Sunday, September 14, 2008

To Spend or Not to Spend, That is the Question

Like so many others out there, light of my life gets an allowance.

I read a long time ago that a good rule of thumb is to give them an allowance based on their age.

If they're 5, give them $5, 6 give them $6, so on and so forth.

I actually like this idea. I know it seems like a lot of money, but my daughter actually does earn it. She feeds the pets, makes her bed and keeps her room clean.

I am horrible with money. Absolutely horrible. I don't save (cause, really, if I saved anything, anything at all, I couldn't pay my bills...I am what they call the "working poor") and when I do have any extra, I tend to spend it on something fun.

However, I'm trying to instill in my daughter a sense of saving.

She's much better at it than I am.

One of the rules I set up when it comes to her allowance is that she only gets $5 to actually spend. The balance goes towards her savings for our Disney trip we take every two years.

I started this when she was five. She didn't have any money saved up for that first trip cause I had just started giving her an allowance. But, by the time the next trip rolled around (when she was 7), she had a poopload of money saved that I allowed her to spend on WHATEVER she wanted at Disney World (minus candy).

Can I tell you that that girl actually came home with money? She came home with $30! Amazing!

She likes this arrangement. It suits her just fine.

She also recently had to save up half the money for an iPod. She wanted one really badly and I told her that if she saved up half the money (about $100), I would put up the other half.

It took her about 3 months but she did it. She didn't spend a dime of what she earned.

I've read on other blogs that parents give money for good grades and good behavior and whatnot. But we don't do that in my house. I feel like she has to earn the grades because she needs them to get into a good school, not because she gets money for them.

However, my mom cancels out that lesson and gives her $20 if she makes straight A's on her report card. Oh, mom. What am I going to do with you?

This post is was written for that contest for an iPhone that The Parent Bloggers is hosting.

They have a link to Capital One that has to be included in this post. I was just going to post the link but then when I actually checked it out, it had some good advice.

Things to think about.

Anyway, have a good Sunday. I'm stuck at work. Trying to earn extra money.

Such is my life.


10 really cool people who give a rat's patootie:


I've seen this post topic a lot. It seems like some families do great with the allowance for A's etc but I think it can work both ways. Depending on the situation. I think you have a good set up that her g-ma can handle the report card goodness and you can do the regular allowance.

Complaint Department Manager

It's great that you are teaching your daughter about money and responsibilty with it. Too many times I see kids with absolutely NO concept of value.

Nice going.

Middle Aged Woman

Trying to help my kids be smarter about money than I ever was. Daughter has it naturally, like yours. Son never met a twenty he didn't want to part ways with. Quickly. We tried not to tie the allowance to chores. The allowance was for learning about money. The chores were their contribution to the fam.


Nice post, Emily! I think that's awesome how well Light of your Life is saving her money...for the iPod, for the Disney trip, etc. Hope you win an iPhone!!

And, grandmothers always undermine us, don't they?! hehe


You are instilling such a good value in her- saving her money. Next, you'll be teaching her how to invest that money and make it work for her, ha ha!

Swirl Girl

My newly turned 9 year old has chores and gets $3.00 week allowance. If she does the chores to my satisfaction (bed making, clearing the table, sweeping up after meals, tidying up after herself) she gets the whole $3 - if not, or has sassy moments, we deduct in $.50 increments.

I am a hard ass. What can I say?


Ack...someone else vying for my iphone!

Great post. My girls are better at saving than I am. At least my husband is good at saving. Or at least attempting to curb my impulse spending.

But when grandma gets into the mix, man, she can undo all my efforts!


I think paying for good grades is awful, and I'm against it as a parent and an educator.

With that being said, do NOT tell Bailey what your girl gets for an allowance. His allowance is 1 dollar a week, and seriously I only remember to give him it like one weekend a month. It's awful.

Of course, the tooth fairy also "forgets" our house pretty much every single time. Often for more than one night.

I know, I know, I'm awful.

Lynn - the piggy bank painter

I'm terrible at saving money too. I have good intentions, but then something comes up, and poof, my money is gone.

I hope my kids do better than me, but it's not looking too good...


I'm glad here are other "mean parents" out there like me. No money for good earn those grades. I don't pay you for them.

Never got a cent for any of my A's when I was in school. I turned out OK, too. Relatively speaking.

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