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Home arrow Market Research Findings arrow General Finance arrow Small change - income size and source of 12-14-year-olds
Small change - income size and source of 12-14-year-olds PDF Print E-mail
Written by BMRB   
14 Apr 2005
The latest Youth TGI from BMRB shows levels of pocket money and other income for the 12-14 age groups to have increased over the last five years. Since 2000, the proportion who receive ?10 or more a week has risen by eight per cent while those who get between ?10-15 has seen an even more significant rise of 12%. Looked at in total, average weekly income has risen by 5% over the same period, to just under ?8 a week. These widespread increases could be attributed to many factors, most notably overall improvements in average affluence amongst the whole population; higher levels of employment underpinning a greater willingness amongst both parents and grandparents to give their child more pocket money.

Youth TGI identifies the various sources of income and compares them with previous surveys to distinguish whether there has been a shift in the way in which children acquire money. Actually, looking back over the last decade, there has been a widespread decrease in levels of financial support from parents themselves. Six percent fewer 12-14 year olds actually receive pocket money from a parent than was the case ten years ago. However this decrease has been more than offset by a five per cent penetration increase in those receiving pocket money from grandparents. There is evidence to support that hypothesis that although parents are not providing their children pocket money, without strings attached, they are actually making them work for their allowance by doing ‘odd jobs/chores.’ The proportion of 12-14-year-olds who receive money from such tasks has increased by six per cent since 1994. However, against this increase, there has been a three per cent decrease in the number of 12-14-year-olds who have a regular part-time job outside the home. This phenomenon is most notably amongst girls, where just over only one in ten girls in the age group have a part-time job, compared to almost one in five boys – a fact reflected by the lesser rise in overall income amongst girls. Perhaps this fall could be attributed to parents’ unwillingness to let their child work in an ‘outside’ environment and might explain the rise in chores within the home as a source of replacement ‘earned’ income.

The increased importance of grandparents as a source of income could be explained by data from TGI’s other, adult based, survey. This would indicate that, across this same ten year period the number of single parent families (which contain at least one child of 10-15years old) has leapt by 65% from around 460,000 to 760,000. Such a well established social phenomenon may well be putting more financial, not to say psychological, pressure onto the older, perhaps more finically secure, generation.

Youth TGI data further indicates that, despite these increases in financial resource, 12-14’s are actually saving less. In 2005 the proportion saving ‘at least some’ of their income hit a low of just 43% - down from 54% in 1994. Of those who do claim to save, some 84% have a bank account. Of non-savers this proportion drops to 76%.

Clues as to why the savings habit appears to be on the decline amongst this young sub-group of the population can be found in analysis of their attitudes to the whole subject of money. Twelve to fourteens are 10% more likely than they were ten years ago to agree that they are ‘not good at saving money’ and they are 10% more likely to believe that they ‘spend money without thinking’. Today’s 12-14 year old generation is 9% more likely than their 1994 equivalent to agree that ‘young people should enjoy their money not save it’ and they are more 11% more likely to agree that their parents buy them ‘everything they want’.

As regards their future expectations it is instructive to know that the proportion who say that they would like to go to university has grown from 54% ten years ago to 68% today.
Last Updated ( 03 Aug 2005 )
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