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Personal Finance: Why William is just quietly gloating; Scweamingly unfair: Parents are beastly to girls over pocket money.

Byline: John Cranage

It's enough to make the lisping Violet Elizabeth Bott scweam and scweam and scweam until she's sick, writes John Cranage. William, the hero of Richmal Crompton's Just William stories, on the other hand would be quietly gloating along with his chums Douglas, Henry and Ginger.

That's because it turns out that girls get less pocket money than beastly boys.

There's not a lot in it -a mere 7p according to financial services group Goldfish which has been researching the subject.

But the mere fact that boys get an average pounds 3.81 a week compared with pounds 3.74 for girls would be enough to restore the eternally-11-year-old William's belief in the superiority of the male sex.

And undoubtedly he'd be horrified to hear that, according to the Goldfish research, 13 per cent of children are not giving any spending money at all.

Across both sexes 11-year-olds get about pounds 1.88 a week to spend from their parents, rising to an average of pounds 6.25 a week among 15-year-olds.

Just over half of children use their money to buy sweets, and 38 per cent spend it on comics and magazines.

However - and Violet Elizabeth would love this - girls are twice as likely to spend their money on books as boys: 24 per cent versus 12 per cent.

A higher proportion of girls buy comics or magazines (46 per cent) than boys (30 per cent).

Boys though prefer to save up their allowance to buy computer games (40 per cent); something that a mere ten per cent of girls indulge in.

Their older brothers and sisters spend their allowances on CDs and DVDs -a trend that applies to about half of all 15-year-olds.

A quarter of children save some of their pocket money in a piggy bank, while a further 21 per cent pay a proportion of it into a bank account.

Parents in London are the most generous dispensers of pocket money, averaging pounds 4.05 a week, and those in the South are the stingiest, doling out pounds 3.47, Sacha Hardy of Goldfish said: 'While an average of a little under pounds 4 pocket money a week seems a little to the parents dishing out the money, it amounts to almost pounds 200 per year.

'The findings show that there is a stark difference in the way in which boys and girls choose to allocate their money, and this is bound to play a part in their development as they get older.

'With boys being notoriously the poorer performers academically, it is interesting to see that their interests are vested towards computer games, rather than the books and magazines that girls favour.'


Bonnie Langford as Violet Elizabeth and Adrian Dannatt as William in a scene from the television series Just William
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Oct 18, 2003
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