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Talk to me about allowance

(61 Posts)
misspollysdolly Fri 19-Jul-13 09:46:09

DD is 13 - she will be 14 in early-October. She is generally pretty well behaved, gaining in independence but at times very angsty and stroppy. For the most part a normal teen I guess wink

We have never been a pocket money family but she does have a savings account and I have just changed this over from a 'passbook' account to a card access account because I am planning to start giving her some sort of allowance. But there I am a bit unsure of what is reasonable and realistic....!

Can you all tell me how often your teens get money given to them, how much they get and what they are expected to use that money for - and what they are not. TIA.

MrsBright Sat 21-Dec-13 17:07:46

My only advice is leave them wanting more.

If you 'cover everything' either with an allowance or by parent-pay, there is no incentive to get a job or any sense of 'wanting things they cant afford right now' and saving up etc - both of these are important lessons to learn.

Too many kids see life as 'instant gratification' with ever whim pandered to. They have no sense of a longer term strategy to achieve what they want. And not jut financially.

Provide for the absolute minimum. No treats. They want more - they pay for it. Yes, you will be 'the meanest mother in the world' but you will raise kids with a greater sense of 'value' and gratitude for what they do get.

cory Sat 21-Dec-13 00:08:50

I am sure that having a job can be a very useful learning experience.

But in the case of dc aiming for certain careers, they actually need to volunteer in a related field.

For my friend's ds who wanted to be a doctor, the essential requirement was not having earned money at something unrelated, but actually having experienced (even if unpaid) something relevant: it was the hours spent volunteering in the nursing home that counted.

When dd applies to stage school, they aren't going to want to know if she earned enough at McDonald's to have a wonderful social life 3 years previously: they are going to want to know what stage experience she has, even if none of that has brought in a penny.

Personally, I am not sorry I never had a Saturday job: that money would have been spent long ago, but the extra reading I did in that time helps me in my career every day.

cory Sat 21-Dec-13 00:01:58

Ds is 13 and gets £13/month. It is unconditional (we've had too many health problems with his sibling to make anything conditional on performance) and is only for buying treats and extras: we keep him in necessary clothes, but if he wants an extra top just because he likes it he has to use the allowance.

Dd who is 17 gets £30/month but has to buy her own clothes, toiletries and presents (including for us). Her health is too poor to allow her to cope with both school and a job, and she needs to spend any extra energy on training for her career. She is very frugal and buys clothes cheaply or second hand. Since her career plans will almost certainly mean many years of being hard up, I think it is just as well that she doesn't get used to throwing money about.

I don't think it is necessary to have every penny you get tied to exact work as long as you are generally helpful and pull your weight in the family. Dc know quite well that during the years I was a SAHM dh (who was the wage earner) did not sit down and carefully calculate exactly how much housework I had done before I was allowed to spend any money. I had money to spend, insofar as we could afford it, even in weeks when I had done very little.

jaybee12392 Fri 20-Dec-13 18:44:14

Sorry to drudge up an old thread but I always found pocket money fascinating. I was never given pocket money but my mum paid for my clothes (essentials only + a very stingy budget), toiletries and phone contract of £15 per month. If I wanted to go out to town/cinema I'd get a £10 maybe once a month and I had to show her what I had spent the money on. We (me and DB) also got £30 per month food money each as my mum wasn't home much we cooked for ourselves from the age of about 15 onwards and £30 had to cover every meal for the month.

By the time I was 15 I was so sick of never having any money that I did EVERYTHING I could to get a job and found a gig doing housekeeping in a local hotel. I used to work 6 hours each day on Sat and Sun and made around £40 a week. I didn't mind the hours as it kept me away from a very bad crowd I had got involved with. I worked full time during summers and started a savings account.

With the money I eventually managed to pay for all my driving lessons, bought a car and paid for the insurance, something which it seems nowadays is nearly always given to children as a 17th birthday 'present'. At college I worked 24-30hrs a week as a waitress and still left with top grades.

At the time I was always so jealous of my friends who seemed to get everything handed to them on a plate, but now I find a satisfaction in it. Everything I have is my own, and I've worked for which is a very pleasing feeling. If I had been given pocket money I don't think I would have bothered as hard as I did to try to find a job and if I didn't get that job, well it was a catalyst for a lot of other important events in my life.

I also had friends who worked out if they got a Saturday job they would make less money than if they just chilled at home and got pocket money so they didn't bother.

However I do think it is a good way to teach children how to manage money. I think what I may do is give my children an allowance until they reach 16 and cut them off after that, there is no reason a 16 year old shouldn't be able to find some sort of part time job.

Cooroo Fri 26-Jul-13 18:28:38

DD16 gets £60 a month for fares, gifts, most clothes, cinemas etc. Been doing this about 4 months. In July she ran out after a week - bought a beautiful edition of Lovecraft's Necronomicon for £20, and a present for a friend (because it was EXACTLY what he wanted) for £20. She limped through the rest of the month on a handout from my DP's mum!

Am hoping lessons have been learned...

She's hoping to get a Saturday job in September, but not very motivated to earn. If she was, great, but as it is she may as well enjoy herself now, she'll be a wage slave long enough.

CinnamonAddict Fri 26-Jul-13 11:58:04

PS they both have phones with £7 monthly fees paid by me.

CinnamonAddict Fri 26-Jul-13 11:57:24

14yo gets £5 a week, 12yo gets £3 a week pocket money unconditionally to spend on crap.
Ds earns money by being in a paid choir and saves all of that in a savings account.
Dd earns £5 an hour babysitting and spends it on crap. No savings in account.

LineRunner Fri 26-Jul-13 11:51:40

I have two teenagers and I give them what on here would be considered quite a lot a week, but then I don't have to keep putting my hand in my wallet for all the extras so many people seem to pay for. It's all covered - phone, clothes, haircuts, lunches, cinema etc etc.

It works for us, and that's the thing, I think.

I have to work some quite long hours over the summer and they need to be fairly independent.

clodhopper13 Fri 26-Jul-13 11:39:58

Ds gets £40 / month an d does a paper round for £12 a week in addition. Totally agree they need to learn that money is not 'given' to you, you need to earn it

valiumredhead Thu 25-Jul-13 17:03:20


valiumredhead Thu 25-Jul-13 17:02:19

Ds is 12 and gets a total of 20 quid a month from Dh and me plus his grand parents. We also pay 7 quid a month for his phone.

He can do extra jobs if he's saving up for done thing specific.

He's just earned an extra tenner for a fab school report <controversial!wink >

BackforGood Thu 25-Jul-13 16:22:17

Paul - here we just replace when they are outgrown. Then I scour charity shops then move on to the cheaper 'market' type places on our local high street. Until very recently, my dcs have all been lucky enough to get bags of 'hand-me-downs' from cousins (although unfortunately they are now bigger than said cousins grin). Particular things they want tend to arrive as a birthday or Christmas prezzie. My older two (17 and 14 now) have both bought themselves the odd thing out of their earned money from their jobs.
Caster Not many people are willing to let younger teens babysit. My dd is a yr older than the OP's dd, and has always been very 'mature' for her years. She's done loads of 'mothers help' type stuff, is a Young Leader with the Scouts, and has first aid, etc., as well as babysitting experience (where I've been sat in the house, but not actually done anything, or where she's looked after 4 littlies for several hours when the parents were doing some volunteering on site.... to give her the experience) but she can't get any paid babysitting anywhere yet. :-(

Caster8 Thu 25-Jul-13 12:33:06

Can your DD do paid babysitting? You may need to get her some first aid training. Not sure if they do paediatric first aid training for people that age.
She could put a card up at the newsagent's.

bigTillyMint Thu 25-Jul-13 12:16:09

Paul, I don't really have to buy anything much for DD(14) as she has so many clothes (and hasn't grown much in a year so it all still fits!) and buys her own out of her pocket/birthday/earnings money. I buy uniform, underwear, PJ's and the odd pair of leggings.
Plus £££ gym leotards and other sports stuff!

I buy a bit more out of school stuff for DS(12) as he is still on £3 a week and has grown 6" in the last 6 month! Plus uniform, underwear, PJ's and £££ footy boots and astros and other sports stuff!

Sparklingbrook Thu 25-Jul-13 11:12:32

DS1 (14) really likes clothes but he doesn't want much. In the house he slobs about in 3/4 trackie bottoms, and has a couple of pairs of chinos plus a load of Primark t shirts.

At the moment I think he has enough so any new stuff he can buy.

PaulSmenis Thu 25-Jul-13 10:24:09

DS is 14 and gets 40 per month.

Can I ask you all how much you spend on clothes for your teenagers? Do you spend loads or are you more frugal?

fubbsy Tue 23-Jul-13 10:49:20

My dd age 14 gets £40 per month into her bank account by standing order. This is for socialising, toiletries, and clothes. We also pay £5 per month PAYG credit on her phone.

She has a small 'business' making fashion accessories, mostly sells them to other teenage girls. I am amazed that she has managed to make some money at it.

Theas18 Tue 23-Jul-13 09:11:40


That is undoubtedly much more than my DS gets a month. His phone is £7 SIM deal.

She needs to start pulling her weight in the house. My kids do a fair bit, but mostly informally as in " I'm at work you have a teacher day/are on holiday please do the table and hoover the lounge" or "there is so much cleaning to do, it's Saturday, we all want to sit and do nothing but I think noone should sit down till we all can- you do X you do Y and I'll do z" .

nurseneedshelp Tue 23-Jul-13 08:47:00

DD1 aged 12 gets £20 a month to spend on crap, £20 a month into her bank account and I also pay for her phone contract each month. So prob about £60 per month! Sounds alot??

I also buy all her clothes etc

She does the bare minimum around the house........

Theas18 Tue 23-Jul-13 08:37:12

Thought I'd replied to this!

My DS gets " bankrolled" in a frugal way even though he's 17. He'd love a job. My view is his "job" is studying and doing what he needs to re university applications etc. At the moment that also includes volunteering.

As long as he carries on taking school seriously, not minding primark jeans etc I'll pay. If he wants superdry that's another matter!

THe girls manage to "earn" bursaries by singing that we let them have (when at home the bursary intent was to reimburse parental costs). DS can't do this now ( but did as a treble) so we give him more "spends" to allow a bit of a social life.

Might seem odd to those who give allowances to buy everything and " teach them to manage money" but so far it seems to have worked. DD1 is at uni and is very good with money.

AlphaBetaOoda Tue 23-Jul-13 08:25:35

Dd1 (almost 14) gets £22 a month, pays for her own phone, social life, treats ( including non essential clothes but I give a lot of this for birthday/Xmas etc)

Dd2( almost 12) gets £15 for the same.

Birthday/Xmas money goes into their card accounts or savings now ( their choice).

The only option work wise is the free paper & there's a waiting list & pays about £5 a week. Once they hit 16 there will be more options as there's loads of cafes in town.

Both have to do basic jobs at home, helping get tea ready/washing/dishwasher/tidy their room. They're not too bad at helping since I've had SPD.

homebythesea Tue 23-Jul-13 08:14:00

DS 15 gets £70pm to cover the ridiculous amount of toiletries he gets through and social life incl food and travel. We also pay his phone contract as he would like quite literally die without it

At the outset we intended it to cover clothes but the rate of growth of feet and body makes this unrealistic but I only buy what I think he needs - any extras he has to pay for. He has learned the hard way that what he has is all he has - several times he has had to turn down trips to the flicks due to lack of funds mostly caused by a bad Starbucks habit

BackforGood Mon 22-Jul-13 19:31:52

My secondary school aged children get £1 per month, per year of age. So my 14yr old dd gets £14 a month from us. She then chooses to deliver the local free paper which earns her about another £7ish a week.

Not directly connected to any chores, although they are all expected to do stuff around the house.
We pay for 'subs' for Explorers and for camps, etc, registration for DofE, that sort of thing. They pay for phones, and any "non-essentials" they want (for example she went to the pictures today)

misspollysdolly Mon 22-Jul-13 17:00:05

Oh good heavens! I last checked into this thread on Friday when there were 4 replies!! Thanks to those 4 and the rest that followed! I'll admit, mosschops (et al - need to read with a bit more attention later!) part of my reservation about giving an allowance is that I really really want the DCs (and we have four so DD1 sort of sets a precedent) to appreciate the value of money an the effort involved in earning it. However FWIW, we have been trying hard to get some voluntary work secured at our local library during the summer hols - she is a school librarian and wants to be a librarian at present (also loves reading, good with children, people, etc) and have been told that while they would love to have her they cannot because they do not have a suitable policy/child protection policy in place for youth volunteer schemes of this type - grr! She's currently too young to earn anything other than from me for chores (which effectively this allowance arrangement would amount to) and on the voluntary side, it's not for the want of trying hmm

Sparklingbrook Sun 21-Jul-13 18:06:22

That's true posy. DS1 is going into Year ten in the new school year. I have no idea whether the paper round, football matches and training etc will be too much if he is to get school work done too.

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