It seems like every time we go somewhere, at least one of my kids will ask for something. The most commonly asked question in our family must be, "Can we have a treat?"
I'll confess my responsibility... Used to be that I couldn't walk through a store without getting myself a treat, either. So I was more than happy to fulfill their requests.
Until I realized the amount of money that gets wasted over the course of a month by simply getting little treats a few times per week.
In an effort to change this whole pattern, we decided to try doing allowances with our kids. The idea was that if they have a little bit of their own money to get a treat with, the continual asking will end. Hopefully, this would have the added benefit of teaching our kids some money management skills that we seem to be lacking.
Here's what we've been doing:
- Each child begins by getting the amount of money that's equivalent to their grade level. (So allowance begins in grade 1 with $1 per week.)
- The allowance cap is $3. (Meaning no one will ever receive more than $3 per week.) If you're wondering on the reasoning for this, it's partly that we don't want anyone to have too much money; the purpose really is for a treat or two. As well, once everyone's getting allowance, we'll be paying out $15 per week!
- Prior to putting any spending money in their piggy banks, the kids must first put 10% of their allowance in their tithe jar and another 10%in their savings jar. (The savings jar is not to save up for a big item, but rather to learn the habit of building a savings fund for emergencies. If they want big items, they'll need to save in their piggy banks.)
We've been handing out allowance for about two months now, and I am just not sure it's serving its purpose. The kids are asking for treats less frequently, but they are constantly asking to be taken to the store! And I must admit that it's a bit of a headache to remember to get $8 in change every weekend.
So here's what I want to know...
Do you do allowance? (Or have you ever?)
Does allowance have to be earned?
Can allowance be lost?
And do you feel that having an allowance is an important part of learning how to manage money?