Sweden’s kids bask in wealth

These are good times for ten year olds, a group whose purchasing power has increased by 40 per cent over the last 20 years, according to a report published by Swedbank.

But kids are not getting pocket money with the same regularity as they did five years ago. Back then they were paid by their parents on a weekly or monthly basis.

That was in the days before the Polish plumber and the Latvian building contractor. In our fast moving globalised world it is now more common for Swedish kids to get money when they need it rather than on a particular day.

The standard of living for children has gradually improved over the last 20 years. The average ten year old for example now hauls in a whopping 140 kronor per month.

Every five years Swedank investigates how much pocket money children get from their parents.

“We think it is valuable for children to learn how to handle money and to budget from an early age,” said Swedbank’s Ulla Samuel.

“In our survey we asked 3,500 children about their finances. These surveys constitute an important part of our knowledge about children’s finances. They can also be useful in negotiations at the kitchen table,” Samuel added.

It is more common now than it was five years ago for children to earn their money by helping out at home. Despite the recent babysitter and nanny scandals in the government the report does not speculate on whether children will begin reporting their parents to the police in years to come for failure to pay employment taxes.

For the moment at least kids are satisfied with their income levels. A full 86 per cent of those questioned said they were usually able to save some money at the end of the wage period.

Ulla Samuel has looked at where their money goes:

“Mainly sweets and savings. Girls go for books, magazines, presents and clothes. Boys opt for games consoles, PC games, books, magazines and toys.”

The money girls save is used for pets and travel, while boys hoard their coppers until they have enough for technical and sporting items.

But kids are not as good as saving as they were five years ago.

“That could be due to the fact that it is relatively easy for children to get what they want without saving,” said Samuel.