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    • MSE Nick
    • By MSE Nick 7th Oct 16, 1:42 PM
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    MSE Nick
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should we increase our son's pocket money?
    • #1
    • 7th Oct 16, 1:42 PM
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should we increase our son's pocket money? 7th Oct 16 at 1:42 PM
    This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

    Our son's been complaining he gets less pocket money than his friends. We've told him that if he wants more money he should get a part-time job; he says he's working hard for his GCSEs and so hasn't got the time. Should we relent or stand firm?

    Unfortunately the MSE team can't always answer money moral dilemma questions as contributions are often emailed in or suggested in person. They are intended to be enjoyed as a point of debate and discussed at face value.

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    • Ebenezer_Screwj
    • By Ebenezer_Screwj 12th Oct 16, 11:45 AM
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    If he's working so hard for his exams and he hasn't got any time, what does he want more money for??
    Unfortunately for him, what his friends' parents give to them is no yardstick for your own arrangements.
    • lisa110rry
    • By lisa110rry 12th Oct 16, 11:49 AM
    • 1,737 Posts
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    My son got his first job at ten. Yes, ten. It was a weekly paper round of the free newspaper delivering in our village. I walked the round with him every week (and of course the round was in my name), walking up to every door. At Christmas some of the householders gave him a tip, the look on his face was priceless.

    At thirteen, he got a job working in the local greenhouses, picking tomatoes in the summer hols. At sixteen he got a summer job in the Spar shop. The jobs taught him that hard work at school makes it possible to get a better job than those.

    He was a boarder at school, so he did not work in term time as he would not have been allowed to and in any case, prep ended at 9pm.

    I think in the OP's case I would insist on perhaps a weekly paper round only, which would not take much time, and hard work at the books. Then at sixteen a summer job.
    ďAnd all shall be well. And all shall be well. And all manner of things shall be exceeding well.Ē
    !!!8213; Julian of Norwich
    In other words, Don't Panic!
    • Bellisima
    • By Bellisima 12th Oct 16, 1:59 PM
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    I never got pocket money as such, but then I am very old and times were different! I do feel some children today are so spoilt. My parents bought us the necessities - clothes and food - and occasionally some money for sweets. We weren't poor, but my parents grew up very poor in Italy, and as a result they were very careful with money. Us kids didn't ask for extras as we knew we wouldn't get them. My brother got a job after school at 14 in a local cafe. I left school at 16 and went straight into a full time office job. We bought our own first cars, our own clothes and paid for a phone to be installed (dad wouldn't contribute even though he used it!) and we paid for our keep. I know times have changed, but we learnt to stand on our own two feet, and not rely on our parents all the time.
    • gloriouslyhappy
    • By gloriouslyhappy 12th Oct 16, 2:16 PM
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    We never got paid for doing chores, we were expected to make our own beds, clean our rooms, do the washing up and clean the bathroom after ourselves, as soon as we were old enough. We got small amounts of pocket money and were encouraged to find part time jobs, again as soon as we were old enough. If we saved some of our pocket money or wages, then occasionally our parents would ask to see our post office savings books, and pop in a small bonus. Those with tiny balances and frequent withdrawals were given much less of a bonus than those who saved or made large one-off withdrawals for a special project eg new tennis racquet.

    We all got good grades and ended up with decent jobs and an excellent work ethic. None of us has landed in debt apart from one sibling being fleeced by an ex, but that's life, just unlucky in the choice of partner, nothing to do with parenting or upbringing!

    In the case of this boy, he will need a break from studies anyway, so why not find a small job for one or two days, and have time with his friends as well when not studying or helping round the house. Busy people are better all rounders, good at scheduling, organising and managing which are all skills employers look for. If he's underage, he can always mow lawns, clip hedges or wash cars - in my neighbourhood, there are two enterprising lads who put up signs listing what they can do and their fees, and they're always in demand because they're friendly, reliable and do a good job at reasonable rates.

    Whatever you decide, don't just give him extra money without conditions, he needs to learn the value of things and this is one of the best skills you can give him.
    • Caroline_a
    • By Caroline_a 12th Oct 16, 2:23 PM
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    Ah that old "Everybody's Mother/Father/Parents" Those paragons who give their children everything, let them out until all hours, days, nights etc. Total rubbish, kids have been trying this on since Year Dot.

    What does your son want the money for? If he's that desperate for it I'm sure he could spare a few hours a week for a part time job. All my kids worked, the oldest from 13 - it gave them independence and also taught them budgeting. Somehow it's a better lesson to apportion money that has been earned not given!
    • iainrt
    • By iainrt 12th Oct 16, 4:53 PM
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    if he's studying hard for his exams, what does he need the extra pocket money for ?
    • meknowalot-51
    • By meknowalot-51 12th Oct 16, 4:54 PM
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    If he was revising every evening that you could witness and not locked in his room on his laptop,then maybe he may have a point.What about weekends?revising all day saturday and sunday is he?His idea of revising hard might be one hour every other night.What i would do is monitor him and for every hour you witness revision give him a pound at a set day every week.He could get £16 off you at weekends or at least double getting a partime job and tons of work experiance.Negotiation is the answer,money for nothing is not,if he earns it then it's less likely to be wasted.One day i'm sure he's going to thank you both.
    • cjdavies
    • By cjdavies 12th Oct 16, 5:33 PM
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    If he decides to go to college and uni, how is he going to cope with money? Stand firm and say no.
    • Maggie
    • By Maggie 12th Oct 16, 6:20 PM
    • 16 Posts
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    We live rural, so there was little chance of a job- long day at school with the travelling and homework. Little opportunity- no shop so no paper round opportunity
    Our boys had grades from school every 6 weeks- reporting effort and acheivement. They got £5.00 per A. It could be expensive but taught that hard work and effort resulted in financial return. They also got good GCSE results. Both also had a fair amount of savings when they went to Uni as well!
    • Andrew Ryan 89
    • By Andrew Ryan 89 12th Oct 16, 7:04 PM
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    Andrew Ryan 89
    If he wants more, get him to work for it. I am sure there are dishes that need washing, carpet cleaning or garden that needs mowing.
    • newgirly
    • By newgirly 12th Oct 16, 7:08 PM
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    It might help to get a rough idea of the usual going rate? I have 16 yr old twins and they get £20 each per month and the same from my parents. They buy their own snacks etc. at college with that and occassionally work at our family business at weekends, I very rarely buy anything but food/college essentials, if they want something that's more expensive ie. New football shirt etc. they get it for birthday /Xmas.

    My dd is 19 and tried for ages to get a job with not much luck so volunteered at various places which helped her cv, she also got the same amount as they boys do now. I don't think it does them any favours to hand them money on a plate, a job doesn't have to impact studies - it's just hard finding one that fits around school etc.

    There is always the option of car washing / selling on eBay etc. To Some employers seeing a work ethic whether paid or not is a huge plus point, the competition is higher than ever so it's not always about having the best grades, it's the whole package.

    Whatever you decide though don't base it on what other parents (supposedly ) do , you are on a hiding to nothing when you do that
    MFW 21
    Target for 2018 £40k/£9,626 paid so far

    Mortgage £39,159.44 -4yrs 2 mths left. Total owed £52,364 plan to clear in 14 months
    • Andrew Ryan 89
    • By Andrew Ryan 89 12th Oct 16, 7:09 PM
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    Andrew Ryan 89
    There is one key question. How old is he and how much does he get? If he is getting £5 a week I would say you can be a bit more generous. If he's getting £50 than he is spoilt.
    • warehouse
    • By warehouse 12th Oct 16, 7:15 PM
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    My own daughter and me had a chat we she started her GCSE's. I told her if she wanted to get a part time job then fine, but I'd bankroll her if she would prefer to study. She chose study over work and I was in total agreement. She just smashed her A levels and is now at University.

    Part time jobs will affect study. You need to decide what's more important at this stage of their life.
    • onlyroz
    • By onlyroz 12th Oct 16, 7:20 PM
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    I give my kids a small regular amount. They can boost this by (a) doing jobs around the house or (b) getting good grades in school work (I do £1 per "house point" or similar).
    • Mr Costcutter
    • By Mr Costcutter 12th Oct 16, 7:45 PM
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    Mr Costcutter
    In the same way that your son is pointing out that he is not receiving as much pocket money as his friends, maybe you could point out that there may be many reasons for that. For example, the income of each household may vary considerably or perhaps his friends pocket money equates to help given to parents. In this situation I would take a close look at the weekly amount given and discuss with him ways that this amount could possibly be increased. Maybe extra jobs in the home or by taking a step into the world to secure employment. Money doesn't grow on trees and that's a lesson he has yet to learn.
    • newgirly
    • By newgirly 12th Oct 16, 8:40 PM
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    My own daughter and me had a chat we she started her GCSE's. I told her if she wanted to get a part time job then fine, but I'd bankroll her if she would prefer to study. She chose study over work and I was in total agreement. She just smashed her A levels and is now at University.

    Part time jobs will affect study. You need to decide what's more important at this stage of their life.
    Originally posted by warehouse

    My daughter also got great results and is at uni as has worked part time/ volunteered for years.........

    I think it has more to do with their own drive than jobs or money.
    MFW 21
    Target for 2018 £40k/£9,626 paid so far

    Mortgage £39,159.44 -4yrs 2 mths left. Total owed £52,364 plan to clear in 14 months
    • cmn374
    • By cmn374 12th Oct 16, 9:51 PM
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    As a teacher I thought I'd add my twopenn'oth (I don't think I've spelt that right). I think the answer depends on what your child is like & how they are doing at school.
    The first thing I'd do is check what pocket money their friends are actually getting- as you already know, children are great at telling stories to their own advantage.
    Then, if your child is motivated at school & there are no behaviour or progress issues, I would echo the advice already given that working for money is great experience, whether that is chores at home or elsewhere. Any work experience outside the home is valuable when applying for jobs & indeed university.
    If there are problems at school then I would say these need tackling first. If you're not sure how your child is doing, ring the school, ask to talk to their form tutor or head of year, or if it is a particular subject ask to speak to the subject teacher. You may need to go in for a meeting.
    In my school poor behaviour, failure to complete class work or homework results in behaviour points, & good behaviour or doing what is expected is rewarded with achievement points. You could link a rise in pocket money to a reduction in behaviour points or an improvement in grades or number of achievement points. You will only find this out every half term, so I would operate on a bonus system. Extra pocket money then coincides with extra leisure time.
    Of course you will know best what will motivate your kid.
    I would like to underline the fact that you are asked to declare your GCSE results on (pretty much) every job application you ever make, & that employers are looking for a minimum of 5 GCSEs at A-C ( including maths & English) or 5-9 if you are taking the new GCSEs (grade 4 may be acceptable - we just don't know yet).
    • Avatar73
    • By Avatar73 13th Oct 16, 2:48 PM
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    As a teacher I thought I'd add my twopenn'oth (I don't think I've spelt that right).
    Originally posted by cmn374
    ... sums up teachers really! ^_^
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 13th Oct 16, 4:45 PM
    • 4,499 Posts
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    What does he need more money for? What will he do with it.

    If he can justify more money then I would consider it but not just to give him the same as his friends.

    Mine got a weekly amount and if they needed extra for something they asked for jobs to do to get some money. They did things like clean the windows, cut the grass, wash the car.

    they already kept their own rooms tidy- by their standards!- and were always willing to help out with routine jobs.
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 13th Oct 16, 7:30 PM
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    I've got a 16yo son, mine sat GCSEs this summer. What I found is the closer it got to examination time, the more pressure school put on DS (and the rest of his year). A job at this point (for my DS) would have just been too much in addition. Also as has previously been mentioned, jobs are harder to find for 15 year olds, and even it yours is already 16, there are still restrictions until the last Friday in June of yr11. Personally I would leave the job searching until GCSE's are over. They then have a long summer break (I think mine had 11 weeks off!) before starting in FE. Use that time for him to find a p-time job. Depending on what his sixth form options is it might be easier to fit working around studying. Mine is on a level 3 BTEC course and attends college 3 days a week.

    I wouldn't necessarily increase pocket money instead though. It would depend on what was already being given and what it was being spent on
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