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?

RivalSibling Sat 16-Mar-13 10:05:59

Its poor form if your mum knows that your son should be earning his own pocket money as this undermines you. At 13 he is perfectly capable of doing a few chores to earn it.

I think you are being miserable. But thats just me.

LIZS Sat 16-Mar-13 10:10:46

Have you spoken to her , maybe there are strings attached or he spun her a line? £20 might be tight depending on what is included and where, do school not suggest an amount ?

FlatsInDagenham Sat 16-Mar-13 10:10:47

Yanbu. Your mum isn't doing you or her grandson any favours.

FelicityWasCold Sat 16-Mar-13 10:13:05

Yanbu, I would intervene and tell him that you are the parent, and he won't get grandmas money if you say no!

Then I'd be having strong words with DM...

clam Sat 16-Mar-13 10:15:29

Well, £5 a month won't go very far these days - and I think it would be hard to save much from it. So, I was with your ds, up until the point where you said he smirked and that his grandmother would bail him out. Hate that!

Mine get a fiver a week and a tenner top up every month for their phones. Plus I buy clothes (within a budget) and usually spring for a tenner if it's someone's birthday party.

They do chores but some weeks they do more than others. They can earn extra if I'm feeling generous/lazy/need a big job done.

You sound very tight tbh.

ByTheWay1 Sat 16-Mar-13 10:15:52

Have you told your mum your reasons? Have you specifically asked for him NOT to be given money... if she is doing it after a talk, then she is deliberately undermining you and you need to nip it in the bud, if not, then you need to explain what you just did to us....

so I think it is your mum who is BU

SkinnybitchWannabe Sat 16-Mar-13 10:17:03

You must talk to her. My parents, specially my mum, are very generous to my 3 ds but they always ask first and would never dream of giving the boys money/gifts without checking that I didn't mind.
Unless you tell her to stop it will never change.

heronsfly Sat 16-Mar-13 10:17:48

My dd3 is 13, dosent get a set amount of pocket money,but gets £1.50 a day emergency money for school,(dinners pre paid] she always spends it, as you said,on drinks and the odd bag of chips, so I think £5 a month is a little low for a senior school pupil.
A 3 day residential trip with her school would probably have a recommended spending amount of about £50.

scarlettsmummy2 Sat 16-Mar-13 10:20:25

You sound a bit mean! Especially only giving your daughter £20 for a weeks ski trip.

catgirl1976 Sat 16-Mar-13 10:20:56

YANBU although £5 per month doesn't sound a lot but if he wants more he can do chores or get a paper round or something

I would be having stern words with your DM and taking the money off him tbh

PearlyWhites Sat 16-Mar-13 10:22:35

£5 a month? Surely you mean a week?

ToomuchWaternotWine Sat 16-Mar-13 10:24:34

I think £5 a month is very low for a 13 year old but that's the only bit I quibble with, the rest yadefNBU.. I think you need to talk to your mum and no, she is not to provide the pocket money for this trip, I think his attitude shows he needs to earn it!

raspberryroop Sat 16-Mar-13 10:25:34

I think the £5 plus chance to earn is really fair - Kids do need to learn the value of money and that is the time taken to earn it . Your Mum is the wrong and I would have strong word and to be honest confiscate the money- my kids - my rules sort of thing.

Floggingmolly Sat 16-Mar-13 10:26:40

When my dd went on the week long PGL trips; the school insisted on no more than £2 per day spending money. I suppose there was nothing to spend it on, except sweets.
£5 per month at 13, though, really? hmm

BellaVita Sat 16-Mar-13 10:26:57

I would say £40/50 for a three day trip.

£5 a month will not go far for a 13yr old whether you pay for a phone top up or not.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sat 16-Mar-13 10:29:43

You need to stop your mum from doing this.

She may think she is being kind, but she is being a pain! She is stopping your son from learning the lessons that you are trying to teach him. She is also teaching your other children that if you save, you get less reward than someone who fritters their money away on crap!

Your son is learning some VERY bad lessons, things that will make adult life harder for him. You need to stop your mum from undermining you.

He smirked at you! That says it all, doesn't it?

WestieMamma Sat 16-Mar-13 10:29:58

I used to get around £5 per month when I was that age. But that was 25+ years ago.

I had a fiver a month at 13. I also shoplifted a lot.

Other than his pocket money amount though, I think YANBU.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sat 16-Mar-13 10:31:48

How much free money do any of us get? grin I think a very small amount of free money plus the right to earn more is a good life lesson.

If you want money - you work for it. It doesn't fall out of the sky.

Except in his case - it does.

Which is making what the OP is trying to do meaningless.

FaceLikeAPickledOnion Sat 16-Mar-13 10:32:46

How about upping the monthly pocket money, but deducting money for chores not done?

That was only 9 years ago, but prices have gone up so much even since then! If I got the bus in to town today with a fiver (child return), I'd only have a quid left to spend...

raspberryroop Sat 16-Mar-13 10:35:02

because thats negative reinforment rather than positive

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

shewhowines Sat 16-Mar-13 12:07:02

I also think that if I were you, I'd be more inclined to give him more money for the trips if he actually had some work ethic, but i'd be dammed if I would throw money at him when he's not prepared to put in any effort at all himself.

The lazier he is , the meaner I would be.

threesypeesy Sat 16-Mar-13 12:08:31


£5 a month for a 13 year olds very little my 8&9yr old get that each a week. Money does not go as far as it used to.

I would give £50 for a 3 day trip and probably £100/150 for the week long one.

I don't think your wrong in wanting you dc to learn the value of money and to try and earn extra or save but i do think the amount you think they need is a little low

Viviennemary Sat 16-Mar-13 12:08:51

I think children should help a bit around the house. But this idea that a thirteen year old should be compared to a person working is just silly. He's a child for goodness sake.

Costypop Sat 16-Mar-13 12:08:54

I would make up a chart for chores and cost, say 50p for washing up etc. he will soon learn. If he doesn't do he doesn't get. I would take the money his nan gave him to save for the trip. Don't want him spending it before hand.
Also have a word with your mum, it's lovely she's treating him but its got to be fair and if she does want too then I'd ask her to keep the money back till the night before so your son doesn't know about it, then he can save as much he can so not relying on nans money.

LadyBeagleEyes Sat 16-Mar-13 12:10:54

Yes he's 13 shewhowhines.
Op is his parent, not his employer. In a few years time he'll be working and will continue to for the next 60 odd years of his life.
£5 a month is stingy, if we can't give them a break at that age before they enter the RL world, when can we?
It's such a short time between being a teenager and the responsibilities of adulthood.
Let them enjoy.

patchesmcp Sat 16-Mar-13 12:11:05

Bellavita your're right I don't have teenagers yet so may be I'm being unrealistic. However, I still think if meals are provided (different scenario if they're not) that £30 for 3 days would be sufficient, as they're only buying drinks and sweets etc. I admit though that I haven't been to a theme park in a while and I acknowledge I'd prefer my kids to have a "safety net" so to speak, in case of an emergency.

Just can't imagine if I gave £50, but with £20 of it being a buffer for an emergency I'd ever see the extra £20 again grin

loopyluna Sat 16-Mar-13 12:11:34

Just to clarify -I don't expect DS to pay for anything necessary out of his £5! I buy all his clothes, trainers, toiletries, books, stationary etc. He uses my itunes account and has pretty free reign on that as he has shown himself to be pretty sensible. His kindle is on my mum's amazon account so he has free reign on apps and ebooks. I also pay for cinema trips etc.
He knows he can earn £1 a chore for helping in the garden, bringing in the bins, washing up etc but chooses not to. His best friend gets no pocket money and no money for chores, so he is often seen helping out the neighbours etc for some cash!

£20 was all DD needed on her ski trip -they spent 10 mins in a souvenir shop on the last day. The rest of the week they were... Skiing?!

Re the theme park -not sure at all. We've paid £200 for the trip -all food and rides are included so money is for extras -drinks, snacks, gifts. It probably will be pricey though. School haven't said how much they recommend yet but I will ask at the pre-trip meeting...

Sounds like a lot of people find the pocket money low, but I can't afford to up it unless I cut back on all the other stuff I pay for him. Maybe I should give him £50 but make him buy all his clothes and stuff too! I reckon he'd want to go back to the old system pretty quickly!

MikeLitoris Sat 16-Mar-13 12:12:49

I agree children need to learn that if they want money they need to earn it but I dont really get the comparison to getting free money from your employer.

I have children, not employees. I like to treat my children (when they deserve it) and dont always expect them to earn it.

I never got pocket money as a child. My DC don't either - I can't necessarily afford to give them money every week/month. They get money if they need it, if I have it. The OP is giving her DS a chance to earn money and he cba to take it. Her MIL needs to stop handing out money without checking to see if it's okay. YANBU with any of it as far as I can see.

loopyluna Sat 16-Mar-13 12:14:19

Just wanted to add -shewhowines -if mumsnet had a like button, I would have liked your last comment!

shewhowines Sat 16-Mar-13 12:16:25

I give mine much more pocket money than you, but they are expected to pay for itunes, cinema etc out of it. Perhaps give him more control over his budget then he may want to do more. There's not really any incentive to do chores if everything is paid for.

Ilovesunflowers Sat 16-Mar-13 12:18:54

£5 a month isn't very much at all. Can't even get 1 cinema trip with friends for that.

Ilovesunflowers Sat 16-Mar-13 12:19:32

Sorry I've just seen that you pay for things like that.

BellaVita Sat 16-Mar-13 12:20:39

Patch, unfortunately that is the risk you take grin. I do not expect any money back. A couple of years ago DS1 (soon to be 16) went on a day trip to a theme park with school and I gave him £20. It was a warm day I wanted him to be able to get ice creams and drinks whenever he felt the need and I didn't see any change.

OP I buy all clothes/toiletries for mine. They just pay for their own top ups. DS1 gets £40 a month plus he keeps any change from his lunch money. DS2 (13) gets £25 per month but he also earns £35 a week from his paper round and he keeps any change from his lunch money too.

DS2 has just come back from skiing (feb half term with the school) he spent all of his money. £15 sterling each way for the ferry food/service station and €75 euro spends for during the week. He used it all. When my school go skiing they have hot chocs/waffles during the day when they stop for a break.

Viviennemary Sat 16-Mar-13 12:21:35

I still thing £5 a month is incredibly stingy unless people are totally hard up themselves and that is a completely different scenario. It's less than 15p a day. It's ridiculous. And this idea of lists of chores with an amount against each one is like a workhouse. I just can't believe people are treating children like this. They have a whole life ahead of them to work. But they should be expected to do a few things when needed. Clear dishes away, empty bins and so on. And pitch in when their parents are very busy or not well.

Nagoo Sat 16-Mar-13 12:23:32

YANBU to be cross with your mum.

She should be asking you about the money.

If she wants to give to him could it go into an account he can access with your consent so as not to undermine you? It's good for him you want to instill a work ethic.

loopyluna Sat 16-Mar-13 12:23:39

Ilovesunflowers -I just said that I wouldn't expect him to pay for the cinema. I give him enough for tickets and popcorn! The £5 is just loose change!

I think maybe I will speak to him about changing the system but I don't know how he'll cope! We'll see.

And what's all this don't compare to sisters business? My 11 year old has the same rules but chooses to do lots of chores and thus has a lot more ready cash and doesn't get subbed by grandma! How not compare?

whois Sat 16-Mar-13 12:26:14

I think £5/month pocket money and £20/week for a ski trip is very low. If you can't afford any more, well, I guess that's that.

But if you can afford to give more £5/week would still be quite tight!

I think I got something like £10/week at secondary school which was to spend on food additional to my packed lunch, bus fares if I didn't want to walk, trips into town etc. I didn't have to buy clothes or toiletries or anything like that.

For a weeks trip I usually got £50 as you often have to cover a couple of lunches on school trips.

Maybe your daughter was 'happy' with her £20 cos grandma bunged her some extra!?!

I also didn't have to do any chores apart from my own room and just be generally helpful eg set the table, help clear away after dinner. I turned out all right. Very domesticated with a good work effort so I wouldn't despair that he would rather have fun the do the washing up. He'll be doing shit domestic chores for the entire of his adult life!

raspberryroop Sat 16-Mar-13 12:27:20

Not a workhouse here but yes work ethic - know which kids I'd prefer to have in 10 years time. Went to uni with some very entitled people and most of them had indulgent (rather than kind) parents. Those that were entitled and lazy still are as far as I can tell.

heronsfly Sat 16-Mar-13 12:31:21

I agree with With Mike, my children are not my employees,and I think things like adequate spending money for a school trip is a necessity, and i would always provide it.My dcs will do chores for extra money if its for something special though. I think the op INBU over the whole situation, but £5 a month will go nowhere, and no one wants to be the child standing outside the shop when everyone else is buying junk grin.
I really don't think it is fair to compare a teenagers needs and wants with those of younger siblings they will get there turn when the time comes.

bedmonster Sat 16-Mar-13 12:43:40

YABU and a bit tight (if you can afford more) with pocket money. Even though you give him relative free reign with kindle apps and music, he isn't learning the value of money if he's not paying for it. He is 13. £20 a month would set him up to be able to budget and pay for any books or music he orders, and trips to the sweet shop etc.

YANBU to be pissed off with your mother though. If those are your rules she was being out of order to undermine you and is also doing your son a big un-favour by showing him that he can have what he wants.

FWIW though, we have a similar situation here with a friend of ours who has no children of his own and dotes on ours. He is a lovely kind man, but every time he comes round (most weeks, sometimes twice), he gives the DDs £10-£20 each. It's so generous, and the DDs always thank him and start mentally planning what to spend their money on. I however, take half away and stick it in their accounts which aren't for when they're older but for funds during the summer holidays etc, trips to theme parks, day trips or whatever (our friend does know this! I am not stealing their money, but really don't know what else to do with it!!). They are free to spend the other half on what they want. But now, when I give them a couple of quid here and there, although they are grateful, they probably don't see it as much money and are really not going to be very good savers as they think the next purchase will come in a few days time when they get some more money confused

Toasttoppers Sat 16-Mar-13 12:53:08

DC can do chores for pocket money.They don't receive any pocket money from grandparents, only birthday money.

I don't have them picking Oakum btw and they seem happy enough.

sweetmelissa Sat 16-Mar-13 12:58:30

I can see you are very generous with your son paying for cinema trips/books/music etc. However, my thoughts at age 13 would be to give him more pocket money and allow him to budget for the things he would like himself. Otherwise it will be difficult for him to learn the value of money and how to save, a skill he will soon need to master.

Just as an aside I am a foster parent and we have to give a young teenager a minimum of £8 a week, plus £2.50 a day for lunch (though it is their choice how much much money they save/spend). Obviously because we have to give that much for foster children, we do the same with our own children too.

As for school trips, think it all depends on what is included. When my daughter recently went skiing with the school, £50 in Euros was the suggested pocket money to take, plus £10 for stops at service stations in Britain - however, with some trips where there is little opportunity to spend (other than a gift shop at the end of the day) then £5 is the suggested amount.

inchoccyheaven Sat 16-Mar-13 13:04:30

YANBU and we do it almost exactly the same as you. My ds1 will be 13 soon and also gets £5 a month as does ds2 who will be 11 soon. They don't go anywhere to really need money and if they were meeting friends etc I would make sure they have enough just in case. I also pay for phone top up, sweets in sweet box but if they wanted something different then they could use pocket money to get it.

I expect dc to do a few jobs in the house as being part of a family but other things like washing my car I would give them some money for.

Neither has complained so far so can't think it is that bad.

Toasttoppers Sat 16-Mar-13 13:11:34

I had my first job at 13 in a hotel as a chambermaid on change over Saturday, I have just checked with direct gov website and you can work legally part time at 13. I earned the equivalent of twenty pounds per week.

I don't think YABU at all but your Mum is.

iwantanafternoonnap Sat 16-Mar-13 13:12:28

I do think £5 is not a lot of money for someone that age but if you are paying for all clothes etc and cinema trips not so bad but you can't save much out of it.

My DS is 3 and has to feed the dog and cat daily plus put all his dirty clothes in the laundry basket for £1 a week that he saves towards Bullseye from 'Toystory'. He has no real concept of money yet but does understand if he wants something then he can't just have it and needs to earn it so I bloody hope that at 13 he will still know this lesson. I am really bad with money but I knew at 13 that if I wanted something I had to save for it. I do think that your mother is out of order for not trying to teach him the value of money though. The smirk would have meant that my DS would not be getting bugger all for a while!

shewhowines Sat 16-Mar-13 13:13:46

I too had a saturday job from age 13. I wonder if that has anything to do with our attitudes.

ukatlast Sat 16-Mar-13 13:25:36

YABU How many energy drinks does 5 pounds a month buy?

ukatlast Sat 16-Mar-13 13:58:23

Maybe you should let his Grandma pay his weekly pocket money at a realistic higher sum if you really can only afford 5 pounds a month.

Kids are 100% paid for as members of our family but pocket money such as it is, is linked to doing homework without a fuss. This has worked for us.

idshagphilspencer Sat 16-Mar-13 14:00:20

How do you expect your DS to learn to manage money if he only has £5 to last a month? You are setting him up to fail.

ivykaty44 Sat 16-Mar-13 14:01:21

your mother is playing a dangerous game - he know knows that he asks and she gives him money.

So leave it at that, he wants money you explain that he will have to sort out his own money - bank of grandma open today?

BellaVita Sat 16-Mar-13 15:07:14

I too had a job at 13 as does my DS2 now.

Still think OP's DS needs more money and be responsible for his own iTunes/Amazon.

mrsjay Sat 16-Mar-13 15:34:42

speak to your mum even if you have to have 'words' your son is taking the piss and has granny wrapped round his little finger did he give her a quivery lip sob story bet he did you want him to earn some money for his 3 day trip and that is what he should be doing your mum has over stepped the mark IMO tell her nott o give him any money

ENormaSnob Sat 16-Mar-13 15:51:47

Yanbu at all imo.

What about the many families that can't even afford a fiver a month, are they tight as fuck too?

My ds is nearly 13 and doesn't get a set amount. We pay for all trips, both school and with friends, xbox live, all clothes, toiletries, hair cuts etc. He also has the opportunity to earn extra by doing chores, although keeping his room clean and doing the pots occasionally are done anyway.

I think your ds has a bad attitude and your mum is making this worse.

I would be very cross.

mrsjay Sat 16-Mar-13 15:56:55

*I think your ds has a bad attitude and your mum is making this worse.

I would be very cross.*

^ ^ that

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.

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.

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

Accepted? Excepted!

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.

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.

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 ,

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 .

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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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.

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.

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??

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

two not too. What's wrong with me?

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.

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.

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

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

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 go out with friends you 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

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