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Save or spend? pocket money goes digital with zaap

What do Australian children and teenagers spend their pocket money on?

Save or spend? That’s the question talked about in families when the subject is pocket money. Three out of four Australian children are given pocket money and it’s no surprise that their parents like to encourage them to save rather than spend.


But the kids have other ideas and many children are choosing to use their pocket money for smartphone and data credit, online purchases, games and music as well as fun mobile apps. 


New generation pocket money goals

Parents’ old habits of saving pocket money for a special outing, a new bicycle or a holiday are consigned to the dustbin of past generations, as children adapt to the online marketplace.

Parents are finding that what they spent their pocket money on as teenagers is no longer relevant to their own children as they make their own spending decisions in a world driven by social media.


Earn, save, spend, give

Recent Australian research has shown teenagers aged 14 – 18 are ready to make online purchases with their pocket money. They want their pocket money to make saving worthwhile and to save some, spend some and sometimes give some.


Learning about money with the ZAAP App

ZAAP, a new Mastercard pocket money app is designed for the ‘invisible money’ generation, to help them earn, save, spend and learn about money in the digital age. ZAAP makes it easy for children and young people to earn pocket money, set savings targets and spend instore and online. ZAAP is the perfect cutting-edge digital tool, an app specifically designed for

digital-savvy kids.

Learning the basics of financial expertise is made easier with ZAAP. Today’s tech-savvy teens are used to a mobile phone or tablet and they quickly learn how to Tap & Pay with a prepaid ZAAP Card or wearable ZAAP Band anywhere that Mastercard is accepted.


Kids buy online while parents are in control

Children as young as nine are capable of making online purchases for themselves or their family according to the 2018 report ‘Share the Dream’ commissioned by the Financial Planning Association of Australia. And now with ZAAP, parents have peace of mind and can stay in control of their budget as they learn the responsibility of using a prepaid card or wearable ZAAP Band to pay for their shopping online or instore.


What do kids like to buy?

Entertainment and social media are the driving forces in influencing children’s online purchases with more than two thirds of children aged between 14-18 using digital money to buy online, including:

  • Phone and data credit
  • Mobile apps and in-app purchases
  • Videos
  • Movies
  • Games
  • Music

Data from Roy Morgan research in 2016 showed that 22% of mobile-owning teens aged between 14-17 paid for the phone themselves and 65% were using prepaid plans.^^ Having the use of a mobile phone for their social media activities is a high priority for this age group.


Saving made easy for teens

While many over 15-year-olds have a part time job to generate their own pocket money, those who rely on their parents or grandparents for pocket money are ready to learn savings habits and become familiar with the basics on how money management works.

Spending their pocket money is not the only financial ambition of today’s young people – they know how to save it too.

The ‘Share the Dream’ report shows that children are just as likely to save their pocket money as they are to spend it on small day-to-day purchases. Many are diligent in saving their pocket money to buy larger monthly, quarterly or yearly items such as travel.


How much pocket money is right for your child?

Deciding how much pocket money to give your child depends on how much you can afford and the age of your child. A popular rule of thumb is a dollar for each year of age. So for example, an eight-year-old would receive $8 a week with a birthday bonus each year to look forward to.

Australian research shows that more than 70% of Australian children receive pocket money each week:

  • From 4-8 years - under $10 (average $6.20)
  • From 9-13 – between $5 to $19 (average $9.60)
  • From 14-18 – between $10 to $39 (average $17.60)


     Giving them the ability to learn how to budget using their own money is an essential life skill, made easier with ZAAP. Find out more about the new pocket money app at zaap.com.au.



^’Share the Dream’ research report is based on a national quantitative survey of 1,003 Australian parents with children aged between 4 and 18. Conducted in June 2018 for the Financial Planning Association of Australia.

^^’9 in 10 Aussie teens now have a mobile (and most are already on to their second or subsequent handset)’. Research conducted in 2016 by Roy Morgan, available from: http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/6929-australian-teenagers-and-their-mobile-phones-june-2016-201608220922