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Allowance Raise

December 20th, 2018 at 05:36 am

In our family, the point of the 'allowance" is so that you learn how to manage money and make money decisions (at a very basic level) long before you get your first job and start making significantly more dollars. This is just until kids make their own money. My husband seems reluctant to turn off for our oldest son, but there is no doubt that it is time. He made $700 in the 6 months since he turned 15. & that's really barely lifting a finger. I expect that he will be making a ton more money when he turns 16 and can drive himself to any jobs.

As to learning how to manage money and make his own money decisions...

**Mission Accomplished**

The kids' allowance is $2/week. Because we started when they were *5*. I of course expected to bump that up over the years.

MM(15) takes after his father and is an extreme money hoarder. I really expected to at least bump up when he started high school. But he's not very social (he is laser focused on sports and academics). It will be interesting to see how that changes when he gets a car. But for now, he's not much for hanging out, and I get the feeling when he has a car he'd rather be working. Will see.

Though his brother (13) is more balanced and an entirely different personality, he is frugal enough I was starting to think that he would also be happy with the $2 indefinitely. But I failed to account for the high school bump. He is super social, in contrast.

So... He asked for an allowance raise this weekend. Some part of me was, "Oh crap," because I did just take a large pay cut and I know his friends have insane allowances. But beyond that, I Was so proud he asked, and was kind of like, "What took you so long?" I asked what he was thinking about, and he asked for $3. I thought, "Phew!" and I think that is beyond reasonable. What is funny is that MH was shooting me the funniest looks because he is clearly not on the same page. Whatever. Not everyone wants to save every penny they ever make. Yeesh. When we discussed having $1 per week of blow money to hang out with his friends, this is when my MH really looked pained and uncomfortable. I am just, "He needs to learn to live in the real world." In the end, I guess DL was more in negotiating mode and he was kind of like, "Really? $3 is so much more money than I would ever need!" So everyone (but MH) seems pretty happy. I bumped up MM(15) to $3 just to be "fair".

MM is getting a car this weekend and turns 16 this summer, so we will probably re-evaluate his allowance shortly. When I bought my first car it was 100% on me, but I didn't have a sibling that I was expected to drive around or help my parents with. So if we need him to spend $20/ month on gas or whatever, might bump up his allowance and then let him manage all that. Him having a car will help us out so much, we still have a lot to sort through. His grandparents are just being crazy eager beavers and can't wait to give him their old car for Christmas. I think it's fine and good that he has an old car to learn on but haven't had any time or energy to figure out the logistics. It will be a bridge we cross when we get to it.

Anyway, after this whole allowance conversation, DL went on to tell me (as he has many times before) that he has a couple of friends with 10 times the allowance who are horrible with money, and so are their parents. I asked him if he thought they were bad with money because they have *So much* allowance. His answer: Yes! I think he is just observing how other people relate to money and their values, etc. & how maybe it's not so great to have a seemingly infinite allowance if your parents are struggling so much that you are talking about it with your friends. (I don't remember the details, if it's like they were working extra to pay off debts, in bankruptcy or what not. 10 years ago, they'd be losing their house, it was so ubiquitous to be in foreclosure). I think the kids probably try to tease my kids that they have a $3 allowance, but they just aren't having it. They know their bank accounts are fatter and that they live in a financially secure household.

I think it's more complicated than just the size of the allowance. Because lord knows I could give both my kids a 1,000% raise today, and neither of them would spend it.

This conversation gave way to sensible car and college choices. (My sons have NO IDEA they are being gifted a car to use through their high school years).

Who are these people? I don't know that I Would have thought of or discussed "sensible car or college choices" much before age 25. Given the reaction my husband was having to the allowance raise, it makes me wonder if maybe he did sound like this when he was 13/15 and is some of where the kids get it from.

2 Responses to “Allowance Raise”

  1. Homebody Says:

    I gave my daughters $15/$20 at that age. They had to pay for everything with that money and they both got jobs early. Actually Em, middle daughter got her first paper route at 11 I think she was. Smartest thing I ever did. They starting going straight to the sale racks for clothes!

  2. frugaltexan75 Says:

    These young men have been raised by responsible and sensible parents - it makes sense that they'd also be at least somewhat responsible and sensible. Smile

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