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How much allowance for teenagers?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
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jayIIjayII Forumite
40.7K posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
Morning all. :)

I am trying to work out a reasonable amount for an all-in monthly allowance for teenagers of 15 and 16?
It needs to cover occasional school bus fares, bike servicing for the rest of the time , clothes, toiletries, socialising/transport to friends/mobiles etc. They also usually buy lunch at school but I provide bread etc for packed lunches, and we have a hot meal each night, so paying for lunch is their choice.

My plan is to give them nothing at all extra, apart from school uniform, essential school spends and birthday/christmas presents. I really love buying them the odd treat and item of clothing so that will be hard for me, but I think it's essential that they learn to manage their cash before they head off to jobs and university.

I'm thinking about £140/month each, what do people think?
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  • AllySAllyS Forumite
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    My dd is 13, since she went to snr school, I give her £60 allowance a month. This covers school dinner, phone, clothes, beauty products anything that is 'wanted'. I buy her necessity stuff such as school clothes, jeans, t shirts, shoes, but only what she needs. If she wants the pretty t shirt in new look that is her money. She is already fantastic with money and manages to save about 15 a month. She ebays, charity shops etc... her allowance also covers her social life! Altho living rural and near several beaches this is mainly drinks and bus fares :)

    Hope this helps
  • edited 27 May 2012 at 8:17AM
    jinty271jinty271 Forumite
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    edited 27 May 2012 at 8:17AM
    We do something similar for our almost 15 year old.

    We pay for school lunches, essential clothing, school trips, and we cover her phone contract.

    We give her the £80 p/m ( this came from a row about Child Benefit!) - and she needs to cover all her own entertainment, bus-fares, make up, "going out" clothes and such like.

    It actually works well - she is starting to learn to not go nuts on her " pay-day" as she didn't like not being able to go to the cinema at the end of the month as she was skint .

    Based on the expenses you have listed, the amount you suggest seems fair. I would say though, it is really tough - you need to be very strong , as it is very easy to give into them when they want something that they haven't budgeted for, and we found at the start of this experiment that we ended up giving in for a quiet life - it took a few months to remember to say " oh Im sorry , that is something that is supposed to come out of your allowance".

    Edit - initially £80 seemed an awful lot to be handing over each month, just for entertainment etc, but when we worked it out, we were definately handing over more than £20 per week - " can i have a tenner to go pictures, a fiver to go swimming, mam I need foundation" and such like !
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  • HappyMJHappyMJ Forumite
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    jayII wrote: »
    Morning all. :)

    I am trying to work out a reasonable amount for an all-in monthly allowance for teenagers of 15 and 16?
    It needs to cover occasional school bus fares, bike servicing for the rest of the time , clothes, toiletries, socialising/transport to friends/mobiles etc. They also usually buy lunch at school but I provide bread etc for packed lunches, and we have a hot meal each night, so paying for lunch is their choice.

    My plan is to give them nothing at all extra, apart from school uniform, essential school spends and birthday/christmas presents. I really love buying them the odd treat and item of clothing so that will be hard for me, but I think it's essential that they learn to manage their cash before they head off to jobs and university.

    I'm thinking about £140/month each, what do people think?
    That's £32.30 a week. Quite high considering the JSA for young people under 25 is £56.25 per week and out of that they need to pay board or if living away from home it pays for everything including food and bills.

    Saying that though I do give the 13 yr old DD the child benefit of £20.30 a week and she buys everything she wants with it. Food will always be in the fridge so she does not have to buy food but she can choose to if she wants.
    :footie:
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  • PasturesNewPasturesNew Forumite
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    When I was 16/17 I used to get £1/week, which was the equivalent of one hour's work in my Saturday job. I had to pay for my lunch one day/week, all my shoes/clothes/hair cuts, my course materials, my exams and a monthly magazine that was a course requirement. I also had to pay for a lot of my college exams. It also had to pay for any socialising/travel I wanted to do myself.

    That's why I had to have a Saturday job and work in the holidays.
  • jayIIjayII Forumite
    40.7K posts
    jinty271 wrote: »
    We do something similar for our almost 15 year old.

    We pay for school lunches, essential clothing, school trips, and we cover her phone contract.

    We give her the £80 p/m ( this came from a row about Child Benefit!) - and she needs to cover all her own entertainment, bus-fares, make up, "going out" clothes and such like.

    It actually works well - she is starting to learn to not go nuts on her " pay-day" as she didn't like not being able to go to the cinema at the end of the month as she was skint .

    Based on the expenses you have listed, the amount you suggest seems fair. I would say though, it is really tough - you need to be very strong , as it is very easy to give into them when they want something that they haven't budgeted for, and we found at the start of this experiment that we ended up giving in for a quiet life - it took a few months to remember to say " oh Im sorry , that is something that is supposed to come out of your allowance".

    Edit - initially £80 seemed an awful lot to be handing over each month, just for entertainment etc, but when we worked it out, we were definately handing over more than £20 per week - " can i have a tenner to go pictures, a fiver to go swimming, mam I need foundation" and such like !

    It is a lot to hand over each month, but I also know I spend more than £140 on them each month by handing the odd £10, and funding clothes, bus fares and so on.

    I forgot to add that we have a system where they can earn bits of cash for doing extra chores like cleaning the car, vacuuming the stairs and we will continue with that. That and choosing to make packed lunches (or not) is their choice. OH and I take packed lunches to work and both work hard around the house at weekends, so the example is there.
    [FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot] Fighting the biggest battle of my life. :( Started 30th January 2018.
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  • torbrextorbrex
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    £3.68 is the current minimum wage for a 16 year old so can I suggest that you could set up a work programme of household chores for them to do to earn an extra bit of cash rather than just giving it to them.
    It should be jobs that you or your VSG normally do and the little darlings are capable of doing if they really want the money. :p

    My parents did a similar thing with us 35 years ago when we got minimum pocket money and extra had to be earned eg if i cleaned the downstairs loo, I got an extra pound each week, cutting the grass or washing the car got me a pound from dad etc.


    ETA too late, you already do that :o
  • jayIIjayII Forumite
    40.7K posts
    When I was 16/17 I used to get £1/week, which was the equivalent of one hour's work in my Saturday job. I had to pay for my lunch one day/week, all my shoes/clothes/hair cuts, my course materials, my exams and a monthly magazine that was a course requirement. I also had to pay for a lot of my college exams. It also had to pay for any socialising/travel I wanted to do myself.

    That's why I had to have a Saturday job and work in the holidays.

    I know, how times have changed, I remember how proud I was of my Saturday job at 14/15!

    Things were so different back in the early 80's, I was expected to pay board from 16 onwards and it resulted in me dropping out of A-levels as at that age I couldn't cope with studying alongside all the hours of paid work I had to do to survive. :o I don't want my children to be under the same pressure that I was, but equally, I want them to learn money management and I don't want to spoil them.
    [FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot] Fighting the biggest battle of my life. :( Started 30th January 2018.
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  • jayIIjayII Forumite
    40.7K posts
    Thanks everyone, it's really helpful to get different perspectives. It sounds as if we're being reasonable. According to my DD, the going rate should be a lot more, that's until I dig deeper and discover that only a couple of (much wealthier) girls in her class actually get the amount she is suggesting and many others get only a bare minimum!

    I think I'll stick with the £140, it's manageable for us and the teens should be able to cope okay.
    [FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot] Fighting the biggest battle of my life. :( Started 30th January 2018.
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  • jayIIjayII Forumite
    40.7K posts
    torbrex wrote: »
    £3.68 is the current minimum wage for a 16 year old so can I suggest that you could set up a work programme of household chores for them to do to earn an extra bit of cash rather than just giving it to them.
    It should be jobs that you or your VSG normally do and the little darlings are capable of doing if they really want the money. :p

    My parents did a similar thing with us 35 years ago when we got minimum pocket money and extra had to be earned eg if i cleaned the downstairs loo, I got an extra pound each week, cutting the grass or washing the car got me a pound from dad etc.


    ETA too late, you already do that :o

    No worries, it's a good idea. I should have posted that we do that in my OP but I forgot. It doesn't seem to make any difference as the lazy so-and-so's rarely do those money earning chores. I suppose I give into their emotional blackmail too easily. :o They do generally help out otherwise whenever I ask them, so I can't really complain but I find their lack of initiative frustrating. I hope it will change under the new regime. :)
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  • AlikayAlikay Forumite
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    I think the amount you're suggesting sounds fair, OP. A little bit over and above what they actually need is a good idea if they learn to set themselves up a bit of a "contingency fund" to cover extra expenses like Christmas, School holidays etc.

    We did similar with ours, and it worked reasonably well - one of our children managed fantastically, enjoyed the responsibility and is now great with finances at 23, the other 2 never entirely embraced the idea but have reluctantly come to accept it!
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