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PocketMoney

Well, here's a subject that gets us all going! My eldest's best friend gets £13 a week pocket money, £1 for each year of his life, to spend as he pleases. Eldest now considers us to be the "tightest" parents on Planet Earth, but I have to say that even if I had that kind of money I wouldn't give him that much! And I am constantly amazed just how much our local Tooth Fairy shells out in some households - £5 per tooth is not unheard of.

This has been the subject of quite some debate on the bulletin board, so I have shamelessly "lifted" the debate verbatim to put here for those who don't venture onto the board. Also messages "vanish" after a while & the advice here is well worth preserving.


Hezzie:

Hi, what do other parents think about pocket money? so far my children have never had any as I pay for all of their activities etc... which don't come cheap, my two boys are now devising a list of jobs and how much they think they're worth, what's the going rate for pocket money for 15 and 13yr olds? how do other people cope with this issue?

Caroline:

My 2 youngest get £1/wk (in theory). The others are all at senior school and they get allowances. £10/mth in yr 7,£15/mth in yr 8,£20/mth in yr 9,£25/mth in yr 10 when they have to pay for their own clothes and shoes as well as their activities (concentrates the mind!) but not uniform shoes or and we pay 1/2 of their footie boots (they cost too much otherwise) and £30/mth in yr 11 (same conditions). The conditions for receiving this bounty )which comes out of child benefit or whatever its called these days) are: that they behave reasonably well and that they keep their rooms tidy and clean. One of mine started skipping school and lost his allowance until he reformed. One has been skipping school and hasnt had any allowance for ages, one has a mad dash at his room to qualify (just), once a month - funnily enough that's just before payday. The older ones get it put into the bank on the net so they have to go into town to get it - mean aren't I? - but it does mean they dont fritter it away. My oldest is into parties at the mo. so I buy the stuff for that and knock it off his allowance. Trouble is, he has discovered that his clothes are getting too small......tough, as I said, parties or clothes?He agreed, surprisingly enough! The younger ones also have to help with their rooms and any other chores such as mowing the grass etc (sounds very industrious but it isnt, they just do enough to get their money but at least they are doing something.) Plus, no tidyish room, no sleepovers! They have all had activities, paid for by us, but they seem to be scaling them down in favour of seeing friends etc. I dont begrudge the activities unless they take something up and dont give it a fair crack of the whip. We have no relatives around to take the pressure off us so the activities have served in the past. Hope this helps?

Hezzie:

Thanks Caroline, I'm going to give this a try, Lily- may, the youngest, will be happy with one pound a week, the boys have run up a list of jobs, even ironing!! that should prove interesting !Kimberley (17yrs) has just started work so can start paying me! witch raises another point, how much house keeping to take off her? help!

Caroline:

I remember when I started work my mother took £8/wk off me and I earned £150/mth but I also had to pay for my train fares into London which were extremely expensive, my clothes, outings and anything not house-related. I also remember having to do my own laundry (but not paying for the washing powder/dryer). My friend's mum took £2/wk off her, I remember her begging me not to let on how much I had to pay! You will have to do your own maths as I am byond it at this time of night! One friend of mine charged a rate that I'm certain was similar to my mum's but put it away in the b/s as a surprise/help when he finally left home - which he did - Durham Uni and needed every penny. Not sure what to do with my own yet - let you know later on when he knows whether he's got an apprenticeship or college, or a job? Be interested to know what you have worked out...

Mumof5:

How much h/k to take from dk's who work?

This one I "do" have a formula for and it came direct from Social Services who work with Kids and Families, (and various "studies" which they draw their reference material from!).

In a nutshell ... one third!

Parents are not doing their kids any favours by making "token" gestures on this issue. Be realistic! Far better grounding and less of a shock when they set up home on their own.

The 1/3 principle works thus: 1/3 h/k; 1/3 savings; 1/3 living expenses.

Interestingly, this is what I did with my dk's without even knowing the stats, from the time they began to "earn" their humble pocket money! (via sheduled jobs around the home). Carried it over for when they got paper rounds and it set the scene for when they became "wage earners" and eventually left home.

Ooops! No, no, NO!! I didn't charge them 1/3 h/k when they got pocket money/paper round money .... THAT 1/3 they had to use towards gifts for Christmas, birthdays, Mothers/Fathers Day etc. and towards clothing that I wouldn't ordinarily buy (I buy trainers, they wanted Reeboks = they pay the difference!)

I'm a hard woman LOL

Hezzie:

Thank you , I like the idea of this, it all sounds pretty fair, I think Kimberley will agree to that, The boys like the idea of allowances and we're starting Sun.I'll let you know how things go!

Caroline:

Talk about providential! My eldest thinks he may have a job in a garage and we were talking just a couple of days ago about how much I was going to take out of his pay packet. I was pleased to give an answer and an explanation as to how the sums were arrived at! Thanks!!

Up to now, we've survived on the "pay for activities & necessities, £1 per week for sweets, extra for little jobs by arrangement" model, but as mine get older I can see exactly what Mumof5 means - "not doing them any favours" - so we too are about to go over to the "allowance" system for the eldest two. After all, one is now legally employable! & they do have to learn sometime that rewards come by honest effort. Thanks, ladies, for all this advice.