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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:

fairlygoodmother · 15/09/2022 16:41

My children get an amount in that range. Out fo that they have to buy all their clothes except school uniform, toiletries and going out with friends. I think it helps them to learn to budget and prioritise their spending.

So I agree with others that it depends what they are responsible for. it would be hard to reduce their pocket money now, but you could increase the expectations of what they spend it on.


Howmuchcanabananacostanyway · 15/09/2022 16:41

ThrowingSomeCrumbs · 15/09/2022 16:18

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

This made me laugh. Joining the line for a new Daddy!


Levellingdown · 15/09/2022 16:42

what does a 12 year old spend £160 a month on - that’s insane. £10 is a more than normal amount per week

i got £200 spending money a month at uni!


GhostFromTheOtherSide · 15/09/2022 16:42

The amounts here are irrelevant. I know plenty of people who give their children a reasonably high allowance but then the children are expected to fund things like clothes, memberships that kind of thing themselves.

The fact is that this is the amount of money they get. If their mum is unhappy about the discrepancy then perhaps she should increase her DSD’s pocket money, but to suggest your DC’s pocket money be reduced is ridiculous and I would A, tell her that it won’t be happening, and B, point out that there would be no better way to ensure her children hate their step sister than reduction of their pocket money to match her’s.


TwoWeeksislong · 15/09/2022 16:42

Open savings accounts for them both. Stick to your formula, it’s working for you. Then give them 10pounds a week to spend/save up for whatever they want and the rest goes in their savings account to go towards driving lessons/university spending money.


Dottielottie123 · 15/09/2022 16:42

It’s really none of her business. It suited her when you were together.

I have a friend who shares Ds 50/50 with her ex so he doesn’t pay maintenance so he gives their son £50 a week. This is for everything. His lunches at school, days out/socialising with friends, to pay his small gif gaff phone bundle. He still has money left and saves well to buy new clothes/trainers. Makes perfect sense really. I couldn’t afford it but It’s not for strangers on MN to say that’s too much money.

Tell ex it’s a shame SS feels this way, but your priorities are your children's feelings not hers.


LondonWolf · 15/09/2022 16:43

I agree with you OP.


TisButterSnacks · 15/09/2022 16:44

It's a lot of money compared to their step sibling, but it's something the parents of that child need to sort out themselves. Really unfortunate all around though.


saturdaymorningbored · 15/09/2022 16:44

I think because this was what you originally agreed with your ex you are well within your right to keep doing it, your reasons seem fair.

That said £45 is a huge amount for 15 year old BUT it's up to your ex and new husband how they deal with the step daughter, absolutely not your issue or problem


SirChenjins · 15/09/2022 16:44

Bloody hell - I’m hiding this from my 15 year old or he’ll be getting ideas 😂

£45??? seriously???!!! Another one joining the ‘can I be your child’ queue.

You can’t reduce their pocket money obviously, but I’d be stopping this bizarre £3 x their age formula immediately.


Undisclosedlocation · 15/09/2022 16:45

Your ex is being ridiculous. Your money, your choice.
It’s way more than I would give, but that’s irrelevant too. If you are happy, then who cares, right?

how you decide to spend your money is quite frankly none of her business beyond any agreed maintenance.

changing things now would be putting the feelings of their step sister above those of your own children. And as another poster pointed out, you’d just swap the resentment around so that your kids are resentful of her (and most probably you too for agreeing to this nonsense) No chance would I be doing that!


bloodyplanes · 15/09/2022 16:46

Its none of their business how much pocket money you give your kids...however that is an insane amount to be handing out as pocket money! Far to much imo


Summerfun54321 · 15/09/2022 16:47

£45 a week for a teenager to fritter away!!!! Hello drugs and gambling problems 👋🏻


10HailMarys · 15/09/2022 16:47

I get the impression this whole post is just an 'I am considerably more wealthy than my ex-wife's new husband' stealth boast


Mojoj · 15/09/2022 16:47

It doesn't matter how much you, as their dad, is giving them. That's your choice. It's absolutely nothing to do with your wife's new partner. He can give his kid however much he wants. If his kid is upset she's not getting as much as her step siblings, she can take it up with HER dad.


CatchersAndDreams · 15/09/2022 16:47

My 16yr old works 2 shifts pot washing in a pub for the same amount of pocket money yours gets. I think it's a higher than average amount but it's your money. If I could afford to give my dc that amount plus save for them, pay for hobbies and clubs then I would. Although I also like dds work ethic. I'm on the fence a little bit but you shouldn't have to change things based on their houses way of doing things.


PeekAtYou · 15/09/2022 16:48

I don't think that you can comment on whether it's insane or not until you know what they are supposed to buy with it.

If it's 100% fun money then lucky them.
If it has to cover clothes, makeup, bus fair, school lunches... then they are still lucky but it's also not as generous as it might first appear.

I would not lower the amount. It's not your fault that their stepsister's parents can't afford it but I'd be telling my kids not to discuss money/big ticket gifts with their stepsister.


MyneighbourisTotoro · 15/09/2022 16:48

You must be loaded! 🤣 my two don’t even get any pocket money because I can’t afford it 😬

At the end of the day it’s your money and they are your children so it’s completely up to you, they are very lucky kids!


forrestgreen · 15/09/2022 16:48

Was their other parent bothered about them being spoilt before they got a step sibling? Doubt it.

Yes it's a lot but it's up to you. And they can sort it with the other child


Augend23 · 15/09/2022 16:49

So you gave a 7 year old £21 a week? Do you mean a month? I am not yet 30 and when I was 7 I think I got about £2 a week? Obviously there must have been inflation in the intervening 15 years but even if you allow 50% for inflation it's still a lot of money.

It was maybe 50p a week at 5, and it must have been £10 a month by the time I was 10 and never went over £25 a month.

Obviously that is on the lower end of the spectrum (and I got a job as soon as humanly possible) and could never have saved up to buy a computer. I can certainly see why they can't afford to match it. But your partner agreed those very high sums when you were together as even at 5 that's £15, so I think you're a bit stuck with the sums tbh.


user443741922 · 15/09/2022 16:49

It's rather high but it is great for your children. Clearly they appreciate it as they mentioned saving their pocket money to buy a computer themselves. That's great they understand this and have learnt to save.

It isn't your problem what their step sister gets. It's just one of these things between blended families. Different parents, different rules.

They shouldn't suffer because their mum has got married.


nachoavocado · 15/09/2022 16:50

Mumoftwoinprimary · 15/09/2022 16:40

If you stop then they will hate their stepsister. (And probably their step dad as well.)

Seems to me a pretty daft way for your ex to promote family harmony….

Yes its not going to help


xogossipgirlxo · 15/09/2022 16:50

Not your problem to solve.


drpet49 · 15/09/2022 16:52

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.



wackamole · 15/09/2022 16:53

ThrowingSomeCrumbs · 15/09/2022 16:18

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

Me too, and I'm 87 so that will be £261/week, thanks! I'd like to be paid in US dollars though, please, as Sterling is volatile at the moment. 😍🇺🇲🤑

Seriously, can your ex not just explain to her husband that you're paying the amount the two of you agreed to years ago? Perfectly fine for his daughter to make her case for more, just as she would if all her friends were getting £30 while she gets £5 and she can't keep up, but your children don't need to be impacted by whatever the other parents decide.

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