Pocket money surges to an average £6.25 a week

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The Independent Online

Youngsters have seen an end to a seven-year piggy bank recession after figures today showed pocket money surged to an average £6.25 a week in 2011.

In news that will delight sweet shop owners, the typical child now has an extra 36p to spend every seven days - equating to £18.72 a year.

The 6% annual uptick marks an end to a seven-year decline in pocket money for boys and girls in the UK. But the current average still lags far behind the 2003 high of £8.37 recorded in the annual Halifax Pocket Money Survey.

Researchers found that about 80% of children polled confirmed they still received cash on a weekly basis, remaining unchanged from last year.

But encouragingly, the typical amount increased from 2010's weekly average of £5.89.

Parents in the capital were found to be the most generous. London's youngsters received an average £7.63 a week - around £2.50 more than their peers in the South West.

The survey also noted a narrowing in the gender divide.

Boys now receive an average £6.41 a week, compared to £6.09 for girls.

This 32p gender gap is down 8p from 2010's survey.

Older children still tend to receive more money, with 15-year-olds getting an average £8.38 a week, compared to £4.44 for eight-year-olds.

Despite the differences between age groups, genders and regions, more than half of those surveyed said they believed they received the right amount - with girls slightly more content than boys.

But just over 40% of youngsters said they thought they were getting short-changed by their parents and were entitled to more cash.

Flavia Palacios Umana, head of savings products at Halifax, said: "It is encouraging to see the amount of pocket money children receive has increased from last year, this gives kids the chance to save money as well as spend it.

"It is interesting to observe that despite the current economic climate the number of children who receive pocket money has remained the same. Teaching children important financial life lessons by using pocket money will quickly give them understanding of basic financial issues and more importantly the consequences associated with making and spending money."

Halifax surveyed 1,202 children aged between eight and 15 across the UK as part of the research.