Tuesday, November 21, 2017
News Roundup

Giving your kids an allowance can save you money in the long run

RECOMMENDED READING


Sometimes it takes money to save money.

This is what I've learned as a mother of three. By giving my children a weekly allowance they can spend on Legos, that Tinker Bell diary or those extra clothes they don't really need, I don't end up plunking down lots of money at once.

Any budget expert will tell you it's better to pay $25 to three kids once a week than an extra $200 when you go on vacation or $80 when two teenage girls head to the mall.

Opinions abound on the pros and cons of allowance.

Some parenting experts think children should do the basics, such as making their beds and clearing the table without being rewarded. It's a rule of the household, period. Others say they should make real contributions to the household, such as doing laundry or fixing meals without pay because families should support each other.

Other experts suggest giving kids money each week that isn't tied to chores so they learn to manage money. Then you can pay them extra for chores beyond the basics.

A 2010 survey of 506 families conducted by American Express found 62 percent of parents give children a weekly allowance. The average weekly amount is $12, or $48 a month. The majority of those paying parents, or 85 percent, tie the money to chores.

If you do decide to dole out an allowance, a pretty common rule is a dollar for each year of a child's age with a cap of $10.

The average allowances for the 6- to 8-year-old set is $4.80 per week, according to a recent Nickelodeon/Yankelovich Youth Monitor survey. For a 9- to 11-year-olds, it's $7 per week; and $16.60 for the 12-17 bracket.

The most frequently cited tasks children ages 6 to 17 performed were: cleaning their room, taking out the garbage, doing dishes, caring for a pet and doing laundry.

My kids have to do the basics — keep their room decent, handle their dirty dishes and feed the dog when he's kicking his bowl around — just to reside with their devoted parents in our house. For extra weekly chores such as emptying the dishwasher, babysitting a younger brother, yard work and cleaning windows, they receive an allowance based on their age.

Not only does this system allow me to give them smaller amounts of money regularly instead of a lot all at once, it keeps me from buying them stuff they don't really want or need.

It's amazing to see what they can do without when buying an item with their own money.

That Hagrid's Hut Lego set for $40? "I'm not as into Harry Potter as I used to be," my 9-year-old son decided when visiting a Lego store on vacation this summer. He opted for a $10 police helicopter and two Minifigures for $3 each.

My 13-year-old daughter asked me to buy her a $3.99 pink, plastic ball of lip gloss at the Target checkout line when we were buying school supplies. I balked, but suggested she buy it with her allowance.

"I don't want it that much," she replied.

Of course, I do bend sometimes and buy them stuff they should pay for themselves. And, once in a while, I can go three weeks in a row without cash to pay them on Saturdays, then I get hit with a big allowance bill at once.

I think it was our first trip to Disney World with two children in tow when I was hit with the sticker shock and emotional buying that convinced me they should have their own money to spend.

A couple of stuffed animals and colored pencils sets bedazzled with princesses set me back almost $75. This was after the admission tickets and four overpriced lunches.

My daughters were too young for chores at the time. So when they got crisp dollars from grandparents on birthdays, I told them they could spend the money right away or save it for our next trip to Disney World. When one wanted to spend hers instead of saving it, I reminded her that her sister would get to pick out her own toy at Disney, but she wouldn't. She saved it, of course.

The following summer, we were taking them to New York City for the first time and their birthday money was long gone. So we held a yard sale.

"If you sell your old toys and books that you don't use anymore, you'll have money to buy something new at the American Girl Store or the giant Toys 'R' Us store in Times Square," I told them.

A month later when my 5-year-old bought the purple stuffed unicorn with a horn that lit up and played music she declared: "I'm never going to yard-sale this." Sadly, she did four years later.

But I bought it for $3 and have it tucked away safely in the linen closet.

News researcher Natalie Watson contributed to this report.

Comments
Teen idol David Cassidy, ‘Partridge Family’ star, dies at 67

Teen idol David Cassidy, ‘Partridge Family’ star, dies at 67

LOS ANGELES — David Cassidy of "The Partridge Family" fame has died at age 67. Publicist JoAnn Geffen released a statement Tuesday evening saying Cassidy had died "surrounded by those he loved." No further details were immediately available, but Geff...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
A new threat this shopping season: toys that can spy on kids

A new threat this shopping season: toys that can spy on kids

ST. PETERSBURG — Not all sinister toys are as obvious as a Chucky doll. Many present more subtle threats — choking hazards, high lead content, privacy concerns. And as the biggest shopping season of the year kicks off, consumer advocates are urging s...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Indian automaker plant is latest sign of Detroit comeback

Indian automaker plant is latest sign of Detroit comeback

It has been years since Detroit, birthplace of the American auto industry, was a steady producer of the manufacturing jobs that defined it as the Motor City. But its comeback is entering a new phase.The latest milestone came this week, with the annou...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
Big Tobacco’s anti-smoking ads begin after decade of delay

Big Tobacco’s anti-smoking ads begin after decade of delay

Associated PressWASHINGTON — Decades after they were banned from the airwaves, Big Tobacco companies return to prime-time television this weekend — but not by choice. Under court order, the industry for the first time will be forced to advertise the ...
Updated: 18 minutes ago

Updated: 18 minutes ago
Jurors hear from firefighter who filed sex discrimination case

Jurors hear from firefighter who filed sex discrimination case

TAMPA — The firefighter suing the city of Tampa for discrimination took the stand for the first time Tuesday, telling the courtroom how other firefighters slammed the door in her face, refused to let her pump breast milk and propositioned her for sex...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Ybor ’s first public school, long gone, still has a story to tell about district’s history

Ybor ’s first public school, long gone, still has a story to tell about district’s history

TAMPAIt’s been more than a century since Ybor City’s first public school was demolished on the plot of land now identified as 1311 E Eighth Ave.For the past 22 years, the popular concert venue New World Brewery took up the space and one next door. No...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Deputies: Seffner man paints truck to hide role in hit-and-run death

Deputies: Seffner man paints truck to hide role in hit-and-run death

SEFFNER — After pulling a Friday night shift waiting on tables, Linda Kay Fisher, a 46-year-old mother of two, walked north on the narrow, sparsely lit road that leads to her home.But just before midnight and with less than half a mile to go, Fisher ...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Strong’s slip about UCF’s Griffin seen as motivation for Knights

Strong’s slip about UCF’s Griffin seen as motivation for Knights

TAMPA — While saying nothing to purposely fan the flames of the USF-UCF rivalry during his weekly news conference Tuesday, Bulls coach Charlie Strong provided fuel for the Knights’ best player.He used the H-word when discussing Knights senior outside...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
Bucs journal: Defense struggling to get off the field on third and long

Bucs journal: Defense struggling to get off the field on third and long

TAMPA — Third and long, normally an ideal situation for an NFL defense, continues to be a problem as the Bucs try to get opposing offenses off the field.In the second half of Sunday’s game, the Dolphins converted six third downs when they needed 8 ya...
Updated: 20 minutes ago