Parents short-changing girls on pocket money, survey shows

Boys putting coins into piggy bank Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Where does it go? Most pocket money is splurged on sweets and chocolate, the survey found

Boys receive £2.20 more pocket money a week than girls, a survey has found, suggesting the gender pay gap starts early and in the home.

Boys aged five to 16 get on average £10.70 a week made up from pocket money, a paid job or paid chores. Girls are on £8.50 a week, data suggests.

The survey of 2,000 UK children by researchers Childwise also found boys were given more financial independence.

Parents were teaching girls and boys differently about money, it found.

The majority of children receive some sort of regular weekly payment, typically pocket money from their parents, data suggested. Only one in five had a paid job.

'Early gender imbalance'

Researchers found that the difference between girls and boys' allowance becomes wider the older they get.

Boys aged 11 to 16 were on £17.80, while girls of the same age were on £12.50, a gap of £5.30.

Childwise research manager Jenny Ehren said: "The data points towards an early gender imbalance in the way parents educate their children about money matters and financial independence.

"Boys are more likely to be entrusted with regular cash payments, while girls are more reliant on other people buying them items, or managing money on their behalf."

She added that girls appeared to have less financial freedom than boys.

"They are more likely to have things bought for them, including expensive items such as clothes and footwear, and lower cost purchases such as toiletries, hair products and makeup," said Ms Ehren.

These extra purchases helped to bridge the income gap between boys and girls, but the approach to managing money matters was "noticeably different", she added.

The most popular pocket money purchase was sweets and chocolate, followed closely by crisps, snacks, soft drinks and going out, the survey found.

It also showed:

  • Girls were more likely than boys to receive no regular income at all
  • 5% of 13-16 year olds have a part-time job
  • Five to 10-year-olds receive on average £7.30 a week from handouts, pocket money and paid work. Eleven to 16-year-olds receive £22.90 on average
  • The total spending power of children in the UK is estimated at nearly £7,000 million a year

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