When you make a purchase with a merchant, the merchant will create an authorisation hold. These funds get put into a holding bay within the bank reserved for the merchant to collect.
If for any reason the purchase gets cancelled or declines, the merchant will not come to collect the reserved funds. In this instance, the funds stay in the holding bay. This is usually 8 days, but can be up to 30.
Unfortunately there is little we can do to expedite the time it takes for your money to return, but once it does then the money will be free to spend as normal. Once returned, it will follow the same expiration rules;
If your allowance expires monthly, your refund will be available to spend as part of your allowance and will expire at the end of the month.
If your allowance expires annually, your refund will be available to spend as part of your allowance and will only expire at the end of the year.