Thursday Tips On: Children’s Allowances and Savings

PHOTO CAPTION: My daughter’s savings plan for College!

“Oh kids these days….

they want E V E R Y T H I N G don’t they?”

My 3 year old daughter can tell you the names of ALL the Treehouse Canada (KidsTV Channel) characters from Paw Patrol, Peppa, PJ Masks, Shimmer and Shine and the DREADFUL Calliou

READ: 18 Reasons Why Parents Can’t Stand Caillou

The fact she knows all of these characters and the commercials for kids stuff makes for some pandemonium IF we need to grab a present for a little one’s birthday party.

I usually do this about 20 minutes before it starts – don’t do this. Plan your presents!

I try to avoid bringing her into the store BUT if not….a simple trek to Toys R Us CAN lead to:

  • Epic Temper tantrums – “You are a mean Mommy, Mommy!”
  • Sitting down in front of said toy; refusing to move
  • Tears and runny nose
  • “I want a surprise tooooooo!!” while grabbing my pant leg
  • Screaming, jumping, etc. Just Embarrassing!

When my sweet little angel wants something so bad, she can act like a total psycho.

I could go on and on about my kid’s breakdowns/tantrums, (she calls them accidents“) but I’ll save it for another post.

Now she is 3 and I can see differences in her behaviour now so intensely. She is much more agreeable, doesn’t flip out unless she’s tired or “hangry.” (Hungry and Angry! Get it? Ha ha)

I must say, nothing motivates good behaviour better than “earning” an allowance with a Chart filled with stickers.

  • OR Turn the experience of making one together into a memory! It’s almost idiot proof making one (even though I fucked up our first one)

What kid doesn’t love doing crafts with their parents?!

The Chart & Allowances:

Spending 13 years in Retail Banking & Investments, I got to know the “second generation” when they went off to University!

So many things stand out for me during those interactions:

  • 17/18/19 years old, never had a bank account. Working part time while in high school was a “distraction” so why bother?
  • Birthday money? $1000 for Christmas from Oma? GONE.
  • To my Banker friends reading: “May I open a “CHEQUINGS” account please?” (Shudder)
  • What’s a Mortgage? Credit Card?”

Don’t get me wrong; I was financially illiterate until I began my career as a Bank Teller in 2005 but we can do better now by our kids!

Here’s How:

  • Think of the Reward Chart as a Performance Review for your job: Their chores become little jobs and rewarding them becomes an incentive to continue the positive behaviour
  • Set goals: 3 stars is worth $3 for my 3 year old or $5 for 5 stars for your 5 year old. Base it on their age…get creative!
  • Depending on how often you want to dish out your hard earned money, I recommend a bi-weekly allowance.
  • Memories vs. Memorabilia: my kid loooooves the Trampoline Park or one of those play places. Rewarding with an experience versus a cheap toy works very well for us here.
  • If your kid knows exactly what they want to buy and has enough allowance, go for it but I recommend doing the single most important thing first….

Open a Bank Account with Them:

  • Make it a big deal! Most of the Staff at the Bank recognize how scary banks can be for kids so we always tried to make it enjoyable. I would call the kids “MR. Brady” or “Miss. Caterina” – every parent and child loved it.
  • Their first experience should be a memorable one and if you find it was rushed or not up to par; take the time to speak with a Manager. Trust me on this one.
  • Your kids current and future business is extremely profitable for Banks because usually whatever Bank a child starts with, ends up getting the RRSP or the Mortgage…do not let some disgruntled employee ruin this experience.

THINGS TO CONSIDER….

  • After making a deposit, Check the balance and activity so they see where the money is going or growing
  • Let the staff get to know you and your children. It personalizes all of their future interactions.
  • Youth accounts are free for kids under 18. Don’t get any ideas though because these accounts cannot be made joint so NO FREE BANKING for you!
  • Open a separate savings account under your child’s name and create a savings plan for big purchases, long term savings for education.
  • GO ONLINE? Personal decision- depends on the maturity level IMO.
  • BANK CARD? Sure why not? Kids shop impulsively too!

CHORES FOR MY SWEET BABY?!

Back in the day, my 94 year old grandmother was taking care of her 7 siblings under the age of 10! She was like 11.

Obviously kids don’t face the same adversities as the older generations did – remind them of that.

Of course your tween or teenager should have chores but what about your precious 2-6 year old?

PHOTO CAPTION: Make sure they don’t flush the used fabric sheets in the toilet. True story….

  • My daughter LOVES to help. Here she is helping me with the laundry, taking stuff from the washer into the dryer. She also likes to clean the lint trap.
  • If my daughter clears her dinner plate and cup (she actually tries to clear the entire table now) she is recognized for it with a star.
  • If she cleans up her room or toys (without me asking ten times) that’s a star.
  • If she listens and cooperates all week long and only has minor behaviour issues, we talk about why she is getting a star.
  • Stars can also be taken away! I try a 3 minute time out first before threatening to take a precious star away.

After 3 stars per week, so 6 for two weeks; that is $18 for her to add to her piggy Bank. I highly recommend taking your child to pick out their own Piggy Bank.

We plan to take her into the Bank soon but she isn’t quite there yet to appreciate the process.

Final Thoughts:

An allowance can teach financial responsibility but also shows your child that you work too and cannot afford to buy them whatever they want.

Everything is a Privilege – don’t be afraid to walk out of a gymnastics class early so she can’t have her precious sticker at the end if she acted like a drunk person the entire time. (True Story. She lost a star too)

We are raising future adults here and we all know how it really is out there don’t we? No we do not get stars but we do have Performance Reviews.

Think of this when implementing some type of system in your home.

I would love to hear your stories about how you reward your children or dole out money to them!

Please email me at angela@mommythebanker.com or IG: mommythebanker

NEXT THURSDAY:

Registered Education Savings or Tax Free Savings?! What one should you choose and why!

2 thoughts on “Thursday Tips On: Children’s Allowances and Savings

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