What do kids spend their pocket money on?

What do kids spend their pocket money on?

Pocket money can be spent on many things, from snacks to toys, clothes, and even bigger ticket items (if your kid's a good saver). It also has many other benefits, from money management to helping kids understand the fundamentals of needs versus wants.


The divide between what you'd like your kids to spend their pocket money on and what they actually spend it on is often wider than most parents would like. However, part of the power of giving your kids pocket money is how they learn to spend, save and manage it. Expert Tanith Carey, author of What's My Child Thinking?, says, "Giving pocket money on a regular basis teaches children how to control their impulses, learn patience, have willpower, and delay gratification. It's a really helpful way to teach them the value of money and to help them understand that money is not an unlimited resource."



How much pocket money do kids earn?

You're not alone if you're wondering how much pocket money to give your child. Our latest research has found that children's weekly pocket money now stands at an average of £7.54 per child. 14-year-olds saw their pocket money increase by 2.5% compared to the previous year, with a weekly average of £12.15. 


That said, the age you decide to give your child pocket money and the amount you choose depends on you and your own thoughts about pocket money. Some parents link pocket money to chores and tasks, while others don't. While it's entirely down to parental choice, paying children to do household chores is an effective way to help them build the association between work and earning and teach them practical financial skills about the value of money.


Here are the weekly averages for pocket money:



Pocket money weekly average (2022)

Pocket money weekly average (2021)

6 year old



7 year old



8 year old



9 year old



10 year old



11 year old



12 year old



13 year old



14 year old



15 year old



16 year old



17 year old



18 year old




What do kids spend their pocket money on?

Our Youth Economy Report data gives us a clear idea of what GoHenry kids spend their pocket money on. Amongst younger children aged six, seven and eight, the most popular purchases fall into the category of groceries, which most likely means that they’re spending the money on confectionery and snacks.


Children aged 11-15 achieve more independence when they start secondary school, leading to a marked shift in their spending habits. Typically, boys spend a large proportion of their earnings on video games and gaming services: their spending peaks at the ages of 11 and 12 when they dedicate 46% of their earnings to gaming, dropping to 28% by age 15. At the age of 11, girls begin to spend more of their money on clothes and fashion, and those aged 11-14 spend almost a third (29%) of their money on 


Alongside this are two areas where pocket money expenditure has boomed in recent years - food delivery apps and sustainable shopping.

Delivery Food Apps

Our data shows that kids aged 6-18 spent a grand total of £7.85 million on the top three food delivery apps: Just Eat, Uber Eats, and Deliveroo. Our data reveals that 12-year-olds spent an average of £47 at Deliveroo last year, along with £46 at UberEats, £42 at Just Eat, and £21 at Dominos. These figures rise steadily with age, peaking at the age of 18, when teenagers who spent at these merchants racked up an average of £91 at Just Eat, £85 at Deliveroo, £77 at UberEats, and £42 at Dominos.


Sustainable Fashion

GoHenry cardholders also spent a total of almost £ 3.5 million on sustainable shopping choices last year – an average of £44 per person among those who make sustainable shopping choices*. This is 24% more than they spent in 2021 – and retailers are responding to demand by making it easier than ever to buy preloved clothes. Those who shopped at Depop each spent an average of £58.76 in 2022, which is a 78% increase on the previous year. And those who went to Vinted spent an average of £45.22 - a 24% increase since 2021. 



What could kids spend their pocket money on?

Helping your kids decide what to spend their pocket money on teaches them a number of money lessons that they can take into later life. 

  1. Understanding needs versus wants

When children have a limited amount of pocket money, they must decide what is essential and what is desirable. This encourages them to prioritise their spending based on their needs and wants. 

  1. Learning to save 

Saving goals are a good way to show your child how small amounts of money saved every week can pay for larger items they may want, even big-ticket items like new trainers or a gaming console.

  1. Delaying gratification

Saving pocket money also builds the valuable skill of delayed gratification. Kids learn that waiting and saving for something they want is more rewarding than instant, impulsive spending.

  1. Basic budgeting

Managing a fixed amount of money also teaches children basic budgeting skills. Show them how to allocate their money to different areas, perhaps savings, going out and day-to-day, so they can do the things they want to do.

  1. Thinking before they spend

Making spending decisions allows kids to understand the consequences of their choices. Let them learn that allocating money to one item means sacrificing another. This will help them to consider their budgets and needs before making a spending decision.


How can GoHenry help?

GoHenry's mission is to make every kid smart with money, thanks to a range of great features that help kids safely and securely learn about money, from saving to smart spending. In-app Money Missions makes learning about money fun and engaging with videos and quizzes covering everything from the value of money to budgeting. Parents can support their teens through the GoHenry app by setting flexible parental controls and receiving real-time spending alerts whenever they use their GoHenry prepaid teen debit card.




Related articles:

Best pocket money apps for kids & teens

Online piggy bank for kids


Written by Anita Naik Published Mar 20, 2024 ● 5 min. read