Pocket money

The first time I met George as he drove the car from Bangalore to Mysore, he asked me “So, how much money does your mother give you every week as pocket money?” I shook my head and said “none” and he replied “Really? I give my daughters 100 RS a week” and to this day, I haven’t forgotten the envy I felt that day. 100 Rs in 1986 was a lot of money and imagine getting 400 Rs/month.

( side note: I learned later that this is a standard behaviour pattern for most paedophiles, they want to show how good they are to others and want you to consider them as heroes and gain your trust. I also learned later that George knew even before he asked me that amma didn’t give us any pocket money and that he didn’t give his daughters  400Rs a month as pocket money)

Yesterday while having dinner, my son mentioned “my friends think we are very poor Mom”

“How come?” I asked

“Well, last time when we went for the movies D had 100 $ and J & L and 50 each and I only had 10$”

I gave him 10 $. 7.50$ for the ticket, 50 cents for lollies and 2 $ for a burger from Maccas/Hungry Jacks.

I didn’t give money for a drink because I know there is a bubbler in the library, close to the theatre and didn’t want him to consume 7 teaspoon of sugar in a serve of soft drink. All three of my children support the ban of bottled drinking water and carry their own water bottle and he can refill the bottle from the bubbler in the library. ( http://www.canadians.org/water/documents/bottledwater-5reasons.pdf)

“Do you think I was wrong? Did you need more money?”

“No Mom, you gave me enough, I can’t change their opinion and I don’t see how their opinion matters to me”

When George made me feel envious, I also promised myself that I will always give my children pocket money, which is something I don’t do.

If my children need something, it is my job as their mother to provide it. If I haven’t done so, obviously it is something I felt they don’t need. So I feel this thing about saving up their money to buy something they want that I consider they don’t need is pointless.

I do give them 2.50$ every Friday for them to buy  a treat from the tuck shop. Yaya and toothless buy sushi or combine their money and buy something else. Baby buys  Jumbo cookies and share it with her friends.

I do allow my children to earn money by doing chores. Mowing the lawn, folding the laundry, cooking dinner etc. They usually spend that money buying me and each other Christmas/birthday gifts.

I worry that by not going in the same wagon as all their friends might eventually harm my children..

10 thoughts on “Pocket money

  1. The way you bring up all the old times…

    I never got any pocket money, and my friends did. I grew up with the kids from the next house- 4 of them. Their parents and grandparents gave all of us ‘vishukaineetam’ , and so did our(I have a brother) parents. Plus they got vishukaineetam from all of their relatives, which we did not. This was in addition to the monthly pocket money (50 rs) they got. Vishukaineetam alone would come to 500 rupees plus per head for them, and ours would come to around 80 rupees. We weren’t allowed to keep it, the money was immediately confiscated. They were allowed to keep it, and spend it the way they wanted. What I would have done to have 5 rupees of my own… But I don’t think I will give my son any pocket money when he grows up 😉

    • URT: We got 25 paise for vishu, 10 paise to put as offering to the church and 5 paise for the sunday school. In my teens, the 25 paise kaineettam was increased to 50 paise ( the coin had map of India). My grandmother always gave us 20 Rs note ( lovely orange colour) when we visited her and we could only hold it till we reached the main road. As soon as we reached the road, Amma would confiscate the money. How I wished I had 1 rs to spend.

  2. We never got any pocket money and neither did any of my friends, so it was not a big deal.. Once in a while we got 25 paisa or 10 paisa which was real treat. It was all spent on buying guava (peru) and berries!! Guava cost only 5 paisa each..
    Also my vishukaineetam was never 50Rs.. that was a lot of money.. it was max 5.. most of the time, I remember getting 1Re..
    My dad gave me 5 to 10 paisa regularly to buy hard candy shaped as dolls or to by chikki (peanut muttayi). Of course mom thought that my teeth would rot..
    I do not give my daughter any pocket money, but she always has money for things that she needs.. all her Vishu money goes into her wallet.. she can use that to buy me presents for mother’s day and my b’day. I was just giving her some money lessons. She is going on a school trip tomorrow.
    I find these kids amazingly confident and not worrying about what others think, just like your son.. The attitude is the same.. why should their opinion about me matter to me?!! I do not think I was like that growing up..Good for them I say!

    • MS: we used to be able to buy 3 nellikka for 5 paise..and I didn’t even have the 5 paise and how I envied all my classmates who got to buy the nellikka each morning..Once in a while someone would share a nellikka..and it was such a treat to eat it and then drink water..
      I would be mortified if my friends thought I was poor. But it looks like the new generation really aren’t worried about what others think..

  3. Sarah, URT: I am also in the same category. I got 1 Re coin or a max 2 Re coin(very rare) as kaineettam. I collected them all in an empty sabarimala paayasam container and wrote the total in crayons, and never spent it. When I was 15, it came up to 100 Rs and I had to give it to some one else in my family, when there was a shortage of money…My first salary was 2000 rs (1999). Only then i had money for myself. so still asking money from my husband/ dad feels like a crime to me.

    • Swathi: 1994, my first salary was 750 RS.. it was just enough to buy a cotton saree and pay for my hostel/food expenses!

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