Entrepreneurial children earning £1.8 billion each year

Press release - 29th May 2015

  • Over four million children earn on average £38 a month doing jobs or tasks for people outside of their immediate family
  • London children are most likely to have jobs, those in Wales and North East least likely
  • Half a million tech savvy children earning in excess of £12.3 million a month through technology and social media
  • Half of parents think learning about money in schools is the key to financial education

Britain has developed a generation of entrepreneurial children that are collectively earning over £1.8 billion a year according to new research released today. One in four children, approximately 4.1 million, are being paid an average of £38 each a month, £456 a year, for doing jobs or tasks for people outside of their immediate family.[1]

The research, commissioned by ISA and savings provider Scottish Friendly, revealed that while traditional jobs for kids like babysitting and car washing remain popular, a large number of today’s children, nearly half a million, are branching into more tech savvy (employment such as blogging, building apps or participating in online paid-for surveys. Currently these children are collectively earning in excess of £12.3 million each month.

Incredibly, there are around 84,000 children currently earning in excess of £100 a month, with modelling and working in the hospitality industry, such as a waiter or waitress, being among the highest paid occupations for the under 18s.

Mirroring a trend followed by David and Victoria Beckham, the research also showed that almost 40 per cent of parents do not give their eldest child any pocket money or allowance, encouraging children instead to earn their own spending money. However, of those parents that do give their children money, half (50 per cent) give their child over £10 a month.

Top five most popular and highest earning occupations for children:

Most popular jobs undertaken by children % of children
Car washing 30 per cent
Babysitting 29 per cent
Gardening 25 per cent
Paper round 23 per cent
Pet sitting 20 per cent
Top five best paying jobs for children Average earnings per month
Modelling £108
Hospitality industry £74.78
Paper round £44.57
Pet Sitting £43.14
Babysitting £38.06

Calum Bennie, savings expert at Scottish Friendly, said:
"It is encouraging to see such an entrepreneurial spirit emerging in children across the country. It seems that many parents, by not giving their children an allowance encouraging their children to learn the value of money by going out and working for themselves.

"Having financial independence and an appreciation of the world of work will have a positive long-term impact on a child and increase the likelihood that they will grow up with a good understanding of money.

"Of course it’s not always about the money; there is also a charitable workforce of over 150,000 children who volunteer their time for little or no financial remuneration, but who will no doubt receive equally beneficial learnings in the lessons of life."

Regionally, children in London are the most likely to have a job while those in Wales and the North East of England were the least likely.

Financial Education

The research also looked into financial education and the views of parents on how best to implement it. The findings revealed that 60 per cent of parents believe the best way to ensure that children are financially savvy is through offering them rewards for completing chores around the house.

Half of parents think the secret to success in children learning about money lies in schools teaching financial education, while just 15 per cent of parents believe that discussing money matters over the dinner table is the best way to ensure children are financially savvy.

Bennie continued:
"Although most children do not hold financial assets or have to make significant financial decisions, children do have the opportunity early in life to learn about the relationship between saving and spending.

"In a recent academic study[2], it was suggested that the amount of allowance or pocket money that the child receives from their parents is inversely associated with the probability of saving and that people who saved money as children were far more likely to do so in adult life.

"Teaching children about personal finance and budgeting should be a staple part of both their school and family life in order to give them the best chance of being financially savvy in the future."


  1. Research conducted by Reddot research in February, 2015. A representative cross-section of over 2,000 adults in the UK was surveyed.
  2. Research conducted by University of Sheffield (2013).

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