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Pocket Money

(5 Posts)
berkshirefem Tue 12-Jul-11 16:34:59

I posted this in parenting but thought it might be an idea to post here too.

So when is a good age to start doing this? I mean in a formal sense i guess.

I give my 5 year old £2 a week pocket money and I also get her to help me when we go around the supermarket telling her about buy one get one free offers and getting her to count out money. I also tell her about how we need a certain amount of money for rent/ bills etc and how once all of that is covered we can think about the things she needs. I guess that's enough for such a little one?

I also have a step daughter in year 7. She spends slightly more time with us than she does with her mum so i feel that her dad and i are fairly responsible for teaching her about money. Her dad is great with money but her mum has a lot of credit cards and other debts. Nor does she work and relies on maintenance from my DP so i feel DSd is getting a porr example of finances from that end.

we have recently said she can have £30 pocket money a month and if she can produce a budget detailing what her outgoings are going to be each month, this amount will increase. E.g if there are friends birthdays, etc. But only up to something like, £45.

She was outraged at the budget idea and said she is far too young and we are making her grow up too quickly. her mum has backed her up on this so as the budget was a condiditon of her getting the money, we will now have to tell her she can't have it come the end of the month.

This means we will be back to square one having to just give her money ad hoc and buy her things when she wants them - again, a poor example bu tthe kid can't have nothing and never go out with her friends.

I'm confused as to what to do and would appreciate some opinions. My partner is equally confused and worried that his DD is in danger of being irresponsible with money.

Is 12 too young? should we just be giving her money ad hoc? Are we putting too much pressure on her with asking her to plan her finances for the month?

We have also listed some things around the house that she has to do, not big things, just: help clear the table, offer to wash up, make your bed, tidy the bathroom after a bath, manager your time online so that home work is done and books are read... She also thinks that this is a lot to manage as she doesnt have to do these things at her Mum's according to her. I appreciate that may or may not be true and we can't talk to her Mum to find out as she is non-communicative. I do however beleive it to be true becuase DSd just doesn't see things that need to be done, like it's second nature to her to be picked up after.

I feel that this creates inequality in the house as my 5 year old is often reminding her to put rubbish in the right bin (i.e. recycle bin or not) or to put finished toiletroll tubes in the bin/ take her plate to the kitchen etc..

I guess thatis pretty long and there are a few problems in there but any help would be greatfully received. i don't have any expereince of teenagers and the only advice I have had is from my mum who is horrified by her behaviour.

CeliaFate Wed 13-Jul-11 10:35:46

It's tricky because she's got two very different sets of parental expectations and as a hormonal 12 year old, the easier option is obviously the one she'd prefer so you're going to get a lot of the backlash!
I would sit her down and say as she was so against the budgeting idea, you've decided on a compromise and tell her that you will set up a bank account for her, at the same bank as you. You can get a debit card for 11-18 year olds that allows them to manage their money, but won't allow transactions to go through if there's not enough money in her account. Make it clear that once the money's spent, that's it.
Perhaps it's a bit ambitious to expect her to plan for the month ahead. Children can rarely see past the end of the week tbh, so a calendar with upcoming events such as birthdays etc could be put up for her to be aware of what's happening.
As to the household chores, I'd tell her tough luck! (more kindly put though!) Your house, your rules. What you're asking her to do is not excessive and she'll just have to get used to different rules at your house to her Mum's. It's not hard for children to adapt - they learn how to behave in different places all the time. Go easy on her if she forgets though, if her Mum lets her get away with it, it won't be second nature to her so just gently remind her. She's going to kick against it because you're not giving into her demands, unlike her Mum. Unfortunately you and dp are going to have to be the "bad cop" in this scenario for a while, but stand firm - I think you're doing the right thing and she will thank you eventually!

berkshirefem Wed 13-Jul-11 10:58:18

Thanks Celia that's great advice, much appreicated! I'm hoping that in time she'll thank us for keeping her on the striaght and narrow (if we manage to!) I've never really wanted to win popularity contests with her or my own DD as I think that parenting is more important, but I don't want her genuinely upset & confused either.

lovemyboysandbeagles Tue 02-Aug-11 16:08:51

I think what you are suggesting is reasonable. I have had the same dilemma with my 2 DS's and posted yesterday about chores / pocket money (I think it was on the AIBU board).

My eldest is 13 in September and we opened a bank account for him on his 11th birthday. He doesn't do a budget as to be honest he doesn't spend much, he just saves. At the moment he is saving for a new TV, he has his name down for a paper round to start after his birthday and with that and his birthday money he should be able to get his TV by the end of Sept. We could have bought him a TV but I would much prefer to teach him the value of money, as you obviously do with your DSD, so I think this is the best way forward. My eldest gets £20 per month but we pay for all clothes & toiletries and £10 per month phone contract, however we (myself and DH) are thinking about increasing from Sept but he will need to buy his lunch, toiletries and non-essential clothes so that he can learn to budget and no doubt when in year 8 he will start going out more. Then he will need to start doing the written 'budget' thing as you have suggested to be able to manage his money.

My youngest is 10, he gets £15 per month and again doesn't spend it but saves up for larger things (a PS3 at the moment).

I have messed up with money in the past as my parents taught me NOTHING, in fact my dad wouldn't let me have a bank account of my own until I was 16 as I was too young!!! I don't want my boys making the same mistakes and have to learn the hard way.

I think the difficulty for you, as someone has already said, is 2 separate sets of house-rules, I just hope that your DSD can understand why you are trying to do what you are and I am sure if it works out she will thank you for it later in life.

Atwaroverscrabble Thu 18-Aug-11 08:32:54

I agree that the budget thing is a bit ambitious, with dsd i took her to natwest when she was 11 and opened a bank account with the solo/switch card and each month i transfer pocket money in, it was £16 a month at 11, £18 at 12 and £20 at 13 and fixed at that as she can earn more if she wants, she is now 16 and its still just £20. No cash in addition. I have done the same with ds who is now 12 so he gets £18, he saves £8 and spends £10 on trips to town, occasional cinema and sweets etc. He wants a paper round at 13 too.

For ds i also buy all his essential clothes, bits for school, toiletries and load up his catering account at school with £2.50 a day, he then decides whether to buy a snack at break or use it all at lunch and can carry over any balances to other days...

It works with us, no demands for extra cash and they are both expected to do chores

Dd(21 months) has £5 a month into her account that can't be touched until she is 7....

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