However, slightly fewer children receive any pocket money at all and kids’ spending has dropped year on year, the Childwise Monitor 2018 report found.
“Parents are tightening their belts and are exerting control over how their children spend money, leaving children with less disposable income as a result,” said Simon Leggett, research director at Childwise, which surveyed more than 2,000 children in schools across the UK.
Girls have less disposable income than boys, as there is a gender gap in the amount of money children receive each week: Boys receive £12.60 per week on average (£10.70 last year), while girls receive £9.80 (up from £8.50 last year).
Broken down by age group, five- to 10-year-olds who get any weekly income receive £6.40 per week on average and 11-16-year-olds say they get £16.30 per week.
But for those aged 13 and up, pocket money and parental handouts are not their only source of income. The proportion of young people taking on a part time job has increased this year. One in four 13-14-year-olds say they have one (24%, up from 17% a year ago), rising to 34% of 15-16-year-olds (18% last year).
Boys and girls aged 13-14 are equally likely to have a part-time job, but girls aged 15-16 are more likely than boys that age to have one (39% of girls, 29% of boys).
The total spending power of UK children is £7,960 million per year, but despite the rise in income, children’s spending has decreased over the last year.
“Reduced levels of consumer spending over the last year appear to be having an impact on children’s purchasing habits,” said Leggett. “Children’s spending across all categories is down this year, especially among non-essential things such as going out, movies / films and apps.
“Among those that do still receive a regular form of income from pocket money, or ad hoc payments, far fewer get this money given to them as cash. Instead, more have it paid into accounts or on to cards where it is less likely to be frittered away. It may be that parents are exerting more control over where their children’s money is spent, focusing on their needs rather than their wants.”
Now just one in four children say they spend their money on going out (down from one in three last year). The number of children spending on footwear has also decreased (from 28%to 18% ), as has the number buying movies and films (24% down to 15%), and apps (23% down to 15%).
Children also said they are less likely to spend their own money on sweets, chocolates, crisps, snacks and soft drinks - potentially good news for their health.