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Finder’s Parenting Report 2021: Trends underpinning family finances


A growing number of children have savings accounts and even share trading accounts, according to a new report by Finder, Australia’s most visited comparison site.


Finder’s Parenting Report 2021, which surveyed 1,033 Aussie parents of children under 12, explores how parents manage their budgets with children, how they teach their kids about money and finance, and how they navigated pregnancy and birth, among other insights.


Below are some of the key findings from the report:


Generation mobile: More kids are getting smartphones

  • Finder’s survey found more than 1 in 3 children under 12 (35%) have a smartphone. 

  • This is a substantial increase from 22% in 2018, when Finder asked the same question.

  • Of those under 12 who have a smartphone, the average age for receiving it was just over 7 and a half years old. 


Angus Kidman, tech expert at Finder, says:

  • "At what age your child gets their first phone depends on personal circumstances. For instance, if they're taking a solo bus trip to school everyday, a mobile phone might give you peace of mind that they're safe.

  • “You don’t need to buy your kids the latest iPhone or even a brand new phone – giving them a hand-me-down could spare you the extra cash. 

  • “A prepaid plan is another great way to cut costs and avoid any unexpected bills at the end of the month.”


Pocket money: The gender pay gap starts young

  • Finder’s survey found nearly half (49%) of children under 12 receive pocket money, with the average weekly allowance sitting at $9.80.

  • 1 in 4 (25%) receive between $5 and $10 per week, while 8% receive between $11 and $20. A further 7% receive more than $30 per week from their parents.

  • The data shows boys ($10.30) receive more pocket money on average than girls ($9.30) – a weekly difference of $1 per week, or $52 per year.


Alison Banney, money expert at Finder, says:

  • "These days most of us pay by card or by tapping our phone. This can make it difficult for children to understand the concept of money.

  • "Pocket money can help children to understand how transactions work and teach them how to save from an early age.

  • "It's also a good idea to introduce the concept of budgeting to your kids – teach them that it's okay to spend some of their money, as long as they're saving too.”



Kid-vestors: More children have savings accounts and even share trading accounts

  • More than half of respondents (58%) said their child has a savings account.

  • The survey also found 7% of children under 12  – equivalent to 270,000 Australian kids – have a share trading account, and 2% have a cryptocurrency trading account.

  • The data shows 6% of children under 12 have a debit card and 2% have a credit card.


Kylie Purcell, investing expert at Finder, says:

  • "Financial literacy is often something we don't learn until we've finished school. 

  • “While it's essential to teach children about saving and budgeting, the concept of investing is also important.

  • "Starting an investing fund early on is a nice way to teach your children the concepts of wealth accumulation and compounding returns over time."


Baby bucket list: Most parents had milestones they wanted to reach before having kids

  • More than 4 in 5 (81%) parents surveyed said they had key milestones they wanted to reach before having their first child.

  • Getting married or having a stable relationship topped the list (52%), followed by buying a house (45%).

  • Just 3% of respondents said taking out life insurance was a key priority before having children.


James Martin, insurance expert at Finder, says:

  • “Starting a family is a good trigger point to take out insurance.

  • "Life insurance gives you a safety net in the event of unexpected illness or death.

  • "Starting a family means greater financial obligations – including health costs, childcare and food for your children.”




What parents will do to stay home with their kids

  • Finder’s survey found more than half of parents of children under 12 (59%) have taken on extra work or saved money to be able to stay home with their child for longer.

  • Close to a third of parents (29%) reported changing from full-time to part-time employment (29%); switching to a job that allows for working from home (14%); selling belongings or assets (10%); or starting a side hustle (8%) to bring more money in.

  • The data also shows that 7% of parents took the extraordinary step of moving house to save money.


Sarah Megginson, senior editor of Money for Finder, says:

  • “Some parents will go to extreme lengths to make ends meet after starting a family, with some starting businesses, working extra jobs, or even taking to social media to make more money.

  • “Downsizing your house to save money or mortgage repayments is a huge step, but it could be a good idea if you’re living in an expensive area, or in a house that’s larger than you need.

  • “However keep in mind that you may want the extra space down the track if you decide to have more children.”



Have you or your partner done any of the following in order to stay home with your child for longer?

No, I/ we have not done anything to stay home with my/ our child for longer

41%

Changed from full-time to part-time employment

29%

Changed jobs to one that allows working from home

14%

Sold belongings/ assets

10%

Started a business

8%

Moved house to save money

7%

Completed freelance work

6%

Refinanced your mortgage

6%

Taken out a loan from a bank/ lender

4%

Taken a loan from family/ friends

4%

Other

3%

Worked as a rideshare driver

3%

Completed jobs through Airtasker or some other job board

3%

Rented out a spare room

2%

Became an influencer

2%

Source: Finder survey of 1,033 parents with children under the age of 12


The full report can be found at https://www.finder.com.au/finders-parenting-report-2021

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