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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Allowance

I was reading on the MSN Money page today & came across this article
on kids & allowance.  After I read it, I realized I've totally
been screwing up my daughters financial up bringing.  The article
says to never tie your kids allowance to chores.  We've always tied
her allowance to chores, thus saving us tons & tons of money. 
You see, when you can't get the kid to do chores, they don't get
paid.  Turns out, allowance is supposed to be given independent of
chores.  They still have to do chores...just not for money...unless
it's some random project that isn't on their weekly list (and let me
tell you, there could be dog poop all through the house & unless it
is specifically listed on her chore list, she won't pick it up, "you
didn't tell me to."  But that's a whole other frustration.) 
Turns out, when your family loads them up with gift cards & cash for
birthdays & holidays, it makes doing chores for cash a
non-issue.  I don't need the cash so I'm not going to do the
chores.  Ahhhhh, now I get it. 

Kendall & her
friend Leah decided they wanted to go to the Tempe Music Festival again
this year.  Last year parents paid, this year we told them they had
to pay.  But last year we spoiled them & bought VIP tickets.  We
were so close to Fergie that you could almost touch her.  So now
the girls want VIP tickets, which came to $128 a piece.  Kendall
saw the price tag for that & flipped out.  When I told her she
owed me $186 (there were some spring break clothes in there) she started
crying & saying I was taking all of her money.  Guess there
was a lesson learned there (for both of us).  Turns out, she didn't
want the $128 seats...she wanted the $25 tickets & was ticked that
all her hard earned birthday & holiday & dog sitting money was
gone.  And before I could even say it she screamed at me "and don't
tell me I can earn extra money by doing chores, because we all know
it'll never happen!"  Oh my, how I've messed up my kid.  Leah
on the other hand, was going through her neighborhood asking to scrub
peoples toilets for money.  Go figure.

Now I have a new goal
in life:  to teach my daughter financial responsibility.  I'll
give her the allowance (the article suggests $1 for each year in
age...more if you expect them to use if for lunch/friends birthday
present/etc..., plus a twice yearly clothing allowance) along with a specific written guideline of what we expect her to pay for.  I'll also give her a written list specifically detailing what she needs to do for chores each week.  Notice specific & written
are important.  I was telling a friend the other day that I wished
schools would have a class in practical math.  How to count change
(without the register telling you how much to give).  How to
balance a checkbook.  How to invest.  How to make a budget
& stick to it.  I realize that should be a parents
responsibility, but come on.  She's 14.  When does she ever
listen to me?  Maybe I should have a friend teach her....any
takers?

In a bit there will be a photo of the Thursday
Make-n-Take (it's SO cute, but I left my camera at work) and I'll
announce a winner of the paint color contest (I'm pretty sure I know
what I'm going with).  Check back soon!

2 comments:

  1. Do you mean a weekly allowance calculated on $1/year of age? Because if
    you do, my kids are below the poverty line. They get paid monthly.
    Hope they don't read this. And my grade school in Heart of it all Ohio
    did teach practical math. We learned how to calculate interest on TV
    purchases and how to use a checkbook register. Thanks to my favorite
    math teacher Mr. Johnny Hill.

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  2. I learned the no-allowance-for-chores thing a bit late, too, but it
    really does work. Chores are required part of living in this community
    (family/household) and slacking on chores equals lack of priveleges. We
    give $3 per kid per week. The kids are 11, 12 & 14. It's been
    working out so far for several years this way. Chores are pretty light
    throughout the school year, but come summer, well, you should read my
    blog post today regarding chore charts! You'll think I'm Joan Crawford!

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