At what age would you deem it suitable/reasonable?

(114 Posts)
ReluctantStepMum Fri 06-Dec-13 16:14:42

My DSD lives with us and turns 18 next month. She has a Saturday job, and also worked a lot of days during the summer hols. My DH gives her an allowance for clothing, not a set amount each month, but only yesterday she asked if she could give him her "expenses" and to be honest, I do not know how much she receives or expects each month. I asked DH why he was doing this, and he said that he will provide her with essential clothing such as underwear, or yesterday, as it turned out, jumpers. She said that on the same receipt, there was a dress, but this was a "treat" she would pay for, but insisted that jumpers and leggings are essential items.

At that age I advised him, I would save for items with my earnings, or ask for them as birthday or Xmas presents (topical at present!).

Any advice appreciated as she has lived with us for less than a year so I am a relatively new SM who feels she has no control over the situation!

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 06-Dec-13 16:16:59

Hi, im not sure i understand. He pays for essentials for her but she wanted more for a dress?

Morgause Fri 06-Dec-13 16:20:03

It really isn't your business, though, is it? His daughter, his money - surely?

usualsuspect Fri 06-Dec-13 16:21:29

If he can afford it then keep your nose out.

JeanSeberg Fri 06-Dec-13 16:21:49

She's still 17 so presumably still at school/college with a part-time. Do you not like her?

TeenAndTween Fri 06-Dec-13 16:23:16

I think it is OK for her essentials to be covered whilst she is in full time education. But I would expect this to be done by a regular allowance so she learns to budget.

otoh, many people would also agree with you, and would even be asking for regular payment from her to your general household expenses.

I could see that some jumpers and leggings could be essentail, but it rather depends how many she has already!

ReluctantStepMum Fri 06-Dec-13 16:27:40

She said the dress wasn't essential, so it would come out of her own money, but that it was on the same receipt so was not expecting for it to be paid.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 06-Dec-13 16:29:50

I agree with teen. Different families have different arrangements.

Some pay a regular allowance til child leaves uni. some expect payment into the household as soon as child is 16 and some just find a middle ground.

If your dh is happy with the arrangement he has come to with his daughter and can afford it then i would keep out of it.

ReluctantStepMum Fri 06-Dec-13 16:30:16

Usual suspect, WE can barely afford it tbh, it affects our household expenditure.

Morgause, sorry it is my business, it is OUR money!

JeanSeberg Fri 06-Dec-13 16:32:48

Can't afford to clothe his daughter? And what's with the user name? You really don't like her do you.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 06-Dec-13 16:33:30

Ah cross post.

In that case i think you and he need to sit down and look at your overall budget and rejig things to see where savings can be made. Tbh though- if she is only working Saturdays and still at school then i think its fair he pays for her essentials. Her saturday money wont be much at 17.

HedgehogsRevenge Fri 06-Dec-13 16:40:16

If she's in f/t education and wasn't.living with you, he would by law have to pay maintenance to support her. This is no different. You knew he had a child to support when you married him, yes?

ReluctantStepMum Fri 06-Dec-13 16:41:24

Thanks for the wonderful support! I have posted on the step parenting thread recently, as have been under great duress taking in 2 SC full time within the past year, not wanting to. SS is 16 and as I say SD is almost an adult according to this world.

No actually I don't like either of them very much, as I have no bond with them. Neither does their BM actually!

Starting couple counselling soon to save our marriage over the situation we are in, as there is a huge rift between us since they moved in. Just wanted examples on here about you coped with teenage finance, but don't see it being readily available, apart from a couple of posters.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 06-Dec-13 16:43:11

Oh yes i think i remember a few of your previous posts.

Its sad that everyone seems to see them as a burden sad

KringleCandleLover Fri 06-Dec-13 16:47:45

We only pay for DSD17 essentials.

Anything she fancies she pays for herself out of her very decent wages.

She works 3 evenings a week in a family business in between studying for ALevels.

The same applied to my own older DCs. If they wanted something,they paid for it.

I don't see this as 0P not liking her DSD,I see it as DSD changing the goalposts.

I think I'd stick to either the normal clothing allowance or pay for receipts but not both. Perhaps she could try working a few more hours now her tastes are getting more expensive.

IME, it does no harm to show teens that money needs to be earned to receive the nicer things in life.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 06-Dec-13 16:47:58

OP he has a financial obligation to support his children. As they live with him this means providing their essential clothing.

He could do it they way he is by collecting receipts and paying what he considers essential or by giving her a set weekly/monthly amount to but clothes with.

The amount she needs will vary because you dont need the same amount of clothes each month but if she's anything like me she'll find all her tights suddenly have ladders at the same time and the underwires on her bras all decided to poke through the fabric in the same week. You cant always plan for these things but she does need to be clothed. I'd say leggings and jumpers are pretty basic clothes.

ReluctantStepMum Fri 06-Dec-13 16:50:04

Silly Billy, I know that she has a very healthy bank balance and spends it on makeup, jewellery and eating out with friends.

Hedgehog, don't go there, he paid maintenance for 9 years and it crippled us. We now have reclaimed all maintenance and a pitiful child benefit allowance, but BM gives absolutely nothing as she doesn't work.

My original point was however that i am looking for guidance as to when is a suitable time to stop just giving over money to a late teen who has everything else catered for, including a very hefty train season ticket to college miles away.

She hopes to get a place at Uni and will need to learn to budget at some point.

Takver Fri 06-Dec-13 16:52:25

I have a younger dd (11), but we have a system (which I had as a tween/teen) where she gets a 'clothes allowance' each month - not as cash handed over, but put aside in the household budget for her. It is then up to her to spend as she likes.

(In the same way we'd put aside money for other expenses, saving for holidays etc.)

The exception is school uniform and school shoes which I buy - because it is my preference that she look smart in school and wears 'proper' shoes (though lost PE kit has to be replaced from her allowance!)

I think it is a good solution - you can work out what as a household you can afford each month, then if she wants to add her own money to get more/better clothes then she can do that. If for some reason eg less wages coming in you have to reduce the budget then she is old enough to understand the problem IMO so long as she can see economies being made elsewhere as well. Learning to budget also stands teenagers in good stead when they leave home!

Takver Fri 06-Dec-13 16:55:23

In terms of when to stop - I would say when they leave full time school type education ie when they either get a job/apprenticeship or go to uni.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 06-Dec-13 16:57:19

Where did she get the healthy bank balance if her mum doesnt work and her dad can barely afford her essentials? She only works Saturdays.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 06-Dec-13 16:59:18

Pitiful child benefit allowance? Its the same for everyone who is entitled to it surely? £20 for first child £13(something) for second

The way you talk about him paying child maintenance it sounds as though you dont think he should have had to pay anything?

KringleCandleLover Fri 06-Dec-13 17:11:35

With my DD22 and DS19, they stopped getting any finances from me and started paying a token rent as soon as they started Uni.

The same will happen with DSD. Though she wants to go in halls and do the full student thing from scratch whereas the others wanted to stay here and have their arses wiped by mama

ReluctantStepMum Fri 06-Dec-13 17:13:42

Silly billy, cos she hoards her money and mother didn't have to pay any fares to school, although neither did she feed her kids with £1k per month plus benefits. That's why they moved to us.

Long long long story over nearly 10 years, can't explain it in a nutshell here. Course I did not mind him paying maintenance for then 3 dependent kids. Her solicitor almost made him bankrupt but I still stuck by him, just didn't expect to have to accommodate 2 late teens when i was thinking we had just come out of the woods after 9 years of hell from EW. Totally off subject I know, but she is mentally challenged and this is why social workers stepped in and asked us to help with housing them. We didn't have an oppulent life way back, and now it is a massive strain.

Think I will leave here and return to the step parenting thread when needs be, as this is obviously going nowhere. Actually the counsellor may help more.....

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 06-Dec-13 17:28:13

You mean she has a mental
Health issue?

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