By Raising Children Network
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School boy polishing shoes

Australian kids are spending most of their pocket money on entertainment, toys and games, but nearly half of children are also putting money away to save or spending it on bills.

The Raising Children Network recently surveyed 275 parents about when they give pocket money, how much and what for, as well as what their children are spending the money on. Here are the results.

How much pocket money?

The survey found that more than two-thirds of children receive pocket money by the time they’re six years old, usually $2 or less a week. By the time they’re 11, children are most commonly paid around $5 a week, and once they’re over 12 nearly half of them will get more than $12 a week.

‘Our children get $1 per year of age,’ said one parent, and it’s a common method of calculating payment.

How often

The survey found that two-thirds of Australian parents are paying their kids weekly pocket money. But the money is far from guaranteed: more than half of parents who pay pocket money regularly withhold it as punishment. About 25% of parents ask for nothing in return for pocket money, but 70% sometimes or always ask their children to do housework for their cash.

For 16% of children there’s no regular pocket money. These kids are paid for work around the house when they do it or when their parents can afford it.

Children negotiating their pocket money payments should consider one of the survey’s findings: of the 4% of parents who pay monthly, 80% always pay, no matter how badly the kids behave.

How pocket money is spent

Entertainment, toys and games represented the biggest pocket money spend, though almost half of children are saving pocket money or using it on bills.

According to one parent, ‘They have to bank half so that they can begin to appreciate the benefits of compound interest.’

  • Last updated or reviewed 08-02-2008