How much pocket money should we give our kids?

How much pocket money should we give our kids?

Our latest research has found that GoHenry children earned a whopping £219 million throughout 2022. This sizeable amount came from regular pocket money payments, gifts and the completion of paid tasks. 

 

The same research has found that children’s weekly pocket money now stands at an average of £7.54 per child. With 14-year-olds seeing their pocket money increase by 2.5% compared to the previous year, with a weekly average of £12.15. 

 

But you may wonder how much pocket money you should give your kids and if you should be giving your kids extra cash for doing chores. To help, we’ve looked at various sources, plus feedback from parents, to help you work out the going rate.

 

Weekly average pocket money by age in the UK

According to our research, the average weekly pocket money in the UK is £7.54 per child, and the amount given generally rises with age. It’s worth noting that these figures are averages, and the amount given is less important than the purpose it serves, as pocket money enables children to learn about earning, saving and spending. 

 

Says parenting expert Tanith Carey, author of What’s My Child Thinking? “Until the age of about seven, money is an abstract concept. It takes several stages of development and moving into the more logical, concrete operational stage of cognitive development to understand what money is. Giving kids a fixed income from this age, at the same time each week, to manage by themselves is a really helpful way to teach them the value of money and to help them understand that money is not an unlimited resource.”

 

Here are the weekly averages for the UK, in 2022:

 

Age

Pocket money weekly average (2022)

Pocket money weekly average (2021)

6 year old

£3.04 

£3.46

7 year old

£3.26 

£3.59

8 year old

£3.67 

£3.99

9 year old

£4.12 

£4.50

10 year old

£4.90 

£5.27

11 year old

£6.21 

£6.56

12 year old

£8.14 

£8.34

13 year old

£10.31

£10.15

14 year old

£12.15 

£11.87

15 year old

£13.76 

£13.74

16 year old

£14.68 

£15.11

17 year old

£14.48 

£14.79

18 year old

£12.28 

£13.66

 

The above averages are just a guideline. How much you choose to give your child should be based on what you can afford and what you think is fair. 

 

Giving kids real-world experiences with their own money, no matter how little they receive, will teach them how to start managing their pocket money and help them to understand saving, spending and budgeting.

 

The pocket money pay gap

In terms of pocket money and gender, girls of all ages saw the weekly average amount of pocket money decline, apart from 14-year-olds whose average weekly earnings increased by 0.1%. 

 

The average weekly pocket money for boys was more likely to increase: 14 year-old boys now earn an average of £11.83, an increase of 5.1%, and 13-year-olds now earn an average of £10, an increase of 4%.

 

How much pocket money should I give per chore? 

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to pay for chores is up to you.

 

It’s important to decide what is best for your family, but research shows that when children are paid for their chores, they learn to work hard to earn money. This can help them develop a strong work ethic and a sense of responsibility. 

 

Beth Zemble, VP of Education, GoHenry says: “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.”

Here are some tips for paying for chores to help you make the best decision for your family:

  • Set clear expectations. Let your children know what chores they are responsible for and how much they will be paid for each chore.

  • Be consistent. Pay your children on time and every time they complete a chore.

  • Be flexible. If your child has a hard time completing a chore, help them by amending the chore or the chore list.

  • Make it fun. Turn chores into a game or competition. This will help your children stay motivated and engaged.

Our latest research shows the most popular tasks and chores ranked according to the number of tasks completed.

 

No

Task/Chore

Avg cost per chore

1

Tidying room

£1.02

2

Making bed

£0.81

3

Load / empty dishwasher

£0.88

4

Put clothes away

£0.71

5

Homework 

£1.18

6

Brush teeth

£0.72

7

Read every day

£0.96

8

Rubbish/recycling

£0.77

9

Get ready for school

£0.77

10

Feed pets

£0.92

 

Related: How much to pay per chore?

Weekly pocket money by region

Our research shows that the amount of weekly pocket money varies according to region. In 2022, the most significant drop in pocket money payments was in the North East, where pocket money fell by 7.2% to a weekly average of £6.84. And the lowest drop was in London, where weekly average pocket money fell by 0.7% to £9.96 per week. 

 

 

Region

Avg weekly pocket money (2022)

Avg weekly pocket money (2021)

London 

£9.96 

£10.03

Scotland 

£8.09 

£8.14

South East

£7.85 

£7.93

East

£7.49

£7.65

North West

£7.04

£7.38

North East

£6.84

£7.37

South West

£6.78

£7.04

Yorkshire & The Humber

£6.77

£7.11

Wales

£6.58

£6.91

East Midlands

£6.57

£6.85

West Midlands

£6.46

£6.85

 

What is pocket money for?

It's up to your family to decide what pocket money is for. While pocket money has many pros and cons, many parents decide on it to help teach their kids about money, budgeting, saving and spending.

 

Says author Tanith Carey, “Giving pocket money on a regular basis plays an important part in teaching children how to control their impulses, learn patience, have willpower, and delay gratification. Stick to the same amount every week so they know how to work with a fixed amount.”

 

Whatever your reasons, it's important to talk to your children about the purpose of pocket money and to set some ground rules, such as how much they can spend each week and what they can and cannot buy. You should also monitor their spending habits together to ensure they spend their money wisely.

 

Top tips for deciding how much pocket money to give and when

Before you decide on pocket money, consider whether it’s a reward for tasks you set or a regular allowance – and also what you expect your child to use it for (which may differ from what they want it for).

 

“The simplest piece of advice,” says Louise Hill, CEO and Co-founder of GoHenry “, is to give your child some money, however little, so 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.”

 

As for what to consider, here are some pocket money thinking points:

1. How much pocket money can you afford?

Every parent will have a different idea about how much pocket money is enough. If you're already paying for clothes, trips to the cinema, and other treats, consider whether you’ll factor these into the amount of pocket money you give. Giving an amount that addresses money for necessities and treats can help children learn to budget.

 

When deciding how much pocket money is suitable, also think about how much you are happy for them to spend and how much you want them to save. It doesn't matter if they're using a piggy bank or an online money app; talk to them about the importance of weekly saving and setting saving goals.

 

As for the actual amount you decide on, this is also likely to be affected by your child’s age, where you live (see above for age and regional differences), their gender and even by how many children you have. 

 

2. Pay pocket money regularly

Just as adults organise their finances around payday, children also get used to managing their money when it’s paid regularly. To help children get used to sticking to a budget, many parents find it helpful to pay pocket money every week. GoHenry research also highlights that Friday is the most popular day of the week for receiving pocket money, followed by Saturday.

 

When and how often you give pocket money is your decision. Pocket money apps like GoHenry can help you set up scheduled payments so you don’t have to remember to keep exact amounts of cash. With online money apps, you can also amend payments, stop them altogether or top up your child's account at the click of a button.

 

3. Be clear about what pocket money is for

Getting your child to understand wants and needs takes patience and practice. So start by including your child in conversations about how much pocket money they will be given, what you will fund, and what they will be expected to pay for. 

 

Doing this will teach them early budgeting skills and may even change how they spend their money. If sweets and gadgets become their financial responsibility, buying both might not seem as necessary anymore.

 

Related: Does pocket money teach independence?

4. Set out conditions such as the completion of chores to earn pocket money

If you decide to pair the pocket money payment with finishing household chores, put a list on the fridge so children can see what they must do daily. Alternatively, you can set up chores lists on apps such as GoHenry. This way, your child can virtually tick off their chores as they finish them.

 

“If you believe”, says Tanith Carey, “that linking chores to pocket money sends a confusing message that they should be paid for something they should be doing anyway, suggest to your child that they can offer up their own ideas to earn over and above their weekly set pocket money amount, e.g. cleaning the car or mowing the lawn. This teaches useful lessons about how effort is linked to earning.”

 

If their pocket money is to pay for going out, friends’ birthdays or small items, be sure you don’t top up their money when they run out. Use this experience to teach them how they will lose out if they don’t manage their money more effectively.

 

Related: How to manage pocket money, 10 ways for kids to make pocket money, 5 ways teens can make pocket money

Set up pocket money payments with GoHenry

A GoHenry kids’ debit card or teen debit card can help cement the money lessons you teach your kids by showing them the benefits of pocket money, budgeting, saving and how to spend sensibly. The GoHenry app also features Money Missions, allowing kids and teens to earn points while watching videos and taking interactive quizzes on topics including saving money and spending wisely. The app is designed to be used alongside our prepaid debit card.

 

 

Related articles:

Free pocket money chart template

What age to start giving pocket money

Benefits of giving pocket money

Pocket money pay gap

Pay cash for grades

Pocket money unwrapped

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Written by GoHenry Published Nov 13, 2023 ● 4 min read