One Saturday morning, Gary Bath received a warning from American Express about multiple purchases on his card. His son had bought computer games without his knowledge.
Bath, who has three children between the ages of 4 and 11, is one of many parents negotiating how to give their children some financial freedom from spending their pocket money, while curbing excessive purchases.
The text message from American Express informed him that more than $200 had been charged from his card through three separate purchases.
“We had a lot of conversations with my son that day and the day after,” Bath said. “He did the right thing and paid us from his savings.”
New research by YouGov for the Commonwealth Bank shows that computer games are high on the list of young consumers who also spend a lot of money on toys and junk food.
The survey of 2,053 Australian adults with children between the ages of eight and 17 found that half said their children had spent their money without their knowledge, for example on in-app purchases or online shopping. More than half (56 percent) of Australian fathers said they have caught their children spending their money without permission. On average, children spent $229 of their father’s money and $122 on their mother’s card.
Most made online purchases, including in-game credits, which accounted for 42 percent. Many children had already used bank information provided by their parents for purchases from Apple, Google or eBay.
Parents said the most popular items kids bought were video games/in-app games (44 percent), junk food (43 percent) and clothing, shoes and accessories (38 percent), game consoles and toys (28 percent). ), tablets (28 percent), movies and music (25 percent). One in five children expressed an interest in cryptocurrency and NFTs and 29 percent wanted to learn how to make money as a social media or gaming influencer.
Bath, who lives on the Central Coast in Bateau Bay, said his children mostly bought game subscriptions, toys and action figures.