05 July 2021

Pandemic and pocket money: How has the squeeze on household incomes impacted teens?

05 July 2021

Squeezed household budgets over the past year have triggered pocket-money cuts for teenagers, according to new research.

One in five (21%) parents have had to reduce or stop payments into savings accounts for their teen, research from financial services provider OneFamily found.

The decrease equates to a typical drop of £5.40 per teenager per month, according to the calculations.

Financial pressures caused by the coronavirus crisis was a key reason, given by 47% of affected parents. Some teenagers have faced a double whammy, having been furloughed from jobs as well as facing a cut in their allowance from parents.

Dad and son doing washing up

For some, they have ended up doing more work around the family home – with more than a quarter (26%) of parents saying their teen has taken on more chores than their partner during the pandemic.

Performing chores around the house can, however, help young people to learn the value of money. OneFamily heard from teacher Kay Johnson, who has been paying both her sons, aged 17 and 14, pocket money based on the number of jobs they do around the house.

“I’ve always wanted my boys to know how to do the housework – it’s an essential life skill. Plus, it’s good that they’re so financially aware, because it’s not going to be easy when they are older,” she says.

A third (33%) of parents are worried about the impact of the payment cuts on their teenagers’ savings accounts. Meanwhile, a further 18% have decided to sacrifice their own savings in favour of their children’s in the past year.

Young people aged 13-19 and their parents took part in the survey.

Paul Bridgwater, head of investments at OneFamily, says: “It’s been a challenging time, and many parents have been hit hard financially by the pandemic. Where costs have had to be cut, this has inevitably meant a knock-on effect for teens.

“We have also seen some teenagers picking up more responsibilities in order to help out their family and perhaps earn some extra pocket money, as being furloughed from their jobs meant many lost their usual income from weekend and holiday work.”

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