How we bought a playground with pocket money
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. 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. Addiontally, 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.
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.
Now we have things for the garden sorted, the pocket money will continue to be saved up. I can’t think of anything else we will need to buy in the near future but I’m sure that will change as our daughter gets older. I do think that as she grows up, she might be given a small amount of pocket money from us, (the parents) to spend on magazines and small toys, but we will continue to save up this additional money for bigger purchases. 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!
Ideas for pocket money savings goals:
- Large garden toys / playhouse
- Bike or scooter
- Discount pass membership for days out such as KidsPass or Merlin (More about Kidspass here)
- 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
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.
I’m taking part in the Mummy Monday linky with Becca from Becca Blogs It Out