Study Tracks How Kids Across Asia Pacific Spend Pocket Money from Parents

Illustration by: Back Jun Sung

A study from kid-safe digital advertising and content platform TotallyAwesome reveals that most children in Southeast Asia receive pocket money daily and spend it on their favorite brands, while Australian kids receive less frequent but larger amounts.

And while amounts vary greatly by country across Asia Pacific, all children surveyed regularly received cash to spend as they please, highlighting the importance for brands to make the most of this growing market in Asia.

TotallyAwesome APAC-focused study tracks pocket money patterns in 2,154 kids aged 6-14 and their parents across seven key APAC markets.


“So what we’ve found is that kids are direct purchasers with cash of their own,” said 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.”

Key findings

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 boost

Those in the 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 is 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.




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