Shout Out with Julia Pickles - 8th February

Juliet is a north Nottinghamshire social care worker with expert knowledge on housing, social care law, families and relationships, sexual health, health and substance misuse, writing for teenagers. Contact her at

Ask Juliet . . . No increase in pocket money

Dear Juliet

I am 14 years old and I am still getting the same amount of pocket money every week since I was nine years old. I have tried to ask my mum for more but she says she cannot afford it. However, she is always buying herself new make-up and clothes. When I mention this, she gets all mardy with me and says that she does this on her credit card and that she hasn’t any extra money to give me. How can I get her to see that I would like some more money without more arguments? I get three pounds a week spending money and this barely buys anything.

Oh dear, the age old pocket money debate. Yes, I remember this one well myself. Reading through your words, I’m taking it that you live just with your mother as you do not mention your father. And, presuming you live with just one parent, I’m imagining that things could be pretty tight financially at the moment.

Okay, so you see that your mother buys herself new things regularly. However, this doesn’t mean that she can afford them outright and I do worry whether your mother maybe struggling to manage mounting costs and debts she may be getting into. The mention of the use of her credit card gives me that feeling as a lot of people start to use them these days when they have run out of money in their usual bank account. She may also be doing this to cheer herself up. Again, a lot of people do this sort of thing when they are experiencing money troubles. Still, I can imagine that it must be hard for you to see this though, especially when you feel that you are not the one getting these new clothes all the time. Also, you mention that you have been getting the same amount of money since you were nine years old. Prices of things have gone up since then and I can hear how upset and frustrated you are with the whole situation.

You mention that your mum is always buying herself new clothes and make up. Is this the sort of stuff you want for yourself? If it is, then you could try asking her for new clothing, if you really need it. Be very specific though and make a list of a few essential items you need. List each clothing item, shop and price of it and make sure that they are reasonably priced and your mum might be willing to buy them for you.

My feeling though, is that you would like more money to spend when you are out and about with your friends to buy things like make up, clothes and accessories. If this is the case, then perhaps you could ask her to consider raising your pocket money to £6. However, you must be prepared to do things around the house for her for this. Make a list of jobs you are willing to do every week and, if you keep to them, she might be willing to pay you more. Or, do you have grandparents? Do they need a hand with any household chores and would they be willing to pay you cash to do these chores?

Failing this, if you want to earn at least £10 a week a paper round at a local news agency shop could be a good way of earning more money. Also, try asking local dog and cat kennels if they need kennel assistants too as these sorts of places might consider you for weekend work and would give you the kind of cash you are after. Perhaps, you could also ask your mother to ask any neighbours if they want cleaning jobs done by you for a cash donation. Asking your mum this will at least show her that you’re serious about earning extra money.

Unfortunately, we are experiencing a hard financial time at the moment. Everything is more expensive to buy, bills have gone up and jobs are hard to come by. Do learn to make things go further by holding regular ‘swap parties’ where you invite friends round to swap unwanted clothing with you and go through your wardrobe and try on old and new stuff to make new outfits. You can also buy pretty decent makeup in the Pound Shop these days too so it’s worth having a look down there too. Also, If you are willing and not put off by buying second hand stuff, charity shops and car boot sales will have lots of cheap clothes and accessories to buy which will add a new look to some of your old outfits.

I do hope that this advice helps. Best of luck and let me know how you get on.

– Yours, Juliet