Monday, July 30, 2012
I always knew that I wanted to give my kids an allowance of some kind simply so I could get money in their hands which would in turn make it possible to teach them about money in a hands on way. However, it took me a long time to figure out how I wanted to do this and I didn't start until I had a plan worked out.
For about two years I thought and thought about how to make it all work because I don't believe in paying my kids to make their beds, help with dishes, clean their rooms and other similar chores. I believe that those are things that should happen simply because they are a part of the family and we all pitch in, do our part and pick up after ourselves. (If you pay your kids for these things that's fine... it's just not my way.)
Toward the end of last year I read a book called Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours by Kevin Leman (best discipline book EVER!) and the author addressed the issue of allowances and offered a great way to use them. I loved it! We started it in our home and we have been using it since January.
What is it that we do???
I'll tell you. :)
If you follow Dave Ramsey and have heard him talk about the budget you know he recommends that you add a blow category. This is money that you get each month to spend however you want. You set the amount and you decide how to spend it. Each month Mike gets his blow money and I get mine. Most of mine gets spent at Panera Bread. Mike likes to save his.
Anyways, it was suggested that the kids get blow money as well. Because they are a part of the family. Write it in the budget. And so we did. Every two weeks our kids get $5.
Now, when we give them this money the first thing they do is set aside 10% to give to God. Then they put a little bit in their savings envelope. And what is left is their spending money. We want them to be able to look back and never remember a time when they didn't tithe or save. We want it to just be natural thinking... get paycheck, tithe, save, then spend.
So we now have money in their hands but we don't stop there.
They still have to do things like make their beds, clean their rooms and help around the house. They may not have had to earn their money (because I just couldn't come up with a way for them to earn it that worked for me still to this day) but they can LOSE their money.
If they are told to clean their room and they decide they don't want to that's fine. I simply say "Well you can clean your room yourself or you can pay someone else to do it." Sometimes the kids will pay the other to clean their room. Cleaning services cost money... that is the lesson. If that is how they want to spend their money that's fine. Their money, their choice. But through it they are learning about how the world works. And the kids have opportunities to earn money off of each other every once in a while.
But really... it doesn't happen that often that one actually wants to spend their money to have someone clean their room. They have learned it's much more fun to buy a bag of marshmallows or water guns or bells for their bikes.
The chores get done. The kids get to learn about money in a realistic way. And everyone is happy in the end.
How do you teach your kids about money?