My boys are 13 and 15. We have always paid kit costs and clothes however, clothes are bought on a "necessary" basis only, with any specials (like a particular hoodie from a "Japanese" trendy shop) being given purely as birthday or Christmas gifts. The boys tend to get Christmas and Birthday money from family and we have always asked them to put at least 50% away in a long term bank account, straight away. The other 50% we encourage them to put in their personal bank accounts, with just a small amount for "strutting"! If they want any incidentals they can use this money to pay for it. Via this, over the last couple of years, DS1 has carefully saved up £300 to take as spending money when he goes on tour, later this year.
If they go out with friends, I will give them £5 or £10 for lunch/cinema tickets, depending on what they are doing - this only really happens in the holidays, as they have so much on at weekends, and they don't ask for the money, so don't ever assume they will get it. We pay a basic phone package - if they want anything else for their phone, that is on them - I pay for friends' birthday gifts and any school trip costs. However, there is a reason for this. We have always expected our boys to help around the house, take the bins out, walk the dog, make their beds, hoover etc etc - either when they know it has to be done or when they are asked. These "chores" are not linked to regular pocket money as I do not feel they should be rewarded for doing them but want them to realise that being part of a family means helping out. The boys do them because they know they have to do them, not because they expect money for doing them. Therefore, my giving them town money is not a given....but, when I do give it, I know that it is because they have contributed to family life!
This Christmas, the grandparents asked, and we agreed, if they could give them an allowance each month. They now get £20 each at the beginning of the month. They have been advised, by grandparents, to keep half of that to save up to spend on Christmas presents at the end of the year and also as a contribution to spending money on any big tours they go on. The other £10 is theirs to spend as they choose - I now give them less contributions to trips out to town, as a consequence. DS1 is still too young to get a job in local shops etc and as we live in a village, anything other than the local shop would require some sort of transport cost. There is no paper-round where we live for various reasons. He has put an advert up for babysitting but unfortunately, sitters are traditionally female, so that is unlikely. The point is, he has made the effort and we respect that. When he is older, he will be able to investigate other jobs like pot wash in the pub if he wants extra cash. He used the last two months money to invest in some exam board revision books.
I think some sort of allowance is important - for example, both boys want to buy us gifts for birthdays and Christmas and want to feel they have done it themselves. They are old enough to understand budgeting and consequences of splashing the cash! They are not allowed to take their bank cards into school with them but have an £5 note tucked into their school wallets for emergencies - it covers the bus fare home, for example!