Kids And Money – The Allowance Argument
We give our son Steve an allowance, usually for chores he does around the house. He’s 14 years old and gets $15 each week.
Steve is a good kid and gets good grades at school, but I don’t agree with how he spends his money.
He’ll buy fast food, video games and if he saves enough, very expensive gadgets. He doesn’t seem to understand the value of money or that he should save some money for the future.
When I tell him needs to use his money in a better way his response is “it’s my money, I can do with it what I want.”
So do I have the right to tell my son what to spend his allowance on – or is he right?
Allison, Losing the Allowance Argument
Thanks for writing, great letter! In fact, I go through this with my own kids. I do believe in paying allowance for work done around the house, but with that must come guidance, otherwise you’re going to be making up the budget shortfall that your future 25-year-old son is going to be faced with every month once he’s out of the house. So here’s what I would do.
1. Explain How The Real World Works
Look at the world through the eyes of a kid. The refrigerator is typically full of food; there are clean clothes and an abundance of toys around. When mom and dad want money, they just walk right up to a machine; insert card and the thing spits out whatever they ask for. Even if they’re old enough to know the ATM concept, they may not have a solid understanding of how the money gets there (seriously), what goes into making it and how to make it last.