After spending $75 on tickets for last night’s Disney on Ice show and what felt like that much on food and drinks, I had to deal with both kids begging for Disney Dare To Dream toys.
How did I handle it? I said, “Sure! Let’s go check out what they have.”
You see, two years ago, when Mallory turned 5, we instituted an allowance program. Today, Gage gets $5 a week and Mal gets $7; $1 for each year they’ve been alive.
Ever since they’ve started to receive allowance, it has been up to them to save their money so it’s available for purchases like Disney on Ice chotchkies.
In the beginning, Mallory would spend her $5 right away, and I worried that I should force her into saving a certain amount each week. But after a few situations of seeing something that she “really, really wanted” but didn’t have the money to buy, she learned on her own the importance of saving for something special. Gage has easily followed in her footsteps.
Some families tie allowance to chores. Others are opposed to that approach. In our family, allowance is earned when the kids show us the behavior we expect. That might include cleaning their rooms, setting the table, being nice to each other, feeding the pets, brushing their teeth without being reminded 10 times…whatever mom and dad decide.
Recently we’ve noticed that withholding allowance is an effective punishment that works better for our kids than time out or taking away a favorite toy. The kids are competing to see who can save the most money right now, so the threat of losing allowance is a powerful incentive to be good little children.
Last night Mal spent $12 on her Pasqual toy and Gage spent $16 on his Flynn Rider sword. They paid me back out of their piggy banks (they always know to the dime how much they have in it.) I helped them subtract what they’ve spent from what they had. It’s a good math lesson, for sure!
Allowance has taught our five and seven-year-olds the value of money. They know how long it takes to accumulate money at $5 and $7 a week and will often skip a purchase rather than dip into their banks.
If you’re looking for a way to curb the “gimmees,” teach kids the value of money, encourage good behavior and help your child feel she is contributing to the running of the household, I think allowance is a great place to start.