A third of children as young as eight lending their parents money

The Momentum UK Team 13 August 2012

Almost 90% of children are bearing some of the burden of their parents’ financial worries and 29% said they had lent money to help out, according to a report by Halifax.

The annual Pocket Money Survey has revealed that 88% of children aged between eight and fifteen know that their parents are worried about money while 58% worry about financial issues themselves.

One in five of the 1,139 participants believe that their parents worry about money ‘all the time’ and just 3% claimed that their parents never worried about it at all.

Richard Fearon, Head of Halifax Savings said:

“It is concerning that children are becoming anxious about their parents' money worries but this highlights that children are really aware of the financial behaviour of the people around them.”

London children worry more

Differences in the level of children’s worries were identified according to their age and geographical location.

Children in northern regions such as Yorkshire and the Humberside worry the least about money with just 50% of kids admitting concerns compared to 64% of children in London.

Age variations were also prominent and the general pattern identified by the study was that the younger children are, the less they worry about financial issues. 57% of eight years olds said that they ‘never’ worry about money compared to 21% of 15 year olds.

Older children were also more conscious of their parents’ monetary woes. Yet in spite of this, they borrow more money from their parents with almost one in four 12-15 year olds taking money from their parents compared to 11% of 8-11 year olds.

Nine year olds were most likely to lend their parents money with almost half (47%) doing so compared to 21% of 15 year olds.

Raised awareness

Children’s financial awareness has reflected in the number of children actively saving in recent times. Halifax’s child savings account openings were up 20% between April and June 2012 with balances growing 6%.

Fearon commented:

“As a result of an increased financial awareness amongst under 16s there has been a positive shift towards children's savings which can enable them to take control of their money and learn how to manage it from a early age.”

“By introducing positive saving and spending practices from an early age, children can get into habits that will help them to manage their money as they grow up and understand the benefits of saving in both the long and short term.”