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UK tweens are financially savv

Nia Williams

October 18, 2010

If you want to find capable and confident money managers look no further than Britain’s tweens (8 – 13 years old) and teens (14 – 18 years old), according to the M&S Money Under 18’s Work and Money Survey 2010.

The survey – based on research of more than 3,000 UK under 18s – highlights that:

A child aged 8-9 has an average monthly income of £9.70 and by 18 years of age monthly income has soared to an average of £219. However, while the older age group ‘earn’ substantially more, they have to subsidise a greater range of expenses.

Both tweens (50%) and teens (30%) save significant percentages of their income – putting many older savers to shame.

Tweens (39%) are more likely to earn pocket money by helping out around the house than teens (29%) – possibly reflecting the older age groups propensity to look for other forms of income generating work.

Indeed, 72% (tweens) and 87% (teens) would like to have a part-time job by the age of 18 as they feel it will teach them responsibility and help them gain employment when they are older.

The M&S Money Under 18’s Work and Money Survey 2010 shows that both teens and tweens have good savings habits. Tweens are most likely to spend most of their money on treats such as sweets and magazines (58%) but an impressive 53% of 8 – 13 year olds are saving half (50%) of their income (£7.20) in either a savings account or piggy bank.

Teenagers, who need to finance mobile phone costs (29%) and necessities such as clothes, transport or school books (22%) have higher average monthly incomes (£74.20) but still manage to save 30% of their average monthly income (£23.50).

For both groups, the primary source of income is “parental subsidies” or pocket money. However, both tweens (8 – 13 year olds) and teens (14 – 18 year olds) seem worldly-wise about how to get on in life, with 80% keen to have a part-time job before they are 18.

The rising monthly income of teenagers reflects their greater propensity to work; 25% of 16-17 year olds and 30% of 18 year olds have a part time job, and 3% of 18 year olds are even running their own business.

While not all teens of ‘working age’ have a part-time job, many have a keen desire to find one. Indeed, over half (56%) of 16-18 year olds surveyed have attempted to supplement their income by finding a part time job in the last six months, almost twice the number that actually have one (30% of 16-17 year olds, 31% of 18 year olds).

Amanda Newman, head of marketing at M&S Money, commented on the findings: “The survey shows that Britain’s 8-18s are clued up and motivated by money and work to a surprisingly mature extent.

“They have great savings habits and a tremendously positive attitude to earning their own money both for its own sake and to gain career building and life skills. The vast majority would like to have a part time job while still in education, although not all are finding it easy to get one at present.

“It is great also to see that many parents and grandparents are giving children a good awareness of money matters by talking to them about spending and saving, and it is clearly having a benefit.

“We encourage parents and grandparents who have such a key opportunity to foster good financial skills in their children, to talk about their own money and budgeting experiences to build the children’s understanding even further.”

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