Posts, Soapbox

Allowances: do we or don’t we & how much?

Every year around the beginning of the year we go through a similar scenario–rather scenarios, plural.  It’s the start of a brand new year and you have the best intentions to improve yourself.  Make a fresh start.  The kids are another year older and it’s time for them to “step up”.

One of the topics for discussion in my house this year revolves around an allowance.  I’ve played with both sides of the argument and have changed my stance several times.  This year we’re moving back towards the “allowance method”.

So what is an argument for and against?

In favour: it gives kids a budget and a sense of responsibility regarding how they’re going to spend their own money.  They earn money and that’s the money they have available to them to spend.  Then (of course) you don’t simply get money for nothing (earning suggests you’ve done something for that money) so there are jobs to be done in return.  This also means I’m not shelling out “mall money” or buying bits and pieces every week because there’s no “allowance pool”.

Against: kids live in your household and should help around the house, why pay them to help out?  (Frankly where I’m sitting now I can’t think of any other “againsts” but I’m sure you can help out on this one.

Clearly I’m in favour, thus adopting this approach this year.

How much is reasonable?

At the school my kids go to there are some uber wealthy families.  My son mentioned casually one day (before we started talking allowances in our family) that one of his soccer mates gets a weekly allowance of $750.  How did they arrive at that figure? I want to have been a fly on the wall the day they discussed that one.  Or didn’t they? Did the parents just go,

“Here son, it’s time we gave you an allowance. Will $750 cover your weekly expenses? Of course, we’re still going to send you to school, pay for your books & lunches but just in case there’s anything more you need we think $750 is reasonable.”

And what if they’re divorced and both of them go,

“Here son I think $750 per week is a fair allowance.”

Score.  (I don’t think that’s the case by the way).

I don’t even get $750 per week.  And I’d know how to spend it.  But actually if I was getting that–with everything else paid for–I’d be buying myself a house & using it for mortgage payments.  He’s probably not even saving up for a car like my kids will have to.

We’ve agreed on $10.  You get $1 taken off for each job you don’t do or if you failed to clean your room and there are credit dollars available for doing extra jobs.

And the situation in my house is we haven’t started yet.  I’ve drawn up parameters and they’re still on the computer waiting to be printed. 

My daughter (because she doesn’t want to do the jobs) has decided she “doesn’t want an allowance this week” like it’s optional.  That’ll be until she wants to hit the “Mall” on the weekend!

Stay tuned …

xx It Started in LA xx

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