Pocket money used to be invested in sweets at the kiosk, but today many children also shop online. And parents apparently have trouble keeping up with how and where their offspring spend money online. This is shown by a recent study by the market research company Innofact, which surveyed children and parents on the financial behavior of young people on behalf of Mastercard and the financial start-up Bling.
The survey of around 1,000 parents and 1,000 children and young people between the ages of 10 and 18 shows that many come into contact with online shopping at a very early age. According to this, every fifth child by the age of ten has already bought something online alone or together with their parents. By the age of 13, every second person has had online shopping experience.
It can become particularly problematic if the offspring uses their parents' account on their own initiative. 31 percent of the adults surveyed report that their child has already bought something online using their parents' card, their PayPal account or by direct debit without first discussing the costs with a parent. In the majority of cases, the sum was "very small", but in a third of the cases it was "slightly higher" and in a few even "very high, which caused problems". Even among ten and eleven-year-olds, one in five admits that they have used their parents' bank account without consulting them.
But even without access to parent accounts, kids are finding ways to shop online like adults. 38 percent of the children and young people surveyed stated that they had already used an online payment service or opened an account there with false information about their age. Every second person aged 16 to 18 has cheated on payment services about their age, and every fourth person aged 10 to 15 has.
Most pocket money is still spent offline, but online purchases are dominating for quite a few children. Around two-thirds of children and young people spend their money more often in shops than online. However, every third child surveyed says that they spend more on the internet or in apps. According to the survey, boys are significantly more online than girls: 40 percent of boys spend their pocket money online more often, while only 28 percent of girls say so.
If you want to spend your pocket money digitally, you also need it in digital form. Consequently, 32 percent of parents transfer the pocket money to their children's accounts. According to the survey, a 10-year-old receives on average (median) 20 euros pocket money per month, a 15-year-old 35 euros and an 18-year-old 50 euros. In addition, for many there are regular gifts of money from relatives and, with increasing age, income from part-time jobs.
In view of the many possibilities on different channels, do the adolescents still have an overview of what they spend their money on every month? Only half of the children and young people say "yes". 38 percent only "partially" have an overview and around 10 percent openly say "no". Parents don't have a better perspective either: 54 percent of parents "definitely know" how much money their child spends a month. 38 percent of parents only "partially" have an overview and 7 percent don't have it at all.