Giving Your Child an Allowance

Should You Give Kids an Allowance?Giving Your Child an Allowance

Is anything in the world of finance and parenting more debated than this – should you give your kid an allowance? Will it turn them into lifelong moochers or teach them valuable budgeting skills. In the Rich Mama’s humble opinion an allowance is a good tool for younger kids, when used as a way to regulate the “I want that’s…” Since children this small really do have a hard time doing jobs to earn money, an allowance can be a great way for them to learn to save up for that pack of gum or special toy.

According to some financial experts, giving your child an allowance is one of the best ways to instill solid financial skills in their young brains. Compared with a “pay as you go” policy, where you pay for what your child wants when he or she wants it, a weekly allowance can help your child better understand that money must be earned before it can be spent. This is a lesson your child certainly needs as an adult.

In addition, older kids are more influenced by their peers, especially where spending habits are concerned. Don’t forget you also have to contend with television commercials, radio ads, and other forms of media selling, selling, and selling. Managing an allowance at a young age will help your child more quickly grow accustomed to spending limits and restrictions.

What’s important if you’re going to give an allowance is to discuss what’s covered by the allowance. In other words you might not expect your kids to pay for their whole back to school wardrobe with their allowance, but if they want to go to the movies with friends, this might be an allowance item. Just make sure you and your partner sit down and discuss what you think you should be paying for versus what your kids should pay for with their allowance.  And then when you and your spouse are on the same page, then go start to negotiate with your kids.

Chores, Smores

With older kids, there are some families who have them do chores in exchange for an allowance. On the one hand this teaches the principle of now worky…no pay-ey…On the other hand moms and dads do a lot of crap around the house without any expectation of allowance, and if you’re teaching your kids that if they make their bed and get a dollar, then what happens when they’re on their own – and no one is giving them a dollar.

With older kids I favor the approach of chores that need to get done no matter what, plus a base allowance, plus an opportunity for kids to earn money doing extra jobs around the house. For instance if there is a job you would outsource, then consider paying your child for it. It could even be cooking a meal a week if it stops you from ordering takeout.

 

How Much is Too Much

So, how much allowance should you give your child? You can determine the amount in a variety of ways. Some parents and financial experts suggest one dollar for every year of age. Others say to set the amount based on how you expect your child to use the allowance, providing enough money to put in a savings account, give to charity, and to spend. Still others suggest giving your child an amount based on what other kids receive around the same age.

Whatever you choose, give it some thought, talk to your spouse and your child about a realistic amount, and start low rather than high. It’s always easier to increase a child’s allowance than to give him less because you started out giving too much.

As your child grows and matures, an allowance will help teach money management skills and develop responsible spending habits. Simply buying what your child needs and wants doesn’t allow the same learning opportunity. Giving an allowance may be a trial and error process for your family, but it’s one that is well worth the effort and learning curve. It will teach lifelong skills that your child will need—and thank you for—when your child becomes an adult.

How to Stop Feeling Mom Guilt

So RichMama’s let me ask you a question – do you feel guilty – like you’re not doing enough for your kids, yourself, your family?  Ugh, mom guilt. It seems to be an integral part of motherhood. Born at the moment of conception, the guilt starts wreaking havoc on your life. Even before the baby is born you start thinking, “I shouldn’t have done this” or “I should have done that.” And once they’re born, forget about it. Every little tear they shed, every little mistake piles up like dirty diapers until you’re overwhelmed by a giant stack of stinky guilt.

Does Mom Guilt Need to Be a Part of Your Life?

It seems some mothers latch onto the mom guilt as a rite of passage. You’re supposed to feel it, right? Well, perhaps not. In most cases, guilt is a rather unproductive emotion. It doesn’t help you accomplish anything. It doesn’t make you or your child a better person. It doesn’t change things.

Think about the last time you felt a bit of guilt. Maybe you snapped at your child or didn’t feed them as many vegetables as you think you should have. What did the guilt accomplish? Did it change the past? Did it magically make you, or your child, feel better? No and no. Let it go!

How to Stop Feeling Mom Guilt

#1 Accept That You’re Not Perfect

Much of the guilt that moms feel stems from the weird need to be perfect – or to think that you’re expected to be perfect. Your mom wasn’t perfect, right? You’re not perfect either and no one really expects you to be.

They do expect you to do your best. However, doing your best doesn’t mean you won’t make mistakes. In fact, if you’re trying really hard you’ll probably make many mistakes. Sit back, repeat the mantra, “I’m not perfect and I don’t need to be,” and then relax. You’re going to make mistakes and the world won’t end when you do.

#2 Learn from the Mistake

When you make a mistake, instead of feeling unproductive guilt why not turn it into a productive moment? You can if you learn from the mistake. Assess what happened and why, and then create a plan to avoid making that mistake again. Move onward and upward as they say.

#3 Start Paying Attention to Why You Feel Guilt

Okay, it’s time for an honest moment. It’s time to get in touch with your feelings. When you’re feeling guilty about something, sit down and spend a few quiet moments assessing why. What does the guilt do for you? Why are you choosing to feel guilt instead of some other emotion? Maybe it’s easier to feel guilty than to be angry or frightened.

Guilt seems to be a natural part of motherhood for many. However, it doesn’t have to be. You can have a happier and more productive parenting experience if you learn to let go of guilt.

 

Is no homework the answer to smarter kids?

There’s a no homework movement out there and your kids might be caught up in it.  According to this story on Parenting.com http://www.parenting.com/blogs/mom-congress/melissa-taylor/should-schools-abolish-homework  elelemntary schools and middle schools are dropping homework – instead asking kids to read instead.  In other less extreme cases, the some scholls have a no homework on vacation rule.  The policy of no homework is supposed to give kids more time to become better readers, and to do that, they need more time to read – not more time doing worksheets.

In many instances, this no homework policy has had no impact on test scores – they’ve held steady (note, this is not to say they’ve improved, but it just goes to show that the kids may be getting all the test prep they need in class.)

The no homework policy leaves more time, theoretically, for kids to have unstructured play time.  However, I wonder if it just leaves more time – which might be spent watching tv (I know I use ‘homework first’ as the incentive for tv time) or on structured sports – I heard that our rec lacrosse league (which is a spring sport) now has “optional” practices, year round, three days a week.

And while these are optional and a chance to for kids to get better at a s sport, I also suspect that any kid who doesn’t avail him or herself of these practices will find themselves at a disadvantage come the spring.  So would no homework be a good deal in this case, because it would let a kid play an organized sport all year round, all the time.  Seems to defeat the “unstructured” or “reading” time behind the no homework policy.

So what do you think – should there be a no homework policy for our kids?  Will this make them smarter?  What would you do to make sure this time didn’t get transferred over to more ‘activities’ or tv/video game time.  Would you make your kids read?  Play outside?  Would no homework mean you’d have a family dinner more often?

Let us know what you think below.

How to Make New Friends

Do you have enough friends – most likely, you spend more time worrying about whether your kids are making friends than whether you have enough friends.  A woman’s friends can change her life. They support you when you’re down and they help lift you up. Studies have shown that women with strong friendships live longer. They certainly laugh more. Yet making friends when you’re a mom can be extremely challenging.  So how do you do it?  Read here for some more tips.

#1 The Challenges of Making New Friends

Many moms live a giving existence. They give 100% of their life to their children and family. This of course leaves very little time, or energy, to take care of themselves. If you’re working full time, or even part time, then not only is there no time to make friends, there’s just no energy left. Your family and career take priority. Finally, it can be difficult to find women who share the same interests and outlook. It’s often difficult to meet people.

So how do you do it? How do you meet people and make friends?

#2 Do What You Love

The best place to meet like-minded people is to follow your heart. Do what you love and you’ll meet others along the way. For example, if you enjoy knitting then take knitting classes, teach them, or join a knitting group. You’ll meet other women who share the same passion.

#3 Volunteer

Volunteering is one of the best ways to meet truly wonderful people. And you don’t have to make it a huge commitment. Volunteer once a month at your church, child’s school, or even at the local hospital or animal shelter. You’ll meet people and maybe make a few good friends.

#4 Join, Get Out, and Get Active

What are you interested in? What do you want to learn, do, or experience? Make a list and start ticking items off of that list. For example, maybe you want to learn to rock climb or you want to start running. Get out and start doing those things. You’ll meet people along the way who share the same interests and experiences. Connect with them. Reach out and start conversations.

#5 Be Neighborly

Your next best friend may live down the street. They may be a neighbor. Start connecting with people in your community. Attend neighborhood events. Join neighborhood groups and connect with the people around you.

#6 Reaching Out

Putting yourself out there is the first step. Once you’ve put yourself in a position to meet people, the next step is to actually reach out to them. That means introducing yourself. It also means being someone who shows genuine interest. Ask questions when you’re meeting people. Listen to their answers. And finally, invite people to do things. For example, if you’re at the rock climbing gym taking a group lesson, suggest that a few of you go out for coffee, happy hour or set up an outside rock climbing adventure. Take initiative.

Making friends can take a bit of time and courage. It also takes persistence to maintain the friendships. However, it’s well worth the effort. There’s nothing better than being able to turn to your friends in times of need. Sharing joy, tears, and laughter with friends really is the best medicine.

 

How to Help Your Children Make Better Buying Decisions

So my some comes up to me and says, “Mom, I have a hundred dollars…Can I spend it?”  Since I am not quite sure how a 7 year old amassed over hundred bucks I said no.  I also said no because I know my kid has a passion for flim flam, gizmos and gimcrack.

Some children seem to be born with a natural money sense that helps them immediately to make smart spending decisions. The other 95% of children need to be taught how to save, and spend, their money. As a parent, it is one of your many jobs to help your children learn about money. It’s not always easy but it certainly is a valuable life lesson. Let’s explore a few tips and strategies to help your children make better buying decisions.

#1 Give Them Cash

When you take your children school shopping, do you wait in line to pay for everything or do you give them cash? Do you set a spending limit? One of the best ways to help children grasp the concept of money and spending limits is to give them a specific amount of cash to spend on school shopping.

For example, if you’ve allotted $150 per child for back to school clothes, give them $150 in cash. You can still hang around and approve the purchases – and you probably want to. However, make them carry the money, wait in line, and pay for their purchases from the cash you’ve give them. Under no circumstances do you give them any more. If they’re short at the end of the day and don’t have enough money to pay for a shirt they just have to have, too bad. This is a teaching moment!

And if they have cash left over? Consider letting them keep it, provided they spend it on stuff for school later.

#2 Make Them Save for It

When your child comes to you and says, “Mom can I have…” consider asking them to save their money to pay for part of the purchase. For example, your child may want a new iPhone or a gaming system. Fine. They can show you how badly they want it by saving up enough money to pay for half. Chances are if they really want it, they’ll save up. And if they don’t want it then you’ve saved yourself some money. It’s a good lesson in how to save and how to decide what’s worth saving for.

#3 Explain Real Costs

Speaking of that iPhone, it’s very easy for a child to place a dollar value on an item and to think in terms of black and white. However, many items – including the iPhone – continue to cost money. One year of data for a smart phone costs around $360, not including the actual cost of the phone. If your child wants a new iPhone, ask them if it’s worth $500 to them. It’s an opportunity to explain the real costs of things.

Children often learn about money by making mistakes. However, as a parent you can help them grasp a broader knowledge of money. They’ll begin to make better decisions and ideally make fewer money mistakes.

Tweet – 3 Surprising and effective tactics to teach your kids how to make smart buying decisions. LINK