My 4 year old is heavily into asking for things at the store. Yesterday I found myself saying, "You can save up for that with the allowance we are going to give you." What was I talking about? I had thought about allowance, but I didn't know where to begin. Now that I had said we were going to do it, I guess we're doing it. I've looked up a bunch of different ideas and fashioned my own.
I really liked the chart created at the Ducks in a Row blog, so I created my own version for anyone who wants it that includes savings and a place to write what you're saving for. My 4 year old may not understand it all, but I'm of the philosophy of teaching things early and allowing for them to get it over time.
Time for a disclaimer: I don't have all the answers, I'm just starting out with this. Also, what works for me, may not work for you.
- They get a set allowance of a dollar per their age at the beginning each month no matter what. (Refer to Ducks in a Row)
- Some parents divide things up evenly into savings, spending and donation. Since I belong to a church that asks a set percentage of 10%, I'll be giving 3 ones and 10 dimes which she'll divvy up $0.40 to tithing (donation), $0.40 minimum to savings and the rest for spending.
- It's probably a good idea to have a stash of fifty ones on hand and a roll of dimes if you're teaching percentages.
- She can do extra chores to earn more money, but she has a set list of chores she does because she's a contributing member of the family. For a list of chores, Modern Parenting, Messy Kids is a great resource.
- I first read about allowance in "Positive Discipline A-Z." This book teaches much of what is listed above along with tons of other great ways to deal with everyday problems. It has changed my life.
If you're thinking about allowance, I hope this helps. We'll see how it all goes down on Wednesday.