/ Money, Parenting

How much pocket money is right?

Boy saving money into piggy bank

It’s official – pocket money’s on the decrease and kids are getting less from their folks than they have done for years. So has the recession finally hit the younger generation?

What’s the right amount of pocket money to give your child? It’s a tough one – give them too little and you won’t encourage them to save, too much and they don’t appreciate the value of money.

So how much does the average parent give? Halifax’s latest research suggests that most eight to fifteen year-olds get £5.89 a week. Sound like a lot? It’s actually dropped to below £6 a week for the first time since 2003, and back in 2005 lucky recipients cashed in on £8.37 a week.

Spend versus save

Is it a sign of our economic times, then, that parents are cutting back on hand-outs? Are children and teens the latest victim of the recession?

Maybe, but only last week we discussed how parents are spending an average of £438 on their kids’ gadgets each year. Your responses were mixed, but most thought it was over-the-top, with Sophie Gilbert saying, “We spend too much on children”.

Still, it seems today’s youngsters are clued-up when it comes to putting away a penny or two. They save around 37% of their pocket money each week – or an impressive £2.15.

The gender gap

But the most depressing part of this research for me is the fact that boys are paid 40p more on average than girls (down from a whopping £1.30 last year). Excuse me? Why do boys need more money than girls?

Could it be that boys aren’t as good at saving as girls – or do girls just have to get prepared for the real world where an unfair pay gap awaits them?

Either way, there are plenty of enterprising solutions the younger generation can use to save themselves from being skint. For me it was ironing for my mum, but washing cars, babysitting and dog walking could all help to supplement that plummeting pocket money. After all, it didn’t do Duncan Bannatyne any harm.


We give our son pocket money in return he does chores and what we do is if he does all his chores each week without any reminders he gets full pocket money of £10 a week and if he has more than a couple of huge reminders for example being plain defiant then his pocket money is reduced to £7 a week. Obviously if we go out somewhere or on a trip we spoil him and use our own money to put towards if he doesn’t have enough. He usually uses his pocket money to save up for playstation games and things he sees when were out shopping. I feel it’s important that they learn the value of pocket money as soon as possible so to learn how to use it is important they know how to add how much they are spending and how much change they need, some children like mine have real difficulties grasping this.

Hmmm…. I got a comic and 3p a week – and had to do chores because my parents told me to – it was called ” a part of family life”.

If I wanted more I asked neighbours if they had jobs I could do for a few pence. Normally had one or two a week – kept me in sweets and comics. In the summer I hunted butterfly and moth Larvae and sold the pretty or interesting ones to school friends – Oh and there was my paper round.

Certainly impressed upon me the value of things – and may explain why I was always in employment.

My children were raised in the same way – though the pocket money quadrupled to a whole shilling each. Strangely they also had a good idea of the value of things and are now successful.

a father says:
9 July 2011

There’s no way I could afford to pay my kids £5.89 a week (I have three still at school and have had to live off unemployment benefits for the past three years). I use a formula of 10p per year of age at primary school and 20p per year of age at secondary school, although recently I have added an extra 50p to my sixteen year old’s pocket money. No wonder their friends always have more money than them. Come to think of it it their friends have more money than me. A lot more in some cases.

Jordan Poulton says:
30 August 2012

We wrote an article about this for my Social Enterprise – The Lemonade Stand:


We exist to give kids the tools and guidance they need to become entrepreneurs – so they don’t need any pocket money 🙂

Comments would be most welcome