Equality with finances with kids

(48 Posts)
raisinbran Sun 05-May-13 09:10:40

I have a DS15 & 9 and 2 DSS 16 and 14. My DP and i have joint accounts but 2/3 of the money is provided by me and 1/3 by partner. Money is tight but so far we have treated everyone the same. They they get a lot less monthly allowance than friends. My ex told my DS how much he paid me in maintenance and my DS is demanding a bigger allowance.

My Ds has some poor behaviour and we row and argue all the time so i don't want to just give in but i do feel guilty that potentially money his father gives is going to the family budget and so providing in effect for my 2 DSS. i have taken a new job so will be contributing even more to the family pot( couldn't do it with out support of partner) If we have to increase all 4 kids allowance i feel that i am working and contributing a lot already, doing with out things and they are just getting a free ride.( not frased quite right but you get my gist).
One option i had thought was to increase my DS15 allowance by the same amount the DSS get from their late mothers policy which goes into a savings account for when they are 18. As my sons don't have that.

My partner recognises the fact that my sons and I have less than when we moved in together and he tries hard to be careful with money. But he feels its unfair to his boys to be different with the monthly allowance. i need to give my ds and answer soon but if is causing ill feeling with my partner. So i feel torn between my son and partner.

NumTumDeDum Sun 05-May-13 09:15:05

The money you receive as maintenance is to provide for your children, not their pocket money. If your ex wants them to have a bigger allowance he can give them money direct. You use the money to feed clothe and house them. He has no say over how you spend it, and nor should your son.

raisinbran Sun 05-May-13 09:57:17

Thanks your point is very valid.its my son that is demanding the increase as the money his dad gives is significant.DS said he doesn't cost that much to feed and clothe and could rent a room elsewhere cheaper.i did point out we have just had a family holiday which he insists would have prefered to stay home and have the cash.his friends have bigger monthly allowances and he feels hard done by but not driven enough to find a job.with 4boys now we just have do without other things if we were in increase all their monthly money.

sanityseeker75 Sun 05-May-13 10:44:45

So your ex has told your Ds that he pays for his up keep and now DS wants more and your thinking of giving it to him because you feel guilty?

I am sure if you had surplus cash you would give more but if your getting that much why are you working 2 jobs?

Does your ds pay for his own clothes, transport, food etc at moment?

It isnt always fair, I have 1 ds and 2 dsc, they are with us each we and if i had to tally everything to make sure it was fair it would drive me nuts.

Its sounds like you ds is being childish and hopes if he stamps his feet you will give in. why do you need to give him an answer soon, you are the parent!

If he wants an answer that quick tell him no. If you can afford more then let him earn it, give him ex amount for household chores but make sure if he doesnt do them, you dont pay out. Your not a cash cow. If he wants more tell him as he and his dad are happy to discuss finances he should go talk to him about it.

sanityseeker75 Sun 05-May-13 10:48:44

Oh and whilst I do agree that setting aside money in trust is a good compromise, your ds's thankfully have their mom still and it sounds like you trying to do a good job by all of them. How much allowance do they get?

NumTumDeDum Sun 05-May-13 11:32:59

Perhaps the compromise here is that your son can earn extra by doing chores that the others do not do. Of course for that to be fair they should be given the opportunity to earn extra too which might make that impractical. Your son doesn't really understand what things cost or that you have to play fair by the the whole family. Other boys his age may have more but that will be true throughout life and only he can do anything about that. He could look for a Saturday job.

Graciescotland Sun 05-May-13 11:42:14

I think the setting aside of money for when they're older seems fair; I think if you're aiming for equality then they should all get the same but that includes lump sums. I'd be aiming to save an amount that would mean they were going to all receive the same lump sum.

Libby10 Sun 05-May-13 14:42:13

My DP used to give pocket money to the SC on top of the maintenance he paid to his ex. We used to have them 50 per cent of the time and so he regarded this as extra money he would pay them out of our household. I don't think either your ex or your DS should dictate how you spend the maintenance you get for your DS and paying the same for all of them seems fair. I think the pocket money issue is separate from the money your SC get from their mother's policy - your DS have both you and your ex to provide them with support if needed.

BruthasTortoise Sun 05-May-13 17:59:18

I don't want to be horrible but I can kind of see your exs point. If I were a NRP I don't think I would be particularly happy about providing maintenance for my child which was then being used to maintain other children. Have you tried to work out the finances? It may seem cutthroat but if your ex is paying more than half your DS expenses per month then I think the excess should go to him, preferably in some sort of savings account so he will end up on an equal footing with his DSBros.

raisinbran Sun 05-May-13 18:09:59

Thanks all for your views they are all relevant which ever way you look at them.my ds has waited 3 days for an answer so it will need to be tonight i have the discussion.

my ds has said he thinks dss aged 16 needs to have the same as he wouldnt like it the other way round.

so i will consider jobs as the top up, as then i can see how commited they are and get some work ethic into them. my ex talks a good he but when it suits him he can have a gap of 5 weeks when he sorts his life out with work. think i will also hand over clothes allowance as a trial.

i did appreciate all the comments thanks

BruthasTortoise Sun 05-May-13 18:13:20

Good luck rasinbran! It is so difficult trying to balance it all but you sound like a fab mum and stepmum.

needaholidaynow Sun 05-May-13 19:21:27

The maintenance your ex provides is for your children and shouldn't go towards your stepchildren. If that means your children have more than your stepchildren then life isn't fair is it? He's their dad and shouldn't have to pay for other children in your life too.

NumTumDeDum Sun 05-May-13 19:39:55

I don't really see that op is spending the maintenance on the stepchildren. She is housing herself and her children. Her dp pays for his own children. It is unrealistic to separate everything out.

needaholidaynow Sun 05-May-13 19:47:30

Ah ok. But it has got me thinking. In a situation where there are stepchildren involved or RP goes on to have more children, I think any maintenance received should be reserved for the children it is being paid for and shouldn't necessarily benefit the other children in the household.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 05-May-13 20:43:07

The maintenance I receive from my ex for DD goes into the household account and is exactly the same (more or less to the penny) to the amount that goes to the CSA from our household finances for the DSC.

As long as DD has what she 'needs', I don't think that my ex has any right to dictate how much I spend on her.
It's unrealistic to expect the RP to contribute 'the same amount' as the NRP towards the DCs - because if they are earning less, then they would be assessed as paying less, and similarly, if they earn more than then their CSA assessment would be higher

NumTumDeDum Sun 05-May-13 21:37:03

Yes, I think you are thinking along the same lines as me NotaDisneyMum. I think it would be artificial to seperate the streams of income out. If you live in a family the resources are pooled and need to be spent fairly. If you start separating money out then this will inevitably cause discord and resentment. How does that benefit anyone?

needaholidaynow Sun 05-May-13 21:53:10

But then again why should an NRP pay money towards children that aren't theirs? Talk about resentment.

NumTumDeDum Sun 05-May-13 22:03:51

But he is presumably paying what the csa say he should pay. The amount will not alter regardless of whether op lives alone with the children or has a partner.

needaholidaynow Sun 05-May-13 22:21:34

Oh I know that. I was just saying that shouldn't the RP put the money aside for the children that the maintenance is for? Although yes you could argue that it goes towards bills and other household expenses, but in terms of new clothes and school trips, savings or treats etc, maybe the RP's children will have more than their stepchildren. The point is that money is for their upbringing and nobody else's.

I think the solution here is for your dp to sort his work situation out and support his own children. Sorry to be harsh, but it's not for the NRP to support another man's children, who he has nothing to do with. It would be unfair for your ds to have more money than your dss especially as he's older, but your dp needs to step up to the mark and provide the extra for his kids not your ex.

mynewpassion Mon 06-May-13 08:09:52

So if a woman with children moves in or marries a man with children from a previous relationship and earns considerably less than he does, she should expect that her new partner to not financially support his stepchildren?

NumTumDeDum Mon 06-May-13 09:21:46

Exactly. You just can't do that. Say op gets £500 a month and earns £1500. She spends £2000 on bills, mortgage and clothes and activities for her children. If she spends the maintenance first she's spending it on her children and not her stepchildren. It is just arbitrary and artificial to say the nrp is supporting the stepchildren when he isn't. His money goes to the bills for the children. Op then earns the rest to pay the rest of the bills and for the stepchildren.

NotaDisneyMum Mon 06-May-13 09:36:45

in terms of new clothes and school trips, savings or treats etc, maybe the RP's children will have more than their stepchildren

What a brilliant way to create disharmony within a family!

The OP says to her DSC, "no, only my DS can have clothes from Superdry, because he's got two parents financially supporting him and you've only one - tough luck, you'll have to make do with primark"

Mmm - really?

Cravingdairy Mon 06-May-13 09:37:51

Does the payment cover the whole of your rent/mortgage and home upkeep, council tax, car costs if any and utilities? You would still have to pay these if it was just you and DS living together. And that's not including food, clothes and activities for DS. Never mind pocket money and holidays.

Stepmooster Mon 06-May-13 09:51:35

My DH pays more maintainence for his son than the other father of his ex's other 2 older children. He also gives DSS £20 pocket money every fortnight and pays for his mobile and laptop extras. He used to buy DSS designer clothes but since we had our DD that stopped (a complete waste of money in my eyes), along with regular trips to theme parks and expensive mini breaks. DH is a reformed Disney dad!

DH doesn't resent the money he gives the ex, and knows it will go towards the other kids and her and DH's living costs. He does however tell DSS to ask his mum if he wants more clothes etc just because we can't afford to pay for them too.

I think the only person who is going to be resentful is DSS when he gets older, if he ever finds out how much maintenance his mum gets. I can see why he might kick off if he starts feeling that's his money.

Teens can be sneaky the father may not have told him, a bank statement carelessly left around or something could have been enough for him to find out.

I don't think you should let DS dictate how you spend the money. No harm comes from learning the value of money, as opposed to being spoilt rotten.

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