Earn today, spend tomorrow could well be the motto of the next generation of workers, according to a survey by the New York City-based American Institute of CPAs.

From August 22 to 28, 2019, The Harris Poll conducted a phone survey of 1,002 U.S. adults on behalf of AICPA and found that two-thirds of parents give their children an allowance, and that four out of five who did expected their children to earn it. Children received an average weekly allowance of $30, which comes to a little more $6 an hour to do chores. 

Ironically, most children’s allowances are increasing faster than the wages of parents paying it to them, with allowances rising 38% between 2016 and 2019 versus the average hourly pay rate rising just 10.5% over the same period, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. But many kids are squandering what they receive.

Three-quarters of parents surveyed said they paid their children an allowance to teach them the value of money and financial responsibility. However, only 3% of kids reportedly saved what they received. Instead, parents said, their kids spent allowances on outings with friends (45%), digital devices or downloads (37%) or toys (33%).

AICPA said the art of saving is an important lesson in money management that many American children receiving an allowance need to learn. And 92% of parents surveyed agreed. AICPA said a weekly allowance of $30 could equate to yearly savings of roughly $1,500, creating enough savings over several years to buy a first used car.

“One of the best gifts we can give our children is a solid education on how to manage their money,” Gregory Anton, chair of the AICPA’s National CPA Financial Literacy Commission, said in a press release. “Simply handing money over to a child without guidance is a missed opportunity. By making an allowance a teachable moment, parents will help instill money management skills in their child at a young age that will help prepare them for the important financial decisions they’ll have to make when they’re older."

Founded in 1887, AICPA is the world’s largest member association representing the CPA profession with more than 429,000 members in the U.S. and worldwide.