Video/Poll: How much pocket money do your children get? Parents in East Anglia are tightening the purse strings
11:22 25 July 2014
Children in East Anglia receive the lowest rate of pocket money in the country, according to an annual survey.
National average weekly pocket money, by year:
1987 - £1.13
1988 - £1.24
1992 - £1.48
1994 - £1.25
1995 - £1.78
1996 - £1.70
1997 - £1.67
1998 - £1.76
2000 - £3.60
2001 - £2.81
2003 - £5.79
2004 - £7.82
2005 - £8.37
2006 - £8.20
2007 - £8.01
2008 - £6.13
2009 - £6.24
2010 - £5.89
2011 - £6.25
2012 - £5.98
2013 - £6.50
2014 - £6.35
Source: Halifax Pocket Money Survey
And the region has seen the second biggest drop nationally, with average weekly handouts from parents or guardians down 20.4%– from £6.20 in 2013 to £5.15 in 2014.
The annual Halifax pocket money survey examines the saving and spending habits of eight to 15-year-olds.
Nationwide, the average amount given out to youngsters has fallen 2.4% in the last year, going down to £6.35 from a six-year high of £6.50 in 2013. The number of children receiving weekly pocket money has also marginally decreased down 2% to 82%.
Richard Fearon, head of Halifax Savings, said: “Pocket money is a great tool to help young people learn the value of money, and to start the habits of saving and money management early on.
“Whilst the amount of pocket money children are getting has reduced slightly, it remains encouraging that many are satisfied with the money they receive, and that so many are choosing to save the money they are given.”
Almost half (48%) of the children surveyed feel they receive the ‘right amount’ of pocket money, two fifths (43%) think they should be getting more money, and a quarter (25%) believe their friends get more money.
Martin Jones, manager of the money advice service at Anglia Care Trust, said: “We provide a range of services across Suffolk that support families which are experiencing difficulties, one of the effects of the economic squeeze which we have seen is that families are having to find ways to cut back on household expenditure, including reducing pocket money for their children.”
The survey shows a larger proportion of boys (84%) receive pocket money than girls (79%), getting, on average, 5% more money.
Boys receive an average of £6.50 per week in pocket money, compared to just £6.15 for girls; meaning girls are missing out on almost £20 a year compared to their male peers.
Girls are not only getting less money but are also required to work harder for their cash, with pocket money for girls more closely linked to carrying out household chores.
For tidying the bedroom it is 45% for girls and 39% for boys; for washing up 27% and 24%; and for cleaning it is 28% and 21%.
Jane Windle-Hartshorn, area manager for the parent and family support advice organisation Family Lives, said: “Aside from a lot of families struggling to make ends meet, many parents do other things rather than give cash such as topping up their mobile phones. Also it could be that parents do not want their children to have a lot of cash in their pockets due to worries around accessibility of alcohol, tobacco and drugs.
“And finally the changes in being eligible for child benefit could also have had an impact.”
Londoners saw the largest increase with an inflation topping 8% jump in weekly payments, meaning they receive the most pocket money with an average of £8.26 a week – a difference of over £160 a year to children in the East.
‘She has to unload the dishwasher and help out around the house’
The national figures seem to add up as parents and children on the streets of Ipswich shared their pocket money habits.
Shanice Brown, a 28-year-old full-time mum from Rushmere, who has four children aged 10, eight, six and four, said: “If they get pocket money they have to do chores for it.
“If they do the hoovering they get 50p, if they do my hair they might get a pound.”
When Sylvia Mitchell, 49, also from Rushmere, who has two boys aged 14 and 11, was asked if she gave them pocket money, she said: “Yes £1 a week, if they wash up, wipe up, and generally help me put washing out.”
She said her boys did not have a savings account as they “spend it when they get it.”
Kathlyn Ross, 39, from Foxhall Road, Ipswich, has a 14-year-old daughter, Olivia, who gets £15 a month.
She said: “It’s put into her bank account, and I also pay for her phone contract.
“She has to unload the dishwasher and help out around the house.”
Leon Damons, 27, from Woodbridge, gives his seven-year-old £5 a week “if they behave themselves and make sure the house is clean and bedroom is clean.”
Barbara Carter, 57, from Whitton, gives her 15-year-old daughter Phoebe pocket money by paying for her interests outside of school.
When asked if Phoebe does chores for her money, Ms Carter said: “You’ve got to be joking!”
Jade Murray, 23, a full-time mum from Gainsborough, has two children aged two and three and said she would give her children £5 a week when they were older.
“I’ll probably just give it to them, I will try to get them to do chores but they would still get it if they don’t,” she said.
Nichola Halls, 38, from Dales Road, Ipswich, does not give her 12-year-old daughter any pocket money, but added: “If she wants anything she can have it.”