MORE than three quarters (77 per cent) of parents give pocket money to their children, with the average Scottish payment of £12.62 a month sitting £6 lower than the national monthly average of £18.36.

A third of parents, meanwhile, also hand over extra cash to kids who help around the home while 18% reward good behaviour at school.

Children who get to school or college on time can earn the most extra cash, at just over £10 a month, but the average child can boost their monthly earnings by more than £7.

There is, however, a gender pay gap, according to research by Santander. Boys on average earn 33% more than girls - £6.99 compared with £4.67 - for carrying out household chores and 50% more - £8.28 against £4.18 - for good behaviour at school.

Children who step out of line or fail to carry out their duties can expect financial penalties. Almost a fifth (18%) of parents take money away if their children do not complete their chores and 15% dock money for bad behaviour at school.

Parents are apparently keen to teach children about the financial realities of adult life, with 13% applying ‘tax’ to children’s earnings to support the running of the home. A further 42% of parents who pay pocket money would consider ‘taxing’ their children in preparation for the real world.

Hetal Parmar, head of banking and savings at Santander, said: “It’s encouraging to see how parents use financial lessons in the home to help their children get to grips with money. Teaching children about making the most of their money once they’ve earned it is also an important life skill.”

A high proportion of children (84%) save their pocket money and, again, there is a gender divide, with 89% of boys opting to put money aside, compared with 77% of girls.

Tom Adams, head of research at Savings Champion, an independent savings advice site, said: “It’s a great idea to get children interested in saving up their money and it can be a real benefit to them in the long run. Good habits that are learnt in childhood can often carry through to adult life and putting in the effort now could give them a real head start.”

There are several types of savings account available to children. If you want easy access to your money, HSBC’s MySavings, which pays 2.75% on balances up to £3,000, is one of the best deals – as long as your child is aged between 7 and 17.

Penrith Building Society pays 2.5% on its Junior Saver on balances up to £10,000. The account is open to under 18s and the rate includes a 1.25 percentage point bonus, which is paid on the child’s birthday each year.

Nationwide also offers 2.5% on its Smart Limited Access account on balances up to £50,000, though you are restricted to just one withdrawal a year or the rate will drop. The account is open to 7 to 17 year olds, or parents or guardians for a child under 16.

Also competitive is Holmesdale Building Society, paying 2.25% on balances up to £25,000 in its Young Saver account, which is available to savers up to the age of 22.

Children can earn higher rates of interest in a regular savings account, although Mr Adams noted that they must also be able to commit to regular savings.

“The opportunity to put money aside on a regular basis can be a great way to build up funds for the future – helping towards longer-term goals such as a first car, university or even a deposit on a first home,” he said.

“Shorter-term goals are also worth saving for, putting money aside for that special toy, bike or games console. The key thing to note with these accounts is that they do restrict how much you can pay in each month.”

Children who are 15 or under can save between £10 and £100 a month for 12 months in Halifax’s Kids’ Monthly Saver, which pays 4.5%, but you must have or open its Kids’ Saver Account to qualify.

Saffron Building Society’s Children’s Regular Saver, meanwhile, is open to children aged 15 or under. It pays 4% and the maximum monthly payment is £100 over the 12-month term.

It might be worth considering a junior cash ISA for longer-term, tax-free savings.

Parents, other family members and friends can pay up to £4,260 into a so-called JISA in the current tax year and interest is tax free.