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Kids adopting side hustles as value of pocket money crashes

Kids adopting side hustles as value of pocket money crashes
Matt Browning
Written By:
Matt Browning

Children are earning more money through side hustles as families opt against giving pocket money, data reveals.

Less than a third (30%) of parents and guardians commit to paying their children pocket money, with those who do paying an average of £3.78 – down from £3.88 the year before (March 2022 to Feb 2023).

Back in 2019, parents handed out an average of £5.35 per week.

To battle against the impact the cost-of-living crisis has had on their earnings, children have taken action into their own hands. This is by taking on extra chores, which has earned them an average of £9.23 per week.

Of the £480 per year they earn on average, kids aged between six and 17 are saving at a better rate than their parents too, according to NatWest’s Rooster Money survey of over 300,000 children.

On average, they are putting aside 9.9% of their kitty, which adds up to £45.60 for the year – that’s a higher percentage than adults, who save 8.21% of their monthly income, according to a separate study from Moneyfarm.

Classic jobs rising in value for kids

When it comes to earning extra cash, the Generation Alpha cohort are turning to traditional methods, including paper rounds and babysitting, which crept up in value to £23.10 and £18.22 per ‘shift’ respectively.

Tutoring is also another source of income for money-chasing kids, and that felt a 5% rise in payment, going up to £14.80.

Indeed, if the jobs done by those children were treated as their own industry, it would be worth around £4.6bn, NatWest’s data suggests.

For those families deciding to give money to their children, there is a preference for more one-off payments as opposed to a weekly handout.

This comes in the form of tooth fairy visits, which rose in cost by 9% to £4.00, while financial rewards for good behaviour also shot up by 12% to cost an average of £8.79.

‘Pocket money declining but no less important’

Will Carmichael, CEO and founder of NatWest Rooster Money, said: “Although pocket money in its traditional sense is seemingly declining, that doesn’t mean it’s any less important, but rather that kids are increasingly complementing it in other, more sophisticated ways.

“This move to greater independence and maturity in their earning has been fantastic to see and bodes well for some bright, financially confident futures ahead.”

Konnie Huq, children’s author and broadcast presenter, believes it is “so important” children receive opportunities to learn about finances to make sure they do not take money for granted.

The former Blue Peter presenter added: “Thinking back on my own childhood, I didn’t have a regular allowance and I’m probably in a much better position for it, having had to make my own way with a Saturday job and get to grips with trade-offs and being responsible from an early age.

“If that kind of independence is becoming more common, that can only be a good thing.”