Pocket money has morphed from a little something to indulge in sticky comestibles from the shop around the corner, to four-figure sums to buy the latest gadget
Time changes and people change with times. With the market having so much to offer, it is obvious that the “spending power” of the youth is one of the most debated topics.
With a change in perspective about the difference between a “necessity” and a “luxury”, it is not surprising to hear a teen or sometimes even a pre-teen demandthe latest mobile phone, bike, and MP3 player or in some cases even a sports car, claiming it is almost essential to their survival!
Recently, a survey conducted by the ASSOCHAM (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry) found that children’s pocket money which used to be Rs. 300 ten years ago, has now shot up to a staggering Rs. 1, 800!
It was concluded that a teenager is given an average monthly allowance of Rs. 1,600. While youngsters collectively claim that most of their pocket money is spent on food, movies and transport, boys say they splurge mostly on electronic items, while the girls who are known to have a penchant for shopping, spend most of their monthly allowance on clothes, shoes, bags and make up.
According to Subhadip G., a college-goer, “Those who have high-maintenance girlfriends need more money than singletons.” Auto fares have increased. Some parents are apprehensive about giving their children a car while those youngsters who have cars enjoy long drives and end up using all their money for fuel.
Says Kaveri Krishnaiah, a software engineer: “We can’t blame youngsters for expecting a big allowance, neither can we blame parents who shower their children with money. Today, we have to pay for every facility we use, be it a park or even a public toilet.”
Gadget ga ga
It is no wonder then that cars, mobile phones, iPods and digital cameras are in greater demand. In spite of being frugal, many teenagers are not satisfied with the amount of pocket money they are getting. Business management student, Ezra Kanavalli feels the Rs. 5,000 he gets each month does not suffice as he spends a huge chunk of his money on transport, and food costs him more as he lives away from home. “A thousand rupees extra would do,” he says.
Psychologist Rohan Srikanth opines, “Giving pocket money to a youngster makes him feel grown up, mature and responsible. Rewarding him for his achievements is good, but of more importance is the intrinsic reward a youngster receives when he performs well.”
“Unfortunately, most youngsters live only for the moment and don’t think about tomorrow,” Renji comments. “They usually don’t think about saving their money unless parents coax them to.”
Another trend that is luring youngsters is taking up part time jobs to supplement their pocket money.
With the change in lifestyle and growing costs, children cannot be expected to manage with the figures of yesteryears. Rising costs and parents substituting money for time is also some of the causes that make these kids demand for a never-ending supply of “dough”.NEETI SARKAR