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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?

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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