Pocket money policy: How much do your kids get?

4 in 5 parents agree that saving young helps prepare children for money management later in life.

How much pocket money do today’s children get, and do they save it or spend it? That’s what Family Investments asked parents in a recent survey, which turned up some surprising results. According to the poll, two-thirds (67 per cent) of children don’t receive any pocket money at all – despite four in five parents agreeing that people who learn to save in childhood will be better at money management in later life.

Among children who do receive pocket money, the average ranges from £2.50 to £4 a week for six to twelve-year-olds, rising to about £7.50 a week between the ages of 13 and 16. It’s encouraging to note that the vast majority of children (84 per cent) save at least some of their pocket money, although saving tends to drop off after the age of 11.

It’s also interesting to see what kids are saving up for – it’s not all iPods and videogames. Surprisingly, nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of children put some of their money towards holidays, while 12 per cent think even further ahead and build up some cash for college or university. However, the most popular (47 per cent) were big-ticket items like bikes or expensive toys.

And what about teaching children the value of hard work? It seems most parents are soft-hearted in this regard – only 27 per cent of parents make their kids do chores in return for their pocket money, while 33 per cent don’t set any conditions for the weekly allowance. The remaining 40 per cent think that children should have to do some work for their pocket money, but don’t always enforce this. More than four in five also said having to do chores for their allowance will prepare children for the realities of work in the future.

“Every parent has different ideas about pocket money – how much to give, whether it should be spent or saved, and whether the child has to earn it,” said Kate Moore, Head of Savings and Investments at Family Investments.

“Teaching kids about money management from an early age can be really valuable, whether it’s a piggy bank or a savings account. While it’s surprising to see that only a third of children get pocket money at all, we hope those that do learn a thing or two about how to spend and save wisely!”