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When a child has some close friends at school, but some of them come from relatively richer families, so they get maybe twice my child's pocket money, how should I answer when he complains and asks to be on par with such friends?

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This isn't a real answer by itself, but in combination with other answers given here, reading "A Grain of Rice" together if your child is still willing to sit and read a book with you can teach about how patiently waiting and growing your resources can far outweigh just having it to spend upfront in the first place in terms of rewards (the book is actually about doubling - but still) – balanced mama Nov 28 '12 at 16:37
up vote 23 down vote accepted

Depending on their age, you may be able to use this to teach them about finances.

  • Not everyone is paid the same.
  • Not everyone has the same expenses.

Also, you might give them an opportunity to earn a little more:

  • Small payments for special housework (they still have chores that don't count here)
  • Other jobs (selling candy/soda/etc. at a garage sale; odd jobs for family/friends/neighbors)
  • Interest (set up an in home bank account, and allow them to earn interest on money they keep in savings with you)
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I love SE and the people on it for the brilliant ideas I never would have thought of myself. Thanks! – Chris Cirefice May 23 '14 at 16:37
...You may end up teaching them that interest does not add up to much at all. Maybe investments? – kleineg Jun 17 '14 at 17:43
That all depends what kind of interest rate you set. – chills42 Jul 2 '15 at 16:47

In addition to the answers already given, I would also point out those who are not as fortunate as you or the richer families.

Depending on the age of your child, it may be a good time to discuss community service. Take your child to a food bank or get involved in other activities where your child can experience both sides of the coin.

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This is a great answer IMO. I would have accepted it, but I think the other one is more useful to the public in general. Thanks! – Hosam Aly Apr 25 '11 at 7:55
@HosamAly That's why there are both: Accepted means: most useful for the person asking; Upvoted means: useful to the public in general. – Volker Siegel Sep 5 '14 at 11:25

"That's great. I'm glad to see that you have ambitions. What do you think you can do to earn more money?"

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Perfect. It let's the kid know (a) that you're listening and understanding their concerns; (b) sends the message, "If you have a problem you need to hunt for a solution," and (c) imparts the important message that in life work and effort is required if you want to enjoy material/monetary gain. – Scott Mitchell May 5 '11 at 19:36

I'm against the whole concept of just giving kids money. But if you are going to give it to him, I would respond to his complaints by having a discussion about fairness and equality and that they are not necessarily the same thing. Other topics for discussion would be: whether his friends do anything to earn their money, what trade-offs are associated with them getting more money (e.g. his Dad is rich and can give him more pocket money, but works so much he never gets to spend time with his Dad), etc.

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Rich dad poor dad is by far the best resource that you can use for this. Give your child this very simple parable:

"Every morning an elderly man goes for a run. He looks to be in great shape and always has the energy. During his run, this old mans grandson can be found at home watching television. This grandson is overweight and never has the energy to run with his grandfather.

When you look at the grandfather, he looks to be in great shape and doesn't look like he needs the exercise. However, the grandson does look like he needs the exercise.

The same is true when it comes to money.

When it comes to people that are continuously spending their money, their bank statements are telling them that they need to learn how to start saving. But those that are saving wisely, look like they need to spend more often."

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Not everyone thinks this book is a great resource; see – SQB Sep 4 '14 at 6:14

I would like to share how our parents raise us. When it comes to money matters, my mom is very transparent or vocal about our financial condition. Like she tell us that this is what we have, and we will have to spend it on this and that. In this way, I learned the value of money.

Based from experience, my parent's honesty about our financial status, had helped me to accept that we are not that rich compared with others. But it inspires me to study and persevere, because I know that with limited resources my parents are doing their best to support my needs. I believe that when you are honest with your children about your finances, slowly they could understand the situation, and from there, it may help them to persevere in life.

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