16M, 14F, 11F
Initially, allowances were sort of a hit and miss thing for us. More often than not, we would forget to pay them and, later, forget that we forgot. The amount was basically pocket change and was intended to provide the same for our kids. There was no discussion on what the money was to cover and, as a result there were frequent disagreements as to what we should pay for. Eventually, we realized we could do much better.
About two years ago, we started a journal system. We called it "The Book." Each child had one. Every Sunday afternoon, we would record their allowances in "The Book." Most cash and checks they received would also go into "The Book." Whenever the kids wanted to buy something, we would pay for it and they would deduct the amount from "The Book" that evening. We could hardly believe the difference.
As often happens, a little success really fueled the fire for more. We decided we would divide the book into three sections - one for savings, one for sharing and one for spending. A list of expenditures the kids were responsible for was added. They budgeted their allowance between the needs they saw in each of the three categories.
Well, the results have been great. Allowances were raised immediately. Our son almost has enough money for that first car. Our oldest daughter has enough spending money for her upcoming trip to Washington, D. C. and our youngest daughter gets more excited than anyone when it's time to buy and give gifts. What a difference a plan makes!
Other parents would like to know how you handle your kids' allowances. Send us a description of your allowance system and we'll try to include it in this section. Please list the ages and sex for each of your children, how your system works and what you like and don't like about it. Thank you.
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© Copyright 2004 by David McCurrach. All rights reserved. Revised 4/3/04.