Family in kitchen

UK kids to receive 2021 pay rise for household chores

06 January 2021

● An 8 per cent pay rise predicted for children doing household chores this year
● Most kids receive pocket money for helping around the house (67 per cent) and being well behaved (50 per cent)
● Almost a third of parents in the UK admit to having ‘no idea’ or are ‘unsure’ on the ideal amount of pocket money
● Clare Francis, Director of Savings and Investments at Barclays, shares her top tips on teaching children about the value of money

6th January 2021: As we enter the new year, research from Barclays reveals that children in the UK will receive an average 8.2 per cent more for doing household chores in 2021 compared to 2020. This pay rise - which is approximately eight times the rate of inflation - follows a year spent largely at home, showing how much parents value having their children lend a helping hand.

Young people in Edinburgh are set to benefit from the pay rise most, with 84 per cent being given pocket money in exchange for household chores. It looks like the increase will benefit many of their peers across the country, too, as children in Glasgow (72 per cent), Norwich and Sheffield (73 per cent), Southampton (71 per cent), Liverpool and Manchester (70 per cent) earn their spending money in the same way.

The data shows most UK children get pocket money for doing chores (67 per cent), followed by receiving a financial incentive for being well behaved (50 per cent), doing well at school (48 per cent) and doing their homework (36 per cent). Just 8 per cent are given money for no reason.

Almost three quarters (74 per cent) of parents agree that their children appreciate money more when they earn it through household chores; and a fair amount they can earn, too! If a child were to give their room a weekly spruce, it would result in receiving £81.64 a year. 

In addition, by simply sorting the recycling and taking the bins out each week they could pocket over £135 throughout 2021.

From polishing the surfaces to doing the hoovering, Barclays research unveils the household chores that have increased in value the most in 2021 for UK kids. Leading the way in the league table is feeding pets, which has gone up 17.8 per cent in payment. This is closely followed by setting/clearing the table with a 15 per cent increase, emptying the dishwasher with 13.5 per cent and folding the laundry at 8.8 per cent.

Despite the majority of parents (77 per cent) giving their kids a financial allowance - with a further 80 per cent agreeing pocket money teaches children the value of money - almost a third (31 per cent) admit to having ‘no idea’ or feeling ‘unsure’ what the ideal amount of pocket money is or should be.

To help guide mums and dads, below is a breakdown of the average value increase for each household chore, 2020 v 2021:


Household Chore

 per cent increase




Feeding pets

17.8 per cent




Setting/clearing the table

15.0 per cent




Emptying the dishwasher

13.5 per cent




Folding the laundry

8.8 per cent




Helping to cook meals

8.0 per cent




Sorting the recycling

8.0 per cent




Tidying their room

6.8 per cent




Taking the bins out

5.8 per cent





4.5 per cent




Polishing the surfaces

4.5 per cent




Walking the dog

3.3 per cent





3.0 per cent



The research also finds that almost a quarter of parents (23 per cent) choose not to give their children any pocket money at all. While 17 per cent believe children shouldn’t be paid for chores as helping around the house is just part of everyday family life, and 15 per cent said that they have other financial priorities.

Clare Francis, Director of Savings and Investments at Barclays, said: “When it comes to giving pocket money or rewarding kids for helping out around the house, there’s certainly not one size that fits all as parents have different views andcircumstances.

“There are various ways to teach your kids about finances from an early age, with pocket money being just one method that can help them develop a healthy relationship with money, build their independence, and increase their knowledge of how money works.”

Clare shares her top tips on how parents can teach their children the value of money and financial literacy from a young age:

1. Start pocket money young – I started giving my son £1 a week if he helped with jobs at home when he was about three. If he wasn’t helpful or his behaviour hadn’t been good, he didn’t get it. He saves his money up and when he’s got enough, he can buy a toy with it. If he doesn’t have enough for what he wants, he has to wait until he’s saved some more. This not only helps children learn about saving but it’s also a good way of getting them involved in doing the chores.

2. Talk to them about money – explain that you have to work to earn money so that you can afford to pay for the house you live in, the food you eat, the holidays you go on and all the fun things you do as a family. Trying to get them to understand that none of this is free is a good thing to do from an early age and you can obviously explain it in more detail as they get older. This will hopefully help stand them in good stead for when they have to manage their own finances.

3. Teach them the difference between wanting something and needing something – that helps them understand why you will buy them things like school shoes but will say no to things like Lego. It also helps them learn about the benefits of saving as that enables you to be able to afford some of the things you want as well as the stuff you need.

4. Open a savings account for them to pay birthday or Christmas money into – Taking them to the bank to pay the money in themselves can be a great thing to do and while it might be a chore for you to visit a bank branch, children often find it fun. Then talk to them about what they may want to save that money for. If they have a money box at home for pocket money which can be put towards smaller items, they might want e.g., toys, holiday spending money, the money in their bank could go towards something bigger e.g., bike.