Skip to main content


Kids store up £200 million in savings

23rd June 2021

  • Change jars are filling up as kids save an average of £150 in the past year

  • Keen to keep their cash safe, one in 10 children use a secret hiding place

  • Starling Bank today launches new app access for children to make money simple

Clothes shops, games and toy stores and ice cream vans are set to reap the benefits this summer, as kids savings reach £200 million.1

Nearly half (48%) of 6-16 year olds have been unable to spend their pocket money, tooth fairy payments and earnings on the things they want in the past year, shoring up healthy reserves according to Starling Bank.

Shopping hit list

Children in this age group now have an average of £150 saved and are ready to spend in the coming months. The top five planned purchases will be new clothes (30%), sweets and ice cream (26%), toys and games (26%), computer games (20%) and make-up (14%).

Squirreling savings

Kids have been stashing their cash in change jars (37%) and bank accounts (37%), while some have come up with more inventive ways to store it. One in 10 (10%) 6-16 year olds say they keep their money in a secret hiding place, squirrelling it away at the back of wardrobes, between the pages of books, and even in cuddly toys.

Savvy savers

Kids' savings are not just funded by parents or monetary gifts. One in eight (12%) kids aged 6-16 bolstered their savings by setting up side hustles, selling unwanted toys, games and clothes, or making things to sell online, at village fetes, or stalls outside their homes (5%).

The price isn’t right

Some children are still stumped when it comes to understanding how much their money can buy them. One in five (20%) under 10s think a holiday costs more than the family house or car, whilst one in seven (14%) believe the same to be true of a games console. One in 20 (5%) under 10s think a Netflix subscription and a pet (5%) is more expensive than their house.

To help children keep track of their money, from today Starling is giving Kite debit card users aged 6-16 access to its banking app. Linked to an adult’s account, children can check their balance, see transactions and receive real-time spending notifications on their phone or tablet.

Rachel Kerrone, Head of Brand at Starling Bank commented: “Our research shows 22% of children would now prefer to receive money in their bank account and nearly 38% say they’re spending more of their money online than they did before the pandemic.

“We’ve developed our new children’s app space to help families give their kids independence with their money, and a better understanding of digital banking and how to budget.”

Tim Jay, Professor of Psychology of Education at Loughborough University commented: “Children can learn a lot from managing their own money. We know that receiving an allowance, spending and saving, and having conversations with their family about money, can benefit development and learning.

“But as digital and online spending become more commonplace than using coins and notes, it’s important that children have the support to manage their money confidently in a digital world.”

Notes to Editors


Starling Bank commissioned Censuswide to survey 1,005 UK children aged 6-16 between 13 and 17 May 2021.


1. According to the Office for National Statistics there are 8,748,477 children aged 6-16 in the UK. Research from Censuswide shows that children aged 6-16 plan to spend £22.97 on average now the shops are open again (£22.97 x 8,748,477 = £200,952,516.69). Data for extrapolation weighted to be Nationally Representative for 6-16 year old’s using ONS 2019 mid-year figures.

About Starling Bank

Starling Bank is an award-winning, fully-licensed and regulated bank built to give people a fairer, smarter and more human alternative to the banks of the past. It offers business, personal, joint, euro and dollar current accounts alongside a child card. Starling also provides B2B banking and payments services through its Banking-as-a-Service model based on the proprietary technology platform that it uses to power its own bank. The Starling Marketplace offers customers in-app access to a selection of third party financial services. Headquartered in London, it has offices in Southampton, Cardiff and Dublin. Starling has opened 2 million customer accounts, including more than 330,000 limited company, sole trader and accounts.

Apply for a Starling bank account today and enjoy app-based banking at its best.

Start your application