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How much allowance for teenagers?

macmendmacmend Forumite
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The last time this was discussed was back in 2012, there is a closed thread on this subject that suggests figures from £60 to £140 a month for a 14-16 year old teenage girl. I thought I better ask again, because as it's nearly 10 years ago, things change. I want to give my 14 year old an allowance to cover her social life and clothes (not school uniform) what do people think is reasonable in 2021?
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  • zagfleszagfles Forumite
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    There's a bit more recent one from 2015 https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/5187346/teenagers-allowance/p1 maybe up the figures by 10-15% for inflation. It turned into a bit of a flame war but might still be useful!
    We went towards the top end of that range but expected it to cover everything including boring stuff like school uniforms, trips, travel to college, phone, all clothes inc school uniforms etc. It was good training in that they had to budget over a month, also budget for spending on boring stuff as well as fun stuff - I think this is important as they learn money does need to be spent on boring stuff, if they view it as just for fun then when they start earning or get a uni loan will they prioritise essential stuff like rent, books, food over fun stuff?

  • DrawingalineDrawingaline Forumite
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    I started paying my teens £50 a month from age 15. My daughter got a part time job (she is now 17 and first yr A levels) so the allowance stopped as she is earning as much as me some months!

    My son turns 16 in July, so hopefully he will start a Part time job in the summer (hoping the girl will get him an in where she works!) And then I will stop paying his. I pay his phone contracts on top of this allowance and needed clothing, but any toiletries or 'wanted' clothing has to be paid by him.

    For my daughter I pay her phone contract, but this is reduced now as she bought an iPhone 11 outright with her wages.

    I would pay a bit more, but I simply can't afford to. 
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  • flipper_72flipper_72 Forumite
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    DD is 15 and gets £75 per month but that is wants rather than needs at the moment. We pay for her phone contract as it was a combined Christmas and birthday present, we buy uniform and needed clothes, or if she wants brands will contribute the equivalent towards it. Toiletries are Aldi and if she wants better she buys it herself. I paid for a bus pass for school when she was going. She is definitely at the lower end of allowances but friends are expected to pay for more. She gets another £10 per month off her Grandad. I think when she turns 16 we will reassess what she pays and what we do, she hopes to get a job then and hoping to save for a car at 17ish, we will pay for lessons.
    She will not allow her bank account balance to fall below £100 so I think she will be okay budgeting going forward. She asks about finances and is interested in how I budget so the groundwork is there.
    DS is 12 and currently gets £20 total, he has turned into a saver after a few years of money burning a hole in his pocket.  I will increase what he gets similar to his sister.
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  • sew_whatsew_what Forumite
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    I think this entirely depends on the expectations and needs of the young person. My DD (18) has had £10 a month but we pay for school bus, all clothes, toiletries & haircuts. When three put their PAYG rates up she went for a £5 contract, which we reimburse for her.  Saying that, she rarely goes out, doesn't wear makeup, isn't interested in brands and is happy with supermarket clothes. She had a pair of Docs for Christmas & her hair coloured for her birthday. We pay for driving lessons & dance lessons. She earns £10 a week helping at a dance class which she is saving for a holiday with friends.
    I think if she wanted to go shopping & for coffees every week and wanted the latest phone & trainers etc we'd be setting her a budget, but we seem to have raised very MSE savvy kids who don't cost us a lot to keep!
  • NaomimNaomim Forumite
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    My 15yo gets £30 a month and we buy all clothing and pay for his phone contract. He's 16 in a few weeks so also prodding him to get a summer job. He's happy with supermarkets clothing and anything branded is either a birthday or Christmas present or he has to save up 

    My 11yo gets £2 a week paid onto her GoHenry card but this will go up once she starts secondary school in September  
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  • pinkshoespinkshoes Forumite
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    Sit down with her and work it out/negotiate wants vs needs.

    How many clothes she needs, phone cost, going out, travel costs etc... cost it up for the year then work it out as a a monthly amount. It is then up to her how she spends it e.g. she might want to get cheaper clothes from charity shops or eBay so she has more to then spend on going out.

    If she blows it on socialising and has none left for clothes then tough!
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  • tallmansixtallmansix Forumite
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    Depends on a lot of things including what else is in the bundle, household income etc. As a single father with two teenage girls who live with me I do things a bit differently in that I don't go clothes shopping with them so they take all that from their allowance but I did pay for uniforms and all school consumables but they are now in college.

    1. Phone / contract paid for by me and any other essential technology one-off purchases eg Laptop.
    2. A standard £100 per month base payment, but I don't do any clothes shopping with them, they do it out of their own money.
    3. A very generous jobs scheme around the house that pays between £1 - £5 for various household jobs all recorded on an app and paid at the end of the month - when motivated they can earn themselves another £50+ for jobs
    4. Anything education related such as books etc all paid for by me.
    5. On the spot extras when they have been really helpful, achieved good results / reports from college etc or when they are going out with friends, want to go to a concert etc, could be £10-£50 a month depending on what is going on - lockdown has been cheaper!
    6. If I get any bonus income the kids get a little share of it as a treat.
    7. Birthdays and Christmas - I buy a couple of token gifts and give the rest in cash and have done for many years, £500 Xmas and birthday is their age x £10 so that always give them a good top up to spend on themselves.

    They don't complain, they get some money from their mum as well and are always well dressed (better than me!)

    So on average they get £150-£200 a month, this has gradually gone up over the years, started about £80 in the early teens - but I make as much of possible linked to their achievements and jobs around the house.

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  • mamanmaman Forumite
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    My experience is very out of date in terms of numbers but I think the principle still applies. We sat down with our girls and wrote down everything that we'd previously paid for from clothes to hairdresser to cinema and swimming and divided it up to a monthly figure. It did include school meals but not school uniform or Christmas or birthday gifts.
    If we were still doing it now then it would be adjusted as costs increased. 

    Our purpose was to transfer the responsibility for budgeting from us to them. They get to decide what are wants rather than needs, whether to save or spend. 

  • LavendyrLavendyr Forumite
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    @tallmansix what app do you use out of interest? Ta!
  • edited 30 May at 9:54AM
    zagfleszagfles Forumite
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    edited 30 May at 9:54AM
    I'm surprised so many people are paying for their kids' mobile contracts. Something I avoided like the plague, so many news stories of kids (and adults) running up bills of thousands by accident or after having their phone stolen etc. Bit better protection today but still happening, even with so-called "caps" there are exclusions which make them next to useless.
    IMO there's no need for contracts with all the PAYG deals with unlimited calls and texts and oodles of data for £5-10 a month. Unless the "contract" is really a disguised loan for the phone.
    Something worth checking is that their SIM is PIN protected, by default they aren't, no point having security on the phone if the SIM can just be taken out and put into another phone.
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