Time for a weekly allowance

After hanging out with my co-worker’s kids for a while this afternoon and hearing their talk of money and allowances, I realize it’s time to give Moomin some money. I’m not sure how to do this!

At his age my weekly allowance of a quarter was upped to a whole dollar. I had to save 25 cents of it in a little bank, and put another quarter in the collection plate at church. The 3rd quarter was for some specific recurring expense which I can’t remember; something at school, I think, like “pizza day”. The other quarter I would take to the corner store, a somewhat tiny squalid IGA, and I’d buy either a chocolate bar or several small candies that cost a nickel. That was about it! Things stayed about like that until I was 11 or so, when I got maybe 5 dollars a week, and I also started babysitting. At that point I went to the roller rink, the movies, was completely obsessed with video games; when I got a bit later, I’d go to the mall to buy crap like shoelaces with unicorns on them as well as candy. Sad to say, the allowance just mildly lessened the amount of petty shoplifting I did… Let’s not go there…

But I know kids under 10 who get allowances and use them to buy lunch at school!

Kirsten’s 10 year old gets 50 bucks a month, buys her own treats at movies, and mostly saves her allowance to buy “expensive electronic things and gadgets, not so much on toys.” She puts aside a bit each week for donating to charity.

I think we will go more for the 5 bucks a week option at this point, with maybe a dollar limit for candy. He can save up and buy particular Transformers, or something like that. Right now he has a peanut butter jar full of quarters and dollar bills, mostly from times I’ve offered him a quarter to help me fold laundry. But he’s never figured out that he could open the jar and spend the money on stuff he wants.

So, what do you other parents do about giving money to your kids? Do you do that at all? Do you tie it to chores done? Do you dock them money for misbehavior?

And… what the heck do they buy?

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