Pocket money increases outpace parents’ wage growth by 255% since 1987
21 August 2015
- The average amount of pocket money paid to kids is £6.20 per week
- Only 59% of kids are expected to undertake chores in return for their allowance – down from 65% in 2014
- Fewer girls (53%) are being asked to do chores than boys (64%)
According to the latest research from Halifax, average pocket money given to 8-15 year olds has increased by 448% since 1987 when the Halifax Annual Pocket Money survey began, compared with just a 193% increase when it comes to parents’ own income in the last 28 years – a net difference of 255%. But, in the last year, wages have risen by an average of 2% compared to a 2.4% fall in pocket money, leaving the current average weekly amount of children’s pocket money at £6.20.
Not so naughty noughties
In 2003, kids saw the largest pocket money gains in the history of the survey, with, on average, the amount of weekly spending money increasing 106% year-on-year. Pocket money then continued to climb until 2005 when it peaked at an all-time high of £8.37, but then quickly dropped off as the impact of the economic downturn saw households tightening their purse-strings.
Free money or “wages”?
This year’s survey shows that the number of children expected to work for their pocket money, by doing household chores, has reduced in the past 12 months, with just under three fifths (59%) of kids now expected to work in return for their weekly allowance, a reduction of six percentage points compared to 2014 (65%).
Bedroom tidying remains the most common task that children have to do, with 64% of children who are expected to do chores undertaking this job. This is followed by washing up (35%), cleaning (35%) and vacuuming (30%). Interestingly, one in four (26%) kids who get pocket money in return for doing jobs around the house count their homework as one such job.
Giles Martin, Head of Halifax Savings, said:
“Our research shows most parents are clearly very generous when it comes to how much pocket money they give their children, having given higher percentage increases, on average, than they’ve seen in their own pay packets for many years.
“It’s surprising to see that in the last year, the number of parents who ask their children to do chores in return for their pocket money has decreased. Earning money can help children understand its value as well as giving them the opportunity to build strong savings habits from a young age.”
Boys versus girls
This year significantly fewer girls are being asked to do chores in return for their weekly cash than boys. In 2014, there was little difference between the sexes, with 66% of boys and 65% of girls expected to do work around the house. This year, the gap has widened to 64% boys and 53% of girls.
Children aged 11 are most likely to have to complete chores in return for their pocket money, with almost two thirds (64%) undertaking these tasks. Eight year olds are the least likely, with only half (50%) expected to work in return for their allowance.