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?

MortifiedAdams Sun 17-Mar-13 10:30:33

Op I really dont think you can teach him to manage his money the way you do it. Essentially the £5 pm is squander money - if he wants.to go out with friends you pay.it anywys. If he wants music or books/apps he gets them.anyways.

Far better, imo, would be to give him £40 or so on the first of the month and he buys all his own treats / activities etc. Then, come halfway through the.month when he has nothing left and everyones going to the pictures without him, he will be motovated to save

sashh Sun 17-Mar-13 10:28:57

I'd be fining him for being sly and sneaky.

GreatUncleEddie Sun 17-Mar-13 09:59:25

I woukd ask granny to stop and explain that she is doing DS no favours and also being v unfair to the other kids. And undermining you.

GreatUncleEddie Sun 17-Mar-13 09:58:05

My boys are 12 and 14 they get £17 pcm paid into the bank. We pay for their clothes (they would have to top up if they wanted Hollister, but they don't) and their phones (£7.50 pcm) - the money is for random spending, cinema trips, xbox/runescape, saving. They both have a healthy bank balance and they have a good idea how to manage money. We don't pay for chores, but we do expect them to be done - we have chosen not to link the two.

nkf Sun 17-Mar-13 09:47:18

two not too. What's wrong with me?

nkf Sun 17-Mar-13 09:46:47

I think £5 a month is a bit low for 13. Do you mean a week? I don't see how you can forbid granny to do give the money. He will learn. There will come a time when he wants something and he won't be able to afford it because he has spent it on crap.

You can say to your mum - he's terrible with money you know - and see how she responds. But I would try to avoid getting caught up in allowing him to play you too off against each other.

I don't pay for chores. I do insist that they are done though. We all live here.

Just seen - he really gets £11 a month (with the phone bit.) Still a bit low I'd say. I'm pretty skint and tight and my 13 year old gets £20.

diddl Sun 17-Mar-13 09:41:54

I do agree with the "give him more & pay for less" though.

lljkk Sun 17-Mar-13 09:38:44

It's one of the pleasures of grandparents to be generous & lovely for grandchildren to know they have generous involved grandparents. I wouldn't want to interfere with that, too much.

However, I think you have a case for telling Granny that she needs to make sure she is fair to all the grandchildren, to find a system that is perceived as fair in the long run.

As for teaching your 13yo to be sensible with money... what if you give him the phone top up as cash & it's up to him to actually get it topped up? Or do something else where he has to manage his money more actively.

Sorry, have to point out the obvious... if you can afford an Easter holiday to Florida & for your DC to go on skiing holidays as well this year, then saying you can't afford more than £5/month pocket money seems kinda odd.

stifnstav Sun 17-Mar-13 09:36:16

You aren't teaching him anything by controlling his budget.

In the first instance, I'd be teaching him (and Grandma) a lesson in how not to undermine parents by saying "no more, Gma pays for everything if thats how you want to play the game."

Literally everything.

Then once that novelty wears off for them both, it would be a new system going in place. A set amount dependant on chores being done, from which he pays for all of his outgoings. You can explain to the younger ones that their system changes when they hit a certain age.

Otherwise, the world of work will come as a major shock to him.

To be honest, I am annoyed that your DS has been allowed to laze around while his sisters do all the chores. Its a bad message to send to your daughters.

Hattifattner Sun 17-Mar-13 09:29:52

Friends of a friend pay their teen a similar amount as OP. This teen now runs a lucrative sideline in dealing cannabis. His mum says he only needs £5 and "He doesn't really spend it" .

Our ds, 13, gets £35 a month paid monthly into a bank account. He also gets a phone and we pay all his youth and sport club fees.

I think if you want to teach him the value of money, you have to give him more to value! So he can learn to save up, so he can learn to be more responsible for himself, so he can go and hang with his mates at the movies or MacD's.

By giving him so little, what chance does he have to save up £50 for his school trip - it would take nearly a year, and not many teens could delay gratification that long.

diddl Sun 17-Mar-13 09:24:32

Forgot to get to the point-if your mother didn't give the others spending money, then she shouldn't give him either.

If he's not willing to earn extra, then he needs to make do with what he gets.

And if OP can only afford 5GBP-well that's that.

diddl Sun 17-Mar-13 09:20:28

I think that 20GPB for a three day trip is fine tbh.

My daughter is about to have 5 days away & the top limit-agreed between parents & school is €20

Bearing in mind that they arrive at the destination at lunchtime on the Mon & leave at 10am 0n the fri.

All food & drinks are included.

So it's for sweets/snacks/extra drinks.

I do agree that 5GBP isn't a lot-perhaps he'd like to give up his phone if he wants more??

Stinkyminkymoo Sun 17-Mar-13 09:14:50

I think £5 pcm is mean. I know you said you pay for his iTunes and other bits, but I would stop paying for the little bits like that & increase his pocket money so he can learn to budget for things he does want better. You'll probably find you save a bit of money too by not spending all your money on his crap. smile

YANBU in regards to your DM, she shouldn't be undermining you and you need to speak to her and emphasise how it's not helping him learn about money & respect.

ohnosnow Sun 17-Mar-13 09:11:07

My ds now 15, has done a paper round since the week he turned 13. He earns £20 a week he gets up at 630 rain or shine and earns his own money. (We are very proud of him)

We put £10 on his phone a month and pay for a weekly club he attends, and buy most of his clothes.

He saves £5 a week towards a car for when he is older (his choice nothing to do with us!) Saves another £5 for something big he wants ie new guitar and spends the other £10 on cinema, sweets drinks out etc.

I do think it is wrong what your mother has done, and I would be reluctant to hand out money to him though if he is not willing to work for it, will not help him in the long run.

wonkylegs Sun 17-Mar-13 09:10:50

I think the OP is fair enough
Yes it's not a huge amount of 'free' money but he has the potential to earn more which he chooses not to take up. Hes 13 he can understand this. This should be teaching him the value of money and if he was at all savvy the opportunity to negotiate. Unfortunately granny is undermining this however it may not be intentional therefore a quiet word is probably in order.
Treatment between siblings should be broadly equal otherwise it breeds resentment.
The lessons you learn about money as a child will shape how you treat it as an adult. We have a generation that is going to find life hard and teaching them lessons about money in the context of pocket/trip money is something every parent should do. Otherwise when they grow up they are likely to learn them harshly and without the safety net of their families. I know when I'd prefer my child to learn about money.

TheSeniorWrangler Sun 17-Mar-13 08:47:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheSeniorWrangler Sun 17-Mar-13 08:46:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ByTheWay1 Sun 17-Mar-13 08:33:51

What do all these kids spend their money on????

My DD (12) gets £5 a week and has to pay half her phone top ups (stops her going wild with the phone) which probably takes up £2 of that... she has a doughnut at school on Fridays - treat day - for 70p and saves the rest for taking to town in the school hols.

We don't give money for general chores - if she doesn't do any work round the house, she gets no screen time - so she willingly does work round the house..... if she does something special - last week she ironed and hung up her uniform - she gets a couple of pounds extra.

She has £10 in £1 coins in the bottom of her bag for emergencies and has used it once.

Floralnomad Sat 16-Mar-13 17:44:00

skye I have to disagree , my eldest has never had pocket money and has never done chores for money , he asked when he wanted something ,always had a £5 in his wallet for emergencies ( or chips!) .if he asked for money and we felt it was inappropriate or unnecessary he was told no,he rarely did . He got a Saturday job at 17 ,because he wanted one ,not because he needed the money .He is now in his second year at uni , which we pay for ,still has his job and for the last 2 years has filled his ISA allowance . He lives at home pays £100 a month towards the car insurance ( shares the car with his dad) and funds his own social life . He is the last person who will ever get into debt because he is TIGHT . Maybe he is the exception but it works for us . Neither of my children have ever asked to move over to an allowance system and neither of them waste money on sweets and crap .

mrsjay Sat 16-Mar-13 17:37:28

I agree with you skye i wasnt one for handing out money willey nilly to mine it doesnt come on a plate or grow on tree imo , DD is now working and really good with her wages and saves ,

Skyebluesapphire Sat 16-Mar-13 17:33:21

I think that teenagers need to understand that money needs to be earned, not just given freely. If they don't want to work, then they don't get any money. Simple. Nobody has a right to anything, just because they want it.

I have seen far too many members of XH's family get into debt because they must have everything that they want or everything that everybody else has.

My DD is only 5, but I dont anticipate giving her a weekly amount of pocket money for quite a few years yet.

Floralnomad Sat 16-Mar-13 17:27:19

I would say that you need at least £10 per day on a school trip , but would probably send more in case of emergencies . If your son knows that dear old granny is always going to come up with the goods he will never get any better with his money or do extra to get more . He's a teenage boy ! Personally as long as granny would willingly do the same for the other children I can't see the problem with it ,and it sounds like she would so no issue in my opinion.

DowntonTrout Sat 16-Mar-13 17:19:05

Accepted? Excepted!

DowntonTrout Sat 16-Mar-13 17:18:14

I think there are two issues here. Your mum should not just dole out large amounts of money- Christmas and birthdays accepted.

However you are BVU to expect him to save from £5 a month. You say he "wastes" this on sweets and energy drinks (work of the devil IMO) but realistically how much can £5 buy? One drink a week ? Chocolate bars are 60-75p each.

To put it into perspective my DD 11 gets £5 a week which has no constraints- if she chooses a snack or drink at school everyday that's fine, but if not she has a money left over to save. If you give him £5 a month there is no opportunity to save. It is a false lesson. Better give him more and get him to use it for treats, like cinema etc, then he has a choice. Save or spend.

School trips- well IME schools usually set a suggested amount. I would go with that or over, as I would not want my DC to go without. DD always has £20 in her purse for emergencies, it is not to be spent. She knows this and doesn't use it.

livinginwonderland Sat 16-Mar-13 17:17:20

£5 a month for a 13 year old isn't enough. i know you pay his phone bill, but that leaves him with £1.50 a week - what do you expect him to save from that? that won't even buy a magazine a week, let alone give him some money left to save for a game or a dvd, it would take him months.

i also think £20 for three days at a theme park is also not enough. they're expensive! meals at zoos/amusement parks are often over £10 per meal, and that's just something like a burger, chips, a coke and maybe another snack at the end of the day.

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