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The great pocket money debate

Parents of kids in the age range of about eight to sixteen might find themselves at a loss (literally) if they’re trying to keep up with the Jones in terms of how much pocket money they give their kids and what sort of control they exercise over how it’s spent. There are quite a few different opinions on the subject, ranging from one extreme to the other.

Most parents believe that kids should not be given spending money unless they do something to ‘earn’ it – but that faction also has factions. Some think that simply staying out of major trouble rates an allowance, others feel a child must perform specific chores or other requirements of the parents’ choosing before they receive any monetary reward.

Recent surveys have revealed that the vast majority(8 out of 10)of British parents supply their kids with pocket money; the average amount came out to around £6 per week per child. Boys had it better than girls by about half a pound, and London kids had it best of all, with an average of £7.63, whereas in the South West the average per child was only £5.15. Still, the overall average is about 36p more than it was in 2010, in spite of the stingy economic climate.

The survey by PktMny also indicated that about 75% of parents give their kids cash as opposed to about 10% who provide it via bank transfers, but annual pocket money in the UK adds up to nearly £2 billion per year. Most experts in child psychology agree that ‘financial incentives’ can be valuable in teaching kids about money management, but it’s not the ideal arrangement for every family. Louise Hill, founder and COO of PkyMny, said, “It’s time we recognise the spending power of children and make sure they have access to ways of keeping track of spending and managing their money wisely.”

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