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» babble   » walking the talk   » labour and consumption   » Do you give your kids allowances?

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Author Topic: Do you give your kids allowances?
Babbler # 560

posted 02 April 2007 04:06 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I was going to put this in youth issues, but this is more of a parenting issue, and I figured it would touch more on labour (e.g. what the kids have to do for their allowance) and consumption (what to let them buy with it).

I recently started giving my son an allowance. He's 8 years old. I decided that I was taking him to far too many movies and giving in too often to getting him treats and little toys when we go to the store. I'm good at saying "no," so that wasn't the issue. The issue is that I want him to understand the value of money, and I found that he didn't.

So, I made a deal with him. I decided to give him the amount of his age in allowance. So that's $8 per week. But the deal is, I no longer buy him ANY treats or movie tickets or anything. If he wants to go to the movies, he has to pay his own way. If he wants to buy trading cards or even a candy at the store, he has to buy it.

So that's working out not too badly.

Here's my question. If you give your kids allowance, do you restrict what they can spend it on? For instance, this weekend, my son had enough saved up in the bank to get one of those handheld gameboy things, a Nintendo DS. He's wanted one for ages. I've never bought him one because I don't like them and don't want him to become addicted to it. But...I figure any eight year-old who manages to save up his birthday and Christmas money for a year or two, and tops it up by saving parts of his allowance, should probably not be denied buying an expensive toy with the savings.

One rule I DO have, though, is that he's not allowed to buy more than one candy treat per day, and I restrict what kind of treats he's allowed to buy as well.

Regarding working for it - he doesn't have to work for his allowance. But I've taken part of it away from him once as a punishment. What do you think of tying household chores to allowance? Or using allowance as something to take away from a child?

This is brand new territory for me as a parent, so any comments, experiences and advice would be more than welcome!

From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 12684

posted 02 April 2007 05:56 AM      Profile for 500_Apples   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My parents started me at 7 dollars a week when i was seven or eight or so.I never got birthday and christmas money though, we were too poor for that.

I'm biased, but I say let him have the games. Childhood is a good time to play games, and in hindsight it didn't cost me much in life. To be completely honest if I could go back I would skip more class in high school and play more video games, I'd be in the same position intellectually, academically and socially but with more happy memories. I have warm memories of playing Age of Empires II, I don't have any such memories of sitting in in Biology. Besides I would have just caught up in biology by cramming for the exam, that's how easy high school is. One thing I remember fondly is deceiving my mom by telling her I was sick at 8am, faking it till like 930, and then going to go play super mario kart and final fantasy.

If I could recommend one thing in greater seriousness though. I got my first job at 18. In hindsight, I would recommend to any kid getting a part-time job as soon as they can, be it working summer camp at 14 or flipping burgers at 15. That's how I really learned the value of money and if I had learned it earlier it would have been nice. Also, I would have avoided a situation whereby I almost flunked out of CEGEP because I couldn't afford reading glasses (so no class notes) and I couldn't afford any of the textbooks. Starting early also leads to opportunities such as being promoted to a managerial position. One friend got a manager's position at mcdonald's at 18; another friend was made a manager at famous players at 16 (almost 17), he was the youngest person ever to get that promotion for famous players. He would work 40 hours a week there while maintaining a full international baccalaureate course load, quite impressive I think.

[ 02 April 2007: Message edited by: 500_Apples ]

From: Montreal, Quebec | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 12752

posted 02 April 2007 06:07 AM      Profile for Caissa     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My first allowance at 7 was 10c a day. I tended to spend it on airplane stickers. I seem to remember I also received the price of bus fare 25c return fair and lunch money ($2) to attend the Y on Saturday.

Our sons are 5 and 10 and don't receive allowances. The older tends to spend more than the younger. I have started charging them from their accumulated holiday surpluses for discretionary items. The oldest owes me $20 for a George Strait cd he purchased on Saturday and the younger the same amount for a DVD he purchased.

I still exercise quality control over what they purchase. I don't believe either of them is mature enough to always make wise decisions.

From: Saint John | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
Babbler # 7791

posted 02 April 2007 06:52 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
As a little git back in the 50's I think my first allowance was 50 cents a week, then a buck, then two bucks, then five bucks, then I earned my own income delivering newspapers, shovelling snow, and landscaping (cutting grass, raking leaves, planting things) for neighbours all summer. For two summers I worked on a farm cutting and baling hay, which was awful, as I have really bad allergies to hay. But the pay made it worth the suffering, at least to me when I was a teenager.
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 4090

posted 02 April 2007 08:32 AM      Profile for Sharon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Our son (he's 12) usually gets $10.00 a week. He keeps a bank and is expected to save some of it but he's also allowed, a couple of times a week, to take a couple of bucks to school to get stuff at the corner store.

Over the years, we've tried different things to see if we can teach him the value of money and also, to add some incentive to modify some of his behaviour.

For example, he's not applying himself in school and is therefore, having a year that is frustrating -- for his parents and his teachers especially. So we've tried giving him a bonus to his allowance if he keeps his appointment with the teacher every day after school, to make sure he has everything he needs to complete his work at home. If he misses a day, no bonus -- although we don't dock him. It doesn't particularly work.

I'm not a neat-nik -- far from it -- but I really hate dishes left in the living room or at the computers and chip bags or other wrappers left anywhere except in the garbage. So for awhile, every time I had to pick up dishes or garbage, I took a quarter out of his bank. It didn't help though so I gave up.

He gets a fair amount of money from relatives at birthdays and Christmas but it's expected -- by them as well as by us -- that at least half of it goes into his education fund.

He's a pretty good saver but we still have a say in what he spends his savings on -- what games and movies he's permitted to rent etc.

And yes, we did buy him his GameBoy when I thought he was too young but he really was the only kid in his circle who didn't have one. Sometimes that kind of social pressure can't be ignored.

From: Halifax, Nova Scotia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 2732

posted 02 April 2007 02:13 PM      Profile for kropotkin1951   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I started an allowance for my son when he was about 8 and it continued until he graduated from high school. I took an idea from Barbara Coloroso and it worked really well for us. I divided the money in three ways. Half of it was his to spend, 40% was to be saved for either large items or things like birthday and Christmas gifts for others and 10% he had to give to a charity of his choice. Him and I used my Quicken program to track his money so he always knew how much he had saved or how much he had in his charity account.

For a nineteen year old he is very good with money and hopefully it will serve him well over the long term.

From: North of Manifest Destiny | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged

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