Wallet feeling a little empty these summer holidays? The “Bank of Mum and Dad” handed out $368 million in spending money to kids over the Christmas break, according to Commonwealth Bank research.
Commonwealth Bank (CBA) also revealed that kids aged 5 – 7 received a whopping $1.1 billion in spending money in total over the break.
For many parents, it comes as no surprise that the six-week long break “can present a stressful financial burden for parents paying for additional activities.”
The true cost of summer holidays
According to CBA research Aussie kids are typically receiving an average of $509 over summer holidays, with the figure increasing by age.
- 73 per cent of kids receive money through Christmas gifts
- 72 per cent also receive handouts from their parents
- 58 per cent had to earn their way through chores
- 45 per cent of kids dipped into their savings
- 42 per cent continued receiving pocket money
- 65 per cent of teenagers aged 16-18 worked part time over the summer
The most lucrative way for under-18’s to make money over summer comes from part-time jobs, with those old enough to work earning an average of $198 over the six-week period.
For those too young to work, Christmas cards brought them on average $137 and handouts from parents around $111. Chores, however, earned kids an average of $32 and pocket money an average of $31.
What do kids spend their money on?
A question posed by many Aussie parents this summer, CBA research has found that more than half (55 per cent) of school children chose to spend their money on sweets and lollies. 58 per cent also spent their money on activities such as going to the cinema.
Girls were also more likely to spend their money on shopping for clothes (54 per cent) than boys (39 per cent), with boys more likely to fork over their summer cash on video games (36 per cent), books (21 per cent) and sports (14 per cent).
Children asked their parents for money on average eight times over the six-week summer break. Half of parents found the extra financial commitment to be stressful and that by the end of the summer they are “running low on money for activities”. However, a savvy 42 per cent of parents made a holiday budget at the start of the break to manage the extra financial pressure.
School Banking and Youth General Manager, Irene Rowlands, told CBA that with two weeks of the holidays left to go, “there’s still time to help kids make the most of the summer holidays and ease the pressure on parent’s purses.”
“The long, hot days of the summer holidays offer kids the chance to enjoy some well-earned time out from school.
“But keeping kids entertained doesn’t always come for free and, for many families, the financial burden of funding extra activities, on top of taking time off from work, can be stressful.
“With two weeks to go, there’s still time to ease the financial load off your mind. Set up a summer budget, opt for low cost or discounted family activities, and keep a track of your spending using handy personal finance apps.
“Given the influx of cash kids receive over the Christmas break, the summer holidays are also the ideal time to talk to your children about managing their money and establishing good savings habits,” said Ms Rowlands.