Friday, May 6, 2011

Flashback Fridays: This Little Piggy

Welcome to Flashback Fridays, a new gimmick series I'm starting here.  This blog is 3-1/2 years old and there is actually a bit of useful information back in the archives.  Every now and then -- on a Friday, obviously -- I'll re-post something I wrote way back when.

This post is from September 20, 2007.  A bit has changed since I wrote this post.  Kat is almost eight years old now and she has more chores.  In addition to dropping laundry down the chute, she now is in charge of feeding the cats and is responsible for setting the table with napkins and silverware.  She currently receives $2.00 a week in allowance.  When her birthday rolls around this summer, she'll receive $3.00 a week and take on at least one more chore.

She also has three banks now instead of two.  One is for her spending money (80% of her allowance), one is for long-term savings (10%) and one for a charitable donation (10%).  Her charity of choice is the local pet shelter.  Also, when she receives money as a gift or finds money (she found a $20 bill once in a parking lot), she has to put half if it into her long-term savings.


I don't think I remember what I did with Jean in terms of allowance, and I'm sure I wasn't able to teach her much about saving and spending wisely. You know from my previous posts that I didn't know much myself.

As for my own childhood, I received an allowance, but it wasn't dependent on me doing chores around the house. It was simply a bit of spending money for things like make-up, records (yeah, I said records) and magazines. All of my necessities for school, including clothing, shoes, school supplies, and lunch money were provided by my parents. If my younger brother and I went to movies or skating, sometimes we'd pay for it ourselves, but other times my parents would foot the bill. I know now that they probably just wanted us out of the house for a while. It was cheaper than therapy.

We just started giving Kat an allowance on her 4th birthday. She gets 50¢ a week. While we don't want her allowance to be entirely dependent on her doing chores, we do want her to know that her contributions around the house are important. Her "chore" is to drop the laundry down the laundry chute for us most days. That and to general avoid being a holy terror around the house. She has two banks, a piggy and a bear. Half of her allowance goes in the piggy for spending and the other half goes in the bear is for saving.

She has only the vaguest concept of what money is for. She understands that she must give some money to the clerk at the store or the lady running the garage sale before she can get something she wants. She's having a really hard time with the concept of saving, so I put it in terms she can (kind of) grasp. I've told her that if she saves her bear money for a very, very long time, when she's a big girl, she can buy a car or even a house. She gets it...sort of.

Later, as her allowance increases, I'll probably have her dedicate a dime on the dollar to some kind of charitable contribution. I probably won't start that for a couple of years though, after she has a better grasp of coin denominations, counting, etc.

I'm curious what others are doing with allowances for kids. If you have creative ideas, please share!


McVal said...

What a good job you're doing with her!
I used to give Meri a shake from the DQ every time she mowed the back yard. now she wants the money... So about $2 each time.
They also get a little bit of $ deposited automatically each month into their savings.

Nelly said...

I think she is doing a great job. I personally feel children should be taught financial lessons from a very young age. This will help them become financially responsible citizens one day. Apart from that, they are less likely to make financial mistakes and get into debt problems in future.

What I best like about the post is that, Kat is learning the importance of money gradually. I am sure she will understand the concept of money fully after a few years. I am also trying to make my niece understand the value of money. I give a reward of 3 dollars to her when she is able to save minimum $1 in a month. This motivates her to save at least some in a month.