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Pocket money for 14 year-old boy. Are we mean?

(120 Posts)
Libra Fri 22-Aug-08 10:57:41

DS1 is 14 and has just started S3 here, which I think would be fourth year in England.

At present he gets ten pounds a week pocket money, out of which he is expected to pay for his lunch at school (usually around one pound a day for a sandwich) and then to use the other five pounds for minor living expenses.

We buy all his clothes.

The problem has arisen because he claims all his friends get more pocket money than this. There have also been problems over the summer relating to the clothes he would like bought versus the clothes I am prepared to buy.

He also has a bank savings account into which he puts money he receives for birthdays. He is very averse to using such money to purchase CDs, clothes, etc or to go to the cinema with mates (these are usual expenses). He expects to be able to meet these expenses out of the pocket money (hence it is not enough) and hoards the birthday money.

He did extra chores around the house and garden over the summer for extra money, but we will not allow him to get a job yet because we think he is too young and his schoolwork will suffer. The usual job in our village is washing dishes at the local hotel for quite poor wages, which some of his mates do.

So - are we mean? How much do you give your 14 year old and what is he expected to fund out of this?

Many thanks for any replies!!

sarah293 Fri 22-Aug-08 10:59:58

Message withdrawn

dittany Fri 22-Aug-08 11:00:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ConnorTraceptive Fri 22-Aug-08 11:01:50

I think £10 is more than generous and I would definatelty expect him to use birthday money for cd's and stuff.

I would possibley compromise and give him money for his lunch.

Purplepillow Fri 22-Aug-08 11:02:00

Don't flame me but I think dinner money is for parents to pay, pocket money should be for things kids want to buy for themselves.

Libra Fri 22-Aug-08 11:03:24

Ooh Riven. The child benefit idea is a good one. I hadn't thought of that as an idea.

We are moving to a more chore-based economy as well, Dittany. Tonight he will get another fiver if he cleans the bathrooms before I get home.

Riven, does the handing over of the child benefit stop them doing any chores because they see it as an entitlement?

ConnorTraceptive Fri 22-Aug-08 11:04:21

I would encourage him to earn money if that's what he wants to do. Yes it will be poor wages but he is only 14 and that is just how it is at that age. I used to get £1.85 an hour in local card shop at that age

ShrinkingViolet Fri 22-Aug-08 11:04:35

DD1 gets £10 per week, out of which she has to buy most of her own clothes (we buy school stuff and essentials). That doesn't need to cover her lunches thoguh (unless she's got up too late to make her own lunch at home, in whcih case it's her problem wink).
I'd say £5 per week of "spending on what you want" money is quite low tbh. However, round here it seems we're quite unusual in giving pocket money - most parents apparently hand out cash on request hmm.

Libra Fri 22-Aug-08 11:05:04

So it should be lunch money PLUS pocket money? The thing that annoys me about that is that the rest of us take sandwiches to school/work. There is plenty of sandwich stuff in the fridge, but he won't take them.

The original deal was worked out last year when he refused to take sandwiches.

TrinityRhino Fri 22-Aug-08 11:06:04

I agree with Purple (not much of a surprise there)

Why are you making him pay for his dinner money?

Do you make him buy the ingredients for his evening meal??

£10 for a week is not too bad as long as he has it all for him I reckon

Libra Fri 22-Aug-08 11:06:59

ShrinkingViolet: is it possible for your daughter to buy all her non-school clothes out of ten pounds a week?
I have tried to explain to DS1 that I spent my teenage years dressing from Oxfam, etc, but I, apparently, was a hippy and that was OK (it was the eighties for God's sake).

ShowOfHands Fri 22-Aug-08 11:08:07

I didn't get any pocket money at all as a teenager or at any other point. At 14 I got a Saturday job which paid a pittance but I learnt to earn my own money.

I bought what I wanted out of birthday/Christmas money and my parents would buy anything else if it was necessary or something for school like a trip or something but I would have to do chores to earn it.

£10 sounds an awful lot to me but I agree that if you're giving pocket money, it shouldn't be for school dinners, that's a separate matter.

MarsLady Fri 22-Aug-08 11:09:03

I give DS1(15) £35 a month as an allowance and it's paid into his account. I pay for school lunches (they have a cashless system) and I buy his uniform. He is responsible for everything else. When he wants something he saves. He also babysits and recently used the money he saved to buy a season ticket to a local football club. He spends his birthday/Christmas money as he wishes.

The only exception I make is during the longer holidays when I know that their money won't last as long BUT I don't hand out cash willy nilly and I limit that as well.

Mine do chores because we all live here and they don't get paid for them.

Libra Fri 22-Aug-08 11:10:11

OK, so the overall reaction is that we are being mean in making him spend some of the money on lunch.

Will discuss with DH the child benefit idea, which is a good one, thanks Riven.

We will also tell him that he can get a job outwith term time, but we are still not happy about his working in termtime.

Many thanks

MarsLady Fri 22-Aug-08 11:10:41

If he refuses to make his own lunch then yes I think he should fund his own lunches. It's the way to learn about money imho. Mine know that if they don't want something that I provide free at home, they pay for it elsewhere - I don't!

MrsTittleMouse Fri 22-Aug-08 11:11:37

But he has the choice of making lunch from ingredients at home. Surely that's teaching him a good life lesson - that he has a choice of taking in sandwiches and having more money for fun stuff. I mean, we make the same choice when we're grown-ups too, right? Posh M&S lunch every day means less on wine at the end of the week. grin
(Or at least I wish - spare money goes on savings/pensions and haven't drunk much wine for ages due to reproducing)

Libra Fri 22-Aug-08 11:11:56

Marslady, you say that your son babysits. How did he get the contacts? Did he advertise or was it just word of mouth?

This is something that DS1 is eager to do and since he has a five year-old brother it is something we think he has the experience to do.

ShrinkingViolet Fri 22-Aug-08 11:13:04

Libra - yes it seems to be working so far (Tescos, La Redoute catalogue paid monthly, vouchers for H&M, etc for birthday presents). Plus she had quite a lot of clothes which fitted before we started this last year, and isn't hugely into expensive labels trendy stuff anyway. Out of school clothes are usually just at weekends (and holidays).

mazzystar Fri 22-Aug-08 11:13:28

My parents did the child benefit thing with me from around 13/14. Worked really well.

Libra Fri 22-Aug-08 11:13:29

Well that's how we feel about his lunch too - the ingredients are there and I am willing to buy what he wants for sandwiches.

But I think it is all about fitting in with mates.

ConnorTraceptive Fri 22-Aug-08 11:13:35

Ah I see, didn't realise about the fact he won't take sandwich's. In that case he should use his own money

pagwatch Fri 22-Aug-08 11:14:03

tbh expecting him to pay for his lunch seems harsh to me too but if this was a seperate deal then fair enough.
If he is complaining about his lack of pocket money I would just remind him thatthere is an extra £5 available if he takes in sandwiches.
FWIW my son gets £15.
But these things always depend on circumstances don't they?

CaptainFabioHiltsTheCoolerCat Fri 22-Aug-08 11:14:07

I agree with you about the school dinners, libra.

I would give him £10 and leave it to him to either make his own lunch (14 plenty old enough for that) or use his money to pay for school dinners.

It's up to him to 'hoard' his money if he so chooses the tightwad

And I'd let him work in school holidays, if he can find a job.

MarsLady Fri 22-Aug-08 11:16:48

I "pimped" him out! lol

I just told my friends with small children that he was available (having made sure he was happy to do that) and 2 families now use him regularly.

He doesn't have time during the term to work (he's always playing sport either for school or a local team on the weekends) and he gets a decent amount of homework which he's not allowed to fall behind on. So he tends to take the bits he can do with him - but I suspect he spends as much time watching sport as he can. With 4 younger siblings (including 4 yo DTs) he's very good with smaller children and in fact prefers babysitting outside of the home as everyone has better behaved children apparently. grin He gets between £4 and £5 per hour and they often round it up.

DD1 can't wait until she can start babysitting. She thinks it's amazing that people give him money to watch their tv! grin

Libra Fri 22-Aug-08 11:17:34

I should also point out that he gets the ten pounds outwith school terms as well!
But I think we are probably never going to win on the sandwiches front.

Riven - do you give child benefit equally to your two children? because of course, in reality, I receive more for the first child than the second...

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