Go on, be honest. Have you ever raided your child's piggy bank? If yes (and my immediate reaction to that question was, shamefully, 'Er, haven't we all?') then you're not alone.
According to the Telegraph newspaper, one in three parents have taken money from their child's savings in order to pay for living costs including bills, cars, and holidays.
The paper reports:
"An unexpected bill was the most common reason (44 per cent) for raiding their children's savings, but many also took cash to cover cost of living expenses, buy a new car, splash out on holiday or fund home improvements. While one in two piggy bank raiders paid the money back as soon as they could, 19 per cent said they intended to pay it back but didn't and 15 per cent admitted to having no intention of paying the money back."
A total of 2,000 parents were polled for the study, which was commissioned by Santander, and which also revealed that we save an average of £23 per month for our kids, although one in five parents say they do not have any sort of savings account for their kids.
The number one reason why parents raid their children's bank accounts is to pay for things for the child (41 per cent) but that's closely followed by covering the cost of living expenses (40 per cent). What surprised me most is that 28 per cent of parents do so in order to buy a car, while 26 per cent borrow from their offspring to pay for a holiday. Which surely begs the question: just exactly how much money do these kids have?!
Personally, I'm more likely to dip into my children's stash of cash to pay for a hastily-decided-upon school dinner if I haven't had time to go to the bank or don't happen to have change in my purse. But. I confess, I also sometimes 'borrow' from the kids to buy myself a coffee once I've dropped them off at school.
Generally speaking, I always *try* to make sure I pay them back but if on occasion - like this morning - the kids have driven me half demented on the school run then I might be inclined to *forget*. After all, they practically owe me that large double vanilla latte... but I prefer to think of it as compensation rather than actual stealing...