Adults get pocket money: when will offspring grow up?

Why are parents still giving their adult children pocket money?

Pocket money: when are kids too old?

Pocket money is a vital first experience of having cash of our own to spend as we want. Some 61% of parents start giving their children cash when they are under the age of eight, so they can experience the joy of deciding between a bag of sweets and a comic. At this age, handing over pocket money makes perfect sense. However, a new study has revealed that almost half of parents will still be paying out a regular allowance more than ten years later.

See also: 15 easy ways to teach kids about money

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The study, by Loans at Home, found that we're keen to get kids to learn the value of money when they are younger. Some 60% of parents use pocket money as an introduction to money-management, while 56% pay their children to do chores around the house.

Older children

However, as they get older, parents seem to lose their drive to teach kids about cash. They're not persuading them to earn their own cash, or cut the apron strings and make their own way in the world. Instead 41% of parents are still giving the kids pocket money when they are over the age of 18 to help them maintain their social life.

If the children are going on to study, it's easy to see why parents continue to fork out for them. They may well be facing loans for their fees, they have to pay rent for the first time, and they need to meet all the costs of living. And while many will get a part time job to make ends meet, many more will need the bank of Mum and Dad to help them pay their way through university without adding even more to their own personal debt mountain.

However, even when adult offspring are in a position to work, they are coming back for more. Moving from living on a household income provided by two adults at the peak of their career, to one with one adult who is starting at the bottom is an adjustment - and one that parents and children may not be prepared to make. It's no wonder that many parents feel duty bound to help them with bills, the rent, and the cost of living.

Unfortunately, the longer this continues, the harder it is to call it a day. There will always be a better smartphone, a bigger TV package and a more expensive lifestyle to fund: it's highly unlikely their level of pay will be rising fast enough to cover it alone.

It means that any parents still subsidising the lifestyle of their adult children, will have to ask themselves when they will ever start fending for themselves. Will you have the courage to call it a day, or will you still be paying them pocket money when they come to visit you in the nursing home?

What do you think? When is it the right time to let kids fend for themselves? Let us know in the comments.



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