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DD hasn't been giving in all the lunch money I have sent

(74 Posts)
Cannotthinkofawittyusername Wed 23-Mar-16 14:51:14

DDs school uses an online payment system or a top up machine in school. It is a finger print payment system. She is in secondary.

I don't really keep tracks about her spending on it as most of the stuff they can buy is healthy, there is a limit each day of £5 and I was trying to give her some independence, I roughly know how much she spends each day so would be aware if massively different so all I do is tell her to tell me when the balance is low and give her the money. The payment system does not like my card type for some reason hence she tops up.

They have been a couple of occasions she has said a balance lower than I thought it should be but did not think much of it, just presumed that she had had extra snacks or breakfast food (no issue with this sometimes she feels like having breakfast at school) and give her extra. On a couple of occasions she has said that they have charged her twice for a drink or such (it has happened genuinely before) and she has told the finance office.

Last night she said a balance way lower than I thought so I dug out the log in details. Say I had given her £10 she had topped up £8 , If I had given her £5 she had topped up £4. Not enough to dramatically notice until it has built up.
I give her notes so there is little chance someone has been taken money from her. It is more likely she has used it for sweets or such in the shops on the way into school.

She does get £5 pocket money a week from grandparents plus phone top up and things from me so I am a bit annoyed tbh.

More of a wwyd really?

pudcat Wed 23-Mar-16 14:53:54

Just top it up online in future.

LottieDoubtie Wed 23-Mar-16 14:55:24

grin It's naughty and I would tell her off/keep a better check so she doesn't do it again. I wouldn't lose sleep over it though, I think it's a fairly standard young teen thing to do.

Cutecat78 Wed 23-Mar-16 14:57:32

Depends if she is investing the money or spending it on fags grin

Can you just top it up online - I thought that was the whole point so no cash is involved.

Charlesroi Wed 23-Mar-16 14:57:48

Give her a total budget for phone, pocket money and lunches. When it's gone, it's gone and she can take a cheese sarnie for lunch.

curren Wed 23-Mar-16 14:57:55

Ah mum used to give me bus money, I had to get four buses a day.

I used to walk to and from town to save the 50p. I only then had to get a bus from town to school, the school to town on a night.

All kids do it. I find it odd that she mentioned it's low though.

Speak to her and see what she says. I would be annoyed too, not too much though.

I spent my spare money on cigarettes, so I would want to know where it's going though

whois Wed 23-Mar-16 14:58:09

Yeah, just tell her off, say you're going to top up online until she can be trusted. Or give a set amount of dinner money a week and she can choose to spend it on sweets or whatever! That's what my mum did - I got an amount for the week and if I spent it all by Thursday on crap that was my look out.

BettyBi0 Wed 23-Mar-16 15:00:18

Haha I think she is just being a normal cheeky teenager. Back when schools took cash I used to just nick some fruit from home and keep nearly all of my lunch money every day and spend it on cigarettes. Ahh those were the days!

You should probably tell her she has been rumbled though

TinkerbellaPan Wed 23-Mar-16 15:00:33

Is your problem that she's spending the money on something that isn't lunch, or that she's using it unhealthily?

Because in the former situation she's still budgeting, just choosing to buy sweets rather than lunch, and she hasn't asked you for more money claiming she's hungry. She's taking ownership of how her weekly food budget is spent.

However, if it's the second then I can see your point as you're hoping she'll spend £5 on healthy food and she's not!

lalaloopyhead Wed 23-Mar-16 15:05:36

I used to get 60p a day dinner money and used to aim to spend about 40 odd p a day (old enough to have got a meal, drink and pud for that!) and hopefully have enough for Smash Hits at the end of the week.

Having said that, if my dd's were doing something similar I would probably be less than impressed!

TheDuchessOfArbroathsHat Wed 23-Mar-16 15:08:01

It was ever thus OP grin - I used to snaffle spare change from Dad's bedside, keep bus fares and walk instead and then use the money to buy fags - an intelligent choice, I'm sure you'll all agree! Nowadays it'd take about 3 months of siphoning to afford a pack! What do you think she's doing with the spare cash?

Cannotthinkofawittyusername Wed 23-Mar-16 15:16:04

Oh she has been having lunch and (I presume) sweets. Just having the cheapest thing you can buy for lunch!

Balance has been lower than expected on a couple of occasions and I have said oh have you had breakfast at school this week? She hasn't so much lied that she has as much as not done anything to give the impression she hasn't had breakfast and been a bit non committal with the answer 'ohh I must have'.

I am pretty sure she is not smoking. Judging from the wrappers in her pocket and the fact we have a B and M bargains on the way home and I am pretty sure it will be being spent in their on numerous piles of sweets. She has had braces off recently so is going a bit mad on the sweet front.

YouMakeMyDreams Wed 23-Mar-16 15:16:08

I used to do the same. It's kind of a rite of passage is it not?
Dd's school have a similar system. She gets a set amount every month and what she does with it is up to her. They are allowed out at lunchtime to go to the local shops. Dd will not let herself go hungry that's for sure but I'd she blows it all on bacon rolls she can make sandwiches if she wants. So far so she budgets well.

Ratbagcatbag Wed 23-Mar-16 15:19:06

Meh. My dss used to do this. Drove his mum nuts with it. He'd just buy his mates lunch on his top up card and they'd give him the cash. He'd then go spend the cash on the way home in tesco's/b & m. Not much we could do unless we did pack up.

SlimCheesy Wed 23-Mar-16 15:29:05

my parents would give me £7 pounds once a week to go horse riding, way back in the day. I used to not ride and save the money as I wanted to be able to save up for something else. I saw it as my money to subvert as I wanted to, to be honest. I had no pocket money though, mind you, but also had no control over other spending in my life.

HanYOLO Wed 23-Mar-16 15:33:04

Oh god. I never bought lunch. I had an apple or some crisps and saved the money to buy records and go to nightclubs.

HanYOLO Wed 23-Mar-16 15:35:58

Lying would upset me.

I'd suggest you stop giving her more than she needs.


DixieNormas Wed 23-Mar-16 15:36:57

I did the same as Han

GnomeDePlume Wed 23-Mar-16 15:36:59

My school had dinner tickets which I sold to other students and used the money to buy records. My parents were far more keen on school dinners than I was!

Does she get pocket money as well? Do you monitor that?

I liked having some money of my own that I didnt have to account for to my parents. My parents meant well but their attitudes were from the 1950s.

WellTidy Wed 23-Mar-16 15:38:52

I used to do this. I would spend the 'saving' on magazines and hubba hubba bubble gum, pineapple chunks and cola cubes (back when you could buy 2 oz of hard boiled sweets).

I used to lie point blank about what I'd had for lunch, saying I'd had a tuna sandwich (the most expensive option) instead of a cheese roll (cheapest option). Unfortunately I forgot to prep my friend, and when she came round to tea one night, my mum asked me what I'd had for lunch. I automatically said a tuna sandwich and she said "No you didn't, you had a cheapo roll!" grin

IdealWeather Wed 23-Mar-16 15:39:46

I would top the money by card and keep an eye on how much she is spending at each meal (I assume you have the same system than us where you can see how much they have spent each day).
When there is a discrepency, I would ask.

fourage Wed 23-Mar-16 15:41:54

Don't sweat the small stuff. She is showing initiative.

My DS will skip school lunch a couple of days a week so he can go to the pub with his mates once a month. It's no big deal to me, but then he is honest with me about it, I pull his leg about it.

SlimCheesy Wed 23-Mar-16 15:43:49

I do this now also.... I shop at Aldi and have stopped drinking alcohol and I have a mental tally of the savings I make which I am spending on other things - makeup, magazines, (eventually) a holiday. In some ways it is money management.

I would have a discussion with your DD, and see what she wants for the money. A sense of financial independence and money she does not have to account for is possibly a good outcome here.

pinkflowerbluesky Wed 23-Mar-16 15:46:37

£5 a week isn't much, to be honest.

cozietoesie Wed 23-Mar-16 15:47:17

Even if the system doesn't 'like your card' - and I'd raise that issue with the school in any case - you should still be able to credit money at a local store. (Using a 'Pay' service.) Maybe check out the possibilities of that?

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