15 October 2013

Westpac NZ Kids and Money Report:  Kids need more exposure to money in Kiwi households

Kiwi kids are not getting enough exposure at home in learning about money with more than half (55%) aged between 6–18 years old not receiving pocket money and the majority of those that do, earning it from chores based on outdated gender stereotypes.

Findings from the Westpac Kids and Money Report show boys are being given more pocket money than girls - $12.50pw vs $9.80pw - and household chores for earning it are based on gender not task. The Westpac Money and Kids Report is a nationwide survey commissioned to understand the money habits of children to support the launch of Westpac’s new money management mobile app Cash Critter.

While both are spending 2.4 hours per week doing chores, girls are more likely to clean the bedroom, do the dishes and laundry while boys are more likely to take out the rubbish, mow the lawns and clean the car.

Simon Power, Westpac’s General Manager Business Bank, Private Bank, Wealth & Insurance, says the report shows Kiwi kids aren’t getting the life lessons on understanding money, how to save it and an associated work to reward ethic.

“While many parents will likely agree that children need to learn how to manage money wisely, it is not being put into practice in the majority of Kiwi households. New Zealand has certainly evolved with two parent working homes, 7 day shopping and other societal changes impacting parents time and home life,” Mr Power said.

“Doing chores at home for pocket money is one way a child can start to understand how to earn money, save it, value it and a lot more.”

“The home is an influential learning environment for creating habits, behaviours and  shaping views and an open minded, proactive approach by parents to pocket money can also help dispel any gender bias on how money can be earned.”

While 84% of 6-18yos have a bank account, 65% have no weekly savings and 37% of the parents surveyed said their children have a poor to below average understanding of the value of money.

However, technology is proving to be a positive influence in helping shape children’s understanding of money. The Westpac Kids and Money Report shows those who earn pocket money and who use technology to track their savings are twice as likely to understand the value of money.

“These kids are digital natives, raised with technology and using it is second nature to them. An app like Cash Critter can be a great aid and introduce an element of fun for both parents and kids,” Mr Power said.

Parents and kids can use the app to keep track of household chores and payments. It can set reminders for the child to complete their chores and an alert can be set up for the parents to check the chores are done and pay the child for the work completed. Parents can also keep track of how much each child is being paid to ensure all payments are earned and rewarded fairly.

The app is now available in the iTunes store and the next planned update to the app will enable integration with Facebook and allow deposits to Westpac Kiwsaver accounts to help parents foster long term savings habits in their children.

“We’ve taken the approach of identifying the issue and finding a solution that is not only helpful, but practical and available in a way that kids understand and can use,” Mr Power said.

The survey showed that children spend on average 2.4 hours a week doing chores and that most start from six years old. The average weekly amount given to kids under 12 is $10.

When comparing Kiwi kids with their trans-Tasman neighbours, Australian boys do less chores than any other child (2.1 hours/week) and do more outdoor work such as taking out the rubbish and mowing lawns than Kiwi boys.

Australian girls do the most chores (2.7 hours/week) and help clean the house and take out the rubbish more than Kiwi girls do. Fetching groceries is the only chore Kiwi girls do more than Australian girls (35% of Kiwi girls vs 24% of Aussie girls).

Fact Box

  • Cash Critter™ is currently only available on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch
  • If you hold a Westpac transaction account and are registered to use Westpac Mobile Online Banking, you can pay your kids’ weekly allowance to any nominated New Zealand bank account.
  • If you don’t hold a Westpac transaction account you can still make the most of the benefits and features of Cash Critter™ with the option to pay your kids in cash
  • The maximum payment amount permitted through Cash Critter™ is NZ$500.00 per transaction
  • Only one goal per kid can be set at any given time.
  • Six – the average age to start getting pocket money
  • $10 – the average weekly amount of pocket money for under 12s
  • 2.4 hours – average amount of time Kiwi kids spend on chores
  • 65% of kids have no weekly savings
  • 55% of kids don’t get pocket money
  • Pocket money amounts: $12.50pw for boys vs $9.80pw for girls (on average)


 Online survey of 540 New Zealanders with children aged 4-18yos. Results compared to Australian sample of 1,001 people.