Father Sez

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Reviewing my children’s allowances

Monday April 28th, 2008 by fathersez

Sometime ago I wrote about our family’s goals and experiences on allowances for the younger children 

There appear to be differing views on kids’ allowances. NCN prefers to let the children earn their allowances. This would help in teaching responsibility and build self esteem. Wise Money Decisions has an interesting twist, and he also writes about another family that practices the free market system on allowances.  

There are so many articles on this clearly popular (rightfully so) issue. For some examples you can go to this site. 

All my wife and I want to achieve is for the kids to understand money, learn how to live within a “budget”, save some of their “earnings” and keep reasonable records. Achieving this woould be enough of an accomplishment.  

The primary rules of our system are :- 

a)    The allowances will be paid every Sunday,  

b)    It’s currently only for our boy (14 yo) and 4th girl (13 yo). The youngest may be getting hers from next year, 

c)     The children have to keep accounts of their receipts and payments, 

d)    At least 10% must be saved and put into their piggy bank, 

e)    I have promised topping up their savings at year end. 

We have not tied the allowances to any chores and neither have we decided to make any deductions for mistakes, “felonies” etc. 

So far the system seems to be working well for the girl.

The boy on the other hand seems to be spending nothing. He also seems to have no interest in the allowance, and the whole amount is just being socked away in his piggy bank.

At first I thought it was because he had a stash hidden away, cash gifts from us and his uncles and aunts for the festivals. His mother collected the whole amount and banked it into his savings account. Still no change in his spending habits.  

When I talk to him, I get the famous teenager monosyllabic answers.  Last week he told me he wanted to change the accounting system. Which he didn’t. This Sunday, both of  went over the book keeping required. He had also spent some of his allowance during the past week. Maybe now we are getting somewhere.

I have told both of them that the allowances will be changed to a monthly one with effect from 1st June. This would allow them to budget over a longer time horizon and allow me to start talks on salaries, savings, budgeting and such. 

And I know just the way to do that, thanks to D4L’s idea of weaving an interesting story into these lessons.

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One Comment for “Reviewing my children’s allowances”

On April 28, 2008
At 6:57 pm

Thanks for the mention.

I can relate. My daughter has taken to managing money and is careful what she spends it on, while my son can’t spend it fast enough. It’s is funny how they are all different.

Best Wishes,
D4L

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