Children in the UK spend £40 a month on downloads, gadgets and games

Britain’s under-16s say most of their pocket money goes on music and technology, with tech-savvy youngsters, on average, throwing £10 a week at their passion for anything connected or mobile.

Kids these days are more likely to be found spending their pocket money in the App Store than the traditional sweet shop or amusement arcade, according to new research.

In a survey of over 1,000 eight to 15-year-olds, conducted on behalf of the high street bank Halifax, more than 80% said they'd downloaded apps, TV shows and films, and on average spend about £5 a week on music downloaded from services like iTunes.

A further £10 a month goes on computer games, while £12 is the typical monthly mobile phone bill, pushing the average adolescent's total tech spend to more than £40 a month.

Not really surprising but puzzling, perhaps, as average pocket money's just £6 a week…

Something that might help explain the difference is that 40% of the children surveyed said they receive money from other relatives as well as their parents.

Richard Fearon, head of Halifax Savings, said: "Children today are growing up in a world where so many things can be accessed at just a touch of a screen, including an almost limitless number of shops and goods.

"Budgeting money is a great responsibility and parents need to make sure that by awarding pocket money they're also giving their children the tools to understand the importance of managing how that is spent."

Although 74% of the youngsters surveyed claimed to have a mobile phone of their own, only 13% of them were paying for it themselves. For around 80% of the kids with a handset, it's mum and dad who foot the bill, often on top of giving pocket money.

Last month, a survey by broadbandchoices.co.uk revealed that one in 10 children's mobile phone costs at least £30 a month and the average age that a child gets their first handset is now just 10 years old.

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