It was the news that there is a gender gap for…pocket money.
You read that correctly.
It seems that even when it comes to “paying” children, the inequality that plagues us as women, is ever present.
And of course, my big question is, why?
According to a new study by Starling Bank, girls are likely to receive 20% less pocket money than boys. Starling’s Chief Banking Officer and family finance expert Helen Bierton says that one in ten parents are more likely to talk to boys about money from a young age, which, she says, puts them at an advantage when it comes to financial literacy development. Boys are also more likely to get their pocket money digitally (8% more than girls), while girls are more likely to be given cash, meaning boys are more experienced in using payment systems typically used today.
The thing that is particularly disconcerting about this for me, is that when it comes to our children and how we raise them, it’s slightly more difficult for us to look outside the home to ascribe blame.
It’s true, that our conditioning as adults is made up of all sorts of influences as time goes on, work, peers, environment etc, but given that our primary socialisation takes place among our family and friends first, when things aren’t as they should be, we have no choice but to reflect on how well we are playing our roles.
And for some of us the truth may not be pretty. But just as we have to face our finances in order to fix them, understanding our personal relationship with money, the values we hold and how they translate into behaviour that our children then emulate, is a vital part of our economic empowerment too.
When last did you reflect on what you’re teaching your kids about money?
Here are some discussion prompts for the children in your household:
- What do you know about money?
- How important is money to you and why?
- How do we earn money in this house?
- If we gave you £100 what would you do with it?
Should boys earn more money than girls? (deliberately provocative but children are so funny and honest that the answers may be truly revealing!)
Self-advocacy is a quality that we never stop needing, and it’s important that we cultivate it in our girls, early. But in order to do this effectively and to advocate for the right things, we need to be educated on what they are first.
I’ve talked before about why Cash is Queen is so important in inspiring a new generation of financially confident young women, starting with pre-teen and teenage girls, and these disappointing stats only serve to underline this point.
That’s why I’m on a mission to make sure all young girls everywhere have a solid grasp of their finances long before they reach adulthood.
Not just the ones in the UK, or the US or [insert any other Western country here].
But all young women. Whether or not they have access to Amazon same day delivery.
How is pocket money distributed in your home?