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Big Kid Stuff

July 21st, 2008 at 07:48 am

I am moving rapidly into the realm of big kids stuff. I don't know if "big kid" is the appropriate word. But compared to my toddler, yes. Big Kid!

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ALLOWANCE

I briefly mentioned yesterday that we started BM on an allowance yesterday.

Dh and I talked and reminisced much over the weekend about our own childhood money learning.

They funny thing was his parents were much better about teaching him about buying used. I got much the same lesson when it came to cars and appliances, but funny enough, not the little stuff.

Well, since our kids have become garage sale junkies, no need to worry, they have already learned.

We discussed giving BM a $1/week allowance and a pile of chores. But we finally decided on $2/week since it actually gave him room to learn something. (I just didn't feel $1 was enough).

Looking online I saw at this age the average was $2.50/week. Since I don't want to deal with the change, $2 will do. Maybe we will up it to $3 next year, and up by a dollar every other year or something. Though I mostly just wanted to get an idea what other people were doing. Not that I care. I guess it is more important what works for us!

So, we'll see.

We gave him after-dinner clean up duty and gave him more responsibility for making his bed and cleaning up his room. & he will help us vacuum once a week.

He is at an age where he LOVES to help. & though we arbitrarily picked age 5 as the start point for allowance, it really seems he has been really ready of late. The timing is just good.

We don't tie the allowance to chores. The allowance is to learn to manage money (I've heard the negative but dh and I always had a small allowance - until we had real jobs anyway - and we are great with money. So why mess with what our parents did).

The chores are just his responsibility as part of the household. Sort of tied, but sort of not. There is certainly no option to opt out. But now that he is older and more responsible he has both chores and an allowance. Just how it goes for us.

I have one thing to work out with dh. Our parents never emphasized long-term savings or charity. & I feel these are kind of our downfalls. So I think we should take an automatic portion out to college savings (like 10%). To mimic retirement savings. I don't think dh agrees, but that is something we need to work out. I think it is a good principle to learn young. Always set aside a small portion for the long-term future... & I will talk to him about charity. I don't necessarily agree to tie up a percent of income. But I think we would improve in that area as well.

We'll also open a savings account for him, for when his piggy bank gets full. & teach him how we move most our cash to earn high interest when we aren't using it. So will get well into the financial education very quickly.

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The other side of the big boy coin is school.

I just paid $85 to the school. $25 for supplies (they provide - we just pay them) and $60 for field trips. Though any unused portion will carry forward to next year.

School uniforms is another story. I have issue with them. BUT my biggest issue is that they really push them as a measure to "help the poor."

Puh-leez.

They picked Land's End which is like $100 for a full uniform (shirt, pants, socks, shoes, whatever). They recommend $75 jackets. ????

Likewise, my usual thrift shopping is thwarted. MUCH harder to find what we need.

So I am not exactly happy. I am not poor, but I don't see the point in spending hundreds of dollars on clothes that will fit my kids for 3 months. They grow like weeds at this age.

& I am completely insulted for those who are poor.

Anyway, I found affordable alternatives at WalMart (no where else really) and that is allowed. But I generally wouldn't buy clothes there. I think the quality is crap - it's just the only thing in my budget.

Anyway, so I roll my eyes as I feel backed in a corner to shop Wal Mart. & I think those parents are morons if they think the Land's End kids aren't going to make fun of the kids who go for cheaper alternatives.

If I could just go Thrift, they wouldn't even know the difference.

I'll keep my eye out - I might found something else - but it is just far more work than I care for.

Anyway, as I roll my eyes at the principle and see little how it will make a difference, I am also just disgusted with how plain and boring everything has to be. No individuality. Poor kids...

So I do have to buy a backpack still, and a plain little lunch box. & shoes with no logos, characters or lights. Bah.

Thank goodness for MIL. She bought a pile of clothes. I still need to get a jacket and sweaters and all that. So I have to go through and see what the damage will be.

I am just not happy to spend all this money.

The plus is LM will get use of out of this stuff in a couple of years. So there is some saving grace...






4 Responses to “Big Kid Stuff”

  1. miclason Says:

    LOL! those really aren't "uniforms"!...
    Here in ES schools have "real" uniforms...you can either purchase them at school, made by the school's chosen seamstress or tailor (or small company of seamstresses or tailors) OR, you can buy the fabric and take them to YOUR own seamstress or tailor to have them made according to specifications (the school will give you a sheet with specifications as to color, type of material and a picture of what the thing should look like)...they will also sell you "escarapelas", which is a school logo on a piece of cloth to be sewn onto the garments (shirts, typically)...again, it's the same method the school uses in "theirs"... Uniforms at private schools are very different from one school to the next, so that the moment you see a kid you know which school s/he attends!...and since these are all no-brand clothes, they ARE uniform, except if you take it to your own seamstress the buttons will last longer, etc, just because she is NOT doing 200 shirts, so she has time to sew them very well.

    Public schools have the same uniform all over the country...you cannot buy them at the school, but, a trip to the market place or the supermarket will give you plenty of options as far as price/quality go...again, the school will supply the "escarapela", so all that distinguishes one school from the other one is the name of the school....
    Except for high schools/ technical schools, where public ones DO have their own colors...

  2. monkeymama Says:

    I think that's the other part that bugs me. If they want to commit to a REAL uniform...

    No, they just want to commit to boring-ness. There really doesn't seem to be much point.

  3. zetta Says:

    Have you tried Target? Their clothing quality is much better, and the prices should be closer to Walmart than Lands End. I also saw a flyer for Mervyns with "school uniform" styles by Lee.

  4. monkeymama Says:

    I saw Target. WalMart is just too cheap to pass up this round. I figure I'll give it a whirl.

    I'll have to keep an eye on Mervyn's sales - good idea.

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