Misbehaving munchkins risk being out of pocket over Easter

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Kids hoping to boost bank balances over the Easter break will need to be on their best behaviour to ensure some spare pennies for chocolate treats.

Findings from the latest Halifax’s Pocket Money Survey revealed that more than half (52%) of parents would stop dishing out pocket money as punishment for bad behaviour, which may leave any naughty children in for a lean Easter.

Kids heading on holiday have all the luck, as approximately only one in 10 (14%) parents would stop pocket money when on a break.

Despite being out of pocket for misbehaving, more than a quarter (28%) of eight to 15-year-olds save about half of their pocket money, consistent with findings from last year (30%). Savings-savvy kids are even concerned about building up a heavier piggybank – a third (32%) say they could save more, and one in four feel they (24%) really should be putting aside more cash.

If kids see something they really want, the bank of Mum and Dad is the first port of call, as almost a half (45%) will ask for the treat as a birthday present, while only a quarter (28%) will save.

Giles Martin, Head of Savings at Halifax, said: “As well as indulging in chocolate eggs over the Easter break, it can also be an opportunity for parents to teach kids about building their own nest egg. Over the last 30 years, our research has shown that children do have a good grasp of the importance of saving, so nurturing these habits at an early age can help build a healthy savings instinct for the future.”

Despite being born in a digital age, kids still hanker for old-fashioned childhood favourites.

Only one in 10 (11%) ‘techy tykes’ are saving for apps and smartphones, while more than a quarter (26%) prefer to save for toys.

Kids’ attitudes to managing money also remain more traditional. A third (30%) of kids carry out their banking in person, and eight in 10 children also still use a piggy bank to save their pennies. The research found a nod to tradition in banking from generation to generation, as more than one in five children (22%) also use the same bank as their parents.

Four in 10 (41%) kids say they should get more pennies, but double the amount of parents (84%) think kids get the right amount of pocket money. Nine out of 10 parents want their kids to be putting aside their pocket money.

Well over half (55%) of parents control what their kids spend pocket money on, with parents in London (70%) being the most controlling when it comes to monitoring what their children are buying.

Giles Martin, Head of Savings at Halifax, added: “We can still see some tradition in attitudes to saving and spending. Despite developments in technology, youngsters still save for toys over apps, and prefer banking in person. Piggy banks also remain a favourite savings tool showing that kids will be kids and want to save pennies in a jar. Whatever the method, encouraging children to regularly put aside a little pocket money is a great way for adults to teach kids about the value of saving.”

Halifax tips to help get kids saving:

1.Use different jars to help kids understand that some things take longer to save for than others depending on their value. One jar could have a picture of the toy or game they would like, and the other could be a holiday or a bigger item.

2. Create rewards for saving – if your child puts aside some of their pocket money or doesn’t spend it, there could be non-monetary rewards up for grabs like TV/games time, treats or a visit to somewhere. You could also use a chart with stickers to help illustrate.

3. Setting an example – you could also save into a piggy bank and deposit your money at the same time as your child to show that you do it too and encourage them to follow your example.

4. Matched contributions – encouraging your child to save by matching contributions may not only serve as an incentive, but will also teach them early about workplace pension saving, and the idea of putting money aside knowing they will have double will help engrain the concept at an early age.