Pocket money: Tech tussle as parents permit smartphones but deny digital downloads

29 August 2016

Pocket money: Tech tussle as parents permit smartphones but deny digital downloads

  • Almost three quarters (73%) of children between the ages of eight and 15 own a mobile and two thirds (63%) have a tablet

  • Almost half of parents (46%) do not allow children to spend pocket money on digital downloads

  • More than eight in 10 children (82%) say parents pay their mobile phone bills

    Although seven in 10 (73%) children between the ages of eight and 15 own a mobile phone and six in 10 (63%) have a tablet device, almost half of parents (46%) stop kids from spending their pocket money on digital downloads, according to the latest research from the Halifax Annual Pocket Money Survey. This does not deter children however, with over eight in 10 (85%) kids downloading from the internet.   

    Parental worries

    When it comes to the content kids are downloading, sometimes against their parents’ wishes, games (63%) and apps (58%) are the most popular, compared to music (52%) and films (22%). More than a third (36%) of parents who do not allow children to spend their pocket money on digital downloads cite accessing inappropriate content as a reason. One in three (31%) parents are also worried about children overspending online, with dads more concerned than mums (39% vs 26%).

    Giles Martin, Head of Halifax Savings, said:

    “Whilst spending on ‘virtual’ items could give kids the impression of not involving ‘real’ money, parents can use this as an opportunity to educate them on the real costs of downloads. Discussing with children how to best use their pocket money can be a simple and effective way to teach kids the basics of money management and equip them with important budgeting skills for the future.” 

     

    Technological trends

    Almost three quarters (73%) of children own a mobile phone, with over nine in 10 (91%) owning a smart device. The popularity of other types of digital devices however has fallen out of fashion. Only a third of children (33%) own an iPod and less than a fifth own an MP3 player (22%). Parents are also still paying for most of children’s mobile phone bills.  Over eight in 10 children (82%) say it is the responsibility of their parents to pay their bills, with only one in 10 (13%) saying it is down to them.