Remember the cute Allowance Jars that I made for the girls once upon a time? I was convinced that they were going to enable me to teach my kids how to manage their money. Well, guess what? I failed.
Maybe I'm being hasty here, but let me just share recent events with you. Picture this, it was a beautiful Memorial Day weekend, perhaps the first Memorial Day weekend in a decade without freakish hail or snow, the kids are playing outside, the birdies are chirping, the ice cream truck is meandering through the neighborhood . . .
Four kids come barrelling into the house, running around willy nilly. I'm downstairs, but I know that I'm hearing more footsteps than my two, so I run up to investigate. I find four little girls, two of them mine, sweet faces smiling, fists full of wads of cash, all too happy to tell me that they're going to get some ice cream.
"Um. Where did you get the money?" I ask
"From our allowance jars," Stinkerbell reports, smiling and batting her eyelashes. Already, Girlfriend knows how to work a situation.
"I don't think so," I say, "You can each have one dollar of that, put the rest back."
"Aw, Mom," my monsters whine.
I come back ten minutes later to check on things. Two of the girls still have a couple dollars each, but they are quick to tell me that they "found it in their mailbox." Hmmmm. It sounds fishy to me, but I didn't see where they got it, so I didn't feel comfortable grilling them further.
I decided right then and there that my girls weren't ready to be responsible for their own money. If they had given money to their friends, it was gone and I wasn't going to pursue it. Let it be a lesson to us all.
So I got out my old cash box and photocopied some bank registers. One at a time, I had the girls give me their money, keeping track of which portion goes to savings, charity, and how much is theirs to spend.
All the money got pooled in the locked box, and they have to come to me to make a withdrawal. Just call me The Bank of Mom now.
Do you want to know the really sad part? Well, I'm going to tell you anyway. All together my girls had around seventy dollars. Seventy dollars! I know. They have more money than I do. That just goes to show you how quickly $1.50 a week adds up. I think I'm going to start putting $1.50 a week into my own savings account. The little brats.