As long as I can remember I’ve been doing chores to earn an allowance. When I turned 14, however, things changed.
I still had to do my chores, but I got a substantial increase in pay. My parents would pay for my three basic necessities: food, water and shelter. I was not to tell my parents I needed money, ask for money, or otherwise come to them looking for a handout.
My allowance was to be used on everything from school supplies, clothes, yearbooks, music lessons, student athletic fees/cleats/gloves/uniforms, homecoming dances, Friday night football games, birthday gifts for friends, movies and the likes. Everything that I needed I was to use my allowance for.
National studies show that children actually make better choices when it is their money they are spending, and not their parents.
I quickly learned how to forfeit things I wanted in lieu of things I needed. It is amazing how I began to bring my lunch from home versus buying school lunch everyday. Because brown-bagging was on my parents’ dime and school lunch was on mine.
Giving children an allowance helps you to stay within your budget.
They begin to realize that money doesn’t grow on trees after all, and that there is a finite amount of money in your budget.
Only 27% of Americans give their children an allowance, but people who do give their children an allowance see their household expenses reduced by anywhere from 10-25%.
Creating a new expense (i.e. an allowance) may seem contrary to “cutting back”, but it actually benefits your expenditures in the long run. When your kids want to stop for fast food, say to your kids, “we can stop if you want to use your allowance”.
Give children an allowance and then help them manage their money.
Teach them the 10/10/80 philosophy: 10% tithing, 10% saving, 80% spending. Of the 80%, encourage them to do something for someone other than themselves. This teaches them that money is not just for them, but to use to bless others with as well.
Structure a budget with them and help look into the future for expenses that might be coming up – like the holidays. Use software or apps to help track spending.
Finally, create opportunities besides their regular chores where they can earn additional money for big trips or expenses.
Do you give your children an allowance? Why or why not?
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
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