We've never given our kids allowances. Now that they are getting older though they are starting to need more spending cash for various things. Things that neither Hubby or I deam our responsibility to pay for. So, in an effort to teach our children about money (and hopefully give them a better chance of being responsible as adults) we are doing something a little different. The kids will earn money on chores that they do. I made a list of all kinds of chores that they could do around the house. Each one was then given an amount and how often they can do that chore. For example... emptying the dishwasher. That's something that happens everyday. Where as vaccuming the stairs happens once a week. I printed out this chart and put it into a page protector and put it on the fridge. One for each girl. It's nice because the page protector works great with dry erase markers. The kids will be paid at the end of each week. At which time they will put a minimun of 10% in their savings account. Their savings will be in the cloth envelopes below. They will keep track of all money coming and going from these envelopes. Our goal is for the savings accounts not to be touched unless they are saving for something that they really really want. Any other money that they get from birthdays, holidays, etc will be handled the same way.
We have always been very careful with what we allow them to spend their money on. We have never let them buy something random at will. They need to think about it for a few days and if they are still really wanting it then we will usually let them get it. With this new plan however, spending money will be allowed to be spent on whatever they want. This will be hard for us because neither hubby or like to see money spent on junky toys that will be broken and forgotten in a day. But, we feel that they need to learn more about responsible spending. So, an example of free spending... Lets say that Ali spends her $5.00 on candy in the student store and then decides later that she would have rather spent that money on earrings. She has just learned that perhaps not all her money should have been spent on candy. Her earrings would have lasted her a very long time were as the candy was gone quickly. Maybe next time she'll really think about what she wants before spending it all. Maybe only $1.50 on candy and the rest saved for those earrings.