In Discussions, Money

Money Talk: Did you get an allowance as a child? What did you do with it?

I most definitely did not get a set allowance, like “Oh you’re 4 so you get $4…

I just got spurts of money for birthdays, or when my parents felt flush from winning a small ticket on a lottery, or after coming back from the casino gambling (happened more often than you think… and my parents were great parents by all the meanings of that word).

I think I did well saving most of it. I just didn’t know where to save it, why, no goals, nothing.

I remember I had $60 once in my wallet and my friend remarked: OMG if I had $60 in my wallet it would not last even an hour.

So yeah. No money. When I got money, I saved it, and squirrelled it away and then spent it on what I wanted.

For Little Bun, I don’t plan on an allowance either, he is going to do chores because he is a family member and I won’t be paying him for it.

This is what I really want him to know about money. He already saves a good chunk each month because I take all the government money we get for him and set it aside for him. His net worth updates are alongside mine every month.

I will be giving him money to buy things like for the start of school and so on, and I am going to let him make small decisions on his savings and where I have invested it so far when he gets older (teen years?)… while monitoring his decisions from afar and stepping in only when I have to.

I also plan on showing him how to budget and track expenses, talk about why we budget, and why we should invest our money and all the different strategies, AND when he gets his first job (cuz he will…) he will be sitting down with me for his first paycheque and understanding where it all goes, then doing a similar budget as if he lived on his own — this % for rent, for food — and giving him a good reality shock of sorts.


I find too many kids (people our age), get out, get a job, and then live it up because they have no idea what net income versus gross is, they think daily lattes are normal (they are if you can afford it), and that their life as a child should be the way their life is, regardless of if their income matches up to it.

Additionally, because we live in a nice area, and I do have a nice car and nice things, I have a lot of class anxiety about raising him which I discussed here.

Did you get an allowance as a child? What did you do with it?

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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4 Comments

  1. r
    raluca

    I got an allowance and I credit that with helping me understand money at a young age. Particularly the “when it’s gone, it’s gone, and there will not be any more for this month” lesson stuck with me for life. And it helped my parents, there was no whining for money for sweets or books or anything else. I plan to do the same for my future kids, give them an age appropriate allowance, not linked to chores. I also plan to teach them how to make more money if they want to, during their teenage years: taking outside of home work – small paid jobs like babysitting, or making stuff for selling, or working online.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Interesting. I guess I have to see what approach works best with him, every child is different…

      Reply
  2. SarahN

    Yep I got an allowance, particularly from 10 when i lived in Boarding School. We got a set amount from our parents at the start of term, and had to ‘withdraw’ and do the math in the ledger. Given cheques aren’t quick and easy, it was largely expected you’d make whatever amount last the weeks of that term. Which included outings like movies, snacks on said outings, food from the ‘tuckshop’. Clothing and other items would be sorted on holidays (though my mother gave me a signatory on her department store credit card to use just there, I hated the store so never abused it!)

    I think treats, like lollies or soft drinks, should be something that kids can purchase. The amount you gives moderates how much they can get, but I think also curbs some nagging. I know baby bun doesn’t nag, but that may change.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Oh the nagging has started with the apps… so I can see that it may not be candy or drinks, but it will be apps.

      Thanks for the tip. I’ll keep that allowance thing in mind, but so far, we don’t plan on instituting one, but maybe we can give him a set amount per month in general out of the family budget, and he can use that but it isn’t an ‘allowance’… per se.

      Reply

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