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Children receive pocket money from three years old – report

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Most parents begin giving pocket money to their children when they reach three years old, according to a new survey.

Half of those who give their three-year-olds pocket money give up to £1 a week, the research by found.

While three and four-year-olds are most likely to receive pence, this sum rises to pounds at the age of five, with half of five-year-olds who get pocket money receiving up to £2 a week.

Across the country, parents in Yorkshire start giving their children pocket money at the youngest age, with 88.9% of mums and dads raising a three-year-old in the county giving them an allowance.

Parents of three-year-olds in London and the West Midlands are most generous, however; of the capital’s parents who give their three-year-old pocket money, none award less than £1 a week – and the same was true of mums and dads in the West Midlands.

From the age of five to 11, the average sum kids receive rises by around 50 pence every three years, but approaching the teen years also results in an increase in a child’s allowance. The typical 12-year-old gets between £4.51 and £5 a week pocket money from their parents.

But it’s 15-year-olds in the UK who receive the most weekly pocket money at between £7.01 and £8. They are also among the age groups most likely to get an allowance, with 91% of parents giving money to their 15-year-old each week, compared to 63% who give spending money to their four-year-old.

While many parents are keen to encourage their children to learn about saving and budgeting by giving them an allowance, nearly half of these admitted they did not always remember to hand out their kids’ pocket money every week.

Nearly a third said they ‘sometimes’ remembered, while almost one in five said they rarely did.

Surprisingly, more than half of parents admitted they had borrowed cash from their child’s piggy bank or pocket money savings in the past. While 37% of these paid it back, nearly 14% admitted they had yet to do so.

Ian Williams, a spokesman for thinkmoney, said: “There’s no wrong age to start teaching children the importance of budgeting, saving and money management, and giving kids a few pence each week is a great way for them to start learning. In particular, if children can be encouraged to save up for larger items this might help develop a culture of thrift that will stand them in good stead in later life.”