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Parents under pressure to spend as kids influenced by social media promos

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Half of children in the UK ask their parents to splash out after seeing a social media influencer promotion, a study reveals.

Of those children who felt pressure to get must-have items, over half (53%) of eight-to-fifteen-year-olds surveyed said TikTok was the social media site most likely to influence them to spend money.

This then translates to kids asking their parents to buy them something they spotted on social media.

Clothes (58%) were the most popular items kids wanted to buy after seeing a social media post, followed by games (48%) and beauty/make-up items (38%), according to the survey by Halifax. A quarter of the 1,000 kids polled were pressured into buying food and/or drink.

But, Halifax found that kids are sensitive to the pressures their parents can be under. Almost half (47%) said they are mindful of their parents having to keep up with household bills.

These bill concerns are most common in the list of money worries for children, followed by feeling peer and social pressure to have the latest cool gadgets and clothes (32%) and keeping up with their friends’ lifestyles (29%).

Social media influencing children’s career choices

Not only are apps like TikTok, Instagram and Facebook impacting the spending habits of kids and adults, but they’re also influencing the careers young people want to pursue.

Two thirds don’t want a traditional job and are looking for more modern ways to earn their cash. This includes selling their own products (17%), being a designer (17%), becoming an influencer (15%), running a website or social media (10%) or investing (5%).

However, until they’re old enough to set up their own business and buy the goods they see on apps, many will rely on pocket money.

According to the latest Halifax analysis, children now receive an average £4.99 in pocket money each week. When deciding how much to fork out, just under a third (32%) of parents base their decision on helping kids understand value of money, while a quarter (25%) pay what they think is fair in light of the chores their children do around the house.

‘Balance between social media and money’

Darren Tong, savings director at, Halifax, said: “It’s great to see children aspiring to be the entrepreneurs of the future, with careers that make the most of social media most popular with today’s kids.

“However, there are two sides to every story and, while children can see how they could use social media to make money in the future, they get the pitfalls that come with being online – telling us that social media apps can make them feel pressured into spending their money, particularly TikTok.

“This means there’s a balance to be struck for children when it comes to social media and money, and talking openly with children about these things will help build understanding from a young age – while still harnessing their enthusiasm for being their own boss when they grow up.”