Pocket money/allowance for a 13yo?

(41 Posts)
flow4 Sat 19-Jan-13 13:07:05

Hello everyone, smile
I'm thinking it might be time to look again at the pocket-money arrangements for my 13yo DS2, and I'm interested in what other parents of 13yo's do...?

MissMarplesMaid Wed 23-Jan-13 17:34:15

I think that by not linking pocket money to chores it is far easier to make the chores non-negotiable. However this does assume that there is essential domestic harmony in place.

Chores may need constant reminders (if my 14 year old DS is anything to go by) but once agreed we do find that it all runs fairly smoothly and there is no real kick back on actually doing them.

My DCs dont have a lot of chores to do. Dishwasher helps with that. It is accepted that DH or I will cook family meals but DCs clear away. It helps that DD1 likes cooking so she routinely cooks mid-week evening meals for DCs (they eat earlier than DH & I mid week).

DD1 is also a clean freak so routinely nags the other 2 to assist her in cleaning their bathroom to her own exacting standards. I sometimes wonder if I should be hiring her out!

makati Wed 23-Jan-13 15:22:39

Sorry, it helps if you read all the posts! It's given me some food for thought to go back and renegotiate!!

makati Wed 23-Jan-13 15:16:28

I just wondered what chores your kids do in return for their pocket money as this is an endless source of argument in our house!

MissMarplesMaid Mon 21-Jan-13 23:07:48

We dont tie pocket money/allowance to chores for the same reasons as others. Doing stuff is part of being a family.

DDs (17 & 13) both get an allowance which covers pocket money and clothes. This is paid monthly direct into their bank accounts. DS (14) is still paid weekly pocket money as he quite simply could not be trusted not to fritter the lot on toys/xbox games and dress in rags. As it is he has to get permission from us to spend his pocket money.

flow4 Mon 21-Jan-13 22:19:04

I don't link pocket money to chores either, for similar reasons to everyone else. DS2 (13) does his own washing, lays/clears the table and load/unload the dishwasher with his brother, makes his own breakfasts and lunches (I do tea). He's expected to co-operate if I ask him to something else like vac, but I don't do it often. I occasionally ask him to make our evening meal, but it's important to me that this is a pleasant relaxed family meal, so if the boys don't want to do it, I don't generally push the point.

I did have a phase when I tied DS1's (17) allowance to chores, but it didn't work well: it that meant he resisted and resented every little thing I asked him to do, and went weeks without his allowance rather than do what he was 'supposed' to do. Now he does the same as DS2 willingly, and he will fairly often ask me to do extra chores for extra money, and I may or may not say yes, depending on what needs doing. At 17, I generally think it's good for him to work for his cash... But I'd like him to get a weekend job, so I deliberately keep my 'going rate' low to encourage him to look though it hasn't worked yet ! grin

doglover Mon 21-Jan-13 21:43:00

Chores are part of family life and aren't linked to our dd's allowance.

I have never linked chores to pocket money as I feel chores are part of being a family. I don't get paid for them. Having said that I was made to do far more than others when I was 12+ and I resented it. I had to do hoovering, dusting and cook a meal every day after school, plus all my own laundry. My mother was always either at work or "out". As a result I probably ask too little of my teens, but they do willingly do whatever I ask.
I do pay for extra jobs which are not part of every day life such as painting the fence.

lljkk Mon 21-Jan-13 08:34:52

Elderberry Ellen MacArthur describes a childhood like you describe, remember she nicked apples for lunch because her dinner money was literally the only money that ever came into her hands, and all of her friends were the same, no one had pocket money. MacArthur is 37.

There have been heated arguments (No! who would have thought!?) on MN about whether to tie pocket money to chores. I run a combined system.

I had an allowance in the weekly 1970s, so it seems natural to me. If I adjusted what I was paid for inflation, it was a lot more than DC pocket money now. Like DC it wasn't tied to chores. DC can earn extra by doing chores, that's why their pocket money perhaps seems low compared to most others.

DC rarely choose to earn money by doing chores. Their choice. they obviously already have more than enough money for what they want. This thread is good for reminding me why they shouldn't have a rise any time.

The reason we don't pay them for their basic chores is that they are expected to do those anyway as part of being in a family and pulling their weight.

The £13 a month is a basic rate, but he is expected to do chores anyway: change his own sheets, cook once a week, empty the dishwasher at weekends etc.

If he mows the lawn or washes the car, we pay him £1.
We also recently paid him to serve food and clear up at a large party with 100 guests. He has also earned money for cleaning, pet-feeding and shredding documents for neighbours and friends.

Could I ask if your teens do anything to earn their pocket money?

I don't mean to sound harsh, but I am genuinely interested, and wondering what I will do when my first child (who is not due until July!) reaches the age where his/her peers start to get pocket money.

I'm 28 and never got pocket money from my parents. When I was young, my Gran would give us grandkids 25p a week to to go to the corner shop and buy sweets (although it wasn't very official - if you weren't in the right place at the right time then you didn't get it!) and my Nan gave me a pound every other weekend that I thought was loads of money.

Although my Mum was a single parent and had very little money, I never felt like I went without by not getting pocket money - if I went to the pictures with my friends (which I wasn't allowed to do until I was 14 or 15) then she gave me the exact money plus something for popcorn, and similarly if we went to a fair or market then I'd get a few quid to spend. I wasn't allowed to go out to clubs or anywhere that might involve underage drinking, but I could stay over at friends / have them over at mine as long as my Mum knew them. If I wanted something clothes-wise then I pointed it out to my Mum and if she thought I needed it and she could afford it then she'd buy it. I only really felt the need to have money when I got to college and wanted to change ... well, all my clothes. So I got a job.

I had a bank account but was not aloud to take any money out of it until I was 16. However, if I received money for Christmas / birthdays then I was allowed to decide what I put into the account - and had a little bank book that my Mum encouraged me to keep updated so I could see how much I'd saved.

Not sure my situation is typical, but would say that it really helped me see the value of money in later life, and I think that at university I was better at managing my money than my peers who got allowances because any money I had was money that came from a part-time job.

So .. my current thinking is that I will give my children a small allowance so that they can learn how to manage their money, but make sure they do something in return (i.e. filling / emptying the dishwasher, keeping their rooms tidy and doing their homework). I'd also like to do the same thing with their bank account as my Mum did with me so that they can learn how to keep savings.

flow4 Sat 19-Jan-13 21:03:02

Thanks MissM.

MissMarplesMaid Sat 19-Jan-13 20:47:14

DS(14) gets £6/week. This is purely leisure spend. It is paid into his bank account by SO and a monthly DD out pays his Xbox live. We pay for cadet subs, tuck and any extra kit he needs.

flow4 Sat 19-Jan-13 20:43:51

Thanks doglover. smile

doglover Sat 19-Jan-13 20:22:36

My just-fourteen year old dd has recently had an allowance - we pay her in cash at the start of each month.

We budgeted WITH her - good to have their input - and agreed that it would cover school bus / lunches / entertainment / friend's birthdays / going-out clothes. This comes to £80 a month in term time and will be adjusted accordingly with school hols etc.

We pay for her phone (minimal use).

If this continues to go well, we will open a bank account for her and pay in monies by direct debit.

flow4 Sat 19-Jan-13 20:14:23

Thanks phlebas... You're another parent who's more generous than me!
Uh-oh, perhaps my kids are RIGHT when they say "Every mother in the WORLD gives their kids more than YOU!" grin

phlebas Sat 19-Jan-13 19:19:15

dd (12yo) gets £22/month by standing order into her bank account (she has cash card), her phone topped up (less than £5/month she only uses it to text us when she's travelling to/from school) and £2 a week to get a drink on the one night a week she has a long wait to be picked up. She has packed lunches & we pay for her train & bus passes.

We buy all school related stuff & basic clothes/shoes/toiletries but if she wants anything frivolous she pays for it herself!

flow4 Sat 19-Jan-13 17:21:27

Sorry - "But I suspect that's because he doesn't want much, and I end up paying for quite a lot" doesn't make sense! blush
I should have said "But I suspect that's because he doesn't want much, and I often end up paying for the few things he does want..."

flow4 Sat 19-Jan-13 17:19:53

Thanks scwirrels and Sanity smile

scwirrels, it's not 'anal', it's social history grin... And useful - cheers!

Sanity, my DS2 is very good with his money - he doesn't buy much at all - and was able to pay for all his Christmas presents (about £35 in total) out of his £10 per month! But I suspect that's because he doesn't want much, and I end up paying for quite a lot that I think it would be good for him to start buying for himself - e.g. hair-gel! grin

SanityClause Sat 19-Jan-13 14:58:28

I have just increased DD1's pocket money to £10 per week. I also pay for her phone contract, which is £8.50 per month.

She was on £5 per week, but she now buys all birthday and Christmas presents for her friends, from her own money. She also buys a lot of books for her kindle, and this seems a worthwhile thing to spend money on. So £5 wasn't really enough.

She doesn't really get birthday money, as her grandparents give me money to buy a gift for her, rather than giving her a cheque or cash.

I have kept a record (anal I know) of what I gave them so that I can see that DS2 gets roughly the same treatment as DS1.
....So from age 13 it was £20 a month paid as follows
£10 cash
£5 into current account
£5 phone (giff gaff)
This had to cover sweets, entertainment - cinema etc,and family birthday presents. I paid for all clothes, friends birthdays and any entertainment when out with the family.
Grandma also gives him a bit.

flow4 Sat 19-Jan-13 14:32:08

Thanks Mitchy and impty. It certainly feels tricky to judge!

And my next dilemma is going to be whether to continue to give DS1 an allowance once he turns 18 in the spring! I kind of want to motivate him to get a job now! grin

impty Sat 19-Jan-13 14:20:06

Its tricky to judge i think! Mine have less than some more than most I think. Although I could be wrong! They get to buy and do stuff though but they also have to budget.

Yes, while they are in primary school our children get 10p per year of age per week, then once they start secondary school they get a 'raise' to £1 per year of age per month.

impty Sat 19-Jan-13 14:13:35

Dd1 is 15 and gets £30 per month in her account with a debit card. Plus mobile phone £13.50 contract. Leisure spending. She saves for some clothes. We help with others. Like she wants an expensive coat we will pay some and if she adds some she can get the expensive coat.
Dd2 is nearly 12 gets £15 a month cash plus phone. £5 giffgaff payg. Again leisure.

If they want to go to the cinema with friends, for example, the first question is can you afford it?grin wink

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