Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Why We Give Our Kids An Allowance

Growing up I never got an allowance. I didn't think that was unfair. I have no hard feelings against my parents for this. It isn't a therapy issue.

But we have chosen to give our kids an allowance. 

Let me re-phrase that. We have chosen to pay our kids an allowance. They have to earn it.

My kids work very hard around our house. Part of that is simply because they live here, are members of our family, and they make the majority of the messes. Chores are a part of life in the Barefoot Hippie Household.

So is an allowance.

Almost two years ago things came to a head...When the kids shop with me, they don't ask me to buy them anything. They know the answer will be no. But, when they shopped with their dad, well, that is a whole different situation. He bought them practically anything they asked for.

But, we aren't made out of money. And I was tired of the random junk flowing into my house. So we set up a graduated allowance system. BMV does the most around the house, so he earns the most money. Freckles and LC both earn less. Each one earns a couple dollars a week.

This has taught our kids several core money concepts. It is teaching our kids how hard you have to work to earn money-thus the value of both hard work and money. It is teaching our kids about saving and interest. It is teaching them that you can't spend money you don't have. It is teaching them how to give to others and the joy that is. It is teaching them how to discern what they really want-because when their money is gone-it's gone. It is teaching them patience and perseverance.

We have divided their allowance into 4 sections...God, savings, spending, gifts (birthdays, Christmas). We upped their "spending" portion last fall when we upped their chores. The other 3 categories each receive an equal amount. There is no borrowing between categories. The savings category actually is money that is put in their savings account for some later date.

It has cost me almost $10 a week all told. But it has saved me a lot of irritation. My answer now is, "do you have the money for it?" instead of a flat "no." Sometimes I remind them of their goals and the big picture. Sometimes I let them learn the hard way.

Giving our kids an allowance has been a great choice for our family. Do you give your kids an allowance? How are you teaching your kids money principles?