Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Banking Crisis Hits Home

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.


  1. HA! you went to teach them something but they taught you instead! isn't that a kick in the pants? ;)

  2. Wow! I think I'll put *$2* in my account! Imagine all the cool scrap stuff I could get. . .

  3. What a great story.

    Stop by when you get the chance, I have a blog award waiting for you on mine -


  4. Save a $1.50 a week. Noted! :) Good idea with the bank of mom. Get em started early on balancing that check book!

  5. I am taking my huge change jar to the bank today!

  6. They were doing GREAT!!!! I LOVE the bank of Mom!!

    So when are you getting that little "secret" you told me about????? I can't wait to see!!!

  7. I hate it when the ice cream man comes around. Money goes flying out the door for overpriced freezer-burned ice cream...

  8. when did you start your allowance jar? (I'm thinking I need to read your older post! ha ha!)

    my kids are the same... I need to start this up!

  9. I figured up how much I would save just quitting my drinking habit of at least two Diet Pepsis a day. It overwhelmed me so much I had to go buy a big mug! Needless to say I'm still drinking. I'll bet that $70 would have been gone very quickly if the ice cream truck frequented too often! Way to be a banker Mom.

  10. How cool! :-) I give my son (8) an allowance, too...and when the ice cream man came around here the other day, guess who is the only one that had cash on him? LOL!

  11. Oh, I can't wait until my kids figure out the whole money thing! haha

  12. I so feel your allowance pain. Our oldest (15) spends his as fast as he gets it. The youngest (7) hoards money. Every few months we have to go make a deposit to his bank acct. I even make him give the money to the teller and get his receipt.