Tag Archives: money

Kids and Allowances: What Do They Pay For?

Allowance Game
Photo by Mike Baehr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Yes, we give our kids an allowance. Yes, they also have chores – but the allowance is not tied to the chores (they lose electronics or other privileges if chores are a problem).

How much? Right now, our 9-year-old gets $5 per week, 12-year-old gets $10 per week, and 14-year-old gets $15 per week.

How do they get it? 12 and 14 get theirs direct-deposited into a bank account with a debit card. 9 gets $3 per week direct-deposited into savings (her choice), and $2 per week in cash (she doesn’t have a lot of expenses but likes the occasional candy or soda).

Now, my question to you, if your kids also get an allowance or have some sort of income, is what do your kids pay for vs. what you pay for?

Our kids can spend their money on fun stuff: candy, sodas, books, magazines, music, posters, etc. But they are also supposed to pay for things like birthday gifts for friends and smaller expenses at school (school dances, smaller field trip and supply fees, additional school supplies, drum sticks).

We’ve also started giving a seasonal clothing allowance for the older two, although I’m still trying to figure out what is the best amount. So they pay for their own clothes out of that, unless something comes up like an urgent need for a new winter coat, or having NO SHOES that fit any more.

OK, that kind of sounds like I have our system figured out. But I don’t entirely, and I suspect high school is going to shake things up a bit, and we’re going to have to figure out where to re-draw the lines between what we pay for and what they need to budget for.

What do you do?


Yes, it’s been a while. What have I been up to? Lots of hiking this summer. I’m hiking for my health and because I love it!  I post hike reports and photos at the Portland Hikers Forums (latest post). I’ve also been traveling with my family – family reunions, Yosemite, and the Oregon Coast.


Sequestration and Fear

There’s a lot of talk in the U.S. about sequestration lately. If you don’t know, basically Congress agreed in 2011 to find a way to reduce the national deficit by $1.2 trillion over ten years, and that if they didn’t do this by the end of 2012, automatic spending cuts would take effect, including cuts to defense, education, human services, etc. The automatic spending cuts are the sequester. Congress agreed at the end 0f 2012 to put it off for a couple more months, but they still haven’t figured out what to do, so the sequester is once again looming.

People across the political spectrum are angry and/or fearful about this. I agree that it’s not a pleasant prospect, especially for those who get any part of their income through the federal government. I work in education myself, and although I’m not aware of any immediate threat from the sequester, it’s always possible that the cuts will trickle down in some way.

And regardless of my own status, the cuts will hurt people. I’m aware of that. But even so, my choice is to reject fear. Because we will get through this, and maybe it really will force Congress to act, which was the point of the thing in the first place.

You see, we’ve been through hard times. We’re a little better off now, but at various times, we’ve been poor, out-of-work, or on public assistance. We’ve gotten food from food banks. We’ve endured daily calls from bill collectors, and on occasion we still have to fend them off for a few days, or wait until the very last possible moment to pay the water bill.

We made it through. And we’ll make it through again if we have to. I know how to stretch our budget with scratch-made soup and home-grown veggies, and I’m going to keep on riding my bike. But I won’t fear what might happen.