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Credit Card Kids as Young as Five Shopping Online
Startling new research from VoucherCodes.co.uk reveals British parents are unknowingly passing their debt and credit habits to their children.
  • A fifth of kids use their parents card details to purchase items online
  • Over one in ten children think it is okay to get a loan from the bank
  • Only a third of parents are open about their family finances with their kids

Startling new research from VoucherCodes.co.uk reveals British parents are unknowingly passing their debt and credit habits to their children, with more than a quarter of children as young as five (26 per cent) saying using a credit card to go shopping is a good thing.

In the investigation into children’s attitudes towards money and family finances, one in eight school-aged children (12 per cent) said they’d get a loan to pay for new things and a further one in six (18 per cent) would borrow money from friends or family. 

Two in five 11-16 year olds (40 per cent) claim to know their parents’ credit card details which they use to order items online. Perhaps even more surprisingly, the  research also reveals a small but significant five per cent of children aged five to 10 are au fait with using their parents’ plastic. 

When it comes to using cash 11 per cent of 11-16 year olds surveyed still don’t know how to check whether they’re handing over enough money when they buy something and a further one in ten (10 per cent) aren’t able to figure out whether they can afford to buy something or not.   

The survey raises some debate around how children are educated about the differences between credit and debit. Only half of mums and dads (50 per cent) teach their children the value of money with many claiming they leave their offspring to learn about it from other sources. In fact, more than one in ten children (13 per cent) surveyed said they learn about finance from TV shows and advertisements. 

Anita Naik, consumer editor of VoucherCodes.co.uk, commented: “One of the most important areas to talk to your children about credit and debit. We are living in a credit based society where a credit card is now needed for everything from hiring cars to buying tickets and downloading games, therefore it’s vital to get your kids to associate inputting card details with handing over cash. One way to do this is to get them to pay you the equivalent amount in cash, every time they use your card to download a game or buy music for example. Telling them if they haven’t got the money yet, they can’t download the app they want. It’s important to draw a line and be tough when it comes to teaching them financial lessons.” 

The study reveals those parents who are cash conscious are using a number of ways to enlighten their kids on the value of money.  More than two in five (44 per cent) get their children to hand over the cash to pay for items while they’re out shopping. Over a third of parents (36 per cent) encourage their children to do chores in return for pocket money and nearly two thirds (66 per cent) let their children know when something is too expensive. 

Vouchercodes.co.uk family expert Anita Naik, also expressed: “As a parent you can start to teach your kids financial skills as soon as they start to ask for things. There are many day to day opportunities where you involve your child around money, from shopping in the supermarket, to buying popcorn at the cinema to watching adverts together.”

The report also revealed unnerving statistics that over one in ten children (12 per cent) as young as five feel negatively towards money, with 13 per cent of older children saying they’ve overheard their parents arguing about money. 


Notes to editors:
A survey of 1009 UK adults and 1009 UK children aged 5-16 was conducted by Research Bods on behalf of VoucherCodes.co.uk between 8th -18th November 2013.


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