Budget for teenage son

applepad
applepad Posts: 373
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edited 11 June 2013 at 3:55PM in MoneySaving mums
If I have posted in the wrong place please move.

I have opened a bank account for my 14 year old son and it comes with cash/debit card. Want to explain to him the art of budgeting and also give him abit of freedom. Plus do not want him to grow up like his stepsister who is a nightmare with money!

Out of this money he will need to pay for school bus fare which is £9 a week or £36 for a month pass, clothes etc school stuff I will buy.

On top of his bus fare I was thinking £25-£30 a month

Does this seem fare?


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  • Idiophreak
    Idiophreak Posts: 12,024
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    applepad wrote: »
    On top of his bus fare I was thinking £25-£30 a month

    Does this seem fare?

    It's unclear from your post whether you expect him to pay for clothes or not...

    Have you asked your son what other people get?

    Personally, £25 doesn't seem like very much to me, especially if you expect him to buy his own clothes.

    If he buys a chocolate bar or a packet of crisps after school each day he'd be down to half his money. If he went to the cinema once, he'd have nothing left. Stuff teenagers want is expensive...think to yourself "if he wanted to save up for a new video game (£40?) how long would that take?" "if he wanted a new iPod (£150?), how long would that take?"

    If you really want to encourage financial responsibility, he has to be able to see that saving *does* work - and you can get rewards if you do it. If you give him too little money, he'll never be able to afford to save anything once "day to day" stuff's taken out - and will not bother saving anything in future.

    As these are his first steps, I'd make it relatively easy - give him enough that he can save for a video game in 2-3 months - maybe 8 months for the iPod...
  • applepad
    applepad Posts: 373
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    Sorry, yes to buy his own clothes but not school stuff.

    He does not call at a local shop on way home from school, nor does he tend to go to the cinema.

    Seems like I am really out of touch!
  • Idiophreak
    Idiophreak Posts: 12,024
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    applepad wrote: »
    Sorry, yes to buy his own clothes but not school stuff.

    He does not call at a local shop on way home from school, nor does he tend to go to the cinema.

    Seems like I am really out of touch!

    Meh, maybe £25 is quite reasonable, then.

    Basically, you just need to work out what's a reasonable amount for him to spend each month - and an amount you'd like him to be able to save for bigger things (including clothing)...If you're not expecting him to spend anything day-to-day, then you're probably about right...
  • manzanilla
    manzanilla Posts: 99 Forumite
    He does not call at a local shop on way home from school, nor does he tend to go to the cinema.
    He's 14 - he is going to change a lot over the next couple of years.

    Who pays for his mobile?

    Will you expect him to budget to buy you and dad a xmas present?

    If you don't want him to pester you for extra money, you have to give him a sensible amount.

    Have you added up what you spent on clothes and shoes for him last year? Was he getting pocket money then?
    manzanilla
  • Spendless
    Spendless Posts: 23,991
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    I've got a 13yo son and started giving him £20 a month in order to stop the constant demands for cash but all he did with it was spend it on junk (food) at the shops on his way to and from school.

    What does your son currently do to socialise? Mine needs encouragement to go out but a weekly ice skating trip would cost over £5 if he went the night 'everyone goes' and around half that if he went to the Sunday afternoon 'happy hour' session. That's without any fares or a drink.

    Clothes wouldn't bother mine. He'd happily live in school uniform provided by me and a duvet wrapped round him at all other times-lol.
  • evie451
    evie451 Posts: 364
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    well I did this with my son, the idea was to get him to prioritise things he wanted and save up for bigger things. It didnt really work because he was in the same category as Spendless son he had no interest in clothes and it turned out the only thing he wanted was a monthly new game so once he bought that he had a fiver left over and was happy with that........its worked better with my DD who has lots of different competing priorities and its having the desired effect of teaching a bit of budgeting early on!... I giver her £60 which she uses for outings with friends and clothes etc
    Every Penny's a prisoner :T
  • YORKSHIRELASS
    YORKSHIRELASS Posts: 6,247
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    My kids (12 and 14) get £20 a month. I try to allow them to do what they want with this money, within reason, as the whole idea for me is that they learn to manage their money. It has worked really well and its interesting the choices kids make when the money is coming out of their account rather than my purse!

    I pay for clothes that I think they actually need. I have just bought DS1 some new clothes because his summer things are getting quite tatty but DS2 is quite fashion conscious and will save up and buy extra.

    Mobile phone top ups I will pay for half (so long as its reasonable) but I try to resist giving them too many extras as it defeats the object. You just need to set the rules from the beginning and stick to it.
  • applepad
    applepad Posts: 373
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    I pay for his phone £7.99 a month, he goes to a church youth club but its only £1. His great grandma gives him £3 a week sometimes more and I give him £10 if we go off for a few days.

    He does have an Xbox but likes dvds and is happy to get them from Cex or eBay.

    He does likes clothes and I bought him a £20 t shirt from Top man the other day.

    I have asked him to ask around at school
  • inkie
    inkie Posts: 2,609
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    I have a 14yo DD. She gets £40 per month allowance and has to buy everything apart from essential toiletries/school clothing/shoes with it. I pay for her mobile at £12 per month too. Her 16 yo sister gets the same. The eldest daughter has very good money management and hardly spends anything and if she does, it's from carboot/chazza etc....

    Youngest DD can't get through it quick enough :o But she's getting better, and it's a lesson that she has to learn.
  • theoretica
    theoretica Posts: 12,221
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    Have you thought about making it relatively easy for your son to earn more money? Housework/lawn mowing etc. You could provide bus fares and minimal expenses and if he wants more he will need to plan in advance to earn it. I would also be tempted to roll in the odd £10s for when you are going away - so he needs to save for this too.

    I had a quick add up of everyday clothes that might be reasonable over a year, though he is at a growing age!
    Shoes x 2 = £80
    Shirts x 6 = £60
    Socks + Underwear x 15 = £20
    Trousers x 3 = £75
    Over a year that comes to about £20 a month - it could be stretched by shopping in charity shops or all blown very easily on a couple of pieces off ths highstreet. Does this seem about right in terms of how much and prices of things you have been buying for him?
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
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