Fathers: Work for your pocket money

Updated: 
child's hand with coinsFathers are more likely than mothers to make their children "work" for their pocket money by setting them household chores, a study has suggested.

Parents living in Scotland, the North East and Yorkshire also tend to be more inclined towards encouraging their offspring to earn their spending money through housework, with around one in four people in these regions saying they did this, Halifax found.


Across Britain, more than one-quarter (26%) of fathers said they link their children's pocket money to the errands they perform around the house, compared with just over one-fifth (22%) of mothers who did this.

Women were more likely than men to base the amount of cash they hand out on being at a level which they feel will help their child understand the value of money, with 44% of women saying this compared with 40% of men.

In what could be seen as a further indication that consumer confidence is rising, the findings also show that across Britain, children and teenagers have typically had an inflation-busting 9% pocket money pay rise compared with a year ago, and now receive around £6.50 a week.

Youngsters in London tend to get the most pocket money, at £7.60 typically, while those in the South West receive the smallest average amounts at £5.29.

Fewer young people are generally unhappy with the level of pocket money they receive, with 41% believing they should get more, dropping from 43% when similar research was carried out in 2012. More than half (53%) of eight to 15-year-olds believe they get about the right amount of cash from their parents, up from 48% last year.

The research found that seven out of 10 (69%) young people will spend the half term doing some household chores, whether or not they are being paid for it, with tidying bedrooms topping the list of errands, followed by washing up and cleaning.

Three-fifths (59%) of parents also said they would cut of the flow of pocket money for bad behaviour. Children in Wales and the West are the most likely to see the "bank of mum and dad" close its doors if they are naughty, with 70% of parents in these areas saying this.

London parents appeared the most lenient, with less than half (47%) saying they would stop pocket money as a punishment.

More than three-quarters (78%) of parents in Scotland believe their children understand the value of money, marking the highest proportion in the survey.

Parents in Wales and the West are the least likely to think their children know the value of money, with less than half (48%) of parents there believing they do.

Separate research by Government-backed body the Money Advice Service (MAS) suggested this week that young people approaching adulthood have been "heavily influenced" by their parents' good and bad financial habits.

It found that young people whose families often get behind with their bills are also more likely to be bad at budgeting themselves, while those whose parents have good financial habits are better at living within their means.

Richard Fearon, head of Halifax Savings, said: "There are many different ways that parents can help their children's financial understanding.

"Whether it's through hard work, good behaviour or simply by saving their pennies and spending them more wisely, it's great to see children getting first-hand experience of managing their own money, which will be of real benefit as they grow up."

More than 1,800 children, teenagers and parents took part in the Halifax study.

Here are the average sums of pocket money received each week by children and teenagers by region, according to Halifax:
  • Scotland, £6.71
  • North East, £6.71
  • North West, £6.93
  • Yorkshire and Humberside, £6.27
  • East Midlands, £6.69
  • West Midlands, £6.33
  • East Anglia, £6.20
  • London, £7.60
  • South East, £6.08
  • South West, £5.29
  • Wales, £6.15
  • Britain average, £6.50

© 2013 Press Association