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.

Frugal Savings Tips for Busy Moms

Hey RichMamas – we have some cool tips from Andrea Woroch, a consumer savings junkie – she alerted us to the fact that woman loose sleep over money – more so than kids, family or work – hmmm…check out below for some ideas on how to lose less sleep over money…

Women lose sleep over lots of things, like kids and work, but a new survey released by Manilla.com reveals money matters keep them awake much more than men. In fact, the study conducted by Catalyst Group revealed “Financial worries are the biggest reason women stay up at night, with nearly one in three females saying they burn the midnight oil over money woes.”

Asked what keeps them awake, 35 percent of men replied “nothing.”

Ah, to be a man.

Lack of time to pinch pennies is a real problem for most women, particularly those forced into the supermom role, buried in the sandwich generation, or serving as home CFOs. Here are six tips to help all you superwomen make the best use of your time to save money.

1. Co-cook
Share cooking duties with another family by creating super-large batches and dividing it for future consumption. You’ll save money on supplies by buying in bulk and have the pleasure of a partner’s company while you cook.

2. Avoid Multiple Shopping Trips
Take advantage of such inexpensive services as Hoseanna, which delivers a run-free pair of pantyhose to customers’ doors every month. Or you can reduce time and money on food runs by opting for home delivery of groceries from sites like AmericaGrocer.com.

3. Use Mobile Coupons
Extreme couponers spend untold hours organizing and preparing for a shopping venture. Why put yourself through that when you can use mobile coupon apps right in the store? Check out PCWorld.com’s list of “15 Shopping Apps That Can Save You Big Bucks” and stock up on digital must-haves.

4. Try Manilla.com
The free, web-based service Manilla helps consumers better manage all their household accounts — including finances, utility payments, subscriptions and travel-rewards programs — in a single, secure, online location.

5. Reduce Paper Clutter
Lack of organization drives more women crazy than men, according to the survey. Roughly half of female respondents said they felt relaxed and 40 percent happy when organized. One way to reduce the clutter that creates havoc is to pay bills online so you can just electronically file the receipts. Best of all, you don’t have to write and mail checks, which always entails that lengthy hunt for stamps.

6. Shop for Presents All Year
This sounds impossible, but a little organization early on means less frantic shopping at the last minute. Which also means you won’t grab an expensive item just because time is running short. And if you do find yourself panicking mid-December, don’t forget about Free Shipping Day on Friday, Dec. 16. With free shipping offers from 2,000 merchants, this one-day event gives supermoms the added power of making last-minute purchases for arrival by Christmas Eve.

 

andrea-woroch-saving-on-daily-dealsAndrea Woroch is a nationally recognized consumer and money-saving expert for Kinoli Inc.  You can check out her blog at www.andreaworoch.com