AIBU or is my mum, re pocket money for trip?

(110 Posts)
loopyluna Sat 16-Mar-13 10:01:16

DS, 13, is really, really bad with money. He gets £5/ month pocket money, his phone contract and youth club fees (about £6/ month) from us. The pocket money is no-strings attached and ge can "earn" more by doing extra chores (he never does.)
He spends it all on sweets and energy drinks after school. angry

We're going to Florida in April so my DDs (younger than DS) both decided to save all of their xmas and birthday money for this. DS bought an x-box with his and has frittered away what was left.

My mum then gave them each $150 for the holiday -problem solved hmm

Now, DS has a 3 day trip to a theme park with school. I told him I would give him £20 and he would have to try to save or do some jobs for the rest. (Obviously he thinks £20 is far too little for 3 days, although DD was more than happy with the same amount for a week long ski-trip...)

I really want him to start learning the value of money and to be a bit more sensible.

Yesterday he smirked at me and said that Grandma is going to give him his spending money for the trip so he doesn't need to do any chores!

I am not impressed at all. Obviously my mother just thinks I'm being mean and unfair. angry

AIBU re pocket money? (Obviously I don't think I am but will stand corrected if everyone here tells me I am.)
Also how much pocket money is reasonable for a 13 year old on a 3 day school trip?

Astley Sat 16-Mar-13 10:40:18

OP must mean £5 a week, otherwise that is seriously stingy.

golemmings Sat 16-Mar-13 10:42:12

If its not a silly question, and it is a deviation, but how on earth do you spend £50 on a 3 night residential?
That's over £15 a night. I don't expect to spend much more than that on a night out.
Mine are too young for residentials at the moment but I would expect to send them with enough money for a couple of cans of pop and a bar of chocolate a day.

Oh and to get back to the point, if you have asked your mum not to give your children money and she is undermining you then yanbu. If you've not spoken to her before, then unless she's psychic, yabu.

youmaycallmeSSP Sat 16-Mar-13 10:43:34

YANBU. It doesn't matter whether you're 'tight' or not, your mother is undermining you and that's not acceptable. I would say exactly what someone else said to your DS - "I am your parent and if I say you aren't getting any money from GM then you won't." - and then tackle it with your mum.

I think if £5 was all that was on offer, end of story, then that would be pretty mean (if you could afford to give more of course) but it's not. He has the opportunity to earn more by pulling his weight but chooses not to. Totally reasonable.

Bit rude to assume the OP and afford more than she's currently giving, I wouldn't want to give money hand over fist to a kid when his siblings have to earn it! Especially when he is so smug about being given cash!

OP YANBU. Surely the school have given you an idea of what is appropriate for the trip? I'd give the recommended amount, maybe plus a fiver or so.

ChipTheFish Sat 16-Mar-13 10:47:35

I don't think you are being tight. However maybe if you made it clear how much extra he would get for each chore he would be more inclined to do some.

Why don't you make a chart with each job, i.e emptying the dishwasher 50p, hanging up the washing, 75p. He might get excited by the potential extra cash he can earn.

With regards to your mum you need to speak to her. She doesn't sound like she is deliberately trying to undermine you, just being generous. Maybe have an agreement with her that any money she wants to give your DC's she gives to you first.

MikeLitoris Sat 16-Mar-13 10:48:12

Well your both being U.

I would probably give ds that smount for a day trip to a theme park. They are expensive places.

On the other hand he sounds like he has a bad attitude and that doesnt deserve to be rewarded with money or treats.

Your mum probably thought she was doing you a favour but she should have checked with you first.

slipshodsibyl Sat 16-Mar-13 10:49:22

Op doesn't sound especially mean if her daughter who must be younger than thirteen is sent on a school ski trip and she is taking her children to Florida. A three day theme park trip sounds a real jolly and I wonder what the school's educational reason for it is? I always fund educational trips but If it is just fun, you are perfectly reasonable to expect some kind of effort to contribute from your son.

Skullnbones Sat 16-Mar-13 10:58:23

But if the OP says he has the opportunity to earn more and chooses not to then that is the point surely? She wants him to learn the value of "working" for money and I like this ethos too. He runs to gran and problem solved. OP YANBU at all. Tell your mother to stop pamdering to him. He is not a baby.

I do agree that if £5 a month was, if ALL he was getting, it would be too low. But he can earn more(depends how much more he can earn I suppose). He sounds like he has it quite cooshie, trips away etc. he is hardly impoverished, just sounds lazy and gets a quick fix from gran, so no motive to do any chores

Skullnbones Sat 16-Mar-13 10:58:43

Scuse typos blush

BeaWheesht Sat 16-Mar-13 11:03:18

I don't think yabu, my mum is exactly the same just gives and gives. It drives me mental!

I got £15 a week at 13 - I have no idea what I spent it on, nothing worthwhile though.

I think in your place I'd give him £10 a month to save and tell him if he wants extra he can do chores for it - nothing massive but things that are manageable, I think he needs to earn it.

Also, stop comparing him to his sisters. That's unfair.

raspberryroop Sat 16-Mar-13 11:11:51

So give him more ??? and don't compare him to his sisters who manage with the op's rules as its not fair?
Christ on a bike no wonder we have a generation of entitled teens

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sat 16-Mar-13 11:13:38

Am not being rude but £1.50 a week isn't going to go very far even assuming OP pays for out-of-school clothes, toiletries, haircuts, school stuff, sports kit + subscriptions, school lunches. Boys that age do often have a sweet tooth and eat what seems like their own body weight daily.

Yanbu about grandma undermining you regarding the theme park cash. She was already generous providing Fda trip dpending money with DS and her other GDCs. That's up to her. This is different.

Yanbu about being concerned about his attitude to money.but bluntly as he gets older he'll find his wants outstrip his income so he'll be motivated to save more and try snd earn something. He paid for an x-box so he must have some concept of save and spend.

patchesmcp Sat 16-Mar-13 11:14:15

I'm with golemmings - can I ask the people who'd give £50 for a 3 day trip what their kids are spending it on??? It seems a lot of money for 3 days when I presume meals are provided.

That point aside, I think £5 p/m is really low, if you could afford more. However, I appreciate you are trying to teach him that money doesn't grow on trees and has to be earnt. How about a compromise and give him a chore to do each week which if he does he gets £5 for. You could start with a small job initially to motivate him, eg take the bins out for the week.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sat 16-Mar-13 11:14:43

Sorry for sloppy typing!

BellaVita Sat 16-Mar-13 11:22:21

Patch, it is a theme park trip. £50 spends in a theme park on a few drinks and snacks will not go far, do you have teenagers?

DeskPlanner Sat 16-Mar-13 11:29:03

YANBU re your mum giving him money.
YABU thinking £5 a month Is enough for a teenager.

Startail Sat 16-Mar-13 11:31:55

If they buy any food at all in a theme park, they will haemorrhage money.

I've learnt that DD1 always needs more money than you realise, not because she's silly, but because she likes hot drinks. A hot choc at a MW services can be £2.50

heronsfly Sat 16-Mar-13 11:33:29

I think once dcs are at senior school money needed for school trips escalates, as another poster said pgl type trips need no more than a few pounds because they don't leave the centres and there is nothing to spend money on.
However senior school residential trips are very different and a certain amount of freedom is normally given so money is needed for McDonalds grin, drinks, extra activities ect. And, i have found that very often all meals are not included so the kids have to buy some themselves.

Viviennemary Sat 16-Mar-13 11:36:13

He doesn't sound spoilt to me. I would just give him the money. £5 a month pocket money sounds an incredibly small amount even to me.

BeaWheesht Sat 16-Mar-13 11:36:34

Raspberry - my point was that he saves that £10 for events such as school trips and does without otherwise. If he has no immediate money it might encourage him to do chores or he gets zilch.

I don't think comparing him to his sisters is good though, no.

Pandemoniaa Sat 16-Mar-13 11:44:15

I thin YABU if, out of £5 per month you expect him to save anything. I also think that there's not much wrong with a bit of frittering because it doesn't hurt to learn that if all you do is buy crap, you'll never be able to buy anything worthwhile.

But I don't think it is helpful of your dm to just chuck large dollops of cash at your ds in a way that means he can opt out of learning the value of money so you've got two issues here really.

I'd suggest upping his pocket money to a more realistic sum for his age. Make it clear what the money is intended for and actually help him budget a bit. With school trips, take account of the recommended spending money they suggest and aim to send him with that amount. If you want him to fund part of his trips then agree a realistic method of making this happen - if necessary give him his pocket money less a percentage that goes towards a forthcoming trip. But do tell your dm that it won't help your ds to learn to manage money if she undermines you by constantly funding him.

BackforGood Sat 16-Mar-13 11:45:21

At 13, my dcs get £13 a month. They pay for their own phones. We pay subs for things they go to. They have £2.10 a day dinner money, and up to them if they spend it all, or keep change from that.
If the pocket money is just for things like sweets on a trip away, then I too would only give them about the equivalent of £1 a day. If it were some memorable 'one off' trip, I would give more so they could get a t-shirt or something as a souvineer.
Re the Grandma - I sit on the fence. I think GPs like to be able to give their grandchildren "ice-cream money" for their trips, and I don't think you should try to stop her doing that. However, if she knew you were trying to teach them all to budget and that her giving them that much cash undermined it, then she WBU. That said, you should have told her that at the beginning (when you told the dc) and, at that point, she should have said "But I would like to give them something too" and everyone would have known where they stood.

makemineamalibuandpineapple Sat 16-Mar-13 11:52:25

I think you aren't giving him enoug pocket money. I was getting £15 pm at that age and that was 16 years ago!! No wonder he is fed up and going to his Grandma. Perhaps she feels sorry for him.

raspberryroop Sat 16-Mar-13 12:01:32

My 14 year old is at the moment hovering and polishing my car - he does it most Saturdays as he loves car boots and runs his own little brick a brack business. he will get £30 as that's what it would cost for a mini valet. I pay for phone and subs and anything he 'needs' - he takes care of his own 'wants' largely. He has a very healthy attitude to money as he knows what it takes to earn it.

shewhowines Sat 16-Mar-13 12:03:24

How many of you get" free" money from your employers before they start paying you for work you do? £5 per month unconditional money plus phone is more than reasonable as a starting point with the option to earn more with some effort. He's 13 FGS.

I can't believe the attitude of a lot of you.

Of course he needs to be compared to his sisters. What message would the op be sending them, if it's one rule for them and another for DS.

The op is consistent. He knows the rules. He can access more money by putting some effort in. He should not be relying on g/ma to bail him out. That's not fair to his sisters and is not teaching him any work ethic at all.

Op YA definitely NBU

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