Receiving the Moolah
To "allowance" or not to "allowance?" That is the question. Do I give the children an allowance for performing "work?" Or just because they are a part of the family? Or both? There are certainly arguments for and against all-around.
Long story short (and lots of considerations later), I opted to give my children allowances simply because they are a part of our family. They also have daily work around the house they do just because they are a part of the family.
Doling out the Moolah
When our children were very young, we gave them each 5 quarters per week:
- First quarter to God
- One quarter to long-term savings (first car)
- We matched that quarter (like an investment)
- One quarter to spend any which way they chose
- One quarter to buy others' gifts (birthday, Christmas, etc.)
Adjusting the Moolah
Last summer I decided the children would wait until age ten to begin receiving an allowance. That meant my pocketbook could afford a higher wage because only one of my children is of "allowance" age. However, there was a major drawback--three of my children weren't getting an opportunity to learn to manage money. Not good.
So, recently I switched to a new model. I give each child three dollars a week:
- First dollar to give to God
- One dollar to save
- One to spend
Keeping the Moolah
We made up these free (I had the cardstock on hand) holders for their allowances. They keep them in their schoolwork boxes so they don't get lost. (We've lost many full wallets over the years.)
(this is Brea's)
Spending the Moolah
The children have chosen different ways to give their money to God. They have opted to put it in the offering basket at church, buy things to donate to a mission in New York City, and help out friends in need.
They differ in their goals for saving. Brooke is saving for college and a yellow VW Beetle; Brad is saving for college and a Mustang (car, that is); Brian is saving for a car and college; and Brea is saving for college, which she says is where you "do school stuff."
They are saving up a little spending money for an upcoming trip to FAO Schwartz in New York City. And for our yearly beach vacation. But their favorite way to spend money is on weekly treats at the Amish Market near our home. I love watching them choose out carefully what is the best deal. I'm so glad I put allowances back on the radar for all of them.
In case you're wondering, I do give occasional extra money for out-of-the-ordinary chores and work. For instance, if my oldest really keeps an eye on the younger ones, I slide a few dollars her way. The best part is watching her (without any instruction) applying the "give, save, spend" method to even those extra dollars. That's what I was hoping for.