Advanced search

What's for lunch today? Take inspiration from Mumsnetters' tried-and-tested recipes in our Top Bananas! cookbook - now under £10

Find out more

Pocket money for 12-year-old and 15-year-old - advice needed please

(22 Posts)
runner2 Sat 11-Jul-15 17:54:28

I've got in a bit of a pickle over deciding what to do here. DC have never had regular pocket money but requests for handouts are increasing and I feel a bit of structure is needed. I'd like them to do regular chores and on the one hand that would mean they would to some extent be earning it, but on the other I worry that it would just encourage them to believe that the only things worth doing are those that bring financial reward, rather than helping out for more altruistic reasons. There is probably a balance to be struck here, but I've yet to find it! What kind of chores/tasks do you think suitable, and how much cash?

Earlybird Sat 11-Jul-15 18:28:41

I am wrestling with this also for dd (aged 14.6), and am thinking of doing the following:
certain household chores are to be expected and come with being part of the family:
keep bedroom and bathroom reasonably tidy,
make bed daily,
feed / water dog daily,
feed fish daily,
take out rubbish,
set & clear table,
load and unload dishwasher,
put away clean clothes,
restock loo rolls each week for all bathrooms

Like you, I am starting to get regular requests for pocket money, so when school resumes, think I will give her a monthly amount to cover
i-tunes, apps for phone, etc
magazines/makeup/nail varnish, etc
miscellaneous non-essential purchases (random piece of clothing she wants but doesn't need, endless rubbish from Accesorise, Lush, etc.)
Going out with friends to cinema, Starbucks, Bubbleology, etc

I was thinking of £60 per month (£15 per week), and will revise as needed. I also intend to begin a new rule: if she loses something, I will replace it once. After that, it is not an accident (but carelessness), and dd will have to fund replacements (i-phone earbuds got me started on this line of thought).

FWIW, I will continue to pay for
school clothes & shoes,
basic weekend clothes/coats/shoes,
top-ups on her Zip card for bus/tube/train
basic phone expenses.

I want dd to have enough disposable income that she has a bit of freedom, but also she needs to realise there is a limit so she can budget her outgoings accordingly. Also, by making her responsible for replacing lost items, hopefully she will become more careful in future.

If anyone has a better idea / different philosophy, I'd love to hear it.

madwomanbackintheattic Sat 11-Jul-15 18:34:07

Place marking! We are very haphazard with this, and ours are 15, 13, 11.
Our biggest saga seems to be working out how much each kid should get (there is a cacophony around fairness every time try to structure) and my queasiness around linking chores to payment. I want them to do the damned chores because they are reasonable members of the family and it's a team effort, not because they will get cash lol... (This is failing miserably).

The girls are mostly amenable to whatever happens, but ds is a quirky (read mind blowing stubborn and fixated) chap who struggles with insisting on absolute fairness to the point of insanity.


Earlybird Sat 11-Jul-15 18:47:19

madwoman - don't link chores to payment of pocket money. Come up with a basic 'you're a part of the family, and here's what we expect you to contribute to household life' list of chores. Define it clearly. Pocket money amount is agreed in advance, and given no matter what.

You can set up a system (if you want) where extra pocket money can be earned for extra chores done (think washing the car, washing windows, certain gardening tasks, hoovering, etc). But be very specific in advance about how much you'll pay for each chore, and make payment dependent on the job being done to an acceptable standard.

That's my advice anyway.....

I came up with the amount for dd as a starting point (a little over £2 per day /£15 per week = £60 per month). If it ends up to be unfair, we can mutually negotiate a different amount. You have to start somewhere.....

Don't let your stubborn ds dictate. You are in charge. Of course, you'll listen to his opinion and take it on board, but ultimately you decide. He won't be able to dictate to his boss at work, so it is good for him to learn to accept authority. grin

bettysviolin Sat 11-Jul-15 20:19:15


I don't agree with pocket money for chores. You don't get paid to do your bit at home so neither should they. But definitely give them some set money each month. It's vital for them to learn how to manage money and also for their sense of self worth. (I know most of that has nothing to do with money but always having to ask and never having enough is demoralising.)

My DC have debit cards and a small amount paid into their account each month (£5 pw). On top of that I pay for their phone contracts. They get extra if they want to go to the cinema with mates, or for school trips and mufti days. It's very little really, but enough to choose whether to buy a magazine and sweets each week or save up for a couple of weeks and buy a CD. That's about right at their age. (13)

bettysviolin Sat 11-Jul-15 20:22:36

Earlybird what do you expect your DD to pay for out of that? I'm worried that my two don't get enough at the moment and hover between upping it a lot and making them responsible for things like phone contracts and their own toiletries (but then DS2 would never buy any!) or keeping it simple and topping them up as needed.

Earlybird Sat 11-Jul-15 20:27:44

bettysviolin - look at the second paragraph of my 18.28 post. That is what I think dd will use her pocket money for.

It is a real dilemma - how much money / how much responsibility.

runner2 Sat 11-Jul-15 21:38:30

Earlybird I think you're right: they do need to start learning to use money responsibly and the pocket money shouldn't be directly linked to chores. I can clearly see how rubbish I've been at dealing with this so far. I am going to draw up a specific list of chores I expect them to do and start being more consistent in chasing them to do them - which will probably feel more effort than it's worth initially, but hopefully when they realise it isn't optional they will get into the habit... I will have to think about how much to give - at 15 I do think DD should have more than 12-yr-old DS, but I will also expect her to pay for more things for herself out of that money. Which means I need also to list what those specific things are. Phew! It's good to know I'm not the only one wrestling with this...

madwomanbackintheattic Sun 12-Jul-15 02:15:48

But how to work out different amounts? What does everyone else do?

HerRoyalNotness Sun 12-Jul-15 02:47:03

We do 1pd per week per year of age. So OPs DC would get 15/wk and 12/wk respectively. It it so fair they can't argue as it goes up with age. I stole this idea from BIL

Amounts obviously dependant on your budget. You could half that to 15/fortnightly etc..

bettysviolin Sun 12-Jul-15 07:40:46

Thanks earlybird I missed that that post was also by you. You're generous - that doesn't include phone contract?

I am terrible at getting DC to do any work round the house routinely. They never complain if I ask them to hoover and polish etc but the only job that's done regularly is that DS2 took it upon himself to clear the table years ago and his habit has stuck. DS1 does nothing unless asked.

Think I'll sort out a few routines and up their pocket money but not link the two.

bigTillyMint Sun 12-Jul-15 07:49:40

I agree that chores should be seen as a normal part of family life and should be done as and when and not linked to pocket money.

We pay for school clothes & shoes, basic weekend clothes/coats/shoes,
top-ups on Zip card for tube/train, phone contracts (cappedwink) plus if they are eating a main meal out, I often give them a fiver.

Both my DC (14 and almost 16) get £25 a month paid into their bank account. This is for going out and random small buys/special clothes.
DD(almost !6) works and has saved a huge amount in her account as well as paying for weekend clothes and big stuff like Reading Festival ticket.
DS(14) knows he has to pay for stuff he chooses to do, but he would love to get a job to earn some more!

Notso Sun 12-Jul-15 08:39:48

DD is 15 and gets £70 a month. For the past couple of years she got £35 which was £20 cash and £15 phone top up. I found I was almost constantly giving her money for clothes/trips out etc. So we decided to give her her share of the money we set aside to spend on the children each month plus her original £20 pocket money.

Aside from school stuff, underwear, basic toiletries and when we go out as a family, she buys everything herself. It has really made her think about how much things cost.

Chores are not linked to her pocket money. They don't have regular chores to do aside from rinsing their dishes and putting them in the dishwasher and putting their clean clothes away. I do however expect there to be no complaint when they are asked to do something. Their bedrooms are up to them, DD likes hers clean anyway and hoovers and dusts a couple of times a week.
DD will watch her brothers for 10 mins here and there or pick things up from the supermarket on her way home from school.

mrsdavidbowie Sun 12-Jul-15 08:45:27

My DS18 and dd16 get £50 a month each plus phones paid for ( about £17)
I buy clothes, toiletries, topup Oyster for dd
In the holidays they get a bonus payment of around £100 for summer .

DS desperately looking for a Sunday/ evening job. So difficult even in SW London. Gone are the days of dropping CVS off..everything is online. Hoping when year 13s move on to uni there'll be a vacancy somewhere

They are pretty good round the house

runner2 Sun 12-Jul-15 11:00:15

All your posts have made me realise my 2 actually aren't so bad - they rarely complain if asked to help, and they do make their beds every day, set and clear the table at mealtimes, put dirty clothes in the laundry basket...that kind of thing. DD hopes to get a weekend job in the next year or so, and has leafleted homes around us offering babysitting (no takers so far though, unfortunately) but she definitely needs her own money now. We already pay her monthly phone contract but I'm going to start giving her £10 pw, with clear understanding about what that money is for, and see how that goes. As for DS, still working that out. DH thinks £5 pw for him (he is about to get his first mobile phone and we will pay the monthly contract for that as with DD) which actually he would be happy with for now.

Earlybird Sun 12-Jul-15 13:53:44

bettysviolin - no, doesn't include phone contract. I pay for that.

I want to give her enough money that she can save / purchase extra things without waiting absolutely forever - they have short attention spans, and waiting at all is tough in this age of immediate gratification. Plus any 'big' items she wants might somehow appear under the Christmas tree. grin

I think what will be tricky 'round our house is the impulsive / last minute 'let's go to the cinema' tomorrow jaunts with pals. While I know dd won't overspend her pocket money, will be tough for me to stand firm if she hasn't got enough £ in reserve to join her friends on an outing and has to stay home.

bigTillyMint Sun 12-Jul-15 15:50:58

Earlybird, surely £60 a month will be plenty for going out and buying clothes? Does she have a bank account with a debit card? Both mine have and it's up to them to manage their moneywink

Earlybird Mon 13-Jul-15 15:11:29

BTM - hopefully it will be enough. It is a starting point. I don't want to be mean, but also don't want to over-indulge her.

'Round here, a simple trip to the cinema can put a sizable 'dent' in any persons' budget by the time you've paid for the ticket and add in popcorn and / or candy and a drink! But again, it is all about choices......

bigTillyMint Mon 13-Jul-15 15:18:33

I know. We are lucky that buses are free, our local cinema is £5 a ticket and they get their drinks/popcorn from the pound shop!

You are definitely not being mean - she should certainly be able to manage on that amount.

Earlybird Mon 13-Jul-15 15:38:40

BTM - A trip to the cinema 'round here costs about £20 per person (maybe a little less, but not much!) for ticket and popcorn/drink (not allowed to bring in 'outside' food/drink - they search bags). Extortionate! Maybe that is why cinema ticket sales are declining - much less expensive to watch via Netflix at home! But that is a conversation for another thread.......

bigTillyMint Mon 13-Jul-15 17:41:52

Earlybirdshock What a shame it is so extortionate in some placessad

badRoly Mon 13-Jul-15 17:52:42

Coming in late but we decided with dc1 that when she turned 12, she would get £1 per day paid into a bank account with cash card every 4 weeks. So approx £30 per month.

We did the same for dc2 (and will for dc3 & 4).

They are now 14 and 12. They both pay for their phone contract from that (we deduct it) £7.50 pcm and dc2 has chosen to subscribe to The Phoenic comic at £8.99 pcm (which we also deduct).

We pay for toiletries and clothes etc so their money is purely for cinema/sweets/make up/books and so on. If we go out as a family, we will still treat them to ice creams etc.

Chores are unrelated to pocket money, we expect them to help out as part of the house. The only exception is baby sitting - they get £10 between them and agree the split (usually 60/40). It is conditional upon no tale telling/fighting. If they can't agree a split or start the "he said/she said", neither gets paid...

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now