Existence Money

Cameron has been told he will be hired at the same place Ani works some time after he turns 15 next month. I told him as soon as he gets hired he will no longer get an allowance from us. He said that makes sense since he’ll no longer need that “existence money.”

We pay our kids the number of years they are old in dollars every two weeks. So Adrian gets $8, Fritz gets $10, and Cameron gets $14. They are required to do nothing to get that money. No chores are required. They get it simply for existing. We tried connecting it to chores, but it got too complicated.

The reason they get the money with no requirements attached is two-fold. One, it lets them learn to budget a little bit from early on. They are required to pay 10% of what they get in tithing. Other than that, they can decide what to do with it. They can spend it on candy or they can save for something big or anything in between.

The other reason is by assigning a tiny amount of our budget to them, they are not allowed to beg for us to buy anything for them. If they want something, the first thing is to see if they have enough money for it. If so, they can buy it. If not, they cannot. We’re not going to buy it for them (that’s not to say we don’t ever buy them things they want if they don’t have enough for it at the time – they just know there is no point in begging since that’s the worst way to get us to just be nice and get it for them).

As soon as they start getting paid by a regular job (Cameron’s dog-sitting didn’t count since it wasn’t regular income) we stop paying them their allowance. Hopefully by then they will have had enough experience managing a little bit of money and will be able to manage a more just as well.

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