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Pre teens & mobile phones and being fair!

(20 Posts)
cheddar2431 Mon 17-Nov-14 14:41:12

Would really welcome a sense check folks..... I am trying to achieve the balance between not spoiling my children but trying to be fair! Is it normal expectations now for parents to pay for mobile phones usage? Is this just a necessary cost of having kids in this era? Is it unfair to suggest as a Christmas present I take up a 2year £15 a month contract for unlimited texts & mins & they pay for the handset they want? should I be paying the bills anyway? Should the handset the be a Xmas present? My DD started high Sch in sept and until then was quite happy with an old handset and had to earn £10 a month top it up. Since Sept i've had full on daily begging for iPhone 5 on contract saying none of her friends have to pay for their phones. My DD does not get pocket money unless she earns it. She only just manages to earn the £10 now. Is this a double whammy? Am I out of synch with the times? Arghhhh!

NorbertDentressangle Mon 17-Nov-14 14:50:51

I get annoyed by all this "everyone else has the latest iphone" business that comes from younger and younger children every year.

If you're paying a £15pm contract that will come with a good selection of decent free handsets.

My DD is nearly 15 and we pay her contract (£7.50pm) that comes with a phone of her choice. I wouldn't have be happy with her having the latest iphone and taking it to school and out and about with her when she was 11. Phones get lost, stolen, broken.

However like I said at the start I'm not one to succumb to the "I must have it/everyone else has it" argument.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Mon 17-Nov-14 14:53:18

Generally speaking you dont pay for handsets with contract phones. Totally reasonable for them to get a mobile phone as a christmas present and you pay the monthly line rental, if you want to.

An alternative is to pay outright for a handset on Pay as You Go and they finance the calls and texts etc.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Mon 17-Nov-14 14:54:06

No way would I give a year seven an Iphone5.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 17-Nov-14 14:58:30

Phone deals are mega cheap these days,I pay £7 a month for unlimited texts,500 mins of calls and 500 worth of data, but ds buys his own phone, I put 30 towards a phone and he pays the rest if he wants anything flashier. I think he has a Samsung atm. Totally reasonable to have a phone for Xmas or birthday.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 17-Nov-14 15:00:18

I don't actually know of any kids that pay for their own phone package.

Bramshott Mon 17-Nov-14 15:00:21

I pay for Y7 DD1's monthly goodbag which is £7.50 and she has my old Galaxy W. No complaints yet.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 17-Nov-14 15:01:23

I know of kids with iPhones but they are their parents' old ones.

Madlizzy Mon 17-Nov-14 15:02:37

iPhone 5 would have the answer of not on your nelly. A second hand iPhone 4 maybeish. My lot had cheap phones at that age.

FullOfChoc Mon 17-Nov-14 15:04:04

I know a year 7 who's getting an iphone 6 for xmas.

I was gobsmacked!

wonkylegs Mon 17-Nov-14 15:04:13

I think logic goes out the window with kids and mobile phones.
Would you give your child anything else that was easily broken/stolen/lost and cost in the region of £460 to take to school on a regular basis and keep in their pocket?
All the other kids don't have one, no matter what is reported back.

TeenAndTween Mon 17-Nov-14 16:29:38

DD1 age 15.
First phone we bought Easter of y6 cost £40 with £10 credit included.
Second phone was Christmas present y8, 'pre-owned' Galaxy Y.

PAYG. She pays out of pocket money. Teaches her budgeting and discourages excessive use. Probably £10 every couple of months. Occasional top up cards as Christmas/B-Day presents.

We are all on PAYG in this family (apart from DD2 who at 10 doesn't need a phone yet).

Dotty342kids Mon 17-Nov-14 17:02:52

My yr7 DS got a very basic Nokia handset for Christmas last year. It's a PAYG and he puts £5 per month on it, and we put another £5 on it.
Did promise that if he looked after it and didn't lose or break it that we'd consider getting him a smartphone this Christmas, but he's getting a tablet instead so a more swanky phone will probably wait until his birthday now, when he'll be 12.
Actually, a few weeks ago he did actually say that he was quite happy to have such a basic phone so that he didn't have to worry so much about breaking / losing it (he's very clumsy and forgetful!) smile

Jinglebellsarenearlyhere Mon 17-Nov-14 17:06:29

Yep I think you are out of touch. I think you should provide adequate handset (in my opinion does not have to be high end phone) and appropriate £ for text/calls. She then can choose to earn or have as present fancy phone, extra mins for talking endlessly for phone and data when not on wifi.

For me it's like school shoes, necessary and there as parents we provide. But if she wants the designer ones rather than Clarke she pays.

BackforGood Mon 17-Nov-14 17:12:24

My dc pay for their own phone usage. Younger 2 (dd1 is 16 and in Yr 11, and dd2 is 13 and in Yr8) are on PAYG, and rarely use any credit.
Eldest bought himself a contract when he was 15, and has funded it since, with PT work.

Agree with others, you've no need to pay more than £7 - £8 for a monthly contract with a free phone.

You can also text for free using WhatsApp as long as you have wi-fi, which so many places do now - my 16 yr old only puts £10 credit on her phone about once every 18months.

No, it's not "essential" around here to have the latest phone.

cheddar2431 Mon 17-Nov-14 17:20:56

Thanks so much for your replies, making me feel more balanced! I am not a fan of getting her the latest phone at all, what would it be next year!! I clearly need to look again at phone deals and see if I can get a better deal (any tips?) I think I would be prepared to pay up to £10 a month on a contract and maybe call this her pocket money. Then she can still earn her £10 for spends and I'll see what I can get for a smartphone for Xmas. I just want to keep my direct debits a low as possible, Xmas gifts in perspective and keep her motivated to earn money! In my day I as chuffed with a cabbage patch doll!

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 17-Nov-14 17:20:57

Ds is 10. He has a basic Nokia on PAYG & we give him £5 of top up every few months or so

Dd is 13. She has a Samsung galaxy Y. It cost less than £50 on payg. We had agreed £5 top up every month but her grandad swooped her sim as he had a contract that still had 18 months to go & wasn't being used. She has 3G on that but if it wasn't for that she had offered to pay for a 3G wifi EE thing herself.

DwellsUndertheSink Mon 17-Nov-14 17:20:58

My Y7 has just received a phone for his birthday. I have a capped monthly contract with Tesco for £7.50 and he gets a phone with it. I think its a good deal. My other 2 kids are on the same contract. They have 500 minutes/5000 texts/500mb data. They use all their data allowance, but don't come close to using their minutes or texts.

I would not let a child have a new iphone - my ds has lost one phone and broken the screen of a second phone this year (NOT iphones) so anything more than a basic phone or a freebie with contract is really not worth it.

pandora987 Mon 17-Nov-14 17:43:14

My DD has a hand me down iphone 4 and shares a contract with me ! costs £20 per month for unlimited txts, 200 minutes each calls and enough data for us. capped data but she can use it on free Wi-Fi at home

Soveryupset Mon 24-Nov-14 18:17:57

I would never buy my children the latest phones, I don't even have them myself!!! As long as they have a functional phone with what they need, then it doesn't have to be the latest expensive one. I think it's a good lesson for life...

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