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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:
AChickenClucks · 15/09/2022 17:50

Sorry, OP, but that's an insane amount of pocket money per week. I thought, when you gave your formula, you were going to say per month (which would be really very reasonable).

Our teenagers had £10 a week up until they got a little part-time job on Saturdays at 16, but could earn extra doing chores around the house. And then, once they got a Saturday job (and they all did) at 16 whatever else they earned was theirs, but they still got their £10 a week from us until 18, but they had to basically fund most of their personal outgoings from their own funds.

I think you need a chat about realism with your children, OP - your 'equation' is seriously skewed to something most parents wouldn't be able to afford.

Popaholic · 15/09/2022 17:51

Give them a reduced amount to lower the disparity and put the rest in a savings account which you can help them decide what to spend it on. It is good for them to manage money so I like your approach but can also see how it is causing problems in the other part of the family.

Funkyblues101 · 15/09/2022 17:51

So you have 5 year olds £15 a week, and 8 year olds £24 a week? This is clearly a wind up. No well off person would be so daft.

MajorCarolDanvers · 15/09/2022 17:52

Bloody hell. That's an enormous sum of money for children that age.

Why don't you put it in savings for them and give them a normal amount.

Imthedamnfoolwhoshothim · 15/09/2022 17:52

typingcake · 15/09/2022 17:16

I think I you can do what you want… but an idea would be to give them £10 a month to stop any sibling clash then put the additional amount aside and give them it every 6 months but don’t call it pocket money. You are their dad and if you want to give them cash that’s up to you.

They aren't siblings.

LimpBiskit · 15/09/2022 17:53

It would be a lot for just frivolous spending but if it's being saved and spent thoughtfully, then it is good learning around financial management. My 13&15yr old both get £200 a month and they generally save it. My son recently decided he wanted a new mountain bike so he researched it and spent £750 on a well specced machine. My daughter spends around half of hers in a more frivolous manner but saves the other half. I want my kids to have a healthy relationship with money so that they can save but also spend.

Imthedamnfoolwhoshothim · 15/09/2022 17:53

Tell her it's not your problem she got with a broke man.

Scottishskifun · 15/09/2022 17:53

Yeah that's a crazy amount of money!

Personally I would drop what I "gave them" to £10 and then put the rest per week into a high interest saving account in their name it will get more money for them in the long run.

whumpthereitis · 15/09/2022 17:54

VioletInsolence · 15/09/2022 17:38

So you’re paying the money directly into their accounts and you expect them to deal with the inequality. But the only way to do that is for them to spend around £140 extra a month which is rather a lot to find and unfair of you.

you’re spending around £350 on pocket money each month so you must have a lot of money to spare. Why don’t you try being kind and subsidise their step sister’s pocket money?

Fucking hell. This is peak batshit. Subsidize his ex-wive’s stepchild?

The inequality isn’t his problem. It’s not a problem for his kids either. The ex decided to remarry and her new husband can’t afford to/ won’t give his child the same amount. That’s life. They’re different children with different parents, their lives are not going to be the same.

FuzzyPuffling · 15/09/2022 17:54

£45 A WEEK????? That's more than my pension.

newyearsresolurion · 15/09/2022 17:55

It's not your problem her parents are poor. Don't change anything

budgiegirl · 15/09/2022 17:56

It's a massive amount of pocket money, but it's up to you. If you genuinely feel that they are not being spoilt by it, but are learning to budget, then that's fine. I gave my kids £30 per month, although I did pay for their phones on top, plus some big school trips. At 15/16 they all got Saturday jobs, which I think it important - they really learn to decide if their hard-earned money is worth spending or saving. I know for a fact that if I'd given my 16 year old £48 per week, she would spend the lot, whereas my eldest would save it. So it does depend on the child.

That said, it's absolutely your choice. Nothing at all to do with your ex.

It's still a crazy amount of pocket money though!

whumpthereitis · 15/09/2022 17:56

MrsSteveHarrington · 15/09/2022 17:45

That formula would seem ok for a monthly amount but not weekly. That’s an insane amount and I can understand the step sisters upset.

It seems okay for a weekly amount too, given that OP can afford it, wants to give it, and his children are sensible with it.

Walrus6 · 15/09/2022 17:56

Surely whether it’s a lot or not is relative to what they are expected to buy with it? If it’s all clothes, toiletries, trips out with friends, birthday and Christmas gifts etc then it’s not an extortionate amount.

LondonWolf · 15/09/2022 17:57

you’re spending around £350 on pocket money each month so you must have a lot of money to spare. Why don’t you try being kind and subsidise their step sister’s pocket money?

This is right up there with the thread where OP didn't want to go on a whole family holiday to Disney paid for by her in laws. It was earnestly suggested that she advise them to donate all the money they'd planned to spend on the Disney trip to an organisation that paid for under privileged children to go camping. I imagined the faces of my own in laws had I suggested such a thing HmmHmm

itsgettingweird · 15/09/2022 17:58

ormav · 15/09/2022 17:45

@Mammma91 that just seems redundant. They already save the majority of their money in their accounts and daughter is currently saving up for a car on her own.


These aren't children spending insane amounts on sweets a week.

One is saving for their own computer and another their own car.

Some children will get £10 a week whilst their parents out the rest in savings on their behalf and present them with bigger items such as cars.

Your way teaches them how to save.

whumpthereitis · 15/09/2022 17:59

MajorCarolDanvers · 15/09/2022 17:52

Bloody hell. That's an enormous sum of money for children that age.

Why don't you put it in savings for them and give them a normal amount.

What’s a ‘normal’ amount? What OP is giving is roughly the same as what my friends and I were given, so it sounds very normal to me.

it’s relative.

Zwicky · 15/09/2022 17:59

Your ex and her dh should give the 3 dcs equal/fair pocket money. You should give yours what you see fit and your dcs step sisters mum can give her own dd what she thinks is appropriate. They probably won’t end up with the same but they will be being treated fairly in their shared home which is all anyone can expect.

If your ex thinks that the amount is too much based on the effect that having access to that much money is having on your dc then it seems a reasonable discussion for co-parents to have. Personally I think it’s a lot but I still buy clothes for my 13yo and car insurance for my 17yo. Whether it’s a detrimental amount depends a lot on what they have to buy, what gets bought for them, what they can expect for Xmas, birthday etc and if they are being sensible and managing it well or if it is detrimental.

ImAvingOops · 15/09/2022 18:01

Only on MN would some dozy bugger suggest the OP finance a child that's nothing to do with him in order to 'be kind' Grin
Also disagree with the suggestion that the mum would be okay to use the child support money to top up her step daughter - that money is for supporting the OP's children (keeping a roof over their heads, food etc), it isn't for some other child's pocket money!

I feel for the step child but this is something her dad ought to
be fixing since he chose to put her in a blended family situation.

Isthatright1 · 15/09/2022 18:01

£45 at 15 and £36 a week at 12!!! I thought you were going to say a month. Fucking hell.

Imagine getting £36 a week at the age of 12. That is insane.

I saved up and bought my own car too OP, you know how, by getting a job at 17.

I used to work 10 hours a week and I don't think I even took home £45 a week when I was working back then (I'm talking 10 years ago not decades)

You can do what you want with your kids but I don't blame your ex for bringing up the amount you're paying them. If I were her I'd be explaining to my kids how the pocket money their step siblings they get is ridiculous and they'll be spoilt by the end of it and theres no chance in hell I'd be raising the amount.

Bollindger · 15/09/2022 18:02

For a parent to pay this kind of pocket money, I would presume that OP earns well. Also I bet the children buy clothing and things a parent buys but this way don't need to ask the dad to hand over money, so why should the children go without just because the mom who is not even paying it is annoyed her Husbands child can't have it,

PileofLogs · 15/09/2022 18:03

How high it is depends on what they’re supposed to use it for. DS gets a similar amount- in fact a bit higher- but has to cover everything out if it (non-school clothes, going out etc).

PaddleBoardingMomma · 15/09/2022 18:04

I was about to say that’s a lot of money until I realised it’s the exact same (age adjusted) as I give my 5 year old (£15 a week on a Friday)

At the end of the day it’s your choice, and as unfair as it may seem to your ex, it’s not your responsibility.

Not sure I’ll keep up with your rate of inflation as her age increases but if I have it spare and she’s being sensible then 🤷🏼‍♀️ I didn’t have kids so they could grow up without treats and luxuries.

whumpthereitis · 15/09/2022 18:05

I don’t know why people are advising ways to cut the pocket money and make them save more. His children aren’t the problem. This is the pocket money system they have always known, and it’s worked out well for them. They have saved, and are saving. They’re learning how to manage money and they sound like sensible kids.

The problem is the jealous stepsister and the ex wife wanting OP to change a system they agreed upon, presumably to appease her new husband. OP and his kids are not the unreasonable ones, and they shouldn’t have to lose out because a couple of newcomers are stamping their feet.

Dahlietta · 15/09/2022 18:05

All those saying that they’re good at saving, I bet they are! My kids wouldn’t know what to do with all that money.

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