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I don’t want to lower my childrens a pocket money to match their stepsisters

340 replies

ormav · 15/09/2022 16:16

I have a daughter (15) and a son (12) with my ex. Originally when their mum and I started giving them pocket money we went with a formula of £3 multiplied by how old they were. Since their mum and I divorced 7 years ago I have been responsible for paying the kids their pocket money. I have kept to the original formula we agreed on. So now our daughter get £45 a week and her brother gets £36 a week.

Last year their mum got married. Her husband also has a daughter (14), so my kids have a stepsister now. Apparently she just found out how much our children are getting for their pocket money. She found out when my sons was talking about saving up for a new computer and she asked how he could afford it and how much money he got. He told her how much and how it was based on how old they were.

Now that she knows my ex and her husband say it’s caused a lot of trouble in their household leading to jealousy issues and fighting. This is because their stepsister only receives £10 a week. Both my ex and her husband said that I need to lower the kids allowance. They say that inequality like that between children in the same household can severely adversely affect their sibling relationship. I think that if there is inequality in their household that it is their responsibility to deal with it, not mine. I told them they should should raise the amount his daughter gets if it’s an issue.

They told me that they couldn’t afford to give her that much, but even if they could they wouldn’t because they don’t believe children their ages should have access to the amount of money they have. They say that continuing to give them this much pocket money will also make them spoiled, entitled and bad with money.

My ex later said she assumed I was giving them a normal amount even though I just stuck with the formula we did and agreed upon a long time ago. She says that I obviously should have stopped raising it when it reached normal amount (I’ll point out here that she never said what a normal amount it).

I have since looked up the regular range for pocket money and I’ll acknowledge that theirs is on the higher side. That’s said I do not believe it is adversely affecting them. They do not act spoiled or entitled. They never demand to have things and accept when things don’t go as planned. They do their chores without complaint and do well in school. They get along very well with others their own age with the exception of their stepsister because she calls them spoiled. I would also they are the opposite of bad with money as they both have saved up a significant amount in their accounts and aren’t just spending their money on pointless things as soon as they get it.

OP posts:
ThrowingSomeCrumbs · 15/09/2022 16:18

£36 a week?!! Bloody hell! Can you be my Daddy!

loveireland · 15/09/2022 16:19

Well you don't have to do what they say but that is a hell of a lot of money. More money than I have to myself a week.

Hiphopopotamus · 15/09/2022 16:19

Whoa, that’s an insane amount of pocket money!

Who do the kids live with on a majority basis?

hugefanofcheese · 15/09/2022 16:19

45 quid a week?? Is that how much pocket money these days?!

GiltEdges · 15/09/2022 16:19

I don’t think your response was unreasonable. You can spend your money however you see fit 🤷🏼‍♀️

nachoavocado · 15/09/2022 16:20

You are giving them far too much. But you're right whatever goes on in their household is not your problem.

iwantasandwich · 15/09/2022 16:20

Ignore those fixating on the amount

I was given similar to that amount when I was 15 (17 years ago now) and grew up in a council house so it's hardly too much considering inflation and their ages

EscapeRoomToTheSun · 15/09/2022 16:20

You're not setting them up well for life by giving them access to that much cash now. They will have no financial skills, no awareness of the cost of things.

PuttingDownRoots · 15/09/2022 16:21

Its high but its your money. They can't control what you give your kids.

Encourage them to save a large proportion for the future, like for driving lessons.

lickenchugget · 15/09/2022 16:21

It’s a lot of money, but you can do what you want. It’s not for ex (and certainly not her DH!) to stipulate what you can and cannot give YOUR children. The happiness of some child who is completely unconnected to you is irrelevant.

Tierne · 15/09/2022 16:21

WTF? Insane amount

GiltEdges · 15/09/2022 16:21

EscapeRoomToTheSun · 15/09/2022 16:20

You're not setting them up well for life by giving them access to that much cash now. They will have no financial skills, no awareness of the cost of things.

Nonsense. Those things are not mutually exclusive. I was given similar pocket money as a child and the main thing it taught me was how to save up for things that were important to me.

ParentallyUnprepared · 15/09/2022 16:22

Ignoring the amounts, it's absolutely not your problem.

Carrying parenting how you wish.

But, I'd be mindful that they don't take the money and divide it equally so it's "fair".

BuffaloCauliflower · 15/09/2022 16:22

If you can afford it then give your children what you want, it sounds like they are saving/managing it well. Taking away money from your children is just as likely to make them resent their stepsister as not doing so will make her resent them.

Julia234 · 15/09/2022 16:22

for the sake of harmony, I would have a chat with the kids and explain the situation.

if you are happy giving them a high amount of pocket money, £100 a month sounds like a much more sensible amount. You could then add the extra to a savings account for each of them, maybe to give them for driving lessons or whatever.

lickenchugget · 15/09/2022 16:23

Taking away money from your children is just as likely to make them resent their stepsister as not doing so will make her resent them.

Absolutely. And the advice on MN is always that DSC’s lives should not change as they didn’t ask for any of the changes to happen..

BuffaloCauliflower · 15/09/2022 16:23

@EscapeRoomToTheSun how do you work that out? They have an amount of money to plan with, to save or spend, how will it not teach them about money just because it’s higher than some other children's pocket money?

Hawkmother · 15/09/2022 16:25

It initially seems like a lot, but maybe covers the Dad’s contribution to clothes (other than school uniform), toiletries and activities. If so it could be quite reasonable and actually teach budgeting.

Anyway, OP, I don’t think it’s your problem to solve - where would it end otherwise?

Goldpaw · 15/09/2022 16:26

This isn't your problem. You kept to the formula you and your ex agreed on. To change that now would be grossly unfair to your children who have displayed maturity in what they do with their money. It would completely send the wrong signal to them.

What your ex wife's husband does wrt his child is up to him.

Defaultsettings · 15/09/2022 16:26

Some of you posters are mad. How is that not teaching them the value of money when the OPs child is talking of saving for a computer. They’re not frittering it away on bubble gum or football stickers.

OP just tell your kids to be discreet and perhaps only let them take £10 to their mums and keep the rest saved at your house.

OopsAnotherOne · 15/09/2022 16:26

I personally think you should keep paying them the current amount of pocket money if you can afford to - it's what they're used to and it shouldn't be influence by your ex and her partner. However, with such a large amount of pocket money being paid, I think it would be wise to ensure your children are appropriately taught about budgeting and saving (I'm sure you already have, but it's a point to make).

In other news, do you feel like adopting any more "children"? I'm 23 and 3 x 23 pocket money per week sounds delightful 😉

gogohmm · 15/09/2022 16:26

A week???? It's a huge amount. Mine got £40 a month

Blinkingheckythump · 15/09/2022 16:26

It's an insane amount of money to give. However it's unfair for them to ask you to give less to make exs step daughter happier, by (probably) making her own kids unhappier

44PumpLane · 15/09/2022 16:27

The amount you are giving is very high, however, if it has led to decent money management, the ability to save, and children who do their chores without issue then perhaps it's money well spent.

However to the point of your OP it is absolutely not up to you to reduce your children's pocket money so that the stepsister feels better about life. I get where she is coming from and I understand she will feel it's unfair. But it's not like you've suddenly started to give your kids loads of cash so they can flaunt it in their's what they are used to.

I would suggest discussing a cut off age or value however with your kids. When you stop giving them pocket money it will leave a big hole in their finances so may need some reasonable expectation setting.

ArcticSkewer · 15/09/2022 16:27

So when you were together, they received £24 a week and £15 a week - both already more than £10 a week. So the sudden piety about £10 a week for stepchild is a recent change of heart.

Even £24 a week is ridiculous but it's your money. If you're rich and kids need to keep up with friends/appearances then I guess it's what you need to pay. Or if you don't, for example, buy them computers but expect them to save up.

Ignore ex. Her problem to solve as she sees fit

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