THE £2.68 BILLION POCKET MONEY ECONOMY

  • Pocket money costs UK parents £2,688,583,693 annually*
  • Children as young as one year old are being given pocket money by their parents
  • Just one in five (21%) parents believe they should pay their children to help out with chores
  • Children in London get paid £52 more than their northern peers each year

Pocket money can be a tricky subject to navigate. When should it start? How much should you give? Should you even give any?

Online retailer, Furniture Choice, polled parents across the UK to find out what, when and how much pocket money children get each week, as well as how much they are paid for helping with household chores.

For children under 16 years old, the average pocket money paid works out as £3.94 a week. However, there is a clear north/south divide: those in London claim an average £4.81 a week, while those in the north get just £3.80.

The research also revealed that more than a third (39%) of children aged one year and under get pocket money each week, although for many (24%) this amounts to less than 50p. This bumps up to £1.97 a week for children up to five years old, while the average 6 – 11 year old gets paid £3.14 each week. For children older than this, the amount doubles; 12 – 16 year olds get an average of £6.71 a week – amounting to £348.92 over the year.

For each year their age increases, the average amount of pocket money given to a child goes up by 10%. The biggest increase is when children aged 10 – 11 turn 12 – 13; there’s a 34% increase between the average weekly amount given.

On top of pocket money, children also receive money for helping out with household tasks. One in five (21%) parents believe children should be paid every time they do a chore, with the main reason (55%) given that it teaches the value of money. Nearly half (43%) do so as they feel it helps their children learn how to spend wisely, and 39% believe that being paid for jobs helps their children understand money management.

Commenting on the research, parenting specialist and coach Elizabeth O’Shea says “Children should be doing jobs for free, because they’re part of a family. However, once those jobs are complete, it’s good to allow children to earn pocket money through chores. Pocket money and earning money is important for children, as it helps them learn budgeting and money management for the future”.

The research also showed cleaning the car is the highest-paying errand, with the average parent paying £2.54. Mowing the lawn (£2.39) and ironing (£2.19) are the next two high-earners.

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The highest paying chores for children are:

  1. Cleaning the car (£2.54)
  2. Mowing the lawn (£2.38)
  3. Ironing (£2.19)
  4. Sweeping the garden (£1.86)
  5. Cleaning up after family pet (£1.78)
  6. Doing the laundry (£1.74)
  7. Hoovering (£1.66)
  8. Loading/ unloading dishwasher (£1.63)
  9. Washing up (£1.57)
  10. Dusting (£1.53)

Elizabeth suggests that “A child could earn one to two pounds an hour for chores, and a teenager could earn four to six pounds an hour, although that should depend on the finances available and the quality of the job done. As parents, we have a negative view of chores, but children can enjoy completing them, as it makes them feel grown up. Completing chores can also boost their self-esteem, confidence and ability to care for themselves.”

Elizabeth’s practical advice on pocket money is to “allow the child to spend 40% of the pocket money, save 50% and give 10% to their chosen charity.”

Tom Obbard from Furniture Choice said: “It’s great to see parents who participated in our research already follow Elizabeth’s advice when it comes to having set chores, and additional chores paid for. Starting kids early can actually be a great way to encourage them to like helping out around the house; giving a dust rag to your toddler to ‘help’ while you hoover, for instance.”

For tips on how to manage pocket money in your household, visit  https://www.furniturechoice.co.uk/blog/guide/top-pocket-money-apps-parents-kids/

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