Pocket money at a seven-year low

CHILDREN are getting less cash than they were a year ago as pocket money rates reach a seven-year low, according to a new report.

The national average rate is currently �5.89 a week – 35p less than last year’s average of �6.24, claims the latest research by high street bank Halifax.

But children in East Anglia are considered pocket money paupers because they receive just �5.23 a week.

Meanwhile, their counterparts in Wales get a much more generous �7.77.

Parents have been giving their off-spring less and less in recent years, following a peak in 2005 when children were getting, on average, �8.37 a week.

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Boys have always been better off than girls but the new figures show the gender gap is narrowing.

The difference now stands at less than 40p, with boys receiving an average of �6.08 and girls getting �5.70.

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Last year the gap was more than �1.

Although pocket money has fallen over the past year, almost half of children think they get the right amount. About 40% think they should get more.

Almost a third never talk about the amount of pocket money they receive with their friends.

There are varying habits for how children spend their cash, 23% say they save half their pocket money while one in 10 save all of their cash. One in three spend the lot.

Dawn Henry, chief executive of Ipswich young people’s charity 4YP, believes parents should not feel pressured into handing over money each week.

“Pocket money is a very personal thing, it should be affordable for the family and not everyone can afford it,” she said.

“Probably the greatest gift a parent or carer can give to a child is their time and unconditional love. Pocket money would be secondary.”

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