Boys get paid more pocket money

By Amelia Wade

11-year-old twins Josh (left) and Cameron Stokes have a week in which to decide how to spend their pocket money. Photo / Christine Cornege
11-year-old twins Josh (left) and Cameron Stokes have a week in which to decide how to spend their pocket money. Photo / Christine Cornege

Most Kiwi kids don't get pocket money - but for those who do, boys get $3 more a week on average than girls and chores to earn it are based on gender.

Both spend 2.4 hours a week doing chores and girls are more likely to clean the bedroom and do the dishes and laundry while boys are more likely to take out the rubbish, mow the lawns and clean the car.

The findings were included in the Westpac Money and Kids Report, a nationwide survey commissioned to understand the money habits of children. The research surveyed 540 Westpac customers, all with children aged between 4 and 18 years old.

Angela McLeod from the Pay Equity Challenge Coalition said it was "a blight on society" that the gap in wages started so young and proved just how much attitudes needed to change, Especially because boys and girls spent the same amount of time doing chores - 2.4 hours a week - but the gap was more than $3.

"It shows just how little we value what women contribute and that needs to change ... these parents need to value the work different genders do equally. And it shows how far we've got to go if this is starting so young."

The most common chore was making the bed, with 78 per cent of boys and 89 per cent of girls usually doing that to earn money. The least common chore was mowing the lawn.

Read the full report on pocket money here

Eighty-four per cent had a bank account, but 65 per cent had no weekly savings and 37 per cent of the parents surveyed said their children had a poor to below average understanding of the value of money.

However, 48 per cent of children had a good to excellent understanding.

Westpac's general manager of business bank, private bank, wealth and insurance, Simon Power, said the report showed New Zealand children weren't getting life lessons on understanding money, how to save it and an associated work-to-reward ethic.

"Doing chores at home for pocket money is one way a child can start to understand how to earn money, save it, value it and a lot more."

Chief executive of the Mangere Budgeting Service, Darryl Evans, supported giving children half their age in pocket money and teaching them to divide it into thirds - some to save, some to spend and the rest to donate.

He said children who learned how to save young grew to be much more financially literate adults.

Twins have learned value of a dollar early in life

At 11 years old, Josh Stokes is quite a long way off being able to drive but he's already saving for his dream car - a VW Combi van.

And he's just gone halves on an iPod with his parents because it was his birthday in July.

Josh and his twin brother, Cameron, have been getting half their age in pocket money every week from their parents since they were 5.

Their mother, Anita, of Hamilton, gives it to them as a learning tool because it helps them learn the value of a dollar and how to use it wisely.

The boys receive their allowance on Sundays so they have the whole of the next week to think which teaches them about delayed gratification, about what to do with it and have to divide it into sums to "save, spend and share".

Josh and Cameron can divide their pocket money - now $5.50 a week - how they like but have to give at least 50 cents to the share jar where once a month a different member of their family decides which charity they want to give it to.

Mrs Stokes, a primary teacher, said the boys didn't have particular chores they had to do in order to get their money but they made their beds and helped out around the house because "that's part of being in this family".

- NZ Herald

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