We Four in Egypt

Now back in the US!

Money money money

Giggle is learning what money can do. He’s realizing that he wants it. He’s trying to learn how to count it, but he’s still stuck at the idea that more bills equals more money.

(Bug likes shiny coins. He’s also great at sharing his spoils, be it coin or candy.)

It’s probably a good time for Giggle to earn an allowance and have some of his own money beyond what the tooth fairy leaves. And it’ll be good for him to learn to save.

I haven’t started trolling the web, yet, to see what parenting sites have to say about allowances and chores, but here are some of the issues we’re thinking about:

1. Should he get an allowance just for being, or an allowance linked to chore completion? And then would that mean no allowance when the chores weren’t completed?

2. What are good chores for a 6 year old kid?

3. How much should we give him?

4. How much is he allowed to spend? How much does he have to save? Do we require short- and long-term savings?

5. How do we handle the (almost) 4 year old brother?

I’m trying to think this through before we get too far in.

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16 November 2008 - Posted by | giggle

5 Comments

  1. Is he expected to do any chores now? Like making his bed or clearing the table after dinner?

    Comment by Typ0 | 16 November 2008

  2. Good question. Right now his chores aren’t formalized, but he is expected to clear his plate after meals and clean up toys when asked. Sometimes he helps set the table, and sometimes he spontaneously decides to wash dishes or pick up toys. Seriously. Of course, he does dishes only with adult supervision, but he really loves getting all soapy. He’s actually always been a cleaner. He likes washing (more like “washing”) his clothes in the sink, too.

    Comment by Ms. Four | 16 November 2008

  3. We started an allowance with Lyra sometime around the time she turned 5. For us, she just gets the allowance. We do have a chore chart – but she builds up her stars on that for a “special” event, like trip to the water park. For allowance she’s expected to be generally helpful but there’s no explicit tie to what she’s expected to do. In other words, she doesn’t lose her allowance if she doesn’t do something. I was more interested in the allowance being a tool to help her understand the value of money.

    She gets 5 Dhs per week which is just about US$1.50. We’ve kind of said, since she’s 5 she gets 5 currency units. When we were in the US this summer, she got US$5 – which for her is a lot of money. But it is difficult to explain currency exchange to a 5-year old. My guess is we’ll keep it at 5 currency units until she’s older and then maybe shift to more.

    So far, she gets to decide what she does with her money. She’s pretty good at saving it. And then she has the oddest things that she wants to buy – like Disney Princess Bandaids. (Imagine the looks from the store clerk as I negotiated that I would “lend” her 2 Dhs so she could afford the bandages.) She likes to put some in the charity boxes at the mall and can be very generous. So, we haven’t instituted anything like a “forced savings” plan. Again, maybe something we will introduce when she is older.

    The only time she has “lost” her allowance was when she had to pay me back for something. We went to the store and I bought her some shorts – shorts she said she liked. Then when we got home she wouldn’t wear them and said, “Put them in the charity box.” I said I would, but that she’d have to pay me back (4 weeks of allowance). Like I said, we’re trying to teach her the value of money. Now, when she asks for something I might say, well, that’s 10 weeks of allowance. It helps her to relate to the effort it takes to save up for something.

    As for Bug, well maybe explain that this is something that will start when he’s 5 or 6. I think that kids can understand that something is for when you’re older. And then also maybe you can talk to Giggle about getting something special for Bug with his allowance.

    Comment by Juju | 18 November 2008

  4. Great topic. We started an allowance for our kiddo when he turned 5. He only gets 25 cents a week but he thinks it’s awesome! We don’t link it to chores – like one of the other commenters we sort of intended it to be to teach him about money. And we like to tell him that he has to chores because he lives in the house not because he gets something for it. His only real chore is setting the table, which he does every night. Other stuff, like cleaning up his toys, etc. we haven’t really framed as a chore. I tried having him swiff (do you guys have swiffers over there?) the floor as an additional chore but I’m not sure how helpful that was. We’ll see.

    Comment by Annie | 18 November 2008

  5. I was going to start an allowance when my son turned 5 but never did… we will start in a few months when he turns 6 instead. It won’t be much, $2 max. He has regular chores already – making his bed, one week setting the table, one week clearing the table, and puts away his own laundry once it is folded. We don’t call them ‘chores’ but ‘helping out’ and I explained that everyone in a family helps out. When I have to clean the entire house for a special event like a party then he gets assigned an extra cleaning task again to ‘help out’. I probably won’t add anything extra because of the allowance, although I might add something because he is older now.

    I am not going to control what he does with the money. If he saves it fine, spends it, also fine. Nothing like wanting to buy something and not having any money to teach you that you should have saved some. 🙂 But I will ask him to participate in our regular charity donations, like to Heifer at Christmas, which he does already (last year he gave a dollar, but he only had about 3 dollars in his piggy bank, so that was a lot.)

    And like the previous poster, I think siblings are used to the “when you are older” argument, so hopefully it will be ok.

    Comment by june | 23 November 2008


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