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Gender pay gap starts with pocket money

David Aidone, August 30, 2021 7:00PM News Corp Australia Network

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Kristy Bautista, mum to Mila, 9, and Evie, 7, is teaching her kids the value of making and saving their own money by paying them for a variety of household chores. Picture: Nicki Connolly media_cameraKristy Bautista, mum to Mila, 9, and Evie, 7, is teaching her kids the value of making and saving their own money by paying them for a variety of household chores. Picture: Nicki Connolly

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Age is no object when it comes to Australia’s wage gap for kids, but gender* makes a difference, with boys getting more pocket money than girls each week.

Comparison site Finder’s latest Parenting Report found parents gave their sons an average of $10.30 a week, while their daughters received $9.30 – amounting to a yearly difference of $52.

The poll of more than 1000 parents across the nation with children under the age of 12 also found that Covid had not completely stopped pocket money growth, with many children receiving more cash than they did a year ago.

Of those who received a weekly allowance, one in three were lucky enough to get a pay rise. More than half were getting the same amount of money, while almost one in 10 were being given less.

Dr Kimberley O’Brien, principal child psychologist* at the Quirky Kid Clinic, said she didn’t believe paying boys and girls different pocket money amounts would fly in most families.

“It’s possible some families pay more than others and then overall boys are getting paid more,” Dr O’Brien said.

“But if it does exist, I think over time that gap will decrease … because so many girls are so aware of the glass ceiling* and pay inequality, and they’ll be starting to push back on this earlier in life.”

POCKET MONEY  GENDER GAP media_cameraEva and Cesar Yordi pictured with kids Andreas, 9, and Sophia, 8, and Peanut the dog. Both kids have to take care of their dog to receive pocket money, which in their house is decided by job, not gender. Picture: Sam Ruttyn

The survey also revealed the generosity of parents in each state.

Victorian kids were found to be the nation’s biggest earners, raking in an average of $12.10 in pocket money each week.

Children in NSW were given $11.35 weekly, while those in Western Australia received about $9.30.

Queensland’s youngsters scored about $6.35 a week, and South Australia’s kids pocketed roughly $4.70.

Neuroscience* communicator and learning specialist Jill Sweatman said pocket money should be awarded to children when they completed tasks, and the benefits could be more than just financial.

“Working for extra pocket money can be a good lesson and encourage an entrepreneurial* spirit in a child, like doing something special to contribute to a project for a parent or extra for a grandparent or friend in need,” Ms Sweatman said.

Dr O’Brien recommended paying a weekly allowance based on a child’s age (for example, $5 a week for a 5-year-old), paid monthly as that is how many people are paid in the workforce.

Eva Yordi and her husband Cesar have been giving pocket money to their two children – Sophia, 8, and Andreas, 9 – for about three years.

POCKET MONEY  GENDER GAP media_cameraEva Yordi pictured with kids Sophia, 8, and Andreas, 9, pictured with their pocket money piggy banks, which are organised according to the value of each chore. Picture: Sam Ruttyn

Ms Yordi said that rather than giving them a set amount each week, the children have tasks with which they build points worth 20 cents each when completed.

Walking their puppy, Peanut, is a five-point job (worth $1), while collecting the mail is a one-point task (20 cents).

“When we first started giving them pocket money, we started with little things first, and then we wanted to give them more of a sense of responsibility,” Ms Yordi said.

“Then we wanted to teach them more about kindness and helping people.

“For example, we came from Venezuela*, and their grandmother does not have good English. So sometimes I told them, if you teach her these words in English, I’ll give you 20 cents.”

NOT JUST ABOUT MONEY

Kristy Bautista said her daughters Mila, 9, and Evie, 7, get $2 for unloading the dishwasher and $5 if they help out with other bigger cleaning tasks around the house.

“I’ve always believed in pocket money for chores as it gets them involved in both helping around the house as well as learning about money and saving for things they want,” Ms Bautista said.

“It’s not just about teaching them the value of money, it’s about learning that everyone has to contribute to the household so the work isn’t always left to mum and dad.”

Pocket Money media_cameraKristy Bautista, mum to Mila, 9, and Evie, 7, gives her daughters $2 for emptying the dishwasher and more for helping with other chores. She thinks it is good to teach kids about the value of saving their money. Picture: Nicki Connolly.

Finder money expert Alison Banney said giving pocket money to kids could help form good financial habits.

“Pocket money can help children to understand how transactions* work and teach them how to save from an early age,” Ms Banney said.

She said many kids’ savings accounts had bonus interest perks if the balance was under a certain amount.

PROUD TO EARN

Mother of two Angel Crowden said she puts the kids to little tasks around the house so they are earning their own pocket money.

“Simple things like feeding the chickens, making the beds or helping us with the dishes,” Ms Crowden said.

“They are super proud to earn their own money and normally tend to save it for a particular toy they want. Money always works.”

Kids Piggy Banks media_cameraAngel Crowden is already giving her kids Lilly, 2, and Flynn, 5, small tasks around the house so they can save up for the things they want. Picture: Annette Dew

GLOSSARY

  • gender: here it refers to the male and female sexes
  • psychologist: professional trained in the science of how people think, feel, behave and learn
  • glass ceiling: a limit or barrier to the success and advancement of girls, women and minorities
  • neuroscience: study of the brain and nervous system
  • entrepreneurial: enterprising, innovative and creative approach to business opportunities
  • transactions: buying or selling something

EXTRA READING

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Call for money lessons in schools

Teen money matters in a cashless world

QUICK QUIZ

  1. What was the yearly difference in pocket money between boys and girls?
  2. Children in which state were the biggest earners?
  3. Where are children earning the least pocket money?
  4. How much do Sophia and Andreas Yordi earn for walking their dog Peanut?
  5. Why does money expert Alison Banney think pocket money is a good idea?

LISTEN TO THIS STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. Pocket Money Chart
Create your own pocket money chart to put on your fridge at home to mark off the jobs you do each week and how much pocket money you earn for doing it. For example, putting your clothes away might be $1.

The amounts will need to be negotiated with your mum and dad, but you can create the chart ready to go.

You can design your chart on a piece of paper or type it up on the computer.

On the left hand side have the job. In the middle have the amount, and on the end you could have a column to tick how many times each week this job is done.

Your chart also should have somewhere to add up total weekly pocket money.

media_cameraHere is one example of a pocket money chart, but feel free to design your own.

Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English; Mathematics

2. Extension
What possible reason could it be fair that boys earn more pocket money than girls? Could this happen in your family?

Is it more to do with the child’s personality and work ethic than the gender of the child?

Write a one sentence statement on what you think is fair pocket money to give a son or daughter.

Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English; Personal and Social

VCOP ACTIVITY
1. Summarise the article
A summary is a brief statement of the main points of something. It does not usually include extra detail or elaborate on the main points.

Use the 5W & H model to help you find the key points of this article. Read the article carefully to locate who and what this article is about, and where, when, why and how this is happening. Once you have located this information in the article, use it to write a paragraph that summarises the article.

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