FINALLY, some good news for girls: on average they're raking in an extra 18p a week in pocket money compared to boys. And while that might sound like small consolation for the gender pay gap they'll face as adults – with a £9 a year bonus giving way to a £9,000 a year disadvantage – might shrewd business decisions allow the girls to stay on top for longer?

As luck would have it, the GirlGuiding organisation has just announced a major revamp of its interest badges that's steering Guides away from such carefree but unprofitable pursuits as birdwatching and knitting, and towards upcycling, vlogging and developing a “personal brand”. It represents a major culture shift since the days when Brownies worked towards their hostess badges by learning how to serve a cup of tea and biscuits on a nice tray. Why settle for a paper round and household chores when you could be building an empire in your bedroom?

That extra 18p a week could make all the difference in terms of funding extra stock, promotional materials or online ads to help boost a fledgling business. Sure, it's good to encourage saving habits (and there's a new Girl Guide badge for that too), but you can't make a digital start-up omelette without breaking open a few piggy banks. So, girls, here are a few ideas to turn those pennies into pounds.

Forget the Consumer Price Index – everyone knows the best way to assess the current cost of living is to check the going rate for a Cadbury's Freddo. An eagle-eyed shopper last week spotted the amphibian-shaped chocolate bars on sale for the bargain price of 68p for half a dozen, so a savvy young lady might want to try buying these in bulk and selling them on to her peers for 25p a go. The key, of course, would be being in the right place at the right time with the right supplies, ideally wearing a light jacket with a dozen special snack pockets carefully sewn into the lining.

If profiting from the childhood obesity crisis doesn't feel entirely ethical, eco-friendly upcycling might have greater appeal. While this traditionally involves rescuing old pieces of furniture from skips and giving them a fresh lick of paint, the same general principle of upgrading and transforming could be applied to other old relics. Any time an ancient relative, neighbour or stranger makes a comment that reinforces harmful gender stereotypes, or contributes to body-consciousness among girls, be sure to call them out and then send them a bill for your time (£1 per minute seems reasonable). Call it “life coaching”.

Another option is to tie in sustainability with the creation of a personal brand by modelling your old clothes on Instagram and then flogging them with the selling point “as seen on...” The idea here is to fake it until you make it – working on the assumption that no-one can keep track of who's who in the baffling and increasingly murky world of internet celebrities. If any items are more than a year old, brand them as “vintage” and charge double.

Personal branding is also a sure-fire way to boost a babysitting business. What parent wouldn't be willing for pay extra for a child-minder who also offers French tuition, or coding lessons, or in-house furniture upcycling services? Just make sure your young charges agree to keep quiet about all the vlogs you record of yourself pranking them (and the vast riches you earn from monetising them). Make sure they've recovered from the shock of being erroneously told their puppy has died well before mum and dad come home from their night out and if in doubt, confidently assert that any traumatising experiences described were nothing but bad dreams.

But seriously, it's probably not wise to read too much into reports of a modest difference in pocket money rates, especially bearing in mind that another study carried out back in January found boys still receive significantly more than girls. More interesting are the details within these pieces of research, which consistently find that boys are given more control over their money than girls. It could be that when purchases made on behalf of children are taken into account along with pocket money, equal sums are spent by parents on their sons and daughters. They key difference appears to lie in the level of responsibility the children are given for that spending. Why does it seem that boys are trusted with money but girls are not?

This discrimination is surely subconscious, as no parent wants their child to grow into an adult who cannot manage their money well, and the only way to learn is to be handed the purse strings. But do mothers and fathers perhaps imagine that their daughters will never be the breadwinners in their households, or the ones making decisions about mortgages, loans, savings and investments?

It could be that even younger parents are still being influenced by sexist standards of the past, despite believing they treat their children equally. Perhaps they need to be gently upcycled too.