Kids face gender pay gap in pocket money

Stephanie Hawthorne
24 May 2018

Discrimination starts early in most households with parents paying their sons more for carrying out domestic chores than their daughters.

When it comes to earning extra money around the house, boys will typically receive 33% more than girls (£6.99 versus £4.67) for carrying out chores and 50% (£8.28 versus £4.18) more for good behaviour at school, according to research by Santander.

The bank’s poll of 500 parents and children aged five to 15 found that almost eight out of 10 (77%) parents provide their children with a basic amount of pocket money. But parents give top-ups for activities including helping around the home, behaving well and performing well in sports. Children earn, on average, £7.70 a month for these brownie points.

But for those who step out of line and fail to carry out their duties, parents can impose financial ‘fines’, with 18% of parents taking money away for failing to complete household chores and 15% for behaving badly at school.

Meanwhile, 13% of enterprising parents are applying a ‘tax’ on children’s earnings to pay towards household bills. A further 42% of parents who pay pocket money would consider ‘taxing’ their children and believe this to be a great way to prepare them for the real world.   

Pocket money and extra ‘income’ for tasks vary widely across the UK. In London, kids are given an average of £26.70 basic pocket money per month against a national average of £18.36.

When children were asked what motivated them to complete household chores, money (43%) is by far the biggest incentive with other motivators such as being given chocolate and crisps appealing to 24% of children. Being told they are good or getting to stay up longer only incentivised 23% of children.

When asked about savings, 84% of children who get pocket money said they like to save the money they receive from their parents (89% boys versus 77% girls).

Hetal Parmar, head of banking and savings at Santander, says: “It’s encouraging to see how parents use financial lessons in the home to help their children get to grips with money.  Teaching children about making the most of their money once they’ve earned it is also an important life skill.”

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