Friday, October 03, 2008

Show Me The Money


A few months ago, we decided to start giving our son an allowance. He would often ask us to buy him things and sometimes we would, but other times we would refuse. Of course, each decision made sense to us based on how much we had spent on him and how recently, what the item was, etc. But to him, this seemed completely random and just encouraged him to keep asking all the time.

Thus the allowance. So far no actual money has changed hands – it has just been me keeping track of how much he has. In the beginning, he would want to buy something every week, but as we talked more about making choices and waiting so he could afford a larger item such as a new DVD or a Lego set, I could see the wheels begin to turn in his brain. There have even been a couple of occasions where he saved up for 2 or 3 weeks for something “big.”

I am at the point now where I want to start giving him the cash and teaching him about dividing it up for different purposes, such as giving and saving, in addition to spending. I probably should have instituted this from the beginning, but this is where we are now.

My thinking is that he will respond best to something visual and concrete that also makes it fun and am considering purchasing a tool of some kind to help with this. Some things I have seen are:
Does anyone have any experience, good or bad, with any of these products? Any other recommendations or even homemade systems that are still exciting? How did you approach this subject with your children? I am open to all words of wisdom on the topic.

Photo courtesy of Digital Sextant. You can find Trish at Another Piece of the Puzzle and also at 5 Minutes for Special Needs.

1 comment:

Natalie said...

Both the girls have the My Giving Bank and love it. It really helps them divide their money up into the different categories.

Regarding allowance, we've done it several different ways. Right now they have to do chores each week to receive their allowance. Not only do the chores have to be completed, they must be done cheerfully and with excellence. There have been many weeks where we deducted money from their allowance b/c they weren't done with cheerfulness or excellence. So far it's working.