Money blog: Top 10 places kids spend pocket money - as new data reveals going rate for 2024 (2024)

Weekend Money
  • How much is pocket money in 2024 and where are kids spending it? New data reveals all
  • Inflation, election and energy bills: What a big week of announcements means for your pocket
  • Ford engine problems, inflation data scepticism and BT landline switch: What readers have said this week
Best of the week
  • What now for mortgages after inflation and election announcements?
  • Ian King:Here's why price cap is still £300 more than before Ukraine war
  • Which biscuits have the least sugar? Your guide to elevenses
  • Savings Guide:Britons urged to act quickly to grab above-inflation savings rates while they last
  • Best of the Money blog - an archive

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How much is pocket money in 2024 and where are kids spending it? New data reveals all

By Bhvishya Patel, Money team

Pocket money is in decline, data shows - but kids are finding new ways to pay for their everyday "essentials".

Data from the Natwest pocket money index(looking at transactions from 308,000 children in the Rooster app)shows only 30% of families now pay pocket money as part of a regular routine (down 2%), with children getting £3.78 on average a week (down 10p from last year).

In fact, pocket money now makes up just 14% of children's income. Instead they're finding new income streams - with a typical child netting £479.96 a year (£9.23 a week) for one-off chores or entrepreneurship.

These "salaries" obviously differ for age groups...

  • £5.68 for a six-year-old
  • £24.71 for a 17-year-old

British children are now charging extra for chores and squeezing more money out of their side hustles.

  • Car cleaning earned £3.25 on average - 32% (79p) more than a year ago
  • Paper round earnings increased 2% (45p) to £23.10 a week
  • However, it's been a less good year for reselling - with earnings down 15% to £22.62 a week.

Arguably the most interesting part of the data is where kids are spending their money.

Amazon was top, with Tesco and McDonald's next. Primark, Co-op, PlayStation, Xbox, Sainsbury's and Asda are next in that order - but there's no place this year for Apple, which has been replaced by fashion brand Shein, rounding off the top 10.

NatWest Rooster Money said "kids' money is completely changing shape"...

"Kids are increasingly complementing [pocket money] 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."

Will Carmichael, chief executive and founder of NatWest Rooster Money

An illustration of this maturity is kids' saving rate of 9.5% - not far off the adult average of 10.2%. Gaming, holidays and the future were the top three saving incentives, in that order.

Is there a right answer?

Kirsty Ketley, a parenting specialist from Surrey, said she gave her 11-year-old daughter Ella £5 and her seven-year-old son Leo £2 a week in cash.

They both started receiving pocket money when they were six.

"I often say to parents, even with children as young as four, it's fine to start giving a bit of pocket money because it's such an important life skill to have – to learn how to manage money because you don't get taught it," she said.

Presenter and children's author Konnie Huq, who has two sons, Covey, 12, and Huxley, 10, told the Money team that a regular pocket money allowance was a "really good way" of getting children into the habit of earning and spending.

She said receiving a regular allowance helped teach children "responsibility" and "financial literacy".

"That's what they will be doing as the grown-ups they become," she said. "I've always said kids are shaping and forming between 0 to seven. You want to put the values in them now in these younger years that they will take through with them in their life."

Sharon Olivero-Chapman, chief executive and founder ofHarrienna Health, disagrees. She has always thought a regular pocket money figure is the "wrong message to give to children" - and her daughter Harriet, 13, is one of those raking it in from side hustles.

"Pocket money gives them the wrong association with money," she said. "They're just given money on a plate, whereas that's not real life, is it?"

Ms Olivero-Chapman said if her daughter did want to buy something she had to work out how she could get that money and would then be given chores to earn it. She said it was £1 to unload and fill the dishwasher, £1 to fill and empty the washing machine and 50p to make her bed.

"It's not a regular thing every week," she explained.

Ms Olivero-Chapman said the family's entrepreneurial bug had rubbed off on Harriet and she began running her own Etsy store business last year which sees her personalise phone cases. Her business has earned nearly £1,000 so far.

Your pocket money stories - how much, how and in return for what

The Dursuns, Scotland

Aga Dursun, 41, a PMO analyst from Erskine, gives her 13-year-old son Galip £3 a day and her nine-year-old son Troy £1 a day via transfers into a Starling account. They also get £20 each on her pay day. No chores are required.

"It gives them a lot of freedom and they learn the value of money as well because for example now if they want more expensive trainers they have to save up," she says.

"It's mostly spent on games which breaks my heart."

The Shaws, London

Sammy Shaw, from Enfield, said she gave her eight-year-old twins Teddy and Hope £3.50 a week via the Natwest Rooster Money card.

To earn the money, her son and daughter are set a number of activities which they must complete - if they don't, money is deducted.

"My two have got an exceptional amount they have got to do. The first thing they've got to do is make their bed, get dressed independently. When they go downstairs they've got to do 10 minutes of practice on the keyboard, they do Times Tables Rock Stars (a digital maths app) and then 10 minutes of reading.

"The parent has to go into the app and approve these activities and if they don't do them it takes percentages off."

Last year, the twins saved up to buy theatre tickets for the family at £35 a pop.

The Regulskis, Wales

Over in Caerphilly, Dean Regulski, 44, has a fairly similar routine: money in return for washing, ironing, dog walking, laundry and vacuuming. He and his wife give kids Emmeline, Nancy and Abraham (aged 12 to 15) £10 a week also using Rooster.

"Every time they want to make a transaction, it pings my phone so straight away I can have a conversation with them about what they are buying and if it's just sweets I can limit it on the app so it's a £1 transaction," Dean says.

"My son the other day was asking if he could buy something that was beyond the £40 and I said he can take it out next month but that will cost extra chores. I explained the concept of interest to him."

The Moores, West Midlands

Ben Moore, 40, from Solihull, said his 13-year-old twin daughters had got £5 a week in pocket money for the past two years.

They used GoHenry before switching to a debit card.

"We spent a year on GoHenry and it was good because we could say 'you can't spend it on McDonald's' and restrict the type of spending but there was a monthly fee for it," he said.

Chores are not a requirement as he is "really keen" his daughters use the money to "go out with their friends rather than just sit on their phones".

The Scotts, Wiltshire

Fiona Scott, 58, from Swindon in Wiltshire, said her three children Samantha, 24, Georgia, 22, and David, 17, all got pocket money until they were able to make their own money.

"We've always had a little book at home showing this is what is coming in and going out and this is what we've got to spend, so I've encouraged them all to do that in different ways. They've got used to seeing and understanding what a household budget is," she said.

The Joneses, West Midlands

Mother-of-three Jenny Jones, 43, said her 11-year-old daughter Rebecca receives £10 a month - no chores, but everyone is expected to muck in.

It started off with 50p a week when she was seven but when she turned 11, Ms Jones opened up a junior account at Barclays and money goes in monthly.

"It's taught her general management around money. At the moment she loves bubble tea and she loves getting bits of jewellery so it's a case of her thinking what does she want, can she afford both? It enables her to make those decisions.

"It's just those life lessons, isn't it? We can't have everything we want and you've got to make those decisions - and it's okay to make the wrong decision, which is normal."


Ford engine problems, inflation data scepticism and BT landline switch | What readers have said this week

The main topics from the Money blog that got you commenting this week were...

  • Known issues with Ford EcoBoost engines
  • Inflation drops to 2.3%
  • BT delays switch from analogue landlines

'My second-hand Ford is being written off with a known issue - but no one is taking responsibility'

Every Monday, we get an expert to answer your money problems or consumer disputes.

This week, Rory Raftery told us about a known issue with his Ford C-Max which had caused it to be written off. He asked if there was anything he could do.

Dozens of readers wrote in to say they had similar issues.

Money Blog, I had a Ford Focus with an EcoBoost Engine that failed after 62k miles on it, and Ford won't entertain any responsibility because not full Ford service history, offered no help whatsoever, have and are being treated appallingly at every level.

Damian Moynihan

Bought a second hand EcoBoost 1.0 13 plate Focus from a broker… had it less than three months and the car has had sudden coolant loss and engine failure due to a cylinder head crack, almost a £5,000 repair. Ford need to be held accountable for this, it's ridiculous... no warning light, no temperature rises and then bang the car's engine is finished. The car has covered 73,000 miles.

Gareth from Wigan

The Ford EcoBoost problem has prompted a recall for US cars with the exact same issue. Yet in the UK Ford are doing nothing about the issue. There is a Facebook page with over 20k members all experiencing the same issue and Ford refuse to acknowledge the issue, in the UK at least.


Here's what Ford had to say when we published Rory's problem: "Ford is confident in the robustness and reliability of its EcoBoost engine technology when the stated guidelines for maintenance and service are followed.

"Ford UK is happy to investigate service support and/or compensation measures for any customer who believes they have had an EcoBoost engine issue and is happy to review cases with a full-service history for vehicles up to 10 years old with less than 150,000 miles.

"For any customers in the UK whose vehicle meets these parameters, you can speak to our customer relationship team and contact details can be found on our websitehere."

The company said timely and correct servicing as outlined in the owner's manual was key for wet belt maintenance and any illuminated dashboard warning lights should always receive attention.


On Wednesday, we got the latest inflation figures, showing it had dropped to 2.3% in April - down from 3.2% in March.

A drop to 2.1% had been expected by the Bank of England, but it showed the fight against price rises was being won.

Here's what some readers had to say about it...

All my experiences when I go grocery shopping don't fill me with optimism that prices are almost stabilising. Particularly household items, such as cleaning costs, are still rising steadily and frequently. An item I buy was £3 something a matter of weeks ago. This morning... £5.

Su H

Am I the only person who thinks that increasing the minimum wage by 10% in April and the knock-on effect of increasing wages by more than 8% in labour intensive industries is going to cause an increase in inflation that will make a reduction in interest rates very unlikely?


The national living wage for workers increased by 9.8% on 1 April from £10.42 to £11.44.

Since the recent decline in inflation is largely due to energy prices, can anyone name a specific government action that influenced energy prices traded on the international market? This government can't resist taking credit for everything!


You have written this story as a failure of government to bring inflation down to a level some analysts forecast, despite it being a huge drop and within a whisker of the 2% target. It reads like a piece one would expect to hear coming from a Labour politician.

Tom Jeffries

I don't believe this for one moment, did my shopping yesterday the price of food is disgracefully high still and takes up most of my income as a family.


I have seen no change in the cost of living, my car insurance is up 10%, council tax did the same. Shrinkflation is still going on. Food prices may have stopped increasing, but they have not gone down. My job as an assessor had its hours and pay cut of 1/3, bills remain!


Inflation down but prices remain high, my mortgage and day-to-day bills are still cripplingly high while my wages stagnate. In real terms I've never had so little disposable income. The cost of living crisis is far from over.


How does UK inflation compare around the world ?


We found the answer to this one on Wednesday...

Why are prices on certain things still expensive and will they ever go down?


On Nick's question, inflation coming down doesn't mean prices are. It just means prices are rising at a slower rate.

For prices to drop, we would need negative inflation, which isn't common.

But, in the April data, we did see it in the energy sector thanks to the price cap change.

BT delays switch from analogue landlines

On Monday, BT Group pushed back its timetable for moving all customers off the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and on to digital landlines.

From this summer, customers who have not used their landline in the past 12 months, who do not identify as vulnerable or have additional needs, have not contacted an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) in the past 24 months and live in an area where a data sharing agreement is in place, will be switched - unless they have opted out.

Vulnerable customers or those with additional needs will start to be switched from summer 2025, with theaim to have all customers moved off the old analogue PSTN by the end of January 2027.

We have a thatched house and no mobile signal. We signed up to Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) and despite protests, we were "upgraded" to digital voice at "no extra cost". Time to give us back our copper which always works - even when we have no electricity.

Ian P

Living in a rural area where we have power cuts for different reasons and internet signal is non-existent without Wi-Fi, how will we stay connected?


I live in Lancaster but my signal is so poor that I have to ask family to call me on my landline. How on earth are we supposed to manage without one?



Inflation, election and energy bills: What a big week of announcements means for your pocket

Three big announcements this week could have significant implications for the money in your pocket.

First, April's inflation data, which on the face of it was good news.

Price rises slowed to 2.3%, within touching distance of the Bank of England's 2% target and into what economists regard as normal levels.

The Bank has repeatedly stressed that interest rates (which have been elevated to squeeze spending and encourage saving, which usually stops prices going up so quickly) would start to fall when the 2% figure was sustainably hit.

Herein lies the issue - sustainability. Because while headline CPI has fallen dramatically from highs of more than 11% in 2022, a closer look at the numbers suggests the fight against price rises isn't over just yet.

Core inflation, which strips out the volatile elements like energy and food, remains at 3.9% - while service inflation is at 5.9%. All of these numbers, including the headline figure, are above forecasts.

All of which has prompted markets to price in an August rate cut from 5.25% to 5% - previously they'd expected June.

Economics editor Ed Conway wrote this analysis...

Some suggested the fall in inflation, combined with the IMF upgrading UK growth forecasts, provided Rishi Sunak with a positive platform on which to call a summer election.

Conway isn't so sure.

He says: "We're out of recession. That's one of the key things they were waiting for. Inflation is now down to a normal level. Those things have been ticked off [but] there are a couple of issues.

"First of all, it doesn't look like, with inflation not falling quite as far as everyone would have expected, that the final thing they were hoping for, the Bank of England cutting interest rates, is going to happen in June. There probably is not going to be an interest rate cut before the election. That's quite significant.

"Secondly, when people look at this election, it's that old question: do you feel better off than you did four or five years ago?

"And in this case, there is no parliamentary period in history where people have seen their real disposable incomes squeezed as much as this one.

"That's what the prime minister's fighting against."

We took a closer look at what the election and new interest rate forecasts mean for mortgages and the housing market here...

We also examined what the election result on 4 July could mean for people's finances, honing in on what we know about the major parties' plans from childcare to train fares to tax...

Finally, energy bills will fall again in July after Friday's price cap announcement.

They'll be £122 (annually) below the April-June figure.

However, daily standing charges are going up - which means those who use more energy will feel the most benefit from the price cap fall...

Sir Keir Starmer told us that Labour's plan for a new company called Great British Energy would help bring prices down...

And business presenter Ian King explained why energy bills are still £300 more than before the Ukraine war...


Welcome to Weekend Money

The Money blog is your place for consumer news, economic analysis and everything you need to know about the cost of living - bookmark

It runs with live updates every weekday - while on Saturdays we scale back and offer you a selection of weekend reads.

Check them out this morning and we'll be back on Monday with our regular Money Problem feature - and full rolling news and features after the bank holiday on Tuesday.

The Money team is Emily Mee, Bhvishya Patel, Jess Sharp, Katie Williams, Brad Young and Ollie Cooper, with sub-editing by Isobel Souster. The blog is edited by Jimmy Rice.


Cara Delevingne's childhood home is up for sale - but it'll cost you £23.5m

Cara Delevingne's childhood home is up for sale - but it's come to market with a huge £23.5m price tag.

The 5,456 sq ft property in London's Belgravia was also home to controversial casino and zoo owner John Aspinall in the 1960s.

Mr Aspinall and the mansion werealso linked to the disappearance ofLord Lucan in 1974 - a mystery that still hasn't been solved.

After he died in 2000, the five-bedroom house was bought by Charles and Pandora Delevingne - the parents of supermodel Cara and her older sisters Chloe and Poppy.

The Grade II-listed building on Lyall Street comes with two reception rooms, a study, a home cinema and a professional chef's kitchen.

A gym, sauna, steam room and rooftop co*cktail bar are also included.

In around 2014, with their daughters grown up, the Delevingnes moved from the Lyall Street mansion and downsized.

The current owners bought the house a couple of years later and have given the mansion an extensive renovation and modernisation.

"It is one of the best houses currently available for sale in Belgravia and is immaculately presented and beautifully interior designed," said Charles Lloyd, head of Beauchamp Estates.


Analysis: Here's why the price cap is still £300 more than before the Ukraine war energy crisis

The reason for the fall in the household energy price cap is pretty straightforward - wholesale electricity and gas prices have fallen since the price cap was last set in February this year.

Wholesale gas and electricity prices make up by far the biggest proportion of the energy bills - £720 of the current £1,690 - and Ofgem is assuming, for July, August and September, a wholesale electricity price of 22.36 pence per kilowatt hour (kWh), down from 24.50 pence per kWh during the current quarter.

It is also assuming a wholesale gas price of 5.48 pence per kWh from July to September, down from 6.04 pence per kWh during the current quarter.

That brings down the wholesale energy component of the typical bill (which is based on an assumption that a household will use 12,000 kWh per year of gas and 2,900 kWh of electricity) from £720 to £619.

The question some people may have, though, is why the energy price cap that Ofgem has set for the three months from July remains higher, at £1,568, than the level at which it was set - £1,277 - at the time the energy crisis was sparked by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

At first blush, this seems a reasonable enough question, given that a barrel of Brent Crude - a reasonable enough proxy for wholesale energy prices - stands today at $80.78 (£63.50) per barrel, down from the heights it hit after the invasion.

But bear in mind that, in those days, the price cap was only set by Ofgem every six months, rather than quarterly as at present.

The price cap in place immediately before the crisis came into effect on 1 October 2021 having been set on 6 August that year.

Prior to that, wholesale energy prices had been lower than they are now. The wholesale energy component for the price cap for the winter of 2021/22 was, accordingly, £528 - lower than the £619 it will be from July.

Other costs taken into account by Ofgem are also higher now than they were before Russia invaded Ukraine.


We need a long-term answer on energy prices, Labour leader says

The UK needs "longer term solutions" on energy prices because they are still "record high almost", Sir Keir Starmer has said.

The Labour leader was commenting on a fall in the energy price cap.

From 1 July it will be £1,568 a year - a drop of £122 from the previous quarter.

But Sir Keir said many people were still struggling to make ends meet.

"Everywhere I go, so many people tell me the cost of living is still bearing down on them," he told Sky News.

"People on a mortgage, [those] coming off a fixed mortgage, know their mortgages are going up by hundreds of pounds.

"Everybody knows prices are still going up - energy prices are still record high almost."

He added: "We need longer term solutions."

Labour's proposed Great British Energy (GBE) would help energy prices "come down for good", Sir Keir claimed.

GBE would be a publicly owned company with a mandate to invest in clean energy – wind, solar, tidal, nuclear and other emerging technologies. It would be designed to invest in riskier areas where the private sector might be reluctant.

Asked when energy prices would drop under GBE, and how quickly it could be established, he said: "Certainly by the end of the parliament, and a lot sooner than that.

"We can set up Great British Energy pretty quickly."

Discussions are already under way with potential partners, he added.

Claire Coutinho, the energy secretary, told Sky News that Great British Energy is a "complete gimmick" and a "drop in the ocean".

She also accused Labour of having "no plan" on energy security.


Are you wasting thousands by putting off 'life admin'?

Putting off "life admin" could be costing you thousands of pounds a year, research has suggested.

It is estimated that adults in the UK could save £300 a year by cancelling unused subscriptions, £420 by reviewing their day-to-day finances, and £372 by re-evaluating a gym membership.

"On average, Brits admit to putting off simple tasks by four to six months," Lloyds Bank said.

When asked why they had been delaying, almost a fifth (18%) said there was no deadline, one in seven (16%) said it was easier to take no action, while for 13% the memory of previous difficulties was off-putting.

Turning to the future, a fifth (20%) admitted not having a pension, while only two fifths (42%) knew how to add more money to their pension if they had one.


New energy price cap: The good, the bad and the ugly

If you are looking for a detailed analysis of today's cut in the energy price cap (see our breaking news post from 7am) then the following from Martin Lewis is worth digesting.

The founder of Money Saving Expert has split his reaction into three sections.

The good

Lewis says the cap will drop on 1 July by an average of 7.2% for Direct Debit customers, 6.9% for prepay customers, and 7.1% for those who pay when they get a bill.

The cap will fall to £1,568 a year - a drop of £122 from the previous quarter.

The bad

Standing charges (what you pay regardless of how much energy you use) "remain high" and are "virtually unchanged", Lewis says.

"All the cut" is via unit rates, he adds.

That means those who use more energy will be seeing bigger savings.

The electricity unit rate for Direct Debit customers from July will be 22.36p/kwH - down 9% from 24.5p, Lewis says.

The electricity standing charge will be 60.12p a day - up from 60.1p.

The gas unit rate will be 5.48p/kwH - down 9% from 6.04p.

And the gas standing charge will be 31.41p - slightly down from 31.43p.

Lewis says the results of a consultation on standing charges are likely to be published sometime in the "summer", adding: "Whenever that is."

The ugly

As we reported in our post at 7.34am, respected market researcher Cornwall Insight is predicting that bills are likely to rise once more in the run-up to winter.

Lewis comments: "If they're right this is the last fall, and the coming rises are big.

"On 1 July it's confirmed [the cap] drops 7%, so for every £100 paid today you pay £93.

"Then on 1 Oct it's predicted to rise 12%, so you'll go back up and be paying £104.

"Then on 1 Jan the crystal ball is saying it'll stay flat (at £104).

"All this makes the cheapest fixes, which are currently 9% cheaper than now (so £91 per £100 on the price cap), look a decent bet."


'Absolutely disgraceful': Darts fans left in shock over price of a pint

Thousands of darts fans packed out the O2 last night as Luke Littler was crowned champion in the Premier League Darts final.

While his victory was met with big celebrations, the price of a pint left many upset.

Tom Park shared a photo of the menu on X which showed a pint of Camden Hells Lager cost £9.50.

A Budweiser came in at £8.95 - and it was the same for a Stella Artois.

Other social media uses responded to his post in shock.

Here are some of the replies we saw:

  • "That's absolutely disgraceful."
  • "Bloody hell! That's a joke."
  • "We get so ripped off in this country."
  • "£9.50 for a pint of Camden Hells in f****** robbery."

Two pint offers didn't seem to be any better, with the menu showing the deal just worked out the same as buying two normal pints.

The Money team has contacted the O2 for comment.

Money blog: Top 10 places kids spend pocket money - as new data reveals going rate for 2024 (2024)
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