Halifax

Down with the quids: children expect to earn over a million

25 May 2018

  • Loaf of bread costs £15, according to youngsters
  • Teachers earn six-figure pay packets
  • Average home costs half a million

Children want to earn £4 million a year, but think they’ll only earn £1.5 million a year – still a whopping 50 times the current average salary – according to a Halifax study on the money expectations of 8-15 year-olds.

It also revealed a gap in gender pay expectations – boys said they expect to earn £2 million whereas girls said they expect to earn £1.1 million.

£17 for a pint of milk

Children are also vastly overestimating the current costs of everyday life. Bakers and supermarkets will raise eyebrows at the thought of a loaf of bread costing £15 or a pint of milk costing £17 – more than 10 times and more than 30 times their actual costs respectively. Whilst children tend to exaggerate costs, they fall short on the actual cost of school uniform, which sets parents back by an average of £213.

Table 1: Current costs of everyday life

Everyday items

Cost – according to children

Actual cost

Loaf of bread

£15

£1.06

Pint of milk

£17

44p

Weekly food shop

£240

£58

School uniform

£180

£213

Holidays

£6,400

£3,100

Car

£67,000

£18,000

House

£485,000

£220,000

Source: see footnotes

Emma Bradley, parenting expert and award-winning blogger, said: “Even if children help with the weekly shop, they don’t always appreciate the cost of what you’re buying. It’s really important children understand the value of money, and the sooner the better. My 18 year-old is heading to university soon and I hope we’ve given her the skills needed to budget and not live off baked beans!”

Six-figure salaries for teachers

Children are also overestimating average salaries. Those wanting to follow in the footsteps of their teacher may be disappointed to find that they don’t earn a bumper six-figure pay packet. However, those wanting to earn £4 million as a Premier League footballer aren’t too far off.

Table 2: Annual salary of different jobs

Job

Salary – according to children

Actual salary

School teacher

£110,000

Starting from £23,000

Doctor

£271,000

Starting from £27,000

Prime Minister

£3 million

£150,000

Premier League footballer

£4 million

£2.6 million

Source: see footnotes

Giles Martin, Head of Savings at Halifax, said:“Children who want to be a footballer or a doctor when they grow up may be in for a shock, but at least a loaf of bread is much cheaper than they thought. We know that children look to their parents to learn about money and its value, and fortunately there are many simple things that parents can do to help build this knowledge.”

Retiring at 56

Children may also be sorely disappointed by how long they’ll be working. They said they want to retire at 56, but little do they know they may have to work a further 12 years to get to the current state pension age of 68. The pension age could increase further by the time today’s children reach that milestone.

Nevertheless, four fifths of parents insist their children understand the value of money, and 84% said they were confident teaching their children about money. Girls are already more confident than boys at explaining the meaning of different terms like ‘bank account’ and parents can play an important role in providing a broad financial education.

Five tips from Halifax for talking to your children about money

  1. Encourage the savings habit from a young age: use a piggy bank or savings jar to make savings fun.
  2. Give them pocket money: teach them to manage their money by giving them a regular income from pocket money in return for doing chores.
  3. Open a regular savings account: this will help children understand about saving, interest and how to manage an account.
  4. Talk to your children about bills: when you receive bills, this can be an opportunity to explain all the different things that cost money and how you use your earnings to pay for it.
  5. Get them involved in managing the family purse strings: take them to the supermarket and get them involved to help them build an appreciation of the cost of everyday items.
Full press release