your child’s pocket money

Use cashback – When making these purchases, we always check Quidco or Topcashback – we got 10% cashback on the playhouse meaning another £43 off!

Set up a savings account – You may only be able to put a small amount away each month, but as I hope this post illustrates, small amounts can go a long way. £1 a week = £52 a year, £10 a month = £120!

Involve your child in money management – As children get older, giving them responsibility for their money is a great idea. We will eventually begin giving our daughter a small amount of pocket money for her to spend as she wishes aside from the savings.

Hopefully doing this will give children a good foundation in the value of money and saving, especially if they have their own ideas for a goal for their savings. It might also (hopefully) make them think twice about wasting it!

people woman girl cute
Photo by RODNAE Productions on

Ideas for pocket money savings goals:

  • Large garden toys / playhouse
  • Bike or scooter
  • Discount pass membership for days out such as KidsPass or Merlin
  • Live theatre shows for younger children such as Peppa Pig
  • Towards a residential school trip for older children
  • Towards a bedroom makeover (again – for older children who want to pick their own knick knacks and décor)
  • Musical Instrument or hobby / sports equipment
  • Computer games
  • Laptop, Tablet, Console or e-Reader
  • Sports / Concert tickets

How much could you save for your children?

Obviously we are very fortunate that we get this money from the grandparents and not everyone will be in this situation. If you receive any birthday or Christmas money for your children that would be a good place to start, and maybe you could decide to pay £1 or £2 a week towards it yourself or whatever you can afford.

What do you think of the idea of saving up pocket money? Are there any other ideas you would use it for? Let me know in the comments.

You May Also Like:

How to Teach Kids About Money

Activities for a Budget Friendly Summer

Save Money with Kids Pass

Ways to Make Birthdays more affordable

How I Save For Christmas Without Even Noticing

I’m taking part in the Mummy Monday linky with Becca from Becca Blogs It Out

6 Responses

  1. Such a great post! The big toys always seem so expensive, but saving in this way would make it much more affordable! x

  2. We are looking at building a little mud kitchen, den and play area for the girls in the garden I love letting them be outside and the girls love playing in the garden.

    1. Yes it’s great to have things in the garden for them! I made a mud kitchen out of some wood pallets following something I found on Pinterest – it was a LOT harder than it looked on there but I was pleased with the end result!

  3. Great idea! Both my children had saved quite a bit of gift money over the last year or so, so we decided we would all get annual passes to our local wildlife park. It’s the first time we’ve put it towards something like that, but i’m glad we did – now they both have gifts that will last a year! #MummyMonday

    1. That’s great, the passes are definately something we are going to look at putting the momey towards in the future. Days out and memories are such a good gift!

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Hi! I'm Melissa

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