Pocket Money Could Help Your Kids Avoid Debt, ING Finds

Children who are given pocket money are better financial planners later in life and are less inclined to be in debt, good news for Turkish and Italian parents, who are the most generous in Europe, a study by ING Groep NV shows.

Fifty-five percent of people who received an allowance during childhood regularly bolster their savings and pensions compared with 45 percent of those who didn’t, the biggest Dutch bank reported today. Almost three-quarters of parents who dole out cash to their offspring said it helps make their children more self-sufficient and realize the value of money.

Turkish families are most likely to give pocket money with 95 percent saying they do, compared with 67 percent in the Netherlands, the tightest parents in Europe, the survey found. Italians are the most generous, giving as much as 30 euros ($39) a week to their teenagers, with the Dutch again the most stingy on average. Prudent parents in the U.K. lag France, Germany, Spain and Italy, ING said.

“Allowing children some element of financial control may be one way to help them realize the value of money and build basic budgeting skills, which will help prepare them for financial independence when they leave home,” Ian Bright, senior economist at ING, said in an e-mail.

ING commissioned Ipsos, a market research firm, to survey 12,403 people aged 18 and over in 13 countries across Europe.

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