Thursday, June 10, 2010

allowances - how we do it

Neil & i couldn't figure out for a long while how to do the whole money thing. If we gave the children money - they would lose it or spend it on candy. Finally, we found out what works best for our family - & i think it's what we'll keep doing 'till this season runs it's course.
Our system begins when a child turns 8. Maybe that seems too old, or too young to some, but it's the age that seemed to make the most sense to us. Right now, we have 3 children who are under 8 - those little people can earn money by losing teeth, doing extra chores, or by having a birthday:) Other than that, we don't really give them any money. BUT, When a child (Charter - last week!) turns 8, part of their birthday present is that they get a bank account. Whoever is youngest gets $20 deposited every month - whenever another child turns 8, everyone gets a $5 raise. So, right now, Charter gets $20, Peyton gets $25, Sloan gets $30 & Cai gets $35. We've talked about a cut off date, but we didn't set one in stone... We did things this way for a couple reasons...
First off, our children do a lot of chores. We homeschool, so there are people in this house pretty much 24/7 - people making messes, creating havoc, laundry and dishes. There are always a lot of chores to do - & thankfully, there are also a lot of little hands making easy work. Their chores include the dishwasher, helping with laundry, diapers, garbages, recycling, getting the mail, cooking, general tidying and babysitting - the specifics of which probably belong in another post. i'm reasonably happy with the job we're doing keeping our little ship running pretty tight & tidy. i don't think it's unreasonable to expect our littles to work hard - & i like the idea that in return for their hard work, they're collecting a little bit in their bank accounts for future wants & needs.
Secondly, having 7 children, we know that it's going to be hard to help everyone in the same ways. We'd love to help with post secondary education, but i'm not sure what that help will look like - or what we'll be able to do. Weddings? Same deal...
Soooooo - they'll finish (home)school with a little nest egg - Neil deposits all the big girls' babysitting money in their accounts too - & the girls are sure proud of how much their accounts have grown. i'm sure over the next few years, they'll find other ways to earn money and to find ways to accomplish their goals - i hope we can help, encourage & cheer.


Jen said...

Sounds like a good plan to me.
Growing up we didn't have an allowance but a wage. We had to 'clock' our hours but our chores counted as part of that.
When we hit jr.high (?) 1/2 of our wage we got as spending $ and the other went into our 'school fund' (when we hit high school we got to choose how much we kept and how much we would save). So my parents didn't just dish out cash for college we earned it - but they did technically pay for it.
Anyways, I really appreciated how my parents did that - especially when I got to college and it was (mostly) already paid for. Taught us about money management and such too.

Mae said...

Sounds like you have a wonderful plan.
We give allowance to ours too, we started about at about age 6, with a very small amout. Right now my almost 10 year old gets 7$ a month, and my 8 yr. old gets 4$. I know thats very small amount, but reason begin is because I did not want them to have so much money they did not know hat do with and spend it on candy and junk! They surprisly saved alot of money up ! But i see if its controlled like you do ( putting it in a bank account), then giving more a month would wrok good.
That gives me a wonderful idea!! I don't like to see them waste thier money, but learn to manage it and spend wisly, and save up for things that are really importain for them.
Great post!

Melissa said...

I like it, Paige!! Like Jen, I had to earn my way through college, though I didn't do as much college as she did. :)

We got a "wage" for about a year, then my dad kept drinking the money away and made excuses for why we weren't getting our "wage", although we routinely did 2-3 hours of farm chores after school every day. So when I was old enough to babysit, I scraped together every red cent I could find and earn, and put it towards my Prairie fund. I saved my money from camp, got the Rutherford Scholarship in high school, and saved babysitting money. There were a couple of dear souls (seniors through camp work) who also helped me out a bit, knowing my plight and my upbringing.

My parents never taught us about money management. I just held on for dear life and prayed that it was enough, denying myself almost everything along the way. My clothes constantly had holes, my grad dress was made by a family friend for free, etc. Money management? Nope. They didn't teach us a thing.

I like both of your approaches (Jen and Paige). Definitely good food for thought! Right now, we have a fund set up for the boys (but haven't yet for Meaghan) where we deposit $50 a month into it for each of them for purely educational purposes for the future. Soon, Joshua will be old enough to earn an "allowance", and I like the idea of making them save half of it for school (they don't know about the fund we've set up for them) and using the rest to their own purposes. Tithing has to be up front on that, though.

I don't want my kids to go through what I had to. At least you (Jen) and your kids (Paige) KNOW that parental support is unwavering and true! I'm glad each of you are considering ways to make it teachable for them instead of just handing it out. You've both provided me with food for thought - we are soon coming up to that stage with Joshua where he will get some control over the money he gets or earns from us!

mamalena said...

It's a good approach Paige. I like that they don't necessarily associate every little job of help with money because in families we all need to pitch in with the work just because we belong.... But it is nice to have a little indirect association...that there are priviledges and benefits as well as responsibilities that are associated with being a part of a family.

Denise said...

Allowances... this shows my age... I used to get a whopping DIME for my allowance... and I remember how thrilled we all were when it was upped to a QUARTER a week!!!! Ah, the good old days!!!

We don't do allowances yet... but the kids do get money for the tooth fairy and if they need something (like extra school trips - for example, skiing) or the year of preschool, etc. - the money gets paid out so they can do it).

I had to take out student loans to pay for university and that was a noose around my neck for about 10 years or more after graduation... It wasn't so bad before I married as I was working and making my own money to pay it back, but later, after I married, it was another burden to have to come up with the $119 each month...

Your post reminded me I need to get a SIN number for Isobel so I can get her educational fund going -- the government will give $500 free and then put some additional monies in each year, if you put a small amount into the fund. I have had it on the list of "to do's" for a while, but it got put on the back burner and so it is good to "get on it." If someone is going to give free money to benefit my child, I guess I'd better apply!

Saskatchewan Cousin


Related Posts with Thumbnails