Monday, February 22, 2010

Monetary Monday - Allowance

Its pretty common to give your kids allowances.  Usually for chores they do around the house.  Get them used to the idea of only getting money if you actually work.  Its a great concept to teach young children how to save, budget, work hard and above all not think they are entitled to everything.  However when you don't have a job per se what then?  You can't spend what you don't make.  If your children dream of growing up to be a stay at home parent how does allowance fit into that equation?

I actually get an allowance.  The Dh does not.  Not that he has free reign to spend money.  Actually the opposite.  He knows he not allowed to spend anything except for lunch and the occasional lottery ticket when the powerball gets over 100 million.  Its an office pool.  And thats not because I am a mean wife.  Its because he realizes he has no self control.  I however have too much self control.  I never buy myself anything.  I just bought socks for the first time in 10 years.  There are, however, a few things I enjoy spending money on.  Like shopping at Kohls and getting Starbucks and reading books; so I have an allowance.  I have a prepaid starbucks card that gets refilled once a mos; $15 a mos for coffee.  I do jobs at till I have enough to buy myself a book on Amazon.  I can go spend $40 a mos at Kohls, which if you know Kohls, you know how far that goes.

This works for me in 2 ways.  First, we stay on budget.  There is no, "How much did you spend?"  conversations that I know some women just love having with their spouses.    Second, this makes sure I actually get out of the house and do something.  I know I am gonna go relax and enjoy myself.  When the only time you get out is clothes shopping and coffee, this is a very big deal. 

Allowance: good for kids, good for parents.


  1. That's kind of what we do. DH and I both get an allowance each month and if we go over it comes out of the allowance for next month. It works so much better than me having to ask if I can get Starbucks (my guilty pleasure too) or him asking if he can buy a new pack of Magic cards.

  2. I love how you point out that an allowance is really equivalent to a budget. When handled correctly (emphasis), kids (or parents/spouses!) who get an allowance are really learning spending discipline as opposed to learning a sense of entitlement. Your readers might be interested in the "virtual family bank" we built to help parents teach their kids solid money habits. If so, our tour is here: