Are parental allowances contributing to the death of the Saturday job?

·Contributor, Yahoo Life UK
Fewer teenagers are taking on Saturday jobs than previous generations [Photo: Getty]
Fewer teenagers are taking on Saturday jobs than previous generations [Photo: Getty]

Parents are opting to give their children allowances and pocket money rather than encouraging them to find Saturday jobs, new research reveals.

A poll, conducted by LifeSkills created with Barclays, discovered the number of young people with a traditional Saturday job appears to be falling compared to previous generations.

While many tech-savvy teenagers are turning to online ventures to boost their income, others are relying on pocket money and allowances from their parents.

Overall, the research found that half of young people in education currently have a part-time job, compared to 68% of previous generations.

The joint biggest reason youngsters cited for not taking a part-time job is because they get an allowance or income elsewhere such as pocket money, with 44% of non-workers relying on handouts from parents.

The same figure, 44%, say they need to focus on their school work rather than work.

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But experts are warning that by forgoing work for pocket money, the next generation could be missing out on vital skills as a result, with young people who do have part-time jobs ranking responsibility, communication and teamwork as the top three skills gained from their Saturday jobs.

“The humble Saturday job can be the start of great things,” explains Baroness Karren Brady CBE, Chair of the LifeSkills Advisory Council.

My part-time job at a hair salon taught me the skills that put me on the path to a successful career in business; problem solving, proactivity and hard work. Your first job is more than just a point for your CV, it’s a life lesson.”

Should parents give their children an allowance? [Photo: Getty]
Should parents give their children an allowance? [Photo: Getty]

Saturday job vs allowance

What’s more there’s the thorny topic to tackle of how much money parents should be forking out in allowances or pocket money.

In the UK, the average amount depends on where you are in the country but the overall average in the UK tends to be around £7 per week.

According to Money Advice Service five to 10 year-olds are given an average of £7.30, while 11 to 16 year-olds pocket £22.90.

But there are some advantages to children getting paid by their parents.

Research reveals a child’s money habits have largely formed by the age of seven and pocket money is a great way to get them to understand what money is used for.

Experts also believe pocket money or an allowance can really help help kids to understand the value of money and how to budget.

But should parents be encouraging teenagers to get a Saturday job in order to wean them off pocket money?

Would weaning children off their allowance be an effective way for parents to show them that pocket money is a privilege, not a right?

Siobhan Freegard, founder at believes there are advantages to both Saturday jobs and parental allowances.

"The Saturday job used to be a right of passage for tweens and teens but new rules have made it much harder for youngsters to find work.

“Thirteen and 14 year olds are legally restricted to just five hours work on Saturdays which rules out most traditionally popular shifts in retail or hospitality.

"Coupled with increasing exam pressures and extended study time, ‎many teens simply can't find conventional work which works for them.

But that doesn't necessarily mean they aren't working at all.

“Growing numbers of entrepreneurial teens are making money through their phones with apps that pay you to take surveys or watch videos, while others are becoming influencers,” Freegard adds.

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Those who aren’t working can still reap certain benefits of being given parental pocket money.

"Others have allowances from their parents, usually in return for completing chores around the house or as incentives for good grades or other achievements at school,” she explains.

Freegard says the rapid rise of pocket money apps like RoosterMoney or GoHenry may have contributed to a rise in the number of parents giving their children an allowance and highlights how well this works for modern families.

“These apps allow mums and dads to control how much they pay their child and even track what it's spent on. So while we maybe seeing the death of the traditional Saturday job, the children's pocket money economy is still thriving."

Ultimately the decision about whether to give your child pocket money or encourage them to get a Saturday job, is down to the individual parent, but its good to know that experts can see benefits to both.

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