Parents pinch pennies from piggy banks

Posted on July 11, 2006 

Parents pinch pennies from piggy banks

SYDNEY (Reuters) – One in four Australian parents regularly “borrow” money from their children’s piggy banks to pay for anything from bread to luxury holidays, a survey said Wednesday.

Mums are more than twice as likely to raid their children’s savings than dad, with 35 percent of mothers confessing to the crime compared with 16 percent of fathers.

But almost 9 out of 10 still believed they were setting a good example of financial management for their tiny tycoons.

Fund management firm Bankwest surveyed almost 400 parents or guardians of children aged 17 or under.

“I am guilty of the crime myself,” Paul Vivian, Bankwest’s head of retail deposits, told Reuters.

“If you can’t find any money, you know the one place you can always rely on is the kids’ piggy banks. But my wife always makes sure I put it back — with interest,” he said.

Of those who admitted to raiding piggy banks, more than half said they used the money to buy essentials such as petrol, milk and bread.

Another 20 per cent said they needed the money to pay off water and electricity bills and other utilities. But 16 per cent put their children’s savings toward such extravagances as holidays or new cars.

The survey follows Reserve Bank of Australia findings that many Australians spent more than they earned in the past three years. On average, Australians saved only 2.9 percent of their annual income.

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from My Way

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