Teenage Allowance

(34 Posts)
lakeseamountain Wed 10-Feb-16 16:41:43

I have cousins that are 'very well to do' . My cousin wants to give her 14 year old son a £500 a month as an allowance.

I told her of a close friend who would give a few hundred to their child and he is now 19 and in a mental asylum because of marijuana abuse (since he was 15). So I was very emotional about it all and adamant that it was too much money and he would never learn a good working or money ethic.

I told her that it is far too much and he could get into all sorts of trouble (i.e., drugs etc) if he had lots of money. She says its normal to give teenagers that much and that her son was saying his friends get £1000 a month (I think this is bs) and she doesn't want him to feel left out or different from his friends. They live in North London, private schools - so they are really 'rat race' , keeping up with the jones' type people.

My eldest is only 11 and we give him £10 a month just to teach him the ethics of saving. I have also told ds that when he is 15 he is expected to get a part-time job. I feel strongly that you need to teach a child a work ethic.

I know there is no such thing as normal, but how much is reasonable to give a teenager as an allowance. Was I being unreasonable to be so adamant and to warn her?

DeoGratias Wed 10-Feb-16 16:44:33

We are North London private schools and my teenage sons don't get any allowance although they get money they ask for which I think is justified... although 5 minutes ago one was in here negotiating what he might get at univesrity but that's a different issue.

ToastyFingers Wed 10-Feb-16 16:45:17

Hmm, generally people who want to take drugs will, regardless of how much money they have, although I 500 a month is an awful lot of money.

10 a month for a comp aged child, if you can afford more, is a bit insulting though. I had four times that as his age and my parents weren't well off.

WorraLiberty Wed 10-Feb-16 16:45:31

Yes of course you were.

She's giving pocket money to her child. If it was your child she was giving it to, you'd have every right to be so adamant.

This is her business.

WorraLiberty Wed 10-Feb-16 16:47:06

I think my DC were on about £5 per week at age 11 and we're not particularly well off.

But the point is, it's up to you how much you choose to give your child.

TwatMagnet Wed 10-Feb-16 16:49:31

Agree with Worra. It's her business - as indeed it is if the lad 'goes wrong'. My niece has exceedingly wealthy parents and I think she got a whopping great allowance but now she's 22, grounded, working and a lovely individual. It's about the person, not the allowance.

AutumnLeavesArePretty Wed 10-Feb-16 16:51:48

YABU to think a high allowance will automatically lead to drugs.

Up to her what she gives. A work ethic is not just learned by giving no or little allowance. It's learnt by morals, following there role models etc.

£10 a month at high school age doesn't allow them to socialise etc and Dan lead to them being excluded.

MazzleDazzle Wed 10-Feb-16 16:54:20

YANBU to be shocked at £500 a month, but ultimately it's not really your concern. Maybe he has to pay for all his clothes, travel etc with the £500? It does seem like an awful lot of money for a a 14 year old though.

LurkingHusband Wed 10-Feb-16 16:55:12

So poor people never do drugs ?

NickiFury Wed 10-Feb-16 16:56:33

I can't imagine why you thought it was your place to emotionally and adamantly warn her . She's made a different parenting choice to you and like most other parenting choices it's just none of your business. I would think it too but would never say it. I think it's completely inappropriate that you did this.

hollinhurst84 Wed 10-Feb-16 16:57:06

It depends surely. If I was given that as a teenager it would never have crossed my mind to buy drugs confused
I would have bought the whole of the MAC counter, most of lush and lots of clothes
If he wants to take drugs, he will get them no matter how much money he has

LilacSpunkMonkey Wed 10-Feb-16 16:58:39

First of all...'mental asylum'?

I grew up in a very working class area and knew quite a few people who were hooked on drugs of various kinds, who very little money at all.

If teens want to take drugs they generally will, well off or not.

elastamum Wed 10-Feb-16 17:05:34

YAB a bit U to think money for teens equals drugs.

I give my DC £150 a month each and they are supposed to buy their casual clothes from it as well as snacks, going out etc. Within that DS2 has a savings target he has set himself and also gives to a couple of charities. We all much prefer them having a budget than just taking them shopping or giving them hand outs as and when.

nattyknitter Wed 10-Feb-16 17:07:38

Does your cousin want to adopt me?

I think it is far too much, but we don't know what that is meant to cover. It may be a case of this is for all your dinner money, bus fare, clothes, activities etc then it may not work out that badly.

I don't think you can make the instant leap to drugs either. For all we know he might save it all.

I would think 15-20 a week would not be out of order as incidental spending these days for a teenager or 10, plus extra for activities as a treat. The cinema is a tenner.

Right I'm off to complain to my mother again about my £2 a week contingent on chores vs my neighbour getting a fiver for doing nothing back in the 80s. Not bitter at all. wink

silvermantela Wed 10-Feb-16 17:08:06

I think her amount is ridiculously high. Unless she's planning on having him pay rent, bills, get himself back and for to school, buy all his own clothes with that money, it's not exactly going to teach him budgeting or any real life skill? Nor can I imagine it will exactly inspire him to work hard in school, if he can get that amount of money with no real effort, why would he have the drive to get a good job?

However depending if yours is in primary or secondary school, if secondary yours seems very low (if you can afford more). I also think your dc will find it hard to get much of a job at 15 without a national insurance number tbh, even paper rounds seem quite competitive these days, and (depending on where you live) there are plenty of experienced adults willing to do the zero hr contract shop, cinema, hospitality sort of jobs that 20 years ago teenagers could have walked into.

Agree dc should be taught a work ethic (I worked p/t from 16 through school and uni) but should also be taught to prioritise what is most important, and until 18 priority should be school/training imo.

seasidesally Wed 10-Feb-16 17:12:19

blimey i give my 16yr old £25 a week he has a bus pass paid for by me so he dosent have to pay for travel,i also put money o hnis phone monthly

i buy all clothes,toiletries,haircuts etc even his £40 pc headphones, so he has £25 a week for just spends

readng this i feel tight

kslatts Wed 10-Feb-16 17:14:09

I give my dd's (16 and 14) £10 a week. DD1 has a saturday job so also earns wages from that. £500 a month seems a ridiculous amount.

AndNowItsSeven Wed 10-Feb-16 17:15:10

My 11 year old ( in year six ) has £20 a month I think that's plenty.

NerrSnerr Wed 10-Feb-16 17:16:11

It's up to her. I imagine if he is going to do drugs he will do them anyway. It's her money and her child so her choice

Oysterbabe Wed 10-Feb-16 17:19:03

£10 a month is really stingy and £500 is more disposal income that. Some adults have. However neither is anyone's business and you should butt out rather than stealth bragging about your superior parenting.

seasidesally Wed 10-Feb-16 17:19:17

oh just think he will atleast be able to buy a better class of drug

speed to cocaine wink

Hillingdon Wed 10-Feb-16 17:19:25

I am from London originally and both my DS went to a very snazzy well known private school. There were a few Russian and Middle Eastern boys. One boy was given £1000 per month and if he asked for more to take his 'friends' out at the weekend he was given some.

The boys didn't swarm around him. In fact they thought it was a bit sad that he tried to buy his way to friends. He wasn't particularly self confident but tbh his family WERE very rich and to them it was just something they did

Very definitely NOT the norm though and lots of the boys were from London and boarding

Artandco Wed 10-Feb-16 17:19:38

I think it's a bit too much but also £10 is nothing. £2.50 a week gets nothing

Mine get £1 per year of age per week. So 6 year old gets £6, which is £24 a month.

At secondary age I would imagine it's more as they will need to pay phone contract, bus fares, train journeys, toiletries, some basic clothing, school supplies, drinks and some food out etc. I think I would be happy giving £75 a week to a 15 year old. Enough to understand money and buy essentials, but also enjoy life and do fun things

GnomeDePlume Wed 10-Feb-16 17:21:29

As others have said YABU to get so involved.

However, I do think that allowances are a good idea for teenagers. They can help to teach young people about making budget decisions. No matter how big the allowance is it is finite (unless it is topped up by parents).

We approached allowances for our DCs by looking at what their allowance was to cover. For DDs this was clothes and socialising. They had to cut their cloth according to their means.

Even if I could afford it I wouldnt give my DCs a large amount of 'walking around' money. If we could afford more then I would give them more but would expect to see something for it not just a Costa habit.

lakeseamountain Wed 10-Feb-16 17:26:58

Yes I suppose I was being a bit unreasonable as it is totally her decision.

I think I was just being emotional as I had just visited my friend on the weekend whose son is being held in a mental asylum.

A completely relevant thing to add was when we asked ds how much money he wanted per month, he asked for £1 a month! We gave him £10, and he doesn't spend one penny of it - he keeps it in a wallet and looks at it and then once in a while we go to the bank and he keeps a bank print out in his wallet!

We will be upping his allowance when he starts being a bit more independent and going out with friends.

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