Saturday, July 12, 2008

six bucks six bucks six bucks

It's been about three months since Abby started getting her allowance and I thought, perhaps and update was in order. Since April she's received a raise, that coincided with her birthday, to $6. She gets her money in looney and toonie form which she has to put in it's required location; $1 for church, $2 for her piggy bank and $3 for her spending money.

I think it's important that she takes care of the "administration" of her money. I don't think she'd be learning the basic principles of money management if I just did it for her. Her piggy bank is getting fuller every week and I'm curious to see how much cash she'll have when it's finally full and time to roll up all that change.

I think the spending money category has been the most fun. She started out with a goal of saving enough to buy Papa a burger and beers at her favourite restaurant, but with apologies to Papa I think this plan may have gone the way of the dinosaur. You see Abby has gotten a taste of shopping for herself with her own money. So the ole spending money dish has been remaining remarkably empty these days. So what exactly is she shopping for? Well she spent some money at the book fair at school, buying herself a Rainbow Fairies book. This is a series of books, we're reading the Jewel Fairies right now, but there is also the Pet Fairies, the Weather Fairies and the Rainbow Magic Fairies. What I didn't realize at the time was she had picked out the second book in the series. A bit more of her spending money got her the first book which we finished tonight. Now she'd like to go shopping for the third book.

Then there was the clock radio. We've been having some pretty violent rain storms here of late and a few weeks ago one hit at exactly bedtime. To mask the noise of the storm I ran out in the rain to the garage and got Mike's battery operated shop radio. She loved falling asleep to music and asked if she could have a radio in her room like Mike and I had. So she saved up some money and we took her shopping at WalMart where she picked herself out a white Sony dream machine clock radio for $14. And since she had saved over $20 she also bought a pack of gum and a box of Popsicles. She loves this radio. She listens to it every night when she's going to bed. Always the country music station. She's singing more than ever and just the other morning she helpfully told Mike to turn his headlights on because she heard on her radio that it was going to be foggy.

And then there was the trip to the sub shop. Friends of Mike's have opened a new sub shop in town called The Sub Shoppe. Mike is a big fan of independent sub shops. He doesn't really care for Subway especially when it costs an arm and a leg for us to eat there as a family. His friends opened up shop earlier this month and Abby was the recipient of their first sub, ham and mustard on white. She's been enthralled with the place ever since. Not long ago she was requesting subs, which was an idea I vetoed. Then she pointed out she had her own spending money and she wanted to spend it on a sub. Next thing you know she had her money in her purse and she and Mike were out the door.

So yeah, it's been a really good learning experience for her. And for me. I'm learning to find that middle ground when it comes to her money and how she's spending it. How much of a say do I really get over it? It has been suggested, more than once, that I am not the boss of her money. Which is true to a point, I suppose. As with most aspects of motherhood it's all one big work in progress.

Look for my update on the whole chore situation too!


Anonymous said...

OK Shan, I just HAVE to much does Subway charge up there that it's more expensive then the independent shops? The exact opposite is true here in Florida!!!

I love reading your stories!!

Shan said...

Julie!! You should comment more often, I miss you! I hope you all are well.

For the most part the independents are half or better than Subway charges. You're looking in the neighbourhood of $10 for a combo. At Mike's friends place we got subs for the three of us (Maya won't eat them) with drinks (they did throw in Abby's drink for free) for $13.

Anonymous said...

Shan, you're in my google reader so I'm totally keeping up with your life now!!!

Julie said...

I love the idea of an allowance. I always got one as a kid and I think I really learned how to manage my money (maybe too well, I'm a bit of a miser!). How old was Abby when you started the allowance thing? And does she have to do "chores" for it? I know it;s way far in the future before Max gets one, but I like to file these things away.

Shan said...

Julie lb - so glad to hear it.

Julie - We started giving Abby an allowance about three months ago, so just before her 6th birthday. She does have to do chores, but I'm not trying to put too much emphasis on one being related to the other. I'm trying to teach her about team work and helping out regardless of the "reward". For example I make supper so she can help me out by setting the table.

Abby having her own money keeps a dialogue running about her own money management. It's on a very small scale for sure, but I like to think of them as building blocks.