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How much do you spend now your kids are teenagers?!!

(8 Posts)
febel Thu 15-Nov-12 22:45:00

Reading magazines and talking to teenagers where I work I am amazed at how much parents seem to spend on their kids at xmas and wonder if I am behind the times and being mean? We tend to spend £100-£150 on each of our 3, altho they are older now (eldest is 21) and youngest is 15 Older two have never asked for more but youngest is saying mates are getting i-pads, tvs, laptops etc and she wants an i pad/mini ipad and will have money to put towards it being as we don't spend that much :-( We got the other two laptops at around 17yrs old. We save up and put towards uni fees a considerable amount and also at the moment the youngest is having £26 a week spent on her (music lessons and GCSE help and other stuff) in addition to £28 month pocket money (tho £10 of this goes towards her phone)
Am I being mean? I don't want to be, but also I want her to know the value of money and not be too money/possessions orientated particularly.

KevinFoley Fri 16-Nov-12 09:46:42

No, I don't think you're mean. Teens will always compare themselves to their peers and come away wanting. it sounds as though you are spending quite a bit on their needs throughout the year and unfortunately they don't always count this. I worked to earn my own money throughout secondary school and uni (smallest violin starts to play) and it's been good to save up for and appreciate things.

girlywhirly Fri 16-Nov-12 10:28:55

My friend had to fork out for laptops for her kids as they were requested by the school! Needless to say, they were their presents at Christmas with a very few stocking filler type gifts, although they were also things they needed like toiletries, socks and underwear.

I would say shop around for the best price on the item the youngest wants, or even better get her to do it online, so that she can get an idea of the cost of it and also how much cash she will need to put towards it.

You could also say that it will be her only big present and anything else will be stocking fillers, like my friend did. Also ask relatives if they would consider giving her any accessories as presents. Ultimately it depends on her whether she would like one expensive gift or a big pile of less expensive ones.

marriednotdead Fri 16-Nov-12 10:50:27

We have (always had) the same budget as you for our DCs. You're not being mean at all. We have 6 DCs between us (none together IYSWIM) and the youngest two (both 15) want/need laptops. Their other parents have agreed to contribute half fortunately so aiming to get the best we can for £300 each.

4 of our 6 DCs, including those two, have their birthdays in the first 6 weeks of the New Year so we've agreed that they will have less spent on them at Christmas and do the laptops for their birthdays. We've explained to them that we'll get more for the money in the sales and they accept that. They rarely get non essentials through the year- any birthday and Christmas money pays for that or they have to save their pocket money. They understand the concept of 'we can't afford it' as DH has had periods without work since the recession and we've always been honest about it.

We were a lot worse off last year financially so we only spent £50 on each of them; it was absolutely fine. A friend, whose DCs get far more materially than mine do, has recently spoken to me about how upset she is by her DCs sense of entitlement. Sad for her but it made me think...

pussycatsruleok Fri 16-Nov-12 18:44:43

I am bringing up 6. eldest 25 youngest 10. Although you want to be equal i dont think you always have to be. when one child is having driving lessons say or some other expensive outgoing inc helping with uni, I think its ok to suggest they have a more modest gift at christmas thus leaving more room to buy a bigger prezzie for a younger child. Last year two of mine got something very expensive but this year they understand that its someone elses turn and they will just have little things. The youngest is getting something special for his birthday in spring so for Christmas he will get a few small gifts. He knows this and is fine. Perhaps your older ones will accept less so that your DD can have something special this time.

We spend about 80-100 pounds each on our two, unless going for a big shared present: eg the Wii a few years ago. This year though, dd2 could do with a new guitar, so it might have to be a bit more.

£100 max here too for dcs19 and 16. One has a ski trip coming up in New Year, so will not be getting a lot for birthday either. But I always feel bad when I hear what their friends get.

Marne Fri 16-Nov-12 19:52:52

Have spent around £130 on dsd (13), she wanted a cheap tablet which was £80 and got her a few smaller things to open too.

We wont be spending as much on the dss's, mainly because they sit on the bums all day and wont look for a job (as well as other things that have disapointed us this year, wont go into details), we will get them a few bits of clothes (they are 16 and 19) so around £30 each. If they were going to college or working then i would happily spend more (i know this may sound tight).

I spend around £150 on my younger dc and that wont change as they get older and i hope they wont expect me to buy gifts or £200+ just because their friends are getting that amount.

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