Kids’ Cash Concerns

11 August 2012

88% of children taking on parents’ money worries

As we reach the mid point of the school summer holiday and parents face the prospect of how they will afford to keep the kids entertained for another three weeks, family finances will no doubt be at the forefront of many people’s minds.

Facing the most expensive costs for filling spare time in over a decade , parents are no longer alone in their cash concerns.

As part of the annual Pocket Money Survey, the latest Halifax research has revealed that children as young as eight now shouldering the money worries of their parents and lending their parents money.

Nearly nine in ten (88%) children aged eight to fifteen believe that their parents worry about money, with 58% of children worrying about money themselves.

21% of children said that they think their parents worry about money ‘all the time’ and just 3% said their parents ‘never’ worried about money.

Almost a third (31%) of the 1,132 children surveyed admitted to lending other people money, with 63% of these lending to friends and 29% lending to their parents.

17% of children also borrow money from other people with parents the first port of call (74%), followed by friends (28%) and then grandparents (16%).

Richard Fearon, Head of Halifax Savings commented,
“It is concerning that children are becoming anxious about their parents’ money worries but this highlights that children are really aware of the financial behaviour of the people around them. By introducing positive saving and spending practices from an early age, children can get into habits that will help them to manage their money as they grow up and understand the benefits of saving in both the long and short term.”

Effects of Age

The younger that children are, the less likely they are to worry about money. 57% of eight year olds ‘never’ worry about money, with this figure dropping to 47% by the time children are 11. Once children reach the age of 12 they are much more likely to worry about money; 34% never worry about money at this age.

  • 21% of 15 year olds attain to never worrying about money
  • Older children are slightly more conscious of their parents ’money worries, with 89% of 12-15 year olds believing their parents worry about money, compared to 85% of 8-11 year olds.
  • 85% of eight year olds believe their parents worry about money, with this figure reaching 95% by the time children are 15.
  • Children aged 12-15 (22%) are almost twice as likely as those aged 8-11 (12%) to borrow money and also more likely to lend other people money (34% compared to 27%).

Nine year olds are the most likely to lend their parents money (47%) with 14 year olds the least likely (20%) to do so.

Nine year olds are the least likely to lend friends money (43%) compared with 76% of 13 year olds, who are the most likely.

Changing Behaviours

From April to June 2012, the number of open Halifax children’s savings accounts  increased by 20%, with the average balance of these accounts also increasing by 6% over the same period.

Richard Fearon, adds:
“As a result of an increased financial awareness amongst under 16s there has been a positive shift towards children’s savings which can enable them to take control of their money and learn how to manage it from a early age.”

Gender differences

There is little difference between boys and girls where their own money worries are concerned, however three times as many boys (6%) than girls (2%) questioned stated that they worry about money ‘all the time’. The same is true of how many believe that their parents worry about money, with the perceptions of boys and girls evenly matched on this issue.

Geographical differences

Children in London (64%) are the most likely to worry about money, followed by those in the East Midlands, South East and South West (all 62%). 8-15 year olds in the West Midlands (49%) and Yorkshire and Humberside (50%) are the least likely to worry about money.

Children in Scotland are the least likely to think that their parents worry about money (81%) compared to 92% in the South East and 92% in East Anglia.

When it comes to borrowing money from other people, this is most common in Yorkshire and Humberside and the East Midlands (20%) and least likely in the South West (14%).

TNS Omnibus surveyed 1,132 children aged 8-15 between 18th and 25th July 2012.

i In April 2012, Halifax research revealed that the cost of ten out of the eleven leisure activities included in its report have increased more rapidly than the rise in consumer price inflation (29%) over the same period.

ii  Accounts include Halifax JISA, Kids Regular Saver, Save4it and Young Saver

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