Who is hit hardest by inflation? It probably *isn't* you...
When I was a girl*, the tooth fairy used to leave me 10p (one of the old huge, heavy proper ten pees) and my pocket money was £3 a month. How times have changed. Now the tooth fairy leaves you £1 (minimum) and the average pocket money amount among 10-16 year olds is £5.50 a week. They have never had it so good.
Or, apparently, not. New research from Santander and the educational charity Personal Finance Education Group (pfeg) shows that inflation on child-bought products is actually running at well above the headline rate of about 5% per annum. Coupled with the fact that parents are economising on pocket money amounts, there are a lot of unhappy bunnies about.
Children's typical purchases include sweets and chocolates, which have seen a 24% price hike while soft drinks are up by 16.2%. Nearly half of the 500 children questioned listed sweets, snacks and drinks as the most common things they bought, while one in three named going out with friends or family as a regular use of their money. Twenty-five per cent of children spent money regularly on games for games consoles, which are up by 27% and telephony costs, which include mobile phones and text messages, have increased by 10.4%.
Nici Audhlam-Gardner, director of banking at Santander, said: "Inflation is generally considered to be something that only affects adults, but it's evident from our research that children have been impacted too while inflation has been creeping up over the past few years.
"Children are seeing the costs of their everyday purchases rising at a very worrying rate, and parents are also being affected by the costs of children's items apparently increasing by more than the standard adult measure of inflation."
And if that wasn’t bad enough for the little blighters, almost half the parents questioned have either reduced or stopped the pocket money they give to their children. One in 10 have reduced their children's pocket money, and 2% have stopped it completely. Twenty-one per cent are now making their children earn the money but have not reduced it, and a further 13% have reduced their children's pocket money and now make them work for it.
Santander’s research went on to look at how much children save in their piggy banks. In a completely unrelated story, Santander have launched a new e-savings account. Mind you, with this extortionate rise in their cost of living, what hard-working 11 year old can afford to save for the future?
* Shut up. It wasn't that long ago.