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Tag: money

Is It Time For An Allowance?

Zachary is becoming much more interested in money here lately.  He has had a couple of opportunities to make his own purchases at the store and really enjoyed it.  We talked through the process first, told him how much money he had to spend, helped him choose which toys that were less than that amount, and then let him pay for them himself at the cash register.  Ever since then, he keeps asking when he can buy more toys.  I explain to him that he’ll have to save more money up before he can buy more toys.  The problem is, he probably won’t be getting much money until his birthday rolls around again.

Is it time to start giving him an allowance?

My first response to that question is yes.  I do think it is time.  He’s interested and ready to start learning about money management.  But, how do I go about it?  Do I just give him a set amount every week, no matter what?  Do I make him do chores in exchange for his allowance?  At first I thought chores were the way to go, but the more I think about it I’m not so sure.

A while back I read an article about family responsibility (I would link but can’t remember where I read it).  The basic premise was that things like cleaning and taking care of the house should be the shared responsibility of all members of the family (to the best of each member’s ability) and should not be done for any kind of expected reward, but for the good of the family.  The only reward would be the natural consequence of the action (the child can easily find the toy they want because it is put away where it belongs) rather than receiving an allowance or other treats for doing something that should be expected of them as a member of the family unit.

Along with this argument, comes the fact that the true purpose of an allowance is to teach the child money management, not teach them to do chores.  When giving an allowance, you should also be teaching your child to budget, save, and spend wisely (none of which I’m very good at myself).

On the flip side of that is the argument that as an adult he will be expected to work for his money.  Zach knows that Mommy and Daddy go to work in order to have money for food, clothes, toys, etc.  He understands that work is required to earn money.  So, should I just hand him money with no expectations?  Doesn’t that negate the idea that you have to put forth effort in order to meet your financial needs?  I don’t know.

I’m still leaning toward an allowance in exchange for chores because it is what he has been asking for, but I’m thinking some things should just be expected of him without earning money for doing them as well.  Maybe a base amount with a “bonus” if he keeps up with his chores would work?  I don’t know.

I’m pretty sure I’m over thinking this whole thing, but I’m really curious to hear how other families handle it.  Do your kids get an allowance? How old were they when they started receiving it?  Do they do chores in exchange for earning allowance or are they just given a certain amount each week?

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So Worth It

Tonight I sat down to do one of my least favorite tasks – paying bills. It didn’t used to be so bad. I sat down, sorted through the bills, paid what was due, and that was that. These days I have to juggle numbers and figure out what I can pay and what I have to push back until payday. The money just never stretches far enough. By the time we pay day care and buy groceries there just isn’t enough left over to pay everything else. The whole thing just depresses me.


Then I look at the beautiful faces of my kids and the depression all washes away. No matter what, the struggle is worth it. Everything I do is for them and they pay me back with smiles, laughs, hugs, kisses, and unconditional love. That’s worth more than all the money in the world.


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I Thought Bad Things Happened In 3's

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the direction my life is headed.  I’ve been feeling very out of control and in need of a bit of structure.  Part of that structure includes getting control of our family budget.  This was supposed to be the month that I tightened things up and started paying a bit more attention to exactly where that money is going.  I’ve been trying really hard to cut down on my spending (no laughing mom!) because I’m the one that does the shopping and always ends up picking up way more than what is on the list.  Yes, I admit to having a problem with that.  Shopping is my escape when everything else in life gets me down.

Just after I made the conscious decision to do this, all kinds of unexpected expenses popped up.  First, there was the cracked windshield.  I didn’t see that as a huge deal, but something that will have to be dealt with eventually.  Then, there was the A/C going out in my car.  We paid $100 for a fix that only worked for two days before it gave out again.  It can wait until Spring/early Summer before it has to be fixed, but it still makes me angry.  Next, my radar detector was stolen and I got a ticket the next day.  The radar detector is a must-have item for me.  Buying a new one is most likely less expensive than the tickets I will rack up without it.

That’s three pretty major unexpected expenses in a short period of time, but that’s not all!  Anyone want to know what happened this weekend?  Our basement drain backed up and our washer broke all in one day.  The drain isn’t a huge issue because we don’t own the house.  My boss (and landlord) will foot the bill for that one but the washer?  That’s one heck of an unexpected expense and one that can’t really wait.  With a baby in the house I do laundry nearly every day and I don’t have time to go to a laundromat.  We haven’t decided whether to try to get the washer fixed (only about 6 yrs old) or to just buy a new one.  I’m guessing a repair bill would be at least half of what a new one would cost anyway and maybe more depending on parts/labor.

We do have a little bit of money back in savings but I was planning to use a little of that for a weekend trip we have coming up (where I’ll finally get to meet my almost 1-year-old niece!) and the rest was being saved up for taxes.  I’m just tired of never having enough money to go around.  I’m tired of living on credit cards and being in debt.  Every time I have the slightest hope of being able to crawl out from this mess we’re in something else happens.

I’m just hoping and praying that nothing else major happens for a while so we can try (once again) to get caught up.

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