Teenage pocket money(13 Posts)
I know I should be giving my just turned 14 year old DD some pocket money each week for her to have some independence. I do feel like this is a really important thing for her to have and to learn some budgeting skills.
BUT I know 100% she will spend it all on sweets and chocolate, Starbucks etc. Which would be fine as it's her money but she has braces! I can't exactly let her spend £10 a week on rotting her teeth can I?
Any sensible solutions?
I think if you are giving her money to learn to budget you need to be clear what she will need to spend it on. Will it include phone top-ups, travel, toiletries, cinema trips etc?
You don't have to if you don't think she's ready for it. Or keep it to what you would be happy for her to spend on rubbish (£3-5 a week?) and buy her clothes etc yourself. I don't think adult budgeting ability is determined by how early you had to deal with managing substantial sums.
We've had to start small for just this reason (DS would blow every money he had on sweets and fizzy drinks and has no self control).
Each month he gets
- £5 phone credit
- £5 into current account for anything (he blows it on sweets)
- £5 into savings account which is meant to be for saving towards bigger purchases or buying presents but he goes through phases of raiding it for sweets.
If he wants to do something like e.g. go to the cinema we'll give him money. After a couple of years of this, we think he's getting to the point where we can trust him not to go mad and am thinking of increasing the savings account money (although it's called a savings account he can transfer money to his current account in 3 seconds on the app, so no concept of being locked away).
Surely the whole point is after she blows it all on sweets and chocolate she realises she has no money left to go out with friends or top up her mobile and is stuck in the house?
We learn best from our mistakes.
Sit her down and work through what you think she needs for a month. Explain to her she is getting enough money for 1 month to cover McD's, cinema, phone, school lunches or whatever else she needs it for and its up to her to manage and make decisions. Give her examples, if she buys sweets everyday at school lunch at just £1 a day not only is it too much sugar and not healthy it is £20 gone for that month which could be a cinema trip, a new tshirt a bit of make up etc.
Tell her you will help her budget for the first couple of months and warn her she will get no further money until the following month if she blows it all at the beginning on crap (if she blows school lunch money she will need to borrow from following months pocket money to eat!). You should also have the passcodes to her bank account(s) to see the transactions/balances.
We did this with ds around his 14th birthday. He has a savings account and a debit card account. It had the opposite effect you are worrying about, he has been mature about it and unexpectedly quite frugal now its "his money". It stopped him buying those sugary sports drinks at school lunchtime too as he realised how much money over a month they cost, he's also much more careful with his mobile phone data allowance as he knows he has to pay for any top ups needed above his contract.
She will make mistakes, but keep an eye on what she is spending it on for the first few months and give praise or guidance/suggestions as needed.
If she would run out and blow the lot on sweets also deal with the healthy eating issue separately.
I’ve decided not to give my 15 year old daughter pocket money as she buys junk food and sweets, instead I give her money if she wants to do activities with her friends like go shopping for clothes, cinema or a meal etc She still gets to budget with her socialising and make up spending but lives a simpler every day life without the temptation of wasting her money on sweets and Starbucks.
She seems pretty happy with this, so it’s worked out quite well. Her teeth are in pretty good shape too. My view is she is still a child and doesn’t need to worry too much about budgeting until she is a little older and wiser. Bizarrely my son who is 19 always had pocket money from the age of about 8, and he always saved it like an accountant. He keeps a log book and is extremely responsible and careful to this day. Every child is different, you’ll work out works best for yours
That's the theory, but if your child shows you that they haven't learnt from their mistakes, you need to take some control.
We used to tell DS that his lunch money had to last 3 week. He blew it in 3 days. He didn't care that he had no lunch money for the rest of the time. He did it a few times until eventually we said no more lunch money until he could be trusted. We simply weren't prepared to give him money to pay for bad habits (binging on crap then not eating). We've had to built up by baby steps. It's taken about 2 years, and he's now better but has the odd bit of madness. Still daren't give him too much money in one go. To be fair, he himself recognises his limited self control and asks us not to.
My DD is the same as your DS - she is very mature and budgets her money carefully. Different personalities mean different strategies.
DD is 14 and gets £20 pm to spend or save. She tends to spend on clothes or makeup or cinema. We also pay for her phone contract which is cheap.
We also transfer it into her account and she has an app on her phone to manage her balance.
Weekly allowance is better than monthly at her age. Even adults sometimes find it hard to budget for a whole month.
Thank you for all the suggestions.
At the moment I pay for her mobile phone contract, that is £15 a month. And I will give her money if she asks to go out with friends but to be honest she doesn't tend to go out with them all that often.
But now she regularly wants things like makeup, skin products, bodysprays and clothes that she should be paying for "herself" hence why I'd like to be able to give her a set amount of pocket money each month.
We tried it about 18 months ago with a go henry card at £5 a week but then she got her braces and all those sweets in a week is just a big fat no no from the dentist (who almost refused to them for her if she didn't keep her teeth clean).
We may give it another go and set some ground rules, although I know there will be a few hiccups like some have said she will need to learn by her own mistakes.
She is definitely the all or nothing type. She spent her entire birthday money £170 (big family) in a couple of hours shopping with her friends! And had one tiny carrier bag full of things to show for it. Then she is happy to go without for months.
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