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Children’s pocket money falls for the second year in a row

29th May 2015 Print

Despite some welcome relief on family budgets thanks to a recovering economy and negative inflation, children are not benefitting from any extra pounds or pence in their money boxes when it comes to the amount of weekly pocket money they receive. According to the latest research from Halifax, pocket money has fallen for the second year in a row to £6.20, a 2.4% decrease since last year.

A tradition in decline?

The latest findings of Halifax’s annual Pocket Money Survey show that the average amount children receive from their parent or guardian has fallen 4.8% in the last two years, from a six-year high of £6.50 in 2013. The number of children who receive weekly pocket money has also declined, dropping 4% since 2014, to 78%.

Although on average children are receiving less pocket money than they did last year, there has been a 2% drop in the number of children who think they ought to receive more, down to 41%. Over half of children (51%) now believe they get the right amount of pocket money, up 3% on 2014.

A quarter of children continue to believe that their friends get more pocket money than they do, with 7% thinking they get less than their friends (down 2% on last year). Over a third of children (34%) say that they don’t know how much pocket money their friends receive as they have never talked about it, up 5% on 2014.

Spend or save?

The majority (70%) of children continue to save at least some of their pocket money, with one in 10 now saving all of it, up 1% on 2014. A quarter of children continue to save about half of it, with over one in five (22%) saving about a quarter, down 2% on last year. Despite their good saving habits, over two fifths (43%) of children prefer to ask for something expensive they really want as a present for their birthday or for Christmas as opposed to spending their own savings (30%).

More boys are saving some of their pocket money than girls. For the second year in a row, two thirds (67%) of girls are putting money away, compared to almost three quarters (73%) of boys. The number of boys saving some of their pocket money has decreased however, down 4% on 2014. 

Giles Martin, Head of Halifax Savings said:

“Giving pocket money is a great tool to help children understand the value of money and why it is important to save. With one in 10 children now saving all their pocket money, and seven in 10 saving a least some of it, parents should be reassured by these positive behaviours, that if encouraged, could last into adulthood.

“A fall in the amount of pocket money children receive for the second year running shows the financial pressures that some households are still under, despite the improving economy. Nevertheless, parents will be pleased to know that on the whole, children are satisfied with the amount of money they receive.”

Battle of the sexes

Boys do better than girls in the pocket money stakes, with more boys (81%) receiving weekly spending money than girls (74%). On average, boys also receive more per week, getting £6.25, with girls receiving just £6.14. This gender gap (1.2%) is narrowing however, compared with 2014 when boys received 5% more pocket money than girls.  

Boys are also more likely to feel short-changed by their parents for the pocket money they receive, with over two-fifths (43%) of boys saying they think they should get more. This compared to 39% of girls – almost 10% less.

The tables have turned when it comes to being given money for doing jobs around the house. In 2014, the percentage of girls being asked to do chores in return for their pocket money outweighed the boys. This year more boys are being asked to do chores in return for their weekly cash than girls. For example, only 19% of girls are now expected to clean in return for their pocket money, compared to 22% of boys. This has changed from 28% and 21% respectively in 2014.

Regional snakes and ladders

Across the UK, six regions saw pocket money decrease, and five saw the amount increase. The biggest losers were children in Yorkshire and the West Midlands, who saw 10% and 9% decreases respectively. The biggest winners were children from Wales, who saw a 11% increase, followed by East Anglia, who saw their pocket money go up by 9%

The largest average weekly pocket money amount goes to children from London, who get £7.65, (down from £8.26 in 2014) and the smallest amount is given to children from the West Midlands, who receive just £5.45, down from £6.03 in 2014.