Kids rake in $1.1 billion spending money

dollar,money,coins,currencyAustralian school children aged 5 to 17 received $1.1 billion in spending money over the Christmas break, according to recent research commissioned by Commonwealth Bank.

Around $368 million of these funds came directly from parents in the form of handouts (22 per cent), pocket money (6 per cent) or cash for chores around the house (6 per cent).

More than half (55 per cent) of Australian school children chose to spend their summer money on sweets and lollies, with activities (such as going to the cinema) proving to be the only more popular option for cash splurges (58 per cent).

Spending money on sports (14 per cent) and books (21 per cent) was the least popular among girls and boys, with girls more likely to spend money shopping for clothes (54 per cent) than boys (39 per cent), while boys were more likely (36 per cent) than girls (21 per cent) to spend money on video games.

According to Commonwealth Bank’s “Cost of the Summer Holidays” report, the six-week long school break can present a stressful financial burden for parents paying for additional activities.

The research indicates that kids, on average, ask parents for money close to eight times over the course of the six-week summer holidays (around 1.3 times per week). But pressing too hard could see purse strings close.

Around 50 per cent of parents have said they find the extra financial commitments of the holidays to be stressful, adding they they usually run low on money for activities by the end of the summer. Around 42 per cent of parents put in place a budget at the start of the holidays to manage additional costs.

The study showed kids in a typical Australian household usually receives an average of $509 over summer holidays, with the figure increasing by age. Most of these children are likely to receive money through Christmas gifts (73 per cent) and handouts from their parents (72 per cent), while around 58 per cent were required to do jobs around the house to earn cash, 45 per cent were dipped into their savings and 42 per cent continued to receive pocket money.

Among households containing older teens aged 16 to 18, part-time work was a popular source of income, with 65 per cent working over the summer.

According to Commonwealth Bank’s research, the most lucrative source of income comes from part-time jobs, with students old enough to work earning on average $198 over the summer period. But for kids too young to work, Christmas card envelopes bulging with an average of $137, and handouts from parents of around $111, offer a good source of spending money.

On the flip side, financial rewards for doing jobs around the house pale in comparison with children earning an average of $32, while the traditional allowance of pocket money totalled an average of $31.

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