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October 23, 2008


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I will be very interested to hear what everyone else is doing about allowance. I have tried several different things over the years. My kids are 10 and 14 and currently do not get allowance. They do have a list of chores they do around the house that help ME and the whole family run smoother. My older daughter baby sits, although not that often. Last Friday she babysat for 6 hours and made $50. Heck, I would have babysat for 6 hours to earn $50 bucks!

Both girls get $10 sent to them from their great grandmother each month so they do have an income coming in. I struggle with this but it comes monthly anyway.

I think that it makes so much sense to teach them now, especially in this economy, that nothing is free. The idea of working hard and earning more for their hard work is a life lesson we all need to learn. I know that when I did pay allowance, I often paid it if the job got done, even if it wasn't done well, just because I was too tired to battle it. I see now that I was depriving them of a valuable life lesson.

The years of entitlement have gotten us in a tight spot and keeping up with the Jones' isn't so easy anymore. And I have come to learn that the Jones' aren't the people I want to be hanging out with after all.


Our girls ar now 18 and 14, a freshman at the local jr college and a sophomore in high school. The older no longer gets an allowance: it was cut off at the end of the month she graduated from high school (she turned 18 the month before that). She works part time and goes to school part time. She's never been good about saving money but is now getting better -- the motivation of wanting a car is helping!

The younger still gets an allowance, paid twice a month. From that she is expected to tithe: 10% off the top to the church or to charity (her choice)... and she is expected to save 25%. With her, that's no problem: she's the family banker (and she makes us sign an IOU if any of us need to borrow some cash!) She babysits sometimes, but the downturn in the overall economy has cut into that -- the people she sits for don't go out as often. At 14 she's too young for a "real" job.

Allowances haven't been tied to chores, but that isn't to say they aren't expected to do things around the house. They each have a (short) list of things that are their responsibility, and other privileges can be and are taken away when they don't follow through. The allowances aren't generous, I admit: enough to see a movie or go out with friends to McDonald's; anything more and they have to save up for it or use money from other sources.

We don't keep up with the Joneses or even the Smiths. I guess we instinctively knew we couldn't win at that game and so chose not to play. On the other hand, some of their friends don't get allowances at all, so they aren't on the bottom of the heap, either.

It's worked for us.

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