What do Japanese kids spend their allowance on? Survey finds out

Surprisingly, prunes and nicotine patches didn’t crack the top 10.

As I get older I find it harder and harder to relate to the youth of today what with their Beatles albums, technicolor films, and VTubers. But looking at a new survey of kids in elementary and junior high school, I learned that maybe we really aren’t all that different after all.

The study was done by Bandai, the toy company behind Japanese heavyweight children’s franchises like Anpanman, Kamen Rider, and Pretty Cure. Their goal was to see how much kids are getting for an allowance these days and – more importantly for Bandai – what they’re spending that money on.

According to the survey of 900 kids, roughly half received allowances on a regular basis such as weekly or monthly. However, among them nearly 90 percent receive money from their parents while a little under a quarter get a regular allowance from their grandparents, suggesting a segment of kids who receive dual incomes exists.

▼ Grandpa and grandma are referred to as “jiji“and “baba” respectively in Japan, but they ought to be called “cha” and “ching!

Grandparents proved to be a lucrative source of allowances as well, with them doling out between 2,000 and 3,500 yen (US$18 – $32) a month on average, compared to a parent’s range of 1,200 to 2,500 yen (US$11 – 23).

So, what are these kids choosing to spend this limited amount of money on? At first, I figured it’d be something trendy like loot boxes or those stamp things you can put on text messages, but I was wrong…

That’s actually pretty in-line with the stuff I used to spend my allowance on back in the day, right down to candy, chips, and pop ruling the roost. The only thing striking me as odd is “savings”, which I can see as a good habit to instill in people at a young age, but man… I’m glad I never saved those measly few bucks a week back then, only to have it sucked into the student loan vortex later on.

“Stationery” was also not something I readily spent my allowance money on back then, but it

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