Money management starts early: 63% of 4 year olds get weekly pocket money

The Momentum UK Team 13 March 2014

Many UK toddlers are being educated about financial management by their parents, with half of three year olds receiving an allowance of up to £1 a week, a new study has shown.

The study by thinkmoney shows that the amount of pocket money given differs by age, and that most parents begin giving pocket money to their children at around three years old. Three and four year olds are more likely to receive pence, while half of five year olds are given up to £2 a week.

From the age of five to 11, the sum given in pocket money typically rises each year by 50 pence, reaching an average of between £4.51 and £5 by the age of 12. 15 year olds are the age group most likely to be given an allowance, and receive the most weekly pocket money of all, at an average of £7.01 to £8. 91% of parents give pocket money to their 15 year old, compared to 63% who give spending money to their four year old.

While many parents are keen to engage their children in good money management early on, nearly half surveyed said they did not always remember to hand out their child’s pocket money each week. 29.1% said they sometimes remembered, while 18.7% said they rarely did.

Perhaps surprisingly, more than half of parents admitted to borrowing from their child’s piggy bank or pocket money in the past. 37.2% have paid it back, but nearly 14% admitted they hadn’t.

Ian Williams, Spokesman for thinkmoney, commented:

“There’s no wrong age to start teaching children the importance of budgeting, saving and money management, and giving kids a few pence each week is a great way for them to start learning. In particular, if children can be encouraged to save up for larger items this might help develop a culture of thrift that will stand them in good stead in later life.”