Quick links to latest articles:

Parents dipping into their children's bank accounts to get by

By Helen Gradwell

25 September2021

30% of parents with children under 18 have borrowed (or taken) money from their child's savings account or piggy bank, according to MoneySupermarket.com. 13% admit to borrowing money once a week, 10% once a month and 14% every few months. A further 11% say they only dip into their child's savings on special occasions - like the summer holidays or Christmas.

The average amount taken is 50.26 - with 16% having taken at least 100.

So why are parents resorting to these measures? Well, most parents wouldn't take money from their children unless it was absolutely necessary, and the research reflects this. Common reasons for raiding children's savings were:

  • Paying the bills (27%)
  • Paying for things with small change, e.g. parking meters (20%)
  • Petrol money (17%)
  • The weekly food shop (16%)
  • Treating their child (13%)

21% say that they have taken money because their children are too young to notice that it's missing. 21% haven't paid the money they borrowed back yet - but 58% intend to. The majority have paid it back (77%) and 19% have paid it back plus interest. Taking money from children's savings is also easier for many parents than dealing with banks, as there aren't any fees or charges involved.

If you're considering dipping into your child's bank account in order to get by this month, Kevin Mountford, the head of banking at MoneySupermarket, has this advice: "Reviewing all of your outgoings to see where you can get better value and free up vital cash is essential. The savings made can literally add up to hundreds of pounds over the course of the year, a great way of giving yourself a bit of breathing room. To help boost your child's savings, and to prevent the temptation of dipping into them, locking money away in a children's savings account rather than their piggy bank is a good idea."

An expert from All About Money added: "Budgeting is a good way to organise your finances each month and make savings here and there. If you aren't very good at budgeting, however, there are accounts that can do it for you - for example the thinkmoney Personal Account."

Tags: parents, money supermarket, budgeting

Fees payable when continuing service is provided. Repaying debt over a longer period may increase the total amount to be repaid. Calls are recorded and are usually free from UK landlines. Mobile phone users may be charged and should check with their service provider. Cards are provided by third parties and are subject to eligibility, status and terms and conditions. Applicants must be UK residents aged 18 or over.

All About Money Limited © 2013. All rights reserved. 42 Boston Rd, Sleaford, Lincolnshire NG34 7ER.