Talk to me about allowance

(61 Posts)

DD is 13 - she will be 14 in early-October. She is generally pretty well behaved, gaining in independence but at times very angsty and stroppy. For the most part a normal teen I guess wink

We have never been a pocket money family but she does have a savings account and I have just changed this over from a 'passbook' account to a card access account because I am planning to start giving her some sort of allowance. But there I am a bit unsure of what is reasonable and realistic....!

Can you all tell me how often your teens get money given to them, how much they get and what they are expected to use that money for - and what they are not. TIA.

valiumredhead Thu 25-Jul-13 17:02:19

Ds is 12 and gets a total of 20 quid a month from Dh and me plus his grand parents. We also pay 7 quid a month for his phone.

He can do extra jobs if he's saving up for done thing specific.

He's just earned an extra tenner for a fab school report <controversial!wink >

valiumredhead Thu 25-Jul-13 17:03:20

Something

clodhopper13 Fri 26-Jul-13 11:39:58

Ds gets £40 / month an d does a paper round for £12 a week in addition. Totally agree they need to learn that money is not 'given' to you, you need to earn it

LineRunner Fri 26-Jul-13 11:51:40

I have two teenagers and I give them what on here would be considered quite a lot a week, but then I don't have to keep putting my hand in my wallet for all the extras so many people seem to pay for. It's all covered - phone, clothes, haircuts, lunches, cinema etc etc.

It works for us, and that's the thing, I think.

I have to work some quite long hours over the summer and they need to be fairly independent.

CinnamonAddict Fri 26-Jul-13 11:57:24

14yo gets £5 a week, 12yo gets £3 a week pocket money unconditionally to spend on crap.
Ds earns money by being in a paid choir and saves all of that in a savings account.
Dd earns £5 an hour babysitting and spends it on crap. No savings in account.

CinnamonAddict Fri 26-Jul-13 11:58:04

PS they both have phones with £7 monthly fees paid by me.

Cooroo Fri 26-Jul-13 18:28:38

DD16 gets £60 a month for fares, gifts, most clothes, cinemas etc. Been doing this about 4 months. In July she ran out after a week - bought a beautiful edition of Lovecraft's Necronomicon for £20, and a present for a friend (because it was EXACTLY what he wanted) for £20. She limped through the rest of the month on a handout from my DP's mum!

Am hoping lessons have been learned...

She's hoping to get a Saturday job in September, but not very motivated to earn. If she was, great, but as it is she may as well enjoy herself now, she'll be a wage slave long enough.

jaybee12392 Fri 20-Dec-13 18:44:14

Sorry to drudge up an old thread but I always found pocket money fascinating. I was never given pocket money but my mum paid for my clothes (essentials only + a very stingy budget), toiletries and phone contract of £15 per month. If I wanted to go out to town/cinema I'd get a £10 maybe once a month and I had to show her what I had spent the money on. We (me and DB) also got £30 per month food money each as my mum wasn't home much we cooked for ourselves from the age of about 15 onwards and £30 had to cover every meal for the month.

By the time I was 15 I was so sick of never having any money that I did EVERYTHING I could to get a job and found a gig doing housekeeping in a local hotel. I used to work 6 hours each day on Sat and Sun and made around £40 a week. I didn't mind the hours as it kept me away from a very bad crowd I had got involved with. I worked full time during summers and started a savings account.

With the money I eventually managed to pay for all my driving lessons, bought a car and paid for the insurance, something which it seems nowadays is nearly always given to children as a 17th birthday 'present'. At college I worked 24-30hrs a week as a waitress and still left with top grades.

At the time I was always so jealous of my friends who seemed to get everything handed to them on a plate, but now I find a satisfaction in it. Everything I have is my own, and I've worked for which is a very pleasing feeling. If I had been given pocket money I don't think I would have bothered as hard as I did to try to find a job and if I didn't get that job, well it was a catalyst for a lot of other important events in my life.

I also had friends who worked out if they got a Saturday job they would make less money than if they just chilled at home and got pocket money so they didn't bother.

However I do think it is a good way to teach children how to manage money. I think what I may do is give my children an allowance until they reach 16 and cut them off after that, there is no reason a 16 year old shouldn't be able to find some sort of part time job.

cory Sat 21-Dec-13 00:01:58

Ds is 13 and gets £13/month. It is unconditional (we've had too many health problems with his sibling to make anything conditional on performance) and is only for buying treats and extras: we keep him in necessary clothes, but if he wants an extra top just because he likes it he has to use the allowance.

Dd who is 17 gets £30/month but has to buy her own clothes, toiletries and presents (including for us). Her health is too poor to allow her to cope with both school and a job, and she needs to spend any extra energy on training for her career. She is very frugal and buys clothes cheaply or second hand. Since her career plans will almost certainly mean many years of being hard up, I think it is just as well that she doesn't get used to throwing money about.

I don't think it is necessary to have every penny you get tied to exact work as long as you are generally helpful and pull your weight in the family. Dc know quite well that during the years I was a SAHM dh (who was the wage earner) did not sit down and carefully calculate exactly how much housework I had done before I was allowed to spend any money. I had money to spend, insofar as we could afford it, even in weeks when I had done very little.

cory Sat 21-Dec-13 00:08:50

I am sure that having a job can be a very useful learning experience.

But in the case of dc aiming for certain careers, they actually need to volunteer in a related field.

For my friend's ds who wanted to be a doctor, the essential requirement was not having earned money at something unrelated, but actually having experienced (even if unpaid) something relevant: it was the hours spent volunteering in the nursing home that counted.

When dd applies to stage school, they aren't going to want to know if she earned enough at McDonald's to have a wonderful social life 3 years previously: they are going to want to know what stage experience she has, even if none of that has brought in a penny.

Personally, I am not sorry I never had a Saturday job: that money would have been spent long ago, but the extra reading I did in that time helps me in my career every day.

MrsBright Sat 21-Dec-13 17:07:46

My only advice is leave them wanting more.

If you 'cover everything' either with an allowance or by parent-pay, there is no incentive to get a job or any sense of 'wanting things they cant afford right now' and saving up etc - both of these are important lessons to learn.

Too many kids see life as 'instant gratification' with ever whim pandered to. They have no sense of a longer term strategy to achieve what they want. And not jut financially.

Provide for the absolute minimum. No treats. They want more - they pay for it. Yes, you will be 'the meanest mother in the world' but you will raise kids with a greater sense of 'value' and gratitude for what they do get.

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