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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:
Dragonskin · 15/09/2022 18:05

To be blunt the stepsister's feelings aren't your problem.

If your ex and her DH were paying your kids pocket money then they could have some say in how much it is, but seeing as they aren't then they don't

Branleuse · 15/09/2022 18:07

Could you tell them to not discuss it with their stepsiblings

hummerbird · 15/09/2022 18:07

My first reaction wow! Adopt me please.
If they are sensible and saving up for serious items like a computer at that age, then Well Done You for teaching them well.

RedToothBrush · 15/09/2022 18:09

£45 a week is nuts. It's too much.

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.

This is a stupid argument to make. Dropping allowance to match a stepsibling who gets much less, could lead to the exact same resentment!!!

I think there is a better way to handle this which addresses you giving an insane amount of cash but also levels the playing field a bit in terms of equality.

Expecting them to take responsibility and buy things they need for school as part of their budgeting could be one way to do it.

HaudYerWheeshtYaWeeBellend · 15/09/2022 18:09

No one would be telling me how I manage my finances or how I parent my children.

it’s a them problem not you concern.

BadNomad · 15/09/2022 18:10

Just say no. Your relationship with your children has nothing to do with the stepsister. Plenty of step siblings and half siblings have family not connected to the "main" family.

Frances658 · 15/09/2022 18:12

I mean, it's a lot of money, but I actually think that if they're always paying for what they need in terms of clothes, gadgets, entertainment etc from their pocket money, rather than asking for cash, they're probably learning better money management than some others. If a parent is giving their child a modest amount of pocket money, but then springing for new trainers/phone/cinema trip, that child is not leaning any responsibility. Giving them enough pocket money to cover their expenditure bar food etc, is teaching them how to budget. If you're doing that, then I think your approach is a good one. But, if they're still getting loads of extras paid for by you/their mum in addition to their pocket money, it's probably not iyswim. But that's an aside really, what their step sister gets in pocket money is nothing to do with you. It's her parents problem.

whumpthereitis · 15/09/2022 18:12

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.

The ex didn’t have a problem with the amount until the new husband and his child did.

Why do you think they’ll end up spoilt? They’re learning money management and seem sensible. Those are valuable skills they’ll take with them into adulthood. OP can afford what he’s giving, and he may not want his children to struggle when they don’t have to. Maybe he’d rather they weren’t working at 17, and had more time to focus on schoolwork (as mine did). Hell, maybe they’ll get jobs at 17 as well.

He and they don’t have to do something because you did.

BadNomad · 15/09/2022 18:12

I'll bet your ex wouldn't ask you to lower the amount of CM you pay to match what the stepsister gets.

Hankunamatata · 15/09/2022 18:16

It's a stupid amount of pocket money. I'd compromise and give kids £10 cash in their hand each week and put the rest into each of their savings account - call its savings. That way it isnt pocket money its savings for each child.

Barney60 · 15/09/2022 18:16

OMG £45, thats a huge amount of money for teenagers.
To keep the peace and help them to save why dont you lower it and put the rest into savings accounts, peace all round.

ivykaty44 · 15/09/2022 18:17

Life isn’t fair, not everyone has the same income and the disparity needs to be looked at and dealt with by the step sister, in life people will have more than her and less so learning to deal with it would be a life lesson

out of curiosity dies the step sister have a main residence at the same home? Or does she have another home and another parent?

Branster · 15/09/2022 18:18

I'd ignore the comments about too much money.
If you're comfortable with this amount of money, I don't see the problem.
First rule of business, you never lower your rates.
Why should they get less money if there is no real financial restriction at the supplier end?

Keep paying the same and ignore step sister issue. These are your children. They've been through enough changes having to adapt to a new lifestyle.

As a compromise, if your children want to pretend to keep the peace, you could offer to give them less money each week and save the difference as a one off yearly payment at Christmas.

It is important that, Should you ever find it difficult to maintain the current rates, you must tell the children straightaway and explain you cannot afford to pay as usual because your financial circumstances have changed.

notacooldad · 15/09/2022 18:18

You are giving them far too much
I was giving my kids this amount over 10 years ago. There was discussions on MN about it then.
I dont think it is particularly excessive tbh.

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.

Dont be ridiculous. As i said above, mine got that amount over 10 years ago when they were 14. Both now have a mortgage and a nice house and paying their bill's on time. They've got the skills going!!

With regard to the OP. They need to sort there own house out. You are not responsible for them.

ormav · 15/09/2022 18:18


Our kids live with me the majority of the time, so their mum is the one who pays maintenance.

OP posts:
weddingDecliner · 15/09/2022 18:18

gogohmm · 15/09/2022 16:26

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

I got £36 a month in 1986
Depends what you have to buy from it.

Midlifemusings · 15/09/2022 18:19

Your ex is contributing nothing to your two kids allowance so this really has nothing to do with her. The step sisters parents can decide how much she gets and give that much to her. It would be different if your ex was handing out 30 a week to her two kids but she isn't. It all happens at your house and comes from you and goes directly to bank accounts. Keep doing what you are doing.

FeatherBlower · 15/09/2022 18:19

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..

This. Also ignore everyone telling you it’s an insane amount of money. It’s your money and you can spend it how you wish. As long as you’re teaching your children to also be responsible, it’s regardless of the actual amount they’re getting. They could be getting £1 and wasting it within 5 minutes on crap.

ivykaty44 · 15/09/2022 18:19

Tbh I think the comments on the amount of pocket money given are irrelevant

but will add that your son has learnt a lesson, money and discussions about it can cause trouble… sadly that is also a life lesson as the green eyed monster raises its head

HardLanding · 15/09/2022 18:21

ormav · 15/09/2022 18:18


Our kids live with me the majority of the time, so their mum is the one who pays maintenance.

Then she’s even more cheeky than I first thought.

justusandmoo · 15/09/2022 18:22

I thought that was per month tbh! Not a week! That's loads.

That aside you shouldn't have to change the amount if it is coming from you alone.

Jamaisy82 · 15/09/2022 18:22

Wow thats alot of pocket money.

whumpthereitis · 15/09/2022 18:23

Barney60 · 15/09/2022 18:16

OMG £45, thats a huge amount of money for teenagers.
To keep the peace and help them to save why dont you lower it and put the rest into savings accounts, peace all round.

Peace? Hardly. You’ll go from pissing off one kid to pissing off two. Why should op’s kids lose out because their stepsister is having a jealous tantrum?

This is a system that it totally normal to them, and has worked for them. Changing it solely because the ex wife wants to pander to her new husband and his kid is not going to mean ‘peace’.

clpsmum · 15/09/2022 18:23

That's. Ridiculous amount of pocket money

MrsGamgee · 15/09/2022 18:24

That's a hell of a lot of money to give as pocket money, what chores do they do to earn that?! I can see their point to be honest.

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