Piggy banks going hungry?

Published: Saturday 6th June 2015 by The News Editor

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New research suggests that the tradition of pocket money is in decline.

Halifax, which has been tracking children’s pocket money levels since 1987, has found that in recent years, the proportion of children aged between eight and 15 who say they get a payment every week has been falling.

More than three-quarters (78%) of the 1,200 children surveyed in May 2015 said they do still get a weekly payment, but when similar research was conducted in 2014, this figure was 82% – and the year before that, it was 84%.

The average amount kids now receive each week is also on a downward trend; children say they typically receive £6.20 a week – but two years ago, it was £6.50.

This may well reflect the financial pinch that some families are feeling, despite the economy continuing to show signs of improvement.

Another interesting finding revealed is a pocket money ‘gender gap’.

Boys are more likely to receive pocket money than girls, with 81% getting a weekly allowance compared with 74% of girls. Girls also receive around 11p a week less than boys on average.

The findings have come just as a separate report from Prudential has found that it takes a woman around 19 years longer than a man to earn her first £1million. An average male worker will be aged around 50 by the time he’s earned a total of £1million during his working life, whereas a woman would need to work until she is 69, according to Prudential’s calculations.

But, at least according to Halifax’s research, the pocket money gender gap is getting narrower.

A year ago, girls had received about 35p a week less than boys, with boys getting £6.50 a week and girls receiving £6.15.

:: Pocket money pays

Weekly pocket money – no matter how big or how small – can be a great way of helping kids appreciate the value of money from an early age.

They can learn budgeting skills and set savings goals which could come in handy in later life, as well as appreciating what it is to ‘earn’ money, if the pocket money is linked to doing chores.

Indeed, the Halifax research showed that today’s youngsters seem to be displaying some very canny behaviour with their cash, with seven in 10 saying they save at least some of their pocket money, and one in 10 claiming they put all of their money away.

:: Where are children stashing their cash?

A traditional money box was found to be kids’ favourite place to store their money, followed by the bank, where at least they should be able to earn some interest on their nest eggs. One in eight (12%) say their parents look after their money for them.

:: What are children doing to earn their pocket money?

The latest research found that in general, boys are more likely than girls to be expected to do jobs around the house in order to earn their cash. Just over one in three (36%) of boys say they don’t get pocket money in return for jobs, compared with nearly half (47%) of girls.

The most popular pocket money-earning chores included tidying their bedroom (38%), washing up (21%), vacuuming (18%) and doing their homework (15%).

Copyright Press Association 2015

Published: Saturday 6th June 2015 by The News Editor

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