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Parents assign five-year-olds paid chores to teach them the 'value of money'

Abigail Fenton
·2-min read
Parents assign ther kids paid chores from the age of five, and think they should have a bank account by 10. (Catt Liu/Unsplash)
Parents assign ther kids paid chores from the age of five, and think they should have a bank account by 10. (Catt Liu/Unsplash)

Parents in the UK are assigning their children paid chores from the age of five to teach them the “value of money”, research suggests.

While most parents — about 28% — first put their kids to work around the house between the ages of eight and 10, a fifth put kids as young as five to work, washing dishes and hoovering to “earn their keep”, a survey of 2,000 by VoucherCodes found.

On top of this, over a third (36%) encourage their kids to start saving between the ages of five and 10, while one in 10 (11%) even do it before this.

Over half (52%) of parents say teaching their children to be “financially responsible” is something they consider important, and nearly two in five (38%) do so in the hope their children will eventually become “self-sufficient” with their cash.

READ MORE: How to be a cost-savvy parent as kids head back to school

Despite this, parents don’t believe their children will be financially independent until the age of 21, whether it’s because they will be paying for driving lessons (55%) or supporting them through university (47%).

One in five parents even said they’re happy to pay for holidays for their over-18-year olds, while two in three (43%) pay for their food shop and a quarter (26%) pay their rent, the survey found.

When it comes to financial independence, more than two thirds (68%) think the most significant sign is earning your own money, and more than half (52%) cited opening your own bank account — something they think children should do at 10.

This suggests “today’s children are under high pressure to be financially savvy at a young age”, VoucherCodes said.

READ MORE: Parents set to save £11m a week on energy bills as kids return to school

Dads have a slightly more relaxed approach to their children’s financial education, with just two in five (39%) thinking it’s important to discuss financial responsibility with their kids, compared to almost half (47%) of mums, the survey found.

“Teaching children about money from an early age can be crucial to setting them up for a financially responsible life, and our research shows the majority of parents agree,” said Anita Naik, lifestyle editor at VoucherCodes.

“What’s interesting is that some families start this conversation from a very young age — in some cases with kids as young as five.

“Whether that’s asking them to do the dishes or wash the car, it’s clear many children are learning the value of money early, which can have really positive impacts later in life when it comes to budgeting and managing their spending.”