Two of my children are already getting to the ages that they are on the go nonstop. A year ago, every weekend we were being asked for $ for this or for that. Well, let me tell you….$20 here and there adds up…..and it adds up quickly. We wanted to come up with a plan that would give them the freedom to participate in extra activities with their friends but also wanted to teach them about being responsible with their money.
Best thing we could have ever done? Get them their own debit card. “You got your 12 year old a debit card?!?!?” Yes, I did and I do not regret it one bit.
So here’s the deal. We have a list of chores hanging on the side of the fridge. There are daily, weekly and monthly chores assigned to the kids. Aside from dishes and keeping their rooms clean……they have to mow grass, rake leaves, pull weeds, clean windows in certain parts of the house, etc etc. Each child has their own list which never changes.
If their chores are done, we transfer allowance into their bank accounts each Friday. What do they use this money for? Whatever they like, within reason. Joshua wants a new video game? He has to use his own debit card. Sophia wants to go to the movies? She has to use her own debit card. We do not continue to hand out money for every activity they want to do or buy any item they want. They work for what they’d like to have and they save up for what they’d like to have.
Want to go play laser tag this weekend but spent too much last weekend on a pair of shoes? Tough. They are learning to budget and manage what’s in their bank accounts.
And I can assure you that it’s really helped them learn the value of a dollar. It’s made a huge difference. In addition to teaching them financial responsibility, it has taught them to appreciate what they have a little more. When it’s something they’ve worked for-they understand what it means to take care of those things. And in turn, take care of things we provide. For example, our home. We all have to pitch in.
I remind them all the time how lucky they are. When I was growing up, I did not have an allowance and I had to do the chores anyway. I am sure my parents would have done something similar had they been in the position to.
I’m grateful we are able to teach them these skills. As my daughter said , “they don’t teach this stuff in highschool”.