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#1 of 8 Old 05-26-2010, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I have posted in this forum about money/alowance before, and really benefitted from the thoughts i've had based on replies. Now I need similar input again.

My eldest has a paper route. I suggested it years ago as a way for him to make money. We do not do allowance or give them any money, but we also do not deny them a purchase if they seek something out (something affordable like a $20 lego set or a trinket at the summer market). So, there has never been a need to 'give' them money.

but then he started wanting bigger stuff, more $$$, so the route was suggested.

He saves up his route money and then buys the big ticket item, then saves again.

I've always thought I was being a 'good' parent, because I am giving him a clear sense of money and the value of work at a young age. but lately I'm questioning this.

I've never asked him if he *wants* this job, but rather that it is the only realistic way for him to earn his own money. and so he's done it. other friends are given money for their b-days, from distant relatives, and he sees the hundreds of dollars they have. but they are not buying anything extravagant, my son is not in a position of wanting things his friends have, they are all on an an even monetary/lifestyle level.

Anyway, what are your thoughts? Definitly having the route has been imposed on him by us in one sense, because we've always said if you want money you need to go get/earn it. "just like we do".

I want to ask hi if he actually wants to go out in the rain and do this.

Sure it's a life lesson, but as our first born, he's gotten al the rules/dogma I parented by in his younger days, whereas my perspective has changed since then (thank you Sandra Dodd) and now I'm questioning the things he does because 'that's what we do". kwim?

My daughters don't live like him because they've been raised by the more RU-like mom in me, the one I'm working on each day. This is most confusing for my rule-comforted son to, I think. but that's for another thread.

I appreciated the perspective in the allowance thread about how extra $$ in the family is for all, that we all share it.

It would likely be different if our kids wanted lots of things, were always asking for things. but they aren't.

I'm not sure what else to say. I want to be as clear/provide as much info as possible, but I'm also guilty of over-explaining. so I'l stop now.

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#2 of 8 Old 05-26-2010, 03:34 PM
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I don't think you're imposing it on him at all. He has the opportunity to decide which he values more- his free time and comfort, or access to somewhat expensive items. I'm assuming it doesn't matter to you which he chooses, so there's no pressure in that regard.
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#3 of 8 Old 05-26-2010, 06:16 PM
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If you haven't pressured him to get the job, he isn't being pressured to keep the job and it is something he's chosen as a way get more things he wants then I don't think you've imposed it at all. I would be sure that he knows the job is a choice, that you'll do what you can to support him in his choice and that he understands that the job is necessary because the money in your household is finite.
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#4 of 8 Old 05-27-2010, 03:12 AM
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ok let me see if I got that right..
he want exspensive things that you can't just cough up and suggested a route and he decided that was the way to go.
then I don't see a problem with it.

I doubt we'd be ablt to afford some of the more expensive stuff that I see my older neighbour kids buy so here a realistic way to get those would also be a job. As long as he has the choice I don't see a problem.If you aren't sure if he knows tis is a choice just talk to him about it

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#5 of 8 Old 05-27-2010, 01:05 PM
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I agree with the above. I'll share with you our allowance story:

After reading (probably that same thread) here on MDC I decided to offer my kids a choice. If they wanted spending money, they would have to contribute to the running of the household just as I do, and thus earn a share of the family's spending budget. We sat down and they came up with a list of little things to do, like setting the table, etc. We allotted a certain amount of money to each task, established a mandatory 30% savings rate, and off we went. DD enjoyed being able to buy a packet of sugar-free gum or a trinket at the museum gift shop. But she didn't really enjoy the jobs. Eventually she told me that she didn't need the money and would rather just not be committed to doing those jobs every day. DD followed suit much quicker, but then he is only 5. ;-)

My kids, thankfully, are not spendy and don't pine for too much. Most of what they want is learning-related and we can use our learning funds for that. So far, the kids are quite content to just help out around the house when it suits them but not be required to do it. They don't miss the money and feel it was a good decision.

Your child apparently feels the paper route is worth it. I think that's just fine.

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#6 of 8 Old 05-28-2010, 11:35 AM
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The only thing I would have an issue with is if you and your partner are big spenders, but he has to lsog through the rain to earn a few bucks to buy stuff.

I have a friends whose husband spends oodles of money on his toys, but is very cheap and the wife and childrens wants/needs. His toy? $2000. They want to spend 50 bucks on something - suddenly it is a big deal - to him.

This may not be the situation in your life at all, but is a btdt, so I thought I would throw it out there. I think the key idea is to look at the big picture and make sure you are not doing something that creates a climate of unbalance or unfairness.

I personally favour a reasonable allowance, and if that does not cover their wants (and it probably won't) then encouraging work to supplement the situation. YMMV.
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#7 of 8 Old 05-28-2010, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
The only thing I would have an issue with is if you and your partner are big spenders, but he has to lsog through the rain to earn a few bucks to buy stuff.
Otherwise, everyone else has pretty much said what I would say.
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#8 of 8 Old 05-28-2010, 12:02 PM
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Yes, what everyone else said.

We will do an allowance with DS though (not yet, he's only 15mos, probably when he can at least count!) The way my parents did allowance was that half goes in the bank, 10% to the church, & the rest we could do what we wish. We had spending money for small purchases (and my parents would still buy us things occasionally too), we learned to tithe which is important to us religiously, and we learned to save both short-term & long-term.... PLUS when we learned to drive we had enough in our savings to buy a cheap used car. I think I will do something very similar with DS. I consider myself pretty 'smart' financially, it also worked well with my siblings, except my youngest brother but I attribute that more to his math-related learning disabilities. Also our allowance was not huge (though it obviously added up!) and not tied to chores. We were expected to do chores because we were part of the family, and we got an allowance to learn money management.

OK so I'm not sure if that's really what you were asking, but there it is. And unless you physically went and applied for your DS to get a paper route and shove him out the door each morning to do it, I don't think you're forcing him... How old is he? Does he know he's free to quit if he'd rather do something else or just doesn't want to earn money?

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