Cash-conscious children play safe with pennies

Today's children know a nice little earner when they see one. Instead of frittering away their weekly pocket money they now prefer to build capital, according to figures published yesterday, writes Nicole Veash.

The number of children piling up their pennies has doubled in the past year, while the number of parents expecting their children to save has halved, says the 1996 Wall's Pocket Money Monitor.

Psychologists put the saving instinct down to children becoming more competitive, setting higher targets for themselves and believing their status would improve with more money. Susie Stewart, from the monitor, said: "While most kids have substantially more to spend they also feel the need to save more in order to make bigger and more expensive purchases. With average pocket money presently standing at pounds 2.40 for all age groups, up 35p on last year, it has never been a better time to be eligible."

The 5-7 year-olds are really in the money, having almost doubled their income from last year, while 11-13-year-olds have seen a two per cent drop.

With money becoming increasingly important, girls in particular are willing to work longer hours in Saturday jobs.