With half term on the horizon, seven out of ten children (69 percent) are set to spend at least some of it doing household chores, according to the latest research from Halifax.
Tidying bedrooms (47%) tops the list of errands that the UK’s 8-15 year olds will be embarking on in exchange for pocket money, followed by washing up (27%), cleaning (24%), vacuuming (22%) and doing homework (20%).
While the majority of kids will be earning their keep, 30% are still set to get paid without having to work for it, so how exactly are the ‘wages’ of our pre-work population set?
The majority of parents who give their children pocket money base the amount they give on what they believe will help their children understand the value of money (42%) although one in four (24%) say the amount has to be earned through housework.
Parents in Scotland, the North East and Yorkshire are the most likely (22%) to encourage their children to earn their money through housework while those in the North West are least likely (7%) to align hard cash with hard work, and twice as many parents here (15%) prefer to simply give their children just as much as they can afford.
Dads are more likely than mums to make their kids earn their keep through household chores (26% vs. 22%), although more women than men (44% vs 40%) set the amount of pocket money at a level which they think will help their children understand the value of money.
Richard Fearon, Head of Halifax Savings, says: “There are many different ways that parents can help their children’s financial understanding. Whether it’s through hard work, good behaviour or simply by saving their pennies and spending them more wisely, it’s great to see children getting first hand experience of managing their own money, which will be of real benefit as they grow up.”
Bigger bucks for better behaviour
The majority of parents also said that they would be most likely to stop giving pocket money as a punishment for bad behaviour (59%). While there is little difference between mums and dads where this is concerned (59% vs. 58%), regionally children in Wales and the West are much more likely to see their spending money sacrificed if they are naughty (70%) than those in London, where parents appear to be the most lenient (47%).
Financial lessons learned
61% of parents believe their children do understand the value of money so it would seem that, whether earned through hard work or simply spend it wisely, the efforts that parents are making to help their children are paying off. More parents in Scotland (78%) believe their children understand the value of money than anywhere else; this is compared to the fewest, less than half (48%), in Wales and the West.
When comparing this parental perspective to children’s attitudes towards getting the things they want, it also seems to be working. Children claim they are actually less likely to rely on pester power (18%) to get what they want than they are to save up for something (33%) or hold out for it until their birthday or Christmas (42%).
The number of children who think that they should get more pocket money has also fallen slightly since 2012, from 43% to 41%, with the number of 8-15 year olds believing that they get the right amount now standing at 53% compared to 48% last year.
Table 1 – Pocket money by region given by parents