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Boys trump girls on the pocket money playing field


16 July 2013

Boys are likely to earn more weekly pocket money than girls ($48.00 versus $45.00) despite spending less time on average, completing their household chores (2.1 hours each week versus 2.7 hours for girls), according to Westpac’s latest research on kids and pocket money.

Figures from The Westpac Kids and Money Report, a national survey commissioned to support the launch of Westpac’s new iPhone App Pay Pig, also reveals that boys are saving more than girls, putting away 29% of their weekly pocket money ($14.10) compared to their female counterparts who put away 25% of their weekly income ($11.40).

Gai McGrath, Westpac’s General Manager of Retail Banking, believes that while earning money for chores is an important lesson for kids to learn, parents should keep a close watch over the chores to ensure there is a fair system in place.

“I am sure most parents would agree that children should be treated equally when earning their pocket money, yet our research suggests that is not necessarily the case, with boys undertaking fewer chores but earning slightly more, and as a consequence, saving more,” said Ms McGrath.

Gender roles seem to also impact parent’s decisions when they divide up the household chores. Girls are more likely to be given indoor jobs, such as cleaning the bedroom (90% of girls versus 81% of boys) and doing the dishes (59% of girls versus 43% of boys) whereas boys are more likely to be assigned outdoor jobs. These include taking out the rubbish (61% of boys versus 40% of girls) and mowing the lawn or gardening (23% of boys versus 8% of girls

“We don’t think that parents are intentionally paying their sons more, they probably don’t have a concrete system in place to monitor their pocket money distribution. We are encouraging parents to take stock of their current pocket money routine to make sure it’s fair and will allow kids to keep track of their responsibilities and payments,” said Ms McGrath.

Westpac’s new iPhone App, Pay Pig, is one way parents can keep track of household chores and payments for their children. Pay Pig sends reminders to the child to complete their chores and alerts the parent to pay the child once complete. With all chores, goals and payment information in the one place, parents can also keep track of how much each child is being paid to ensure all payments are earned and rewarded fairly.

The Pay Pig iPhone App, which allows kids and parents to set goals in a fun and engaging way, has received a five star customer rating on iTunes and 2,000 downloads from Aussie households since its launch in May.

“Kids today are incredibly tech savvy. Our research shows that those who earn pocket money by doing chores and use technology to track their savings are more than twice as likely to understand the value of money (45%) than those who don’t do either (18%),” said Ms McGrath.

Westpac’s Pay Pig App is available for iPhone and iPod touch and can be downloaded for free at Apple’s iTunes Store, available at:

Westpac’s top kids and money tips

Tips for kids:

  • Set goals: Work out what you want to buy with your pocket money. Then you’ll know exactly how many chores you need to do to reach this amount.
  • Plan: Once you know how much pocket money you can earn, set a plan to reach your goal. This will also make sure you have money for things to buy in the meantime, like an ice-cream or a movie ticket.
  • Create an order: Decide which chores pay the most money and do those first. If you don't get to complete all your chores that week, you know you won't be missing on too much.
  • Savings accounts: Ask your parents to set up an online savings account for you to put your savings into so you can earn interest (meaning that, the $10 you save today will be worth more than $10 in the future).

Westpac Kids and Money Report (PDF 894KB)