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lgliser

My kids are the only kids...

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... Who have to use the money they earn for chores on entertainment! They just informed me of this today. Oh the guilt I feel! 🙄

Maybe people could chime in to show them that this is normal? 

They are 12. We pay $4 a week base pay for things that help the house run smoothly and then various amounts for extra chores so they can earn more. Then they are required to put some aside to save and some to give. They get money for holidays too plus we dog sit through Rover.com and split the money with them and that brings in quite a bit. 

They're at the age where they are wanting to spend a lot of time with friends which is great but they often want to do things like sky zone and that gets pricey. They're seriously incredulous when I say they'll need to pay. Or if they have a friend over and want to go get fast food instead of eating the food I have at home, I make them pay. 

That's ok right!? Normal?? Chime in! 

 

Edited by lgliser
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Totally reasonable. Middle school is about when my parents stopped financing movies, mall trips, random stuff I wanted at the drug store. But I could work for the money, so it wasn't like I couldn't do those things. My kids right now get $5/week base pay and it goes up if they mow or do something extra like that.

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Wants comes out of my kid’s own piggy bank. We pay for family entertainment trips (like a laser tag outing) and for outsourced class fun field trips.

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bless their hearts.

we have some friends who lived in japan.  his employer required them to entertain - so they had a housekeeper and a gardener.  that left very little for their kids to do for chores - so they had to clean their rooms. how unfair.  they moved back to the states so they could make their kids do yard work and house keeping.  bought a mower/etc. and sent them out to mow for the neighbors to earn extra money.  it served them well - but they complained about it at the time.

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First of all, it doesn't matter what anyone else does. You're the parents!! This is not abusive behavior, so you can handle this any way you want. 

Our kids have to use their own money for their entertainment. We don't pay for chores, that's part of being in the household community. They get an allowance as a share in our family finances. They then are required to pay for certain things out of that i.e. gifts for friends, entertainment, etc.

You are not doing anything wrong! You have a great system. Keep it up!

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Ha!  It's fine.  It's good for them.  My dd11 went to mini-golf on Tuesday with my cousin and paid herself.  Sometimes I will pay for things, and sometimes I won't.  

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3 minutes ago, OKBud said:

LOL what do they think their money is for?

 

My dh would say they'd only spend it on hats and cocaine anyway.  Which in their case means junk from Dollarama.

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You pay them???  They should be thanking you from morning to night.

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One thing I don't do is require my kids to put part of their money aside for donations and future savings.  I personally feel that should be a choice.  My kids do choose to be generous and to think ahead without me telling them they have to.  They also see me doing the same with my money.

But I have been saying "yes, you can have xyz, did you bring enough money?" since my kids were tots.

[Disclaimer - my kids are spoiled rotten.  But I don't pay for *everything.*]

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We're lucky--no fancy places to blow money here! Yeah, you want something over and above, you pay for it. That is why my kids were cleaning cabins at 10, and growing and selling lettuce! They actually had a "lettuce stand" out on the road for years. One kid earned her spending money for a European trip by baking and selling bread and pies (her aunt paid for the trip.) The other kids blew their money on stupid stuff, but it was HER money she was spending, so she bought exactly ONE sweatshirt, and paid to ride Connemara ponies in Ireland. She wore that sweatshirt for years. My kids hustled their 4-H buyers because that was their spending money for a year, what didn't go into savings. I watched other kids not hustle, because they knew the bank of mom and dad would pay for stupid stuff. Not my kids!

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My policies were similar, except I did not pay for their normal chores. They could earn extra from doing particular harder jobs, like grooming the dog or cleaning out the garage. My boys also had a candy sales business at co-op. They had to pay me for their inventory candy. 

I also made my kids pay for their own pets (not the family dogs and cats, but rabbit, hamsters, lizard.) I also made them buy birthday gifts for friends if invited to their parties. 

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I’ll be the lone dissenter and say that we have always paid for the kinds of things being described in this thread, as did the parents of my ds’s friends. We also never required our ds to do chores, although he has always been fine with helping out if we asked him. 🙂

I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer to this. 

Edited by Catwoman
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4 minutes ago, Catwoman said:

I’ll be the lone dissenter and say that we have always paid for the kinds of things being described in this thread, as did the parents of my ds’s friends. 🙂

I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer to this. 

 

You're not alone.  

We pay for everything we think is reasonable, and I think it’s probably more than some would agree with us on.  That’s ok, everyone is different.

Once in a while there’s a big “want” that we think is a bit over the top, and we will suggest the kids save up for it.  They do have an allowance, though it’s not tied to chores.  (They do regular chores because that’s part of being in a family, and they participate in our lives and household.)  If we think it makes sense when they are actively saving for something - we will offer some suggestions for jobs for which we are willing to pay.  But our kids don’t often have wants that we find unreasonable, honestly,

I don’t think there’s a right answer here.  I think all families are different, and most kids are going to be just fine, no matter how we handle this.  🙂

 

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They do chores because chores need doing, but I do give them allowance and have recently considered docking it for attitude, lol.  But I very likely won't.  It's $20/month for the older two and $15/month for the 8 year old.  But yes, they pay for their own screens and games, and any toys they want outside of birthdays and Christmas.  They are supposed to pay for their own pets, but I struggle not to meddle there because they're living things.  So they pay for food and the animals themselves, but after losing a couple of pets, I tend to deal with their habitats.  There hasn't been an outing with friends to a place like SkyZone, so I'm not sure there, honestly.  I might compromise and offer to cover admission, but they'd be on the hook for concessions or arcade games or whatever.  /shrug

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What is allowance for if not for the fun stuff? That's WHY I started giving my kids allowance is I wanted them to budget their fun more carefully instead of always coming to me begging for money.

 

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Well, my kids don't get an allowance and they don't have assigned chores (though they are asked to do things: bring up the trash can, get the mail, empty dryer, pick up sticks before DH mows). 

I generally pay for outings, but we don't do many with friends. If it were becoming a regular thing, maybe I'd give them a monthly budget and then they could plan accordingly. As far as other extra wants (books, cool clothes, art supplies), I tend to go with a "well, add it to your birthday/Easter basket/Christmas wish list."  If they want it sooner and they have money from gifts, they can use that. 

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You could offer them an alternative: you will pay for their entertainment and they can pay their fair share of family housing, transportation, and food costs.

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37 minutes ago, Catwoman said:

I’ll be the lone dissenter and say that we have always paid for the kinds of things being described in this thread, as did the parents of my ds’s friends. We also never required our ds to do chores, although he has always been fine with helping out if we asked him. 🙂

I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer to this. 

I agree that there is no one right answer - it depends on what feels right to that family for those kids.

I do pay for some friend entertainment.  Most of the time it's for a special occasion or a one-time thing - and these tend to be activities that are on the expensive side.

But my kids don't have an expectation that I will pay for whatever scheme they come up with.  If they came to me today and said, "can we hang out with friends at Get Air?"  I would either say "we can do that for your next birthday" or "how are you all going to pay for that?"

 

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Well, my kids never received pay for doing household chores.  They've always had to save their birthday and Christmas money (as well as babysitting and pet-sitting $) for fun things.  They always go into an activity thinking they need to pay for it- and sometimes I will surprise them by deciding to pay for it for them, but only after they've decided the activity is worth spending some of their money on. 

They are very frugal with what they decide to spend their money on, and with DD having a real job now, it's pleased me very much to see how thoughtful she still is with her spending.  Her savings are increasing nicely and it will be wonderful for her to have that for spending money for college next fall. 

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We did it differently than many here as well. We never paid the kids for doing the normal household chores - they live here, they can help out. We did offer money for extra jobs (thoroughly weeding an overgrown flower bed, removing thistles (so much per thistle), etc). When they wanted to do things with friends (lunches, movies, whatever) we sometimes gave them money, sometimes not. Mostly did though. Both kids saved the money from birthdays/Christmas. Both got jobs their senior year to pay for other stuff because we were moving them toward being more financially responsible. 

Do what works for your family.

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My kids do not even get money for doing regular chores! For harder chores like mowing the yard or washing my car, yes. They earn money by pet sitting for neighbors and by helping my mom with household tasks.

Whatever money they get, earned or gifts, is usually divided this way: 10% tithe to our church, 20% (at least, can be more) in long-term savings toward their first car, 20%  (at least, can be more) toward short-term goals like summer camp, outdoor gear like a sleeping bag, a trip, or some other expensive "want". 

The rest is their fun money, to do with as they please. For Starbucks, movies with friends, small toys or jewelry, snacks at the pool grill, youth group activities, gift shop purchases at museums etc. They pay for a lot of their fun - especially things that are done with friends rather than as a family or that come up suddenly and I do not have in the budget. 

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1 hour ago, Catwoman said:

I’ll be the lone dissenter and say that we have always paid for the kinds of things being described in this thread, as did the parents of my ds’s friends. We also never required our ds to do chores, although he has always been fine with helping out if we asked him. 🙂

I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer to this. 

 

I don't pay ds for chores, and I don't give regular pocket money either, but I do give him money when I have it for fun stuff.  Plus he gets birthday/Christmas money, and sometimes fun money from other relatives for holidays.

My girls worked from when they were 13 &11 ( a mothers help service on our street) so they saved money from that and  spent it as they liked.

I think the benefits of pocket money are over-rated, but that's just a personal opinion.

 

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We didn't pay for chores. Chores were expected. They had holiday money from grandmas (Christmas, Halloween, valentine's etc). We paid if it was a rare social thing. 

Ds1 got a job at 15 because he wanted to quit swim team. He had plenty of money for stuff with friends.

ds2 has very little wants or needs and saved most of his money

dd1 and dd2 trained too many hours to get a job, so they had to make do with what we could give them. They have perfected the "appetizer split" or fries at McD's evenings.

ds3 is training hard and all his friends live forever away. They get together to play tennis and we pay for the court costs in the winter. He saves his money for rackets and shoes.

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Thanks, people!

It's fun to read how everyone does things. I 100% agree that everyone should do what works for their family!

Quote

LOL what do they think their money is for?

I asked them this very thing! They said stuff like Starbucks.

I do pay for things here and there for sure. If Sky Zone was a total "once-in-a-while" thing, then sure, I'd splurge and pay. But they did it last week and now want to do it again. Last weekend was the weekend they had a friend over and chose to eat out rather than at home and I had them pay. But then I treated them all to ice cream at the park. I do things like that a lot! They want for very little... sigh. I am seeing a lot of entitlement in them lately so I think that's why I'm feeling like I need to draw a line.

One kid just spent $25 for a manicure and now doesn't have enough to pay for Sky Zone this weekend, and to me this is a perfect teachable moment!

Anyway, thanks for the replies. Now I can tell them they're not alone! lol

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We don’t have chores or pay an allowance.  Instead, everyone is expected to help around here.  Doing something extra, I do pay for.  For example- DS has been helping me clean out the basement, hauling junk and sorting.  He has earned some iTunes money.  I pay for the kids to do things. If it something they want but I will not buy ( Pokémon cards or extra D&D stuff), they ask to do extra around the house to earn some.  

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My children don't get any "base pay" or allowance . They don't get money for holidays. If they want money, they have to do jobs that are not part of their regular responsibilities. We pay for fun family outings and extracurricular expenses, but fun entertainment with friends is their own responsibility. The only exception is on their birthday.

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1 hour ago, lgliser said:

Thanks, people!

It's fun to read how everyone does things. I 100% agree that everyone should do what works for their family!

I asked them this very thing! They said stuff like Starbucks.

I do pay for things here and there for sure. If Sky Zone was a total "once-in-a-while" thing, then sure, I'd splurge and pay. But they did it last week and now want to do it again. Last weekend was the weekend they had a friend over and chose to eat out rather than at home and I had them pay. But then I treated them all to ice cream at the park. I do things like that a lot! They want for very little... sigh. I am seeing a lot of entitlement in them lately so I think that's why I'm feeling like I need to draw a line.

One kid just spent $25 for a manicure and now doesn't have enough to pay for Sky Zone this weekend, and to me this is a perfect teachable moment!

Anyway, thanks for the replies. Now I can tell them they're not alone! lol

 

 Perfect moment!

 

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Not only do I not pay for my kids fun stuff, I don't pay them for work around their house.  If they want fun money, first they have to find a job that will pay them then they have to earn it.  Sorry my budget isn't big enough for me to go out and have fun activities more than once or twice a year so there is no way I'm funding their weekly/monthly activities.

That said, they know I'm the queen of finding deals so if they want to go somewhere, they always check with me to see if I can get them a better deal.

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I don't give chores or allowances. I ask for help when needed around the house and the child is expected to pitch in on his own to bring in groceries, do laundry etc. I pay for everything. He has a lot of money saved up from birthday money from relatives, but it is in his bank account for when he needs to access it. He gets expensive stuff like electronics for christmas and birthdays so he does not have to pay for it. He has no access to starbucks and other hangouts and hence does not need cash for those things. I guess that things would be different if he were to set out with friends for an evening at the mall or mini golf course, but, he does not socialize on that level.

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1 hour ago, mathnerd said:

I don't give chores or allowances. I ask for help when needed around the house and the child is expected to pitch in on his own to bring in groceries, do laundry etc. I pay for everything. He has a lot of money saved up from birthday money from relatives, but it is in his bank account for when he needs to access it. He gets expensive stuff like electronics for christmas and birthdays so he does not have to pay for it. He has no access to starbucks and other hangouts and hence does not need cash for those things. I guess that things would be different if he were to set out with friends for an evening at the mall or mini golf course, but, he does not socialize on that level.

About the same here.  Well I do in theory give $10 a month spending money.  Ds11 spends it almost before he gets it and ds9 never spends it.  When ds11 goes to high school next year things may change though.

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We pay for some of that stuff - especially as a treat or if we're doing it as a family thing. I ask them to pay for it other times. I really don't think there's a right or wrong answer for it, at least, not if your family has enough in their entertainment and extras budget to allow for it sometimes, which we do.

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My three younger children have required chores but no allowance. And they don't get money as gifts, so they have very little personal cash. I actually think they should have an allowance, but we have not established one for the three younger ones yet. Since they have little cash, we do pay for their social outings.

So the fact that you pay them for work around the house, OP, means they are fortunate!

Oldest does get a monthly allowance and has for a couple of years. Her allowance started when I got tired of buying birthday gifts for her friends. She also likes make up and clothes. Now she has a part time job, but we continue her allowance. If there is a school sanctioned activity with her friends, we will pay. But if she just goes to the movies with friends, she pays. We pay for gas. She pays for any gifts she wants to give.

We will switch to this model with the others as well, and probably soon. Now that they are teens but still too young for a part time job, I think that paying extra for certain chores is a good way to teach them how to earn money. We have not paid for chores before now, because we consider them just part of family life, but I see the benefit of considering it.

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My oldest makes her own money writing scripts for Roblox. 30-50 bucks a month paid in amazon gift cards. The only thing I provide is lunch money. I have never paid for chores. That’s just the price of living as a family.

Edited by Sneezyone
extra word.
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Until 2 years ago my children didn't get allowances. To get paid for chores it had to be something beyond their normal chores. I also noticed it was hard to tell if I was being fair to all of so I tried giving them an allowance.

The thing is when I did that it was now up to them to pay for ALL their own stuff. Clothes, haircuts, toothbrushes, music lessons, tournament fees for sports, uniforms, activities with friends, gifts for others, everything except health expenses and meals. If they want snack food they have to buy that though.

The youngest has a lizard and that makes his budget super tight but he will buy the cheapest clothes although he is very sad that hand me downs no longer work and he cares less about activities. He also splits the cost for the dog since the dog is for my two youngest. That money is just split off right away so neither can accidently spend their share of the dog spending.  13 year old DS spends money faster but typically on clothes (workboots, nice pair of pants for church etc.) Of course, if he pays full price a pair of good boots requires 2 or 3 months allowance so they try to get odd jobs away from home too and he is always looking for a deal. 

They also look for ways to save money. My oldest son bought my daughter clippers in exchange for free haircuts.

You learn what's important to them and it's interesting what they say no to. They never ask for money now.  I never thought I'd give my children money but really it's taught them responsibility. They look for deals on clothes and don't ask if they can go somewhere without knowing they can pay for it themselves.. 

Edited by frogger
My kids allowances are probably bigger than kids whose parents buy clothes and pay for lessons for them. ;)
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8 hours ago, Catwoman said:

I’ll be the lone dissenter and say that we have always paid for the kinds of things being described in this thread, as did the parents of my ds’s friends. We also never required our ds to do chores, although he has always been fine with helping out if we asked him. 🙂

I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer to this. 

Not alone.  I wouldn't expect DS to pay for those things either.  The one thing I have made him pay for recently was a Nintendo Switch which was completely frivolous (who needs 5 game systems?!)  which he put a hefty down payment on and he is currently working off the rest of his loan.

DS also doesn't get allowance.  He earns what he has by selling our chicken eggs and cleaning houses with me.

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15 minutes ago, frogger said:

The thing is when I did that it was now up to them to pay for ALL their own stuff.

Little question. What do you do if they don't want to fund something you think needs to be done? You require it anyway? Like haircuts. If I did that, my ds would just budget out haircuts, lol. 

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4 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Little question. What do you do if they don't want to fund something you think needs to be done? You require it anyway? Like haircuts. If I did that, my ds would just budget out haircuts, lol. 

 

The only one who gave me trouble was my ten year old because he really doesn't care how he looks at all and would have happily wore ratty stained shirts so small his belly would stick out. My kids were older when I started this, which is an important point.

We discussed if he was to keep the privilage (it's a privalage not a right 🙂 ) to make his own decisions with the money budgeted for him, he was going to have to dress appropriately, have winter gear,  clean his teeth, in other words be responsible like a grown up or he would go back to mom and dad having to make decisions for him. I'd still keep it budgeted out for him but have say over where it went. I still do reserve that right but really haven't had to use it since he was 10 or so. He will be 12 this summer.  

The only one who asks to be cashed out in full every month is the 13 year old but he has earned my trust. Sometimes if he has money left he will put it in his savings account.  IF he has been putting money in the savings account he can ask for a withdrawl for something big like belt testing or tournament fees but he usually never asks. The rest leave their money ageing in my bank account quite often, though it ebbs and flows. Part of this is the older two have their own money from jobs often.

I realize this wouldn't work for everyone especially with different age kids or different issues but it has really worked for us. 

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3 hours ago, mathnerd said:

 He has no access to starbucks and other hangouts and hence does not need cash for those things. I guess that things would be different if he were to set out with friends for an evening at the mall or mini golf course, but, he does not socialize on that level.

 

My boys do not socialize much. Their fun money allowance is small because they mainly need it for vending machines at the sports center or music center if we are late picking them up. The Starbucks costs is definitely something I am keeping in mine as potential college fun money expense in the future (regardless of which college my kids end up in) as we often hangout at Tresidder Union food court. I am guilty of spending on Panda Express and Starbucks when I am there with my kids. I also spend quite a lot at other colleges’ food courts when we tag along on my husband’s business trips.

My mom gave me fun money when I was a kid because I love being in places with lots of people. It was just easier for my mom and me to come up with what is a reasonable monthly fun money allowance and I could spend it on food court meals, occasional splurges and pretty stationeries. My mom doesn’t cook though so I would have to eat outside food anyway. 

14 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Little question. What do you do if they don't want to fund something you think needs to be done? You require it anyway? Like haircuts. If I did that, my ds would just budget out haircuts, lol. 

 

My kids cut their own hair. They really don’t have the patience for going to a barber shop. My kids would budget out buying new shoes and clothing so even if we are to put those into their budget in the future, we would definitely buy a pair of shoes, a pair of jeans and probably two shirts as a spare ration.

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33 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Little question. What do you do if they don't want to fund something you think needs to be done? You require it anyway? Like haircuts. If I did that, my ds would just budget out haircuts, lol. 

 

And I can relate to your son. I haven't had my hair cut professionally for about 15 years. I just chop it off in the bathroom sometimes.  My boys have an advantage since their sister is cheap. $5. Although I required them to be free until she got some practice in. She had a grandma teach her the basics for clipping boys hair. 

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19 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

My kids cut their own hair.

I never would have thought of that, lol. He has really nice, fluffy, downright handsome hair, so I get him nice haircuts. He lives an otherwise entirely uncivilized life, so it's my one chance to make him look socially typical, lol. But yeah, I could talk with him about it. I think I will, just to plant the seed. (the idea of having the choice and budgeting for haircuts)

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You always stipulate a trial period with the express understanding that it can be revoked.

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In the tween/early teen years, we’ve pretty much paid for everything (and said no to some things) BUT we didn’t give allowances. I really don’t feel one way is better than the other, assuming there’s always talk of managing money. My kids have heard the word “budget” from birth.
Once the older kids got jobs (at 16, 15, and 14) they pretty much stopped asking for anything. My daughters even buy their own shampoo and socks. They pay me back for things without being asked, or necessarily expected.
Knowing the value of money is, imo, what’s most important. And paying with allowance money is a perfectly normal way to learn that.

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15 hours ago, Catwoman said:

I’ll be the lone dissenter and say that we have always paid for the kinds of things being described in this thread, as did the parents of my ds’s friends. We also never required our ds to do chores, although he has always been fine with helping out if we asked him. 🙂

I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer to this. 

 

Agreed.  We have never made our kids pay and still don't, and two of them are in college (which we also pay for mostly.)

My kids do have chores, but they don't receive allowances for them or get paid for them.

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7 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Little question. What do you do if they don't want to fund something you think needs to be done? You require it anyway? Like haircuts. If I did that, my ds would just budget out haircuts, lol. 

 

I cut #1 and #2 sons' hair.  #3 wants a more "fancy" haircut that I can't do and we pay $16 every 6 weeks or so for him to get it cut.  #3 son is also far pickier about his clothing.  He wants expensive clothing and shoes.  But it all evens out, the older two boys want other things that youngest doesn't.

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Deleted kid’s photos

Edited by Arcadia
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My youngest 3 are 12, 13, 14 yrs old. They do not get paid to do chores around the house. They help with bathrooms, mop, sweep etc. It's part of being a family and sharing the load. I've been working them into doing their own laundry as well. We pay for family events like movies, zoo etc. When it comes to things they want to do or buy on their own, they pay for it. They have opportunities to cut grass for pay. They have also dog sat for neighbors for pay. This is where they get their money for things they want to buy or do. I might add that they tithe off they money they earn first. They have saved and bought things such as compound bow, PS4, air soft guns and gear. If they want to go do airsoft events it's $20 and they need to pay for this. My 12 and 14 year olds are boys and they combine their money and work together. They decided to room together and make the other room a "man cave" and have bought things like the PS4, TV, TV stand etc. They are learning the value of hard work, saving money and helping without pay because it's the right thing to do. That's the way we do things. I hope this helps 🙂

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14 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Little question. What do you do if they don't want to fund something you think needs to be done? You require it anyway? Like haircuts. If I did that, my ds would just budget out haircuts, lol. 

 

My youngest sister was given all her money for everything from the time she was in about grade 8.  At first she had it in 6 month instalments and then yearly.  She used to keep an account book to keep track of her spending, and her job money and such.  Anyway, the first year she had total control, she spent all her clothing money on fashionable stuff and didn't get winter boots.  My mom said she had a really time not just buying her a pair, but she managed not to, and my sister never made that mistake again.  Of course, lack of boots has some real disincentives once you have experienced it.

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