Bank of Scotland

Scotland’s pocket money drops 8% but is still higher than UK average

08 September 2012

The amount of weekly pocket money received by 8-15 year olds in Scotland has fallen by 8% to £6.32 in 2012 - a drop of 57p a week or £29.64 over the year. The shift, revealed in the findings of Bank of Scotland’s Pocket Money Survey, reflects the strain on family finances many parents are currently facing.

However it is not all doom and gloom for children in Scotland as 86% of 8-15 year olds receive weekly pocket money, higher than the UK average of 77%. They also receive 34p more than the UK average of £5.98, meaning children in Scotland receive the third greatest average amount of weekly pocket money in the UK, with the North East (£7.12) and London (£7.34) receiving the most.

Children in Scotland are quite switched on when it comes to savings, with 62% saving at least a quarter of their weekly pocket money which isn’t too far behind the UK average of 67%.

Across the UK, the findings also revealed a gender gap, with more boys (71%) saving at least a quarter of their pocket money compared to girls (65%). Girls also receive an average of 37p a week less than boys (£5.79 to £6.16) which amounts to £19.24 less over a year.

The right amount
Almost half (48%) of children in Scotland think that they should get more pocket money, however almost the same amount (46%) think that they already get the right amount.
When comparing what they receive to their friends, whilst 29% have never talked about pocket money with their peers, 32% of children believe that they get the same amount as their friends and 24% believe that they get less than their friends.

Nitesh Patel, Bank of Scotland Economist, says:
“It is encouraging to see that almost two thirds of children in Scotland are still saving at least a quarter of the money they get despite the fact that amount of pocket money they receive has fallen. Pocket money is often the first opportunity children have to manage money and it gives them valuable insight into the benefits of both short and long term saving.”

A Sweet Context
Whilst the UK average amount of pocket money received has increased by 529% in the last 25 years, the amount received has been declining since the 2005 peak of £8.37 per week. Pocket money levels experienced the highest level of growth at 105% between 1998 and 2000 from £1.76 to £3.60. However, pocket money levels also decreased in 1994, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010.

To add context to the value of what 8-15 year olds now receive, a comparison of the number of chocolate bars a week’s pocket money would buy now and in 1987 has been calculated. The comparison is based on the cost of a Cadbury Twirl which launched in 1987.

In 1987, when a Twirl cost 22p, a week’s pocket money would have bought you five bars. A quarter of a century later, when the chocolate bar costs around 60p, children can now buy ten bars a week with their pocket money.

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