Kids and cash: Gen Z allowances bloom

Last week, GoHenry released their 2022 Youth Economy Report on kids ages 7- 18 in the US and the UK.

They found that US kids earned a total of $26 billion through chores and allowances in 2021.

Average weekly earnings are $11.17, up 16% from the previous year and the average weekly allowance is $10.48. The report highlighted that kids’ pocket change grew more than the average wage increase for US adults (9.77%) during the same period.

Louise Hill, COO, and Co-founder of GoHenry
Louise Hill, COO and Co-founder of GoHenry

Still, 34% of kids say they don’t earn enough allowance and believe they should be making, on average, an additional $55 per month.

“The part-time job has always been an important rite of passage. It gives us our first experience of the adult world of work, builds our confidence – and gives us the opportunity to earn our own money for the very first time,” Louise Hill, COO and Co-founder said in the report. “But the nature of the part-time job is changing – and it’s changing fast. In this, our first Youth Economy report of 2022, we take a closer look at the ways that kids and teens are making money in the UK and US, and consider how their first jobs will impact their future career path and earning potential.”

GoHenry: Gen Alpha and Z out here Grinding

The Youth Economy Report features data from over 52,000 US GoHenry members who opted in from January 1 to October 31, 2021. GoHenry’s full Youth Economy Report is available for download at gohenry.com. Nine years since launch, GoHenry offers fin education for kids 6-18, on top of debit cards and parent-controlled banking services. The firm has grown its vision into a movement of 2 million members who believe in financial education.

In the report, most kids said it’s essential to earn their own money and take matters into their own hands. Even 70% of six-year-olds in the US report that earning their own money is vital. In addition to other part-time jobs and allowances, kids made money in these top enterprising ways (income streams for kids overlapped.)

  • Pet-sitting and dog walking (41%)
  • Online gaming (35%)
  • Selling things online (34%)
  • Social media influencer (29%)
  • Investing / trading stocks (28%)
  • Content creator (28%) 
  • Investing in cryptocurrency (27%).

The second annual report also reveals that young people earn money from individual paid chores, which can be set as tasks and managed in the GoHenry app. US kids earned $3.1 billion from completing tasks in 2021, up 8% from the previous year. One of the top earners for US kids? Like a gig economy job, completing homework is a task that brings in about $1.93 a pop.

Other top earners (take note rents:)

“In this robust economy, kids are looking at entrepreneurial ways to support their savings and spending goals. We see Gen Z and Gen Alpha taking on an increasing number of paid tasks and developing their business savviness to increase their earning potential,” Dean Brauer, Co-Founder and President of GoHenry, said. “At GoHenry, our goal is to ensure that once they earn, they are confident in managing a budget, setting savings aside, and spending responsibly – and kids agree. Over 80% say having good money management skills will help them in their future career.”

Dean Brauer, Co-Founder, and President of GoHenry
Dean Brauer, Co-Founder and President of GoHenry

Changing earning habits could also impact the type of jobs kids take in the future. Almost half, or 47%, of kids said their top priority is doing something they’re passionate about while also earning a high salary. Kids and teens identified their top 10 preferred professions:

  • IT / software / app developer / gaming
  • Healthcare
  • Engineer
  • Finance
  • Food / restaurant / cafe
  • Vet
  • Social media influencer
  • Beauty
  • Graphic design
  • Teacher / education

The report states that a quarter of young people (25%) now aspire to start their own business rather than work for a corporation or startup. As such, their first work experience is increasingly likely to involve being their own boss.

Data and Methodology

Data was also based on a Consumer survey was conducted by Census-wide in December 2021 with 2,007 US children in the 6-18 age range. Estimating the total earned on task completion value was calculated by upweighting, GoHenry said, using the reported earnings per task of GoHenry members who used the feature, and multiplying by the total population of children aged 6-18 in the US. The population estimate was drawn from the 2019 US Census Bureau and UN Department of Social and Economic Affairs.

“In the US, Pew Research Center found that, in the summer of 2020, teen summer employment fell to its lowest level since the 2007-9 recession, with less than a third of US teens working a paid summer job,” Brauer said. “Although this decline can be partly explained by the COVID-19 pandemic – with so much of the hospitality, leisure, and retail industry closed during lockdowns, there were far fewer opportunities to find paid work – the nature of the part-time job was already changing by the time the pandemic hit.”

Brauer said that instead of paper routes and waiting tables, teenagers have realized they can earn more from selling crafts on Etsy and trading sneakers than traditional entry-level jobs.

“As our research shows, increasingly, there is a lot of opportunities for kids and teens to be their boss and use entrepreneurial means to make money, “Brauer said.

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