Friday, March 18, 2016

Why We Give Our Kids an Allowance

You've made it to Part III of this series!  If you missed the first two posts you can find them by clicking on the images below.
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In Total Money Makeover Dave says that taking charge of your finances could change your family tree, it will affect how the next generation that you are raising in your house handles money.  You already read my follies with money and I don't ever want my kids to make those  same mistakes.  If they don't learn about money from us, who is going to teach them?  I don't expect them to figure it out when they are adults and hope it works out. 

We are teaching money by give our kids an allowance [the little man is still too young].  I know what some of you may think.... Why teach them that they are going to get money for doing things that they are already suppose to be doing?  We give an allowance because it is an opportunity for them to learn lessons about money.  To learn habits and disciplines that they will carry into adulthood.  They will learn the importance of working hard, the value of saving, the joy of giving, and the blessing to enjoy the fruits of your labor.  These life lesson are not available for purchase, you can't learn it on a computer screen or in a workbook.  Experiencing these lessons is the best way to learn.  

 I'll share our system of how we do chores and dish out the money in the next post, but I want to tell you the why and the what.  

We have money for three reasons: to give, to save, and to spend.  Each week the little miss divides her earnings into these three categories and she gets to experience for herself how to give, how to save, and how to spend. 

The first pile in the black wallet is for church.  My hubby and I believe in giving God our first 10% and that's what we teach them.  I have not always been the best at giving God the first of my earnings but I'm seeing why it's essential.  Money is a resource that I have and need to live, but God is the source. When I give him the first 10% of my little paycheck it affirms that truth.  I'm putting my trust in him and believing that the money I am giving is not "wasted" or "lost".  When she counts her allowance she sets aside that money to give to God and the older she gets I want her to know this truth.

Her preschool always takes donations for items that others are in need of [diapers, food, toothbrushes].  Instead of me buying these items for her to give, I want her to see that she can buy them!  She has the power to give with the little that she makes.  Taking some of her money to go out and buy these things helps her to see that in this world, people struggle but we have the opportunity to help them!  

The joy of giving doesn't just come from helping the needy.  Her very first allowance I got to see her experience the joy of giving.  It was beautiful.  She earned a little over two dollars and of course she couldn't wait to spend it.  

That day when we went to the gym and she decided that she would buy a chocolate milk and also get one for her brother [proud parent moment].  We didn't tell her to or force her to.  She dumped out all her quarters on the counter and got the milks. She got to experience that feeling.  You all know that feeling you get when you buy something for someone who you love.  Since then she's always thought about her little brother, buying him slurpees and a little trinket at the dollar store.  She even offered to pay for our hot dog lunch at Costco once.  Ha!

Each quarter spent on someone else is an opportunity for her to learn how to give.  

This is really where my parents fell short in teaching us and saving is still something I struggle with. I lack that discipline and self control.  I can't see in the long run.  I refuse to pass this along to my kids.  So through this, we both are learning how to save.  

Each week she saves a third of her earnings.  Each week we have seen it go from a dollar to three and now she has twenty dollars!  It's taken three months but each week she has seen how it's grown.  Imagine the impact it will have for her to save money for the next ten years.  The impact it will have for her at sixteen to see how that one quarter saved over time can turn into thousands.  I want her to have the habit of saving, self control to not spend it all, and the ability to see in the long term.  

She's surprisingly taken to the saving pretty well and has not yet asked to spend any of the money in the piggy bank. One night at the dinner table we asked her what she was going to do with the money in her piggy bank.  Is she saving up for a really big toy?  NOPE.  She told us that she is saving it for her kids.  [Proud parent moment .  She wants to buy them a mini van one day so they can watch TV in the back seat.  Ha!  When we shared that moment at the table it really warmed my heart to know that she can see in the long term.  Little by little she is getting it. 

Saving doesn't come natural, that's why we have that fable about the grasshopper and the ant.  Saving is learned.  Saving is a discipline because you don't get the instant gratification. 

 Each quarter earned is an opportunity for her to learn how to save.  

Now this is probably the favorite for most of us.  Spending!  A third of the allowance goes to spending because God wants us to enjoy the fruits of our labor.  I want her to see that the more chores she does, the more money she can earn.  Feeling lazy?  Well, those quarters will reflect that.  Sounds like adulthood doesn't it?  Laziness doesn't cut it in the real world.  We also want her to see that stuff cost money.  Some things cost a lot of money! 

When she bought those chocolate milks, she learned the cost of stuff because she told me mom, that man took all my money!  Yup, stuff cost money!  Now when we go into the store she understands that we can't just swipe a card and boom it's ours.  We have to work for money and money buys stuff.

Each quarter earned is an opportunity to learn about spending. 

I encourage you to find a way that works for you to teach your kids about money!  

We choose to give our kids an allowance but this isn't the only way.  An allowance for us is the best way right now to show her that in life you have to work and work hard for the things we have.  We want them to know the three purposes that God has given us for money.  That money is not a burden but a blessing when we use it with wisdom.  It's  a resource that we need to live on, but God is our source.  

You can check out our system by clicking on the image below:

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