The decision to use an allowance with our teenager was a really good one and it quickly removed all the tension we were having. There were a few rules, but not many, it was a simple, no risk strategy really. I was already spending money, this was going to reduce my spending!
I had to put my young teenager on an allowance because they had no idea about money and didn’t understand how much money everything they wanted cost. She loved to buy new things but was never aware of what she was actually spending. The allowance changed everything, and here’s how I did it.
She would ask for things, and every time I would instantly feel the tension. We disagreed about whether she really needed new clothes or shoes. To me she had plenty already, in fact, I often needed clothes more than she did. She would
nag ask, I would give in say yes, and then get annoyed at myself later, and I just became increasingly resentful.
The allowance was worked out in advance between us which meant no more negotiations in the heat of the moment. We also pre-determined how much money they would get each season and what they could expect to get from me in one lump sum before shopping.
The bottom line was when the money was gone, it was gone. End of story! No more.
There were more benefits to this system than I realised at the beginning.
We made a plan for the year created a strategy we could both follow. It kept their wardrobe updated without going overboard, and meant I wasn’t spending unnecessarily, while at the same time he learnt the value of a dollar and what things are really worth.
I understood that my job as a parent was to teach them the following;
How to manage their money well
To take care of what they owned
Learn to save for things they couldn’t afford right now
Not to buy things they couldn’t afford
I have used this allowance method with all 3 of my kids, 2 of them needed it, there was one who didn’t. I have had different iterations of this system over the years, but this is the basic set up.