Pocket Money Superpowers

28 Jun 2017

Pocket Money Superpowers

Kids spending across Asia Pacific

By TotallyAwesome

“So what we’ve found is that centennials are direct purchasers with cash of their own.”
— Quan Nguyen, CEO, TotallyAwesome

Most children in Southeast Asia receive pocket money daily and spend it on favourite brands, while Australian kids receive less frequent, but bigger amounts, the latest report from kid-safe digital advertising and content platform TotallyAwesome reveals. 

And while amounts vary greatly by country across Asia Pacific, all children surveyed regularly received cash to spend at their discretion.

Since 2015, TotallyAwesome Insights’ APAC-focused proprietary study is tracking pocket money patterns in 2,154 kids aged 6—14 and their parents across seven key APAC markets.

Kids in Thailand (more than 70%), Indonesia (65%) and Malaysia (more than 50%) are most likely to receive pocket money daily, especially between ages 9—11. Highest monthly pocket money amounts are received by Australian kids (on average $131) and Singaporeans (on average $109). 

Birthday money boosts spending power beyond daily averages, but those in other markets – Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and Australia – are given larger amounts on special occasions such as birthdays, and those amounts increase with age. On average, the 6—8 year old cohort receives $28, 9—11 years receives $30, 12—14 years receives $34.

The special occasion amounts allow kids to stretch beyond their daily allowances to purchase the items they want.

According to the report, 45% said they have bought an item they saw online with their own money. This clearly shows almost half of the kids surveyed make active, independent spending choices.

And kids are actively making their own purchase decisions. Snacks, drinks, toys and confectionary are the most popular items for kids to spend their money on. Snacks are the favourite category across all the markets and Thai kids are the most active consumers – 80% spend their pocket money on snacks. 

Toys are ranked well in Australia, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam; confectionery in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia.

“So what we’ve found is that kids are direct purchasers with cash of their own,” confirmed TotallyAwesome CEO, Quan Nguyen.

“But while children are budget holders and consumers in their own right, we should never lose sight of the fact they’re young and impressionable. This report highlights the need for brands to choose platforms that create safe, respectful environments in which kids can receive appropriate messaging for their age and experience.”


Since 2015, TotallyAwesome has conducted studies across a robust representative sample of over 2,100 kids aged 6—14 throughout 7 key APAC markets, namely Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The on-going study explores kids’ pocket money and spending, media consumption and device preferences, influence and pester power, brand awareness and adherence. The latest study captures how APAC kids receive their pocket money, what they spend it on, as well as what brands kids rate as their favourite. 

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