What to teach our daughters about money
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What to teach our daughters about money

Hi Nicole,

I have two daughters at home, aged 10 and 11. We don’t give them pocket money but they’re expected to do jobs like empty the dishwasher, pick up dog poo and pack lunchboxes. (By the way, what’s your take on parents paying their boys more pocket money than girls – can you believe that?) I now want to give my girls more visibility over money and start to teach them how to thrive in the real world. Any tips? And is the Spriggy pocket money app any good?

Marie

Pocket money can be a tool to teach children how to handle cash.

Pocket money can be a tool to teach children how to handle cash.Credit:Shutterstock

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Wasn’t that crazy pocket money research, Marie? For other readers, a recent story reported that boys receive $13 a week on average and girls, $9.60.

Yup, there’s a gender pay gap worse in the home than in the workplace – 35 per cent as opposed to 15 per cent!

I can’t believe it would be within the same home – what kid would let you get away with that? – but certainly understand how it could happen across different ones. Probably for the same reason, 15 per cent of year 7 girls don’t know their parents’ jobs, versus only 6 per cent of boys, according to the University of Queensland’s Business School.

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Bottom line, the idea that boys are breadwinners is hard to shake and easy to inadvertently share.

With all girls, Marie, I’m guessing they’re well aware that, well, they’re awesome. They can do, be and accomplish anything they set their minds to.

Even so, you’re bringing them into a world where outdated, unchecked attitudes could limit your loved ones.

Money columnist Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon tries to teach practical money lessons to her daughter.

Money columnist Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon tries to teach practical money lessons to her daughter. Credit:Nicola Holland

Here are the three messages I seek to give my daughter, to set her up for an adulthood with options and opportunities:

  • You’re worth it. Every time. Our girls (and boys) have to back themselves in any discussion about money and value through their lives, particularly salary negotiations.
  • You don’t need anyone else to be a financial whole. The expectation of independence – inter-dependence is fine if they choose that down the track – is key when it comes to becoming a fully functioning adult. The other “i” word to canvas (early and often) is "investment". Then
  • With your money, you can achieve anything... it’s just about prioritising how you spend it and probably delaying some gratification. Too many about-to-graduate, 17 and 18-year-olds tell me they’ve already given up on getting financially secure and – particularly – buying a house. Pocket money is a great goal-targeting teaching tool (I agree it should be for extra tasks, not normal team ones); my five-year-old has $21 – 10 per cent of her lifetime earnings – saved for her first (pink) car! The Spriggy app can help illustrate kids’ progress.

To your daughters, constantly talk empowerment and excitement about where life can take them, Marie. Their possibilities should be endless.

Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon is a money educator and consumer advocate. nicolehelps@fairfaxmedia.com.au. Next week: George Cochrane, Your Questions.

Financial educator, commentator and author, as well as a qualified financial adviser and stockbroker.