• The NatWest Rooster Money Pocket Money Index, a year-long study of 308,000 children, has uncovered their real spending, earning and saving behaviour on a bigger scale than ever
  • The data reveals that the pocket money pay-out is changing as parents favour one off top ups linked to rewards, entrepreneurship and extra chores instead of a regular allowance
  • Just 30% of families now commit to a traditional pocket money routine – handing over £3.78 per week (down from £3.88 the year before)
  • But kids are proving their resilience by taking on side hustles and additional chores, bringing their overall weekly earnings to £9.23 – £480 per year (broadly in line with 2022/23)
  • Although their earnings are flat year on year, they are still giving back, showing today’s kids recognise the importance of helping those less fortunate than them
  • NatWest Rooster Money kids have averaged a savings rate of 9.5% – almost as much as their parents


The weekly pocket money pay-out many will remember from childhood is changing shape for the modern world, the most in-depth study of the UK’s youth economy has indicated.

The findings from NatWest Rooster Money’s latest annual Pocket Money Index show that less than a third (30%) of families pay pocket money as part of a regular routine, down from 32% in 2022/23, and it now makes up just 14% of kids’ overall income on average.

For those that do pay a weekly allowance, the average pay out is down 3%, now sitting at £3.78 after another difficult year for family finances, overshadowed by stubborn inflation and rising cost of living.

However, kids have shown determination, increasing their overall earnings substantially to £9.23 per week by adding new elements into the money mix in the form of extra chores, entrepreneurship and more.


Kids are taking earning into their own hands as regular pocket money recedes

The findings suggest parents are committing less to recurring payments, instead opting to double down on ad hoc moments of magic and delight. These include tooth fairy visits, the average fee for which rose 9% to £4.00 in 2023/24, recognition of good behaviour, which soared 12% to £8.79 and even rewards for reading, which fetched kids an extra 7% after rising to £5.53.

Far from relying on their parents’ generosity, kids are levelling up their financial nous and taking on more responsibilities to keep their income consistent. Average earnings from almost all side hustles are on the up, suggesting more kids are getting their entrepreneurial hat on. Paper round earnings rose 2% to £23.10, babysitting crept up 1% to £18.22 and kids in the field of tutoring enjoyed a 5% pay rise to £14.80, showing learning is earning. Reselling, while popular, took a 15% hit, falling to £22.62.

Chores remained big earners, with eight out of the top 10 best paid chores paying more in 2023/24 than the previous 12 months. The most lucrative jobs were mowing the lawn (£3.47 per-job average), cleaning the car (£3.25), cleaning the windows (£1.63), gardening (£1.36) and chicken care (£1.32). But for these kids money isn’t everything, as the most popular chores were the time-old classics: making the bed, washing the dishes, tidying their bedroom, setting and clearing the table, and doing the laundry.

NatWest Rooster Money kids’ overall weekly earnings equate to £479.96 over the course of the year. If all the kids in the UK are earning at this pace, together they’d have over £4.6 billion1 – more than enough to finance the new venues and facilities for this summer’s Paris 2024 Olympic Games2.


Despite facing stagflation, charity donations are strong

Although their earnings have been stretched this year, kids continued to give back to charitable causes. Cancer research and other medical charities were the most popular causes in 2023/24, followed by those related to animals. When it came to donation size, children particularly focused their giving on community. By far the largest donations were given to charities dedicated to development and poverty (£5.20 on average), showcasing British children's desire to give to those less fortunate at home and abroad. This was followed up by generous amounts given to causes dedicated to children and young people (£4.04).

As for spending more broadly, Amazon maintained its top spot as the brand kids spent the most on, while fashion saw a notable surge in the ranks – with Primark climbing two spots to number four, and SHEIN knocking Apple off its previous number 10 spot. But it was food that dominated the most popular spending categories, for which the top five comprised supermarkets, gaming, convenience stores, fast food outlets, then cafés and restaurants. And, confirming the days of lockdown are long gone, the lion’s share of transactions were in person (84%) rather than online (16%).


Generation Alpha are savvy savers, taking action today for a better tomorrow

In 2023/24, NatWest Rooster Money kids set aside a huge 9.5% of their income, equivalent to annual savings of £45.60 each, showing they are building good saving habits early on. This is despite CPI rising 3.4%3 over the same period, and impressively close to their adult counterparts, with the latest household savings ratio coming in at 10.2%4.

When it comes to how they save, 55% of kids’ money is saved against specific targets, taking inspiration from practical goals to make their ambitions tangible. The most popular saving category was gaming, followed by money for holidays – indicating they’re at least balancing screen time with a desire to get out in the world. And, many parents would be reassured to learn that saving for the future was the third most popular reason to put money aside.


Will Carmichael, CEO and Founder of NatWest Rooster Money, says:

“I look forward to our Pocket Money Index findings every year, as they always spark fascinating conversations about how money and our behaviour around it are changing – something most of us don’t talk about enough. One of the key revelations for me is the way kids’ money is completely changing shape. Although pocket money in its traditional sense is seemingly declining, that doesn’t mean it’s any less important; but rather that kids are increasingly complementing it in other, more sophisticated ways. This move to greater independence and maturity in their earning has been fantastic to see and bodes well for some bright, financially-confident futures ahead.”


Konnie Huq, children’s author and broadcast presenter, adds:

“I love that this data shows UK kids have such get-up-and-go when it comes to money. It’s so important that we give our children ample opportunities to understand its value; that it’s not something to take for granted – and it’s clear from NatWest Rooster Money’s findings that those conversations are happening and families are building awareness of this together. Thinking back on my own childhood, I didn’t have a regular allowance and I’m probably in a much better position for it, having had to make my own way with a Saturday job and get to grips with trade-offs and being responsible from an early age. If that kind of independence is becoming more common, that can only be a good thing.”




Editors notes:

Data was collected from user activity on the NatWest Rooster Money pocket money app and prepaid debit card between 1st March 2023 and 29th February 2024. The sample comprised 307,776 children between the ages of 6 and 17.

1 £4,551,513,475.60 – latest ONS estimate of the UK population of children aged 6-17 (9,483,110 – ONS) multiplied by average overall earnings per child across the year (£479.96)

2 Based on an estimated budget of €4.5 billion (£5.3 billion) (Reuters)

3 ONS consumer price inflation, UK: February 2024

4 ONS households’ savings ratio, 2023 Q4


Press contact: For questions about the NatWest Rooster Money’s latest annual Pocket Money Index or any other media enquiries, please get in touch at press@roostermoney.com.


About NatWest Rooster Money

NatWest Rooster Money is a children’s prepaid debit card and pocket money app, designed to give young people a head start with money. Founded in 2015, it relaunched as NatWest Rooster Money in 2022.

The app features a range of easy-to-use tools to help get children confident with money from a young age, starting with a Star Chart through to the Rooster Card, which comes with a range of parental controls and is available for ages six to 17.

NatWest Rooster Money is part of NatWest’s wider offering for young people and families, including NatWest Adapt and NatWest First Saver.

The information contained in our press releases is intended solely for journalists and media and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions. Terms and conditions apply to any products or services mentioned in our press releases.

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