Our recent Youth Economy Report found that GoHenry children earned a whopping £148 million throughout 2021. This sizeable amount came from regular pocket money payments, gifts and for the completion of paid tasks. The same report found that children’s weekly earnings now stand at an average of £8.20, a 9% increase on the year before. Surprisingly, kids' pocket money payments have risen more than double the average weekly wage growth for adults.
But you are probably wondering how much pocket money you should give to your kids? Should you even be giving your kids pocket money for doing chores? We’ve looked at a range of sources and feedback from parents to give you the lowdown on pocket money, to help you decide how much pocket money is right for your kids.
What is pocket money for?
Perhaps think about this before you consider anything else. Is pocket money a reward for tasks you set or is it a regular allowance?
“The simplest piece of advice” says Louise Hill, COO and Co-founder of GoHenry is to give your child some money, however little, so that they can make their own decisions about how to spend it. This really is the start of their money management journey and will help them learn lessons around budgeting, saving and spending responsibly.”
Pocket money has many pros and cons and is given for a variety of reasons. It is often awarded by parents or grandparents. It can be used by children to spend on items they need or want. Pocket money can be saved up in order to buy things that cost a larger sum of money such as big-ticket items like laptops, phones or bikes.
Just as adults organise their finances around payday, children too get used to managing their money when it’s paid regularly. To help children get used to managing a budget, many parents find it's helpful to pay pocket money on a weekly basis. The GoHenry Youth Economy Report highlights that the most popular day of the week for receiving pocket money is Friday followed by Saturday.
But when and how often you give pocket money is your decision to make. Apps like GoHenry enable you to set up scheduled payments so you don’t have to remember to keep exact amounts of cash at hand. With online money apps, you can also amend payments, stop them altogether or pay extra at the click of a button.
Weekly average pocket money by age in the UK
According to GoHenry’s Youth Economy Report the average amount of weekly pocket money in the UK is £7.62 and the amount given generally rises with age. Here are 2021 weekly averages for the UK and it’s worth noting that whilst these figures are averages, pocket money enables children to learn about earning, saving and spending. The amount given is less important than the purpose it serves.
- 7 year old: £3.52
- 8 year old: £3.75
- 9 year old: £4.12
- 10 year old: £4.58
- 11 year old: £5.34
- 12 year old: £6.49
- 13 year old: £8.09
- 14 year old: £9.70
- 15 year old: £11.54
- 16 year old: £13.32
- 17 year old: £14.52
- 18 year old: £14.79
Remember, these are averages and just a guideline. How much you choose to give is based on what you can afford and what you think is fair. Paying your children regular pocket money is more important than the amount you give. Teaching them how to manage that regular payment, no matter how big or small, enables kids to learn about saving, spending and budgeting from a young age.
How much pocket money should I give per chore?
“Earning their own money helps kids to understand both the value of earning and the value of money by helping them to appreciate the connection between work and financial gain.”
Beth Zemble, VP of Education GoHenry
You're not going to reward a 6 year old for picking up toys in the same way you'd reward a 10 year old for making their bed and a 15 year old for mowing the lawn/washing the car. However, it's useful to have an idea of how much other parents are spending per task.
The GoHenry Youth Economy Report is a handy compilation of all things pocket money related. It will help you decide what chores are worth and which paid tasks are popular.
- Tidying room – earns an average of £1.03
- doing homework – earns an average of £1.18
- Loading or unloading the dishwasher – earns an average of £0.88
- Make the bed – earns an average of £0.81
- Put clothes away – earns an average of £0.70
- Vacuuming – earns an average of £1.20
- Emptying bins – earns an average of £0.76
- Brushing teeth – earns an average of £0.70
- Feeding pets – earns an average of £0.88
- Getting ready for school – earns an average of £0.74
How much pocket money can you afford?
Everyone is going to have different ideas about how much pocket money is enough. The latest GoHenry Youth Report shows that even though kids’ weekly allowances have increased by up to 13% since 2020, at least 4 in 10 kids say that they’re still not earning enough.
If you're already paying for clothes, trips to the cinema, and other treats, consider whether you're going to factor these into the amount of pocket money you give. It might not be feasible to give pocket money and treats. Giving an amount that addresses money for necessities and treats can help children learn to budget from a young age.
When you are deciding how much pocket money is right for your children, think about how much you are happy for them to spend and whether you want them to save. It doesn’t matter if they’re using a piggy bank or an online money app, they can still put money away for a rainy day.
Budget for your children's wants vs needs
Understanding wants and needs takes patience and practice. Recognising that what we spend today will mean less tomorrow may be a lesson learnt when savings are depleted.
When deciding how much pocket money you’re prepared to give, include your children in the conversation. Be clear on what will be funded by you and what they will be expected to pay for. This will not only teach them early budgeting skills, it may even potentially change the way they spend their money. If sweets and gadgets become their financial responsibility, buying both might not seem as necessary anymore.
Set out conditions such as the completion of chores to earn pocket money
How and why pocket money is given comes down to individual choice and what works best for your family.
Pocket money can be given as a reward for completing a set of given tasks. Pairing the payment of pocket money with finishing household chores can teach children that money needs to be earned and that hard work pays off.
Have a list on the fridge of the chores that are set. This way children can see what the expectations are and ensure they do each job. Alternatively, you can set up chores lists on apps such as GoHenry. This way children can virtually tick off their chores as they finish them.
Discover how easy it is to set up pocket money payments with GoHenry
Most of us are carrying much less cash around than we used to. When our children stand in front of us expecting pocket money or payment for a job well done, we might not always have the correct money in our pockets. If you use a pocket money app, getting that payment to your kids only involves the click of a button.
Only you can decide if you can afford to give your kids pocket money and what amount this is going to be. We recommend that you set out a clear plan as to how you expect pocket money to be earned and set agreed goals about budgeting and saving. An online GoHenry account can support your children as they navigate the world of money while giving them the freedom and independence to manage their cash in a fulfilling way as they prepare for adulthood.