How Much Pocket Money Should I Give My Child?
What is the right amount of pocket money to give your child? There's no right answer here, and it depends on how much you can afford and what you think is reasonable. There have been numerous surveys conducted which give a rough idea of how much parents are giving their children.
According to GoHenry’s Youth Economy Report 2022, in the UK the average amount of weekly pocket money is £7.62 and the amount given generally rises with age. In 2021, the weekly average ranged from £3.52 a week for 7 year olds to £9.70 a week for 14 year olds and £14.79 a week for 18 year olds.
A survey of NatWest Rooster Money users found that the average weekly pocket money in the UK was £6.14, with £3.21 a week for 4 year olds, increasing to £11.64 a week for 14 year olds. The survey suggested that Saturday was the most popular day to give pocket money and 65% of parents chose to give a regular allowance.
Research from Barclays showed that over two thirds (68%) of parents reward their children with pocket money for doing chores around the home. 74% of parents said that their children would have to do more jobs around the house to get a pocket money pay rise this year. The research also showed that 22% of parents now give pocket money via bank transfer, rather than the traditional cash-in-hand.
The research from Barclays suggests that children will receive an average of £7.58 a week this year, up from £6.97 a week last year. However, research from Halifax (of parents of children aged 8 to 15) suggests that the average amount that is going into the pockets of under-16s each week is £4.99 this year, compared to £6.48 last year.
Should I give my child pocket money?
The giving of regular pocket money is more important than the amount you decide to give your child. My 2 boys are 7 years old and we give them pocket money when they do chores, such as tidying their room or hoovering. The amount varies between 50p and £2, depending on the task. I've never seen them want to tidy their room so much!
Giving regular pocket money teaches children about earning, saving, budgeting and spending. They start to understand how much things cost, the value of money and how to save towards something they want, which also teaches them about patience. They also learn about prioritising as they usually want many different things. My boys have a GoHenry card and they check their balances on their accounts and use the card in the shops. It's interesting to see how price sensitive they become when they use their own money rather than mine! I also love how happy they are when they see sweets they like that are on offer. They're like mini David Dickinson's!
Giving children the opportunity to spend their own money will help them decide how they spend it, when they spend it and whether they want to save it. Of course, they will make mistakes, but they will learn from them. It's good to encourage children to think about saving for more expensive items that they may want instead of more immediate treats as it gets them to think about immediate needs and wants versus future needs and wants. You can work with them to figure out how much they will need to save each week and for how long, to reach their goal amount. Some kind of visual plan with key milestones, which they can tick off along the way, is a great way to demonstrate progress and get your child excited about watching their savings grow.
I think it's important to start teaching children about money from an early age. It's good to have open conversations about money with your children, and teach them about how it works in everyday life. I also give money based on a task, and not the time it takes to do the task. They usually come up with ways to do the task quicker which teaches them to work more efficiently. When your child gets older, you could give them a monthly allowance instead of a weekly allowance to help them get used to making their money last for longer.