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Pocket money/clothing allowance/bank accounts - what do you all do?

(22 Posts)
Stinklebell Wed 19-Mar-14 10:45:44

DD is 12. We've never really done proper pocket money as in a set amount she gets each week, I usually give her odd bits and pieces as she needs it, but she's getting older, is out and about more and I want to make it more official

The weather is getting better so is spending time at the beach with her friends so asks for the odd £1 here and there for drinks and ice creams, she goes to the cinema occasionally, goes into town with her friends and buys endless lip balms sometimes they go for a milkshake on the way home from school, etc, etc.

I've been looking into a bank account where she can have an Electron card and I was going to transfer a set amount each week/month but what's a reasonable amount? £5 wouldn't even cover a trip to the cinema these days

What about clothes? She has set ideas on what she wants to wear these days, and providing they're weather and age appropriate my only real input is the debit card, would you buy the basics and then give a set £ clothing allowance and leave her to it?

She's not a mad spendthrift but I want to instill a bit more responsibility with regard to money, at the moment sometimes she seems to think I can go and peel a tenner off the money tree in the garden, so this will be once the £ is gone, it's gone

Or is it a bit too much too soon?

LastingLight Wed 19-Mar-14 15:55:54

DD turns 12 and June and we just started a new pocket money regime this month. We opened a bank account and she has a debit card but I keep it as she can never keep track of where her purse is and will lose the card. She is expected to use pocket money for sweets to go in her lunchbox, airtime (she uses very little), small gifts for family members' birthdays and Christmas and her quarterly Girl Guides fee. Tbh there is not much left after for her to waste spend on random stuff and we may push the amount up a bit if we see she can be responsible with the money. (It won't help me telling you the amount as we're not in the UK.) We worked out a budget on a spreadsheet for her so she knows how much she needs to save each month in order e.g. to have enough money for gifts by Dec.

TeenAndTween Thu 20-Mar-14 11:59:34

When DD1 was 12 (now 14) we set her up with a Nationwide account with a cash card. We pay �15 per month in by standing order. From this she buys xmas and bday present for immediate family (both parents and sister) and pays for PAYG phone. Rest of the money goes on bits and pieces, nothing much.
Due to where we live and where friends live, she doesn't do much independent socialising, if she did we would up by a bit to cover eg occasional cinema visit (eg once per month at the most).
She's also not that into clothes.

I think a clothing allowance at 12 would be a bit young.
I think for younger teens, having to physically hand over cash is better for learning about money than a debit card.
I think a young teen shouldn't have so much money they get used to frittering it away. They should have to think about their spending and make choices. Otherwise they will learn a lifestyle they then can't afford when older.

How much do you reckon you are currently handing over per month? Maybe stabilise on that but in a more organised way with no extra handouts?

Stinklebell Thu 20-Mar-14 12:34:08

I'll have to sit and work it out.

Regular spends - she has £10 a month Vodafone credit (which is currently done as a recurring payment from my debit card)

Then it really depends what she gets up to

The weather was beautiful here at the weekend so she spent Saturday at the beach with her friends - she took lunch with her but had £2.00 to buy a drink and an icecream - one off at the moment as it's back to freezing again, but will increase again in the summer

She's going to the cinema for a friend's birthday on Saturday, so a fiver in a card, plus £5 for the cinema + money for popcorn/sweets. Usually she goes once every couple of months

She asked for a £1 this morning as she wants to get a milkshake on the way home from school with her friends

She sometimes goes into town with her friends (maybe once a month?) and I'll give her a fiver or so for some chips and a lip balm/hair clip/whatever

The odd £ here and there for sweets/etc.

I'm happy to cover the phone credit and 1 off exceptional spends such as trips to the cinema for friend's birthdays, birthday/christmas gifts (for Christmas I usually give her around £10 and she buys little token gifts for DH, her sister and me and then we give framed school photo-type gifts to grandparents).

The odd £ here and there doesn't seem like much at the time, but when you add it all up it probably averages out to about £20 a month - less in winter, bit more in summer/school holidays when she's out and about more maybe

£20 per month would cover
1 trip to the cinema - £7/8?
1 trip to town - £5
odd icecream/drink/milkshake/bag of sweets

About right? In some ways it seems a lot, but in others not enough

TeenAndTween Thu 20-Mar-14 12:46:53

�20 per month + phone sounds reasonable to me.

AndiPandi Thu 20-Mar-14 12:54:15

We gave our 12 year old DD £10 per week but that was to cover her pAYG phone as well and she had to make sure she always had at least £1 on it so she could call/text home in an emergency. She is now 13 and got a contract phone for christmas but we have left her pocket money at £10 per week as where we live she needs to get buses to go and visit her friends and that can cost £3/4 before she starts. I buy basic clothes but if she wants 'fashion' extras she buys them herself from her pocket money/ birthday money etc.

MaddAddam Thu 20-Mar-14 13:01:47

My 12yo has £20 a month pocket money (into a Nationwide account with a debit card, she likes this as she can use it to buy things on the internet hmm), and recently she's started having £20 a month clothes allowance too, as she started being much more interested in clothes.

I'm not sure if this is too much or too little as most of her friends don't have regular pocket money, except one who gets loads. So it's hard to tell.

My 13yo has £20 a month but no clothes allowance cos she doesn't care and would spend it on books and live in rags.

Theoretically they pay for their phone use but they have cheap PAYG phones and don't use them that much so I occasionally top up for them, £10 a couple of times a year for emergencies. If they used more I'd expect them to pay.

CambridgeBlue Thu 20-Mar-14 13:26:47

I'm really interested to hear what other people do as I'm never sure if I'm being fair to DD (12 in June) or not. I'm always trying to work out a proper system for giving her money/paying for things but it's usually a bit hit and miss.

In general though, she gets from us:
£2 a week pocket money
£3 for swimming and a snack afterwards every Friday
£5 a month phone contract paid for
All school expenses like £1 for dressing down tomorrow paid (and obviously I buy uniform, pay for trips etc)

In addition she often gets given pocket money by the GPs - sometimes a couple of £ from MIL who we see most weeks, sometimes £20 from my Dad who we only see every few months.

I'd say all in all she has between £20 and £30 a month to spend. £3 of that goes on swimming each week, the rest she spends on comics (sorry I have to call them magazines now!), sweets, jewellery, smellies etc.

I buy all of her clothes although sometimes now she will buy something herself or I will give her what I would have spent and she makes up the difference.

We expect her to contribute to family birthdays, Xmas and Mother's/Father's Day and if she's given a big chunk of money (e.g. when my Dad gives her £20) I encourage her to save at least some of it. I usually buy friends' birthday presents but she did Xmas for them herself last year (thank God for the £1 shop!) and got some nice things for her tiny budget.

I recently opened a bank account for her but think she's too young for a debit card yet - agree that spending actual cash is much better for them at this age. It was really just somewhere to put money aside from her longterm savings account but when she goes to upper school next year (3 tier system here) I will probably let her get a debit card as she is proving to be sensible with the account so far. At the same time I may think about giving her a clothing allowance and a more expensive phone contract but I don't see any need for either of those to happen any sooner.

On one hand I feel like I should give her a bit more than she currently gets because a couple of £ goes nowhere these days. But she seems to manage and isn't asking for more so on the whole I think I may keep quiet until she does smile

daisychicken Thu 20-Mar-14 13:55:26

My ds has just turned 12 and so far, doesn't get pocket money. We pay £5/mth for phone plus £10/week for karate & parkour (plus any extra karate costs) so at minimum he has £45/mth, we then pay any school costs - own clothes day etc as & when. Swimming, I will pay when I can afford it though over the summer, I take up the offer that the local leisure centre offers for the 6 week holiday of £x for unlimited swims & gym. He then has a lawn mowing job for his DA so gets approx £20/mth from March to Oct/Nov(ish) and I expect him to use that for swimming, sweets, ice-creams etc..

With an allowance, do you include their activities and expect them to budget for that? (Excluding extra karate costs as unpredictable).

I'd like to work on DS's money skills and get him to start saving for Christmas/birthdays for family & friends (poundshop chocs etc are fine, I just want to encourage him to think ahead) and to have cash from his job for the winter months. I'm not thinking of clothing allowance just yet... he'd walk around in rags!

allmycats Thu 20-Mar-14 14:01:05

At this age my son had his 'child benefit' placed into a bank account for which he had a cash card. This was to cover anything he wanted that we did not consider a necessity. If he wanted to buy anything that cost more than �5 then it had to be discussed. We paid for his general clothing, school meals etc but any 'extra' clothing - such as a T shirt he wanted but did not need, came out of this money, as did trips to the cinema, extra sporting activites etc etc. he was very good with his money and managed to save a quite considerable sum which helped him when he was 17 and learned to drive and there was money left of his savings when he went to university.

MaddAddam Thu 20-Mar-14 14:01:59

We pay for most activities, all clubs and sports activities, swimming pool entry, judo fees, art club, music lessons.

We also pay in the holidays if they go into town or arrange to see a friend and do something like cinema or a cafe - because if we're both working I think of this as self-childcare, it's convenient to me if they are busy and active while we're at work.

We pay half of family presents if they're a bit expensive, all of birthday presents for friends if there's a party invitation, none if there isn't (complicated isn't it? But they have to take a present to a party, otherwise it's optional).

I'm moving towards giving them more and paying for less but it only works if they're signed up to it.

Stinklebell Thu 20-Mar-14 14:03:29

DD doesn't do many paid for activities. Just £2 a week for Scouts which we pay for. She plays netball and stuff like that, but it's for her school teams.

She does have a few hobbies - she likes surfing, but got a board/wetsuit for Christmas, and photography but has my old camera so there's no additional spending there really.

I don't feel I can make her pay for her phone credit, part of the bargain of being allowed further afield was that she carried her phone (only a cheapo one and has a £10 a month vodafone text/minutes bundle)

Maybe I'll start off at £20 a month and have a look at it again during the summer/school holidays as that's when she tends to be out and about more

Thanks thanks

TeenAndTween Thu 20-Mar-14 14:06:09

We pay for regular extra-curricula activities on top of allowance, and school trips etc etc

schoolchoicesdrivingmecrazy Thu 20-Mar-14 14:06:12

Mine get a bank account and debit card with £40 per month from 13. Out of that they have to pay for phone top ups, Xmas and birthday presents for us and their 3 siblings and any clothes/cinema/mooching spending over and above what we would normally spend on them. So dd1 spent hers on clothes, makeup and gifts for friends, ds2 buys shit gadgets on the internet and music downloads.

Dd1 has just got an allowance increase to £60 now that she is 16 and going out more.

ZeroSomeGameThingy Thu 20-Mar-14 14:35:45

MaddAddam I demand that you hand over the £20 a month to the 13 yo for books and rags.angry

So not fair!


MaddAddam Thu 20-Mar-14 14:55:48


It doesn't seem fair does it? But 13yo doesn't stomp. I stomp, 12yo stomps, 9yo stomps. 13yo floats through life (scruffily).

ZeroSomeGameThingy Thu 20-Mar-14 15:04:32

Well she's got me on her side now. Give her the cash! What could be a better use of money than books?

Freckletoes Thu 20-Mar-14 15:20:00

Reading with interest as at the mo non of our kids (10, 12 and nearly 14) get any pocket money! The oldest 2 do get their phones paid for and if they are going somewhere they get a bit of cash (but rarely out due to where we live). We also pay for all clubs trips etc. But wondering where to start with pocket money....

Stinklebell Thu 20-Mar-14 15:21:35

I wish mine would spend some of hers on books.

Or even darken the door of the library occasionally grin

MaddAddam Thu 20-Mar-14 15:26:23

We/they have loads of books. And library cards. But meanwhile, I feel an obligation to help my otherworldly PFB negotiate the social world of teenage girls. And I worry that being filthy and ragged may not help (she wouldn't be spending her allowance on toiletries either).

Adults find the bookish urchin act quite appealing but I don't think teens are quite so indulgent.

Takver Thu 20-Mar-14 19:53:25

DD here is 11, will be 12 next week.

She gets £10 per month pocket money (cash). She got a PAYG phone for xmas, and in theory has £5 per month credit, but so far she has used 78p of the £10 starting credit, as she uses the house wifi to facebook message her friends on it.

She also has a £15 per month clothes allowance which is a notional amount (we keep a tally in a book, realistically she won't go clothes shopping alone just yet because we live very rurally).

I still buy school uniform, school shoes/trainers and will get her a 'proper' waterproof coat when she outgrows her current hand-me-down ski jacket. It feels like quite a good compromise, as she gets to choose her leisure clothes, and I don't care if she makes strange choices so long as she has proper school uniform and a coat to keep her dry! In fact she's been perfectly sensible in her purchases to date.

If she wanted more money, we run our own business so there are plenty of things she could do to earn more (I won't pay for general household chores, but happy to pay for something that I might pay another person to do).

Dancergirl Sun 23-Mar-14 11:15:11

Dd is 12, 13 in May.

We give her £15 per month for general spending plus we pay for her phone (£7.50 per month). I also buy her clothes but she sensible and although she likes clothes and fashion she doesn't demand for too much.

She's getting pretty good at saving. Most months she doesn't spend too much so manages to save at least half of it.

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