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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:

sheepdogdelight · 15/09/2022 16:54

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.

I totally agree with this. You can't really reduce the pocket money, but you should start making them buy more things with it (you may do this already, of course).
Incidentally, if they hadn't chosen to save up for a computer but to fritter the money away, would you have bought them one anyway (if they needed it for school work, say)? It's great that they have saved, but you couldn't necessarily rely on that, or that they will continue to do it.


Rwealere · 15/09/2022 16:54

But the OP said they are saving up to buy a computer with it so well done them and carry on I say. Not your problem at all. Are they going to dictate where you take them during your time with them too it’s a slippery slope imo!


NameChangeIsGo · 15/09/2022 16:55

Really hoping my teenage daughter isn't on Mumsnet :D


britneyisfree · 15/09/2022 16:55

Lots of money but it's fine if you can afford it. Literally one trip to Nando's and the cinema and that's gone. So I'd keep giving it to them.

Your ex shouldn't have married down. 🤣


LadyCatStark · 15/09/2022 16:56

Well technically YANBU but Jesus Christ that’s a lot of money a week! They have more disposable income than I do!


whumpthereitis · 15/09/2022 16:56

Summerfun54321 · 15/09/2022 16:47

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

A lazy trope. Both children have saved a healthy amount, whilst also saving for necessities like computers. I was given £50 a week at that age. I didn’t gamble it, smoke it, inject it or snort it. My father taught me financial management, which has been hugely beneficial into adulthood.

Changing what your children have always known to benefit a stepsister that is nothing to do with you will only lead to them resenting her, their mother, and indeed you. Carry on you have been doing, this isn’t a problem that is yours to solve.

I would make sure your ex wife can’t access their money. You don’t want to risk her clearing their accounts in order to redistribute the money ‘fairly’.


ChangingMyMindToday · 15/09/2022 16:56

I mean it’s not your problem but I’m unclear why you’re paying 100% of the pocket money. Shouldn’t your ex be covering some?

i give my kids pocket money the weekends they’re with me. I assume ex does so the other weekends - no idea how much.

if they only give £10/week they must buy all her clothes/toiletries/phone etc. if yours cover some of that it’s probably way more equal than it looks.


fluffinsalad · 15/09/2022 16:56

Bonkers. Your giving your DD nearly £200 a month in pocket money.

She would be better off being pushed to get a Saturday job. My dd 1 started her Saturday job at 15 and hasn't been out of work since and has a very strong work ethic.


WilsonMilson · 15/09/2022 16:57

Please adopt me?!

In all seriousness, that’s a lot of pocket money over and above the child support I assume you pay. That said, my DH still gives his adult children (early 20’s) a monthly allowance of ridiculous proportions, but that’s his choice.

Why don’t you lower the amount to a more realistic sum as pocket money, but save the extra amount in separate account and then give them each the saved sum when they are older and perhaps looking to buy a car or pay a deposit on a house? Surely that’s much better anyway, as the money they get now is probably frittered away on nonsense.


mam0918 · 15/09/2022 16:57

£45 a week seems insane, for the short time I was on jobseekers I only got £5 more a month and I had to live independantly (which is impossible by the way, cue homelessness).

That said I agree it does not make them spoilt or bad with money.

Having less usually cause impulsive risk taking, jealousy and a lack of understanding of management (if you dont have access to money you never learn to manage money properly, no teen is leaning long term money management from £10 here and there... bus fair and a mcdonalds takes you over that).

Spolit is attitude not how much you physically have, those with more usually ask for and want less.


MondayYogurt · 15/09/2022 16:58

Could you give them £2000 each once a year instead?


aSofaNearYou · 15/09/2022 16:59

I don't think you have to lower it because of the SS but I do think it is way too much.


BatshitBanshee · 15/09/2022 16:59

Your ex can get an opinion on it when she's the one paying the pocket money. Your money, your children, you decide.

She's obviously trying to appease new husband with that word salad about DSD pocket money, she didn't have an issue with it previously and I refuse to believe a mother doesn't have a clue how much money her kids are getting in pocket money. If she really didn't know then that's a bigger problem.


ImAvingOops · 15/09/2022 16:59

I wouldn't change how I parented my dc on account of the whims of my ex and their new partner. Fuck that!
Mind your ex doesn't try to take this money from them - you might need to open bank accounts that she doesn't have access to if you think she won't respect your decision.

Nothing is going to make your kids resent their new step family more than losing out because step dad parents his child differently!


sheepdogdelight · 15/09/2022 17:00

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

If the reference to council house was to suggest that your parents were not well off, then I can only assume your money had to cover basically everything you needed. Including food. It's more personal money than many working adults have to themselves.


BruceAndNosh · 15/09/2022 17:02

I assume that your daughter is paying you rent out of her £45 a week!


tearsandtiaras · 15/09/2022 17:02

Statistically teenagers who have more access to money are more likely to buy drugs, alcohol, cigarettes as they have the cash to.


iwantasandwich · 15/09/2022 17:02



It only covered entertainment and activities

They paid for my food, phone, big trips, spending money

Tbh my dad still gives me some pocket money now! Even though I earn 6x what he does - he sees it as a parents job and I'm fine with that Grin


itsgettingweird · 15/09/2022 17:03

I must admit I thought it would be a month!

But regardless of the amount you are providing what you want to provide for your children as their dad. You can do that and if your DS is saving his and not spending it all weekly on games credits etc they are obviously learning the value of money.

I know plenty of parents who provide a monthly budget for their children but they pay all extras such as cinema with friends, buses, own food whilst out with friends and also buy clothes for themselves.

We once as a group of parents of teens did the maths to see which approach was most expensive.

And those providing as and when we're spending far much more.
We discovered many were regularly handing out £20 for a Saturday day out and then adding money to buy clothes when needed etc.

But with regards the situation I would just say you are choosing that and if they want to treat all children in that household fairly you wouldn't have an issue with them giving all 3 children in that household a tenner a week and you're sure you're children won't mind an extra tenner either WinkGrin


Beautiful3 · 15/09/2022 17:04

Wow that's alot!!! If you can afford it, then why not. But it is alot!


lickenchugget · 15/09/2022 17:04

tearsandtiaras · 15/09/2022 17:02

Statistically teenagers who have more access to money are more likely to buy drugs, alcohol, cigarettes as they have the cash to.

But the bright side, they won’t have to resort to dealing or prostitution..



whumpthereitis · 15/09/2022 17:05

BruceAndNosh · 15/09/2022 17:02

I assume that your daughter is paying you rent out of her £45 a week!

Why on earth would she be? At 15? 🥴

‘Too much’ is relative to what you can afford. OP can clearly afford the amounts without worrying about it, and his kids are well behaved and sensible with the money. No reason why he shouldn’t give them those amounts.


HardLanding · 15/09/2022 17:05

Nope. Why should your DC have something changed that they’ve had their entire lives from you because their mother has chosen to remarry?!

Tough shit.


MamaRaisingBoys · 15/09/2022 17:05

Does the stepdaughter not also receive pocket money from her mum? If so the gap may not be as big as it seems


rookiemere · 15/09/2022 17:06

It's up to you how much you give your own DCs, also how much the allowance covers e.g do they buy their own clothes, make up, pay for the cinema when they're out.
If you're happy with it and so are they , I wouldn't be changing it.

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