Monday, November 20, 2006


Shash is touching on this point over on her blog and my comment was getting way too long, so here I am!!

I grew up without an allowance!! My parents tried different things at different times, but really, none of them stuck. They used to have a price on odd jobs in the house. The ones that were outside of the expected's. Like the toilet was worth a quarter, the bathtub 50 cents etc... we even earned money for memorizing Bible verses (sidetrack...we had that little plastic loaf of bread in the middle of our table and it was full of these little cards. Each card had a scripture on it and we would earn 5 cents for each one we memorized!!)

It was a neat concept, but we only did those things when we wanted money. I had my first job at 13 and worked ever since. I knew that if I wanted things I had to earn the money myself. For my birthday one year, I really wanted a guitar. My parents said that if I came up with half the cost, then they would cover the other half. I was being blessed in other ways then allowances. I did well in school and didn't get into much trouble until a bit later on (after the guitar!!)

Now, I have 4 kids of my own. Hubby has gone from having a good job, to having no job, to having mediocre jobs. We tried to start allowances at one point. We told the kids that if we saw them conitnuing to help out around the house and take part in our family, then they would earn 1 dollar per year of their age. We ended up becoming broke and then had to borrow the kids allowances at times to pay bills. It wasn't working, so we scrapped the idea.

Now, the point that was brought up at ladies group is that we are trained from very young, that our value comes from what we do and how we do it. If you clean the toilet and do it well, you will earn a quarter (oh how times have changed, a quarter???;-)

I think it is important for kids to earn some kind of money of their own. They need to learn how to budget well at a young age, so they aren't in a bad situation when they have families. One thing we did at one point, was whenever the kids received money, they would have 3 jars to fill. One was decorated with Christian pictures and the number 10%, the next was decorated with things they would like to save for and the number 10%, and the last one was decorated with little things they wanted to buy frequently (candy!!) and we had no number on that one. We would tell the kids, if they received $20 for a birthday, they had to pay God $2, they had to save $2 and they could choose what they wanted to spend. If they wanted to put more into God's jar, that was fine, same with savings, it was fine, but they knew there was a minimum.

Now, we want to teach our kids that their value doesn't come from what they do or how well they do it, but we get paid to work in different jobs. Certain jobs get a higher rate of pay (Lawyers, Doctors) and certain ones don't get as much (cashiers, secretaries) .

Princess has been wanting to make money forever!! They do lemoonade stands in the summer and usually donate most of the money to the church or elsewhere. Mr. Hockey has gotten a job walking a dog in the neighbourhood and he is getting paid for it, along with his allowance. He doesn't blow his money on anything. He saves up for what he wants (a drum set...) and helps out when others are in need. Princess likes to blow her money, so we thought it would be good for her to learn, on a smaller scale how money really works. Hubby has decided that she makes really good subs (and she sure does!!) and that he would pay her $1 a week to make subs for his work. She is so excited to have a 'job'. Now she is learning to tithe, save and spend.

We have talked openly with our kids about how much hubby makes at his job. We have talked about the bills we have to pay and the mortgage cost, we have talked about how much we tithe. We have been very open when we didn't have money to cover bills. When Princess was leaving for camp, and hubby did not have a job, she gave us her only dollar and said we could use it for the mortgage. When she wrote her letter from camp to us, she asked if daddy had gotten a new job yet. My kids don't ask for a lot cause they know the value of money.

Now the question is, how do we teach them about money without just giving it to them for nothing, and teaching them that you have to work for your money but it should not indicate the value of your life. Money is huge to us, we don't survive without it...

I would be interested in others thoughts...(also did anyone ever see that Trading Spouses or Wife Swap where the family had 8 kids I think and they divvied out the allowances on the table, $1 per year for age. Then they had to pay house taxes and tithes and savings etc...what do you think of that one?)


  1. I love you views on allowances. I agree that it is very important for kids to have some of their own money to spend. I also love the concept of the jar for God. All to often we forget to teach giving to God in Kids' Financial Educations. Here is an article from Joe @ ,Finance-4-Kids called Raising Money Smart Kids in 5 Steps.

  2. we have tried different ways to give I don't know if I have any advice that works! we sometimes got allowance and sometimes didn't. I think getting them to learn to save is great and of course giving to God. This is something that I think about a lot too! hopefully I can find something that works and stick to it! that is a big part of my problem....sticking to a plan!