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Thread: allowances

  1. #1
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    Jun 2005
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    Default allowances

    do you, or are you planning on, giving your dc an allowance? when do you plan (or wen did) you start? how much do they get? are there any conditions on it?

  2. #2
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    Our DD is 2, so we don't give her an allowance, per se, although I think we will do that when she gets older and has chores, etc. What we do now is give her pocket change (o.k., she RAIDS our pockets for change ) and puts it in her piggy bank. On Sundays, we take some out and bring it to Church to put in the collection basket (DD has her own purse that she brings to Church w/'her money'). Right now, this is the most important financial lesson I want her to learn so it's probably all we'll do for the next few years - maybe till she's 6ish.

  3. #3
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    We don't have kids of our own, but I've always appreciated the way my parents handled allowances when I was growing up.

    We (my brother and I) were given an allowance once a week (I think by the time we were in HS, it was about $20 a week - and that shoudl tell you how long ago it was! ). Our allowance was ours and was not based on chores or anything like that. It was an allowance, freely given. Our allowances were also *never* revoked as a punishment. No matter what happened we received our allowances: now that doesn't mean that we could spend them! If we were grounded for the weekend, the allowance didn't do us any good!

    We also had chores that we had to do as part of our "membership" in the family. The chores were non-negotiable and whether or not we performed them did not affect our allowance. So for example, if I didn't wash the dishes one day, my allowance wasn't cut, but I might not be allowed to watch TV the next night.

    Then, we had optional household tasks that we could choose to do to earn extra money. For example, washing the cars each week was good for $5 a car - if done correctly (washed, waxed, windows, vacuumed). Weeding mom's vegetable garden was good for $3, if it met her approval. Things like that. Those were only payable if the chores associated with them were completed.

    I thought it was a really fair way to do things and one of the few parental things that, if I had kids, I would "pass along" from my childhood.

    karen

  4. #4
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    My sister and I had this discussion last year as her kids ranged in age from 5-16 and nobody was getting an allowance yet. She asked me what my parents gave me when I was younger. I got $10/week until I started driving then $30 a week once I started driving. My allowance paid for certain things - mainly clothes, lunch if I wanted to buy it, going out with friends money, and eventually gas for the car. I supplemented my own allowance with babysitting and PT jobs (retail and office work). My allowance was not conditioned on chores or behavior. Ironically, once I went to college, and probably when I needed the money the most, the allowance stopped and I had to work-study my butt off.

    Anyway my sister does the same thing with her kids. She starts allowance ($5 I think) around 6-7 yo then increases it as they get older. They have to pay for their video games, ice cream truck runs, build-a-bear accessories, etc. all from their allowance. She has taught them the concept of saving with both piggy banks and ING accounts but she doesn't actually require any of her kids to save (they all do naturally, which I think is amazing).
    "He who knows he has enough is rich" - Lao Tzu
    --<--@ Tiffany @-->--
    LJ ~ Chart

  5. #5
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    I don't have kids either! But I LOVE the way my parents did it.

    From about 6-12 I got $1 a week (not NEARLY enough for anythign.... but that's another storey!)

    Instead of giving us the money each week, my dad 'deposited' it into our home 'bank account' He kept a book and every week would add $1 to it and we had a running balence. When we wanted money for something (say, the book fair or something like that) he would 'withdraw' it from the ' account' and give us the cash.

    I think this helped us to learn about saving. Because
    1. the amount was too small to really spend every week!
    2. We could easily 'see' it growing and aim for x amount to buy something special.

    Chores weren't part of our allowence.... but we were expected to always help out ie: tidy up clothes/make bed.... but sometimes we were offered a bonus for doing extra stuff like dusting or vaccuming... ususally before parites/holidays.
    Tara and Terry: May 13, 2006
    Elizabeth Vittoria: December 21, 2007

  6. #6
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    Jun 2005
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    We don't give allowance yet (he's 18 months old, so there's no point. He'd just eat it), but we'll start when he's about 5, I guess. We're planning on having 3 banks - one for spending, one for saving, and one for giving - and each week part of his allowance will have to go into each one. Chores won't be part of his allowance. Chores are expected since you're part of the family, so we won't pay him to do them.
    Emily mom to Noah - 4/04 & Daniel - 9/07

  7. #7
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    We had a system similar to lil_geek - our parents kept a book with our balance in it. Each week, a deposit would be added to the balance, and money would be withdrawn whenever we bought something, took cash out, etc. I think we only got $5/week but we had an opportunity to earn additional money by doing certain chores above and beyond our normal list of chores and responsibilities.

    My DD is not even 2 yet so she doesn't get allowances yet, but I read a very interesting article in a financial magazine (maybe Money magazine?) about a family who implemented a type of 401(k)-like allowance system. It teaches the child the concept of saving, of matching contributions, early withdrawal penalties, etc.

    I think the children were older (old enough to understand some of these concepts), but basically the parents gave them a set amount of cash each week that could be used for whatever reason, but the child was required to save a portion of the allowance in a "401(k) account" to save for the future (car, college, etc.) The child was free to determine how much they wanted to deposit into their 401K and how much cash they wanted to take up front.

    The parent would match the contribution if the child saved a pre-determined "maximum" amount (similar to a real-life 401k where some employers have matching contributions) and I can't remember if there were small penalties assessed for early withdrawal but there may have been??

    I love the idea of a system like that, as long as the child is old enough to understand the system, since DH and I think retirement saving is very important. IMO, the earlier you can instill the value and importance of saving for the future into your child (especially retirement planning), the better.

  8. #8
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    I remember getting $1-5 a week till I was in HS. I had to earn this money of course by doing chores amd such. In HS I no no longer got an allowance because I got a job! I'm surprised at people who got $20-30 a week while in HS In HS i remember almost all my friends working for their own money.
    Marriage : 1.15.05
    Benjamin : 4.26.06 : William : 4.7.08
    Samuel Evans is here! Born 10.11.10 weighing 9lbs 6oz and 23" long

  9. #9
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    I'm surprised at people who got $20-30 a week while in HS
    I didn't take a job during the school year until I was 17 and a senior. Before that I worked during the summer to save for specific things (trips, car, college), but my parents firmly believed that during the school year my "job" was to go to school and make good grades. So I got "paid" for doing that.

    Also, just to add, if I needed money for a specific thing, I could ask for it and my folks would decide if it was money I needed to earn or something that counted as a legitimate family expense. So for example, my folks paid for my school yearbooks and my class ring, but I paid for my senior trip.

    Karen
    Last edited by KarenS; 10-25-2005 at 09:43 AM.

  10. #10
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    Baby on the way but no kids yet so haven't had to decide what we will do yet. My parents also did not associate allowance with chores. We had both but they were not related. I don't really remember what happened when we were younger but once we were in Jr high or high school we were given a set amount once a month (started at $60 but went up to $100 eventually) and out of that we had to buy everything ourselves. The only exceptions were room and board (duh) and school related expenses, like fees or gym uniforms. If we had a really big expense (like I went on an exchange to Japan in grade 10), then we would discuss it and usually they would pay for half and we were responsible for the other half. Sadly, they didn't stick to their guns on that and would often 'lend' us the other half if we hadn't come up with it ourselves by the time it was needed. I think I still 'owe' my parents a couple thousand from back then .

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