Children out of touch with real-life costs and salaries

Children aged eight to 15 believe that a loaf of bread costs £15 and that teachers earn six figure pay packets, a survey has found.

Many youngsters believe a loaf of bread costs £15.

The study asked youngsters what they believe salaries of typical jobs are and asked them to estimate the cost of basic goods. Youngsters claimed that a pint of milk costs £17, while they said that they think an average holiday costs £6,400.

Children also said they expect to retire by the time they are 56, according to the report by Halifax – 12 years younger than the current retirement age of 68, which it is believed is likely to increase further in coming years.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Meanwhile, young people say they want to earn £4 million a year when they are adults, but think they will only earn £1.5m a year – still a whopping 50 times the current average salary. The study also revealed a gap in gender pay expectations – boys said they expect to earn £2m whereas girls said they expect to earn £1.1m a year.

Giles Martin, head of savings at Halifax, said: “Children who want to be a footballer or a doctor when they grow up may be in for a shock, but at least a loaf of bread is much cheaper than they thought.

“We know that children look to their parents to learn about money and its value, and 
fortunately there are many simple things that parents can do to help build this knowledge.”

The youngsters’s estimates of a loaf of bread costing £15 or a pint of milk costing £17 are more than 10 times and, thankfully for householders, are more than 30 times their actual costs, respectively.

While, overall, children tended to exaggerate costs, they fell short on the actual cost of school uniform, which sets parents back by an average of £213, but they believed would cost only £180.

The report also found that those wanting to follow in the footsteps of their teacher may be disappointed to find that they don’t earn a six-figure pay packet of £110,000, but are more likely to take home around £23,000 a year. 
However, those wanting to earn £4m as a Premier League footballer aren’t too far off, with the typical salary for a top-flight football player coming in at around £2.6m.

Emma Bradley, parenting expert and blogger, said: “Even if children help with the weekly shop, they don’t always appreciate the cost of what you’re buying. It’s really important children understand the value of money.”