"Mom, I need." I am on the receiving end of this phrase typically uttered by my trio of offspring, and it always costs me more than I bargained for. However, as my two oldest children move toward adulthood and my youngest teenagerdom, I'm snipping the financial umbilical cord and making my sprogs pay their own way … sort of.
They Get Allowance
Allowance in our house might not look like allowance in most homes. Allowances here come based on performance. Each one of my children takes ownership of a designated room in the house (in addition to her bedroom). Each day, she is responsible to clean and manage her domain to my standards. If that girl does an outstanding job, she earns $40 a week. If, however, she does a shoddy job, money is deducted from her allowance. The girls earn between $0 and $40 on any given week, based solely on performance.
And allowances are non-discretionary in nature; allowances are "mad money" used for recreation, dining out, sodas, snacks or whatever baubles catch my children's fancy. And this mad money keeps my ears free from, "Mom I need/want/desire/must have said trinket/bauble/ticket/item of impulse."
They Have Jobs
My older daughters secured summer jobs at a local tourist spot, earning a standard wage plus tips. Everything my sprogs earn from work goes to savings so that they can pay off their college tuition -- their choice, not mine.
However, my youngest didn't want to be without a summer activity/job. With her allowance money, I helped her buy an ad in the local community newspaper, to promote herself as a dog walker. She has already picked up five dogs to walk each day and is earning $35 a day, or $175 per week (for an hour of work.) The more dogs she adds to her roster, the more money she can make. For her, this is an exercise in just downright awesomeness.
Making Them Pay
As my twins go off to college, they opted to stay at home and save money. To help them do this, I'm not charging them rent, but I have made it clear that they are responsible for their own gas, insurance and incidentals. The same will hold true for my youngest once she reaches that age, but for now, mommy doesn't mind lending a hand -- or a dollar or five.
Raising kids today is difficult, but I believe it is even more difficult if they aren't prepared to pay their own way, more strenuous should they not understand the importance of a dollar and even more complex if they don't value earning money for themselves, as opposed to letting mom and dad handle it all. It is because of this that I make my teenagers pay their own way -- at least a little.
How do you deal with money and your kids?
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