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At what age did you stop giving allowance to your children?

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At what age did you stop giving allowance to your children?

Postby DonnaZn2SK » Sep 22, 2012 3:14 pm

Just wondering...I told our daughter we would stop at 19. My husband says when she is done school...She has a part time job and is in a very intensive program at university (engineering). She also likes really expensive things and mom is not willing to pay for any of it unless it is a birthday or Christmas gift.

What age is fair to stop allowance? When they get a job? Or at a certain age? My children do no chores. I have always encouraged them to save some of it, whereas my husband thinks an allowance should be spent on anything they want.
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Re: At what age did you stop giving allowance to your childr

Postby B_BQ » Sep 22, 2012 4:12 pm

Good luck with this one Donna!

It's such an individual choice. So much depends on the child/young adult/parents!

I'm going to stick my neck out here and say that if your daughter has a part-time job, and you're covering all her tuition expenses, then she shouldn't be expecting an allowance from you as well!

When she really needs, (or wants), something then you could have a discussion about how much she can put towards it, and whether you're prepared to help her out, or not. Depends what she feels she can't live without.

Sounds like your DD has an idyllic life!!!!!!

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Re: At what age did you stop giving allowance to your childr

Postby DonnaZn2SK » Sep 22, 2012 5:42 pm

Actually, Brenda, in her opinion, her life sucks because her mother won't let her do everything or buy her everything. I know her life is a hundred times easier than my childhood, but they sure don't see it that way. I just wondered what age other people stopped allowance; most of what I've read says after they get a job.

According to her, I'm cheap and she is not. She can afford to buy all her makeup, clothes, Starbucks. etc, but she doesn't see that a huge part of her expenses (tuition, car, housing) has been provided by parents.
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Re: At what age did you stop giving allowance to your childr

Postby B_BQ » Sep 22, 2012 5:58 pm

Hi Donna:

As I said, this is a difficult and very much an individual family decision.

When our daughter went to university she also lived at home, and of course all the tuition fees and books were bought by us. She too had a heavy load, with Physics, Chemistry, Math, etc. Until she got a part-time job we covered all her expenses, and she had some 'play' money too. She was only 16 though, so wasn't old enough to get any sort of job. However, as soon as she got a part-time job she was expected to contribute. Of course she got sulky but she was not given any choice. As it turned out, she quit university, and got a full-time job, and then she was expected to contribute to her board and lodging! She was not a happy camper.

Now she's totally independent and self-sufficient.

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Re: At what age did you stop giving allowance to your childr

Postby Heidi S » Sep 22, 2012 6:32 pm

We stopped paying our son his small allowance at 18, although he did not have a job then. However, he was also already receiving a small amount monthly from the income generated by his trust fund, with my permission. If I don't roll out the trust fund income, the trust has to pay tax on it, so it is better in his hands as he has more deductions than the trust does. At the end of his Grade 12 (he was then 19) he got his first job, and is now responsible for everything except room and board at home.

At the start of University, this month, he had $5000 income from his RESP for tuition/books/supplies for the year, his own earned income, and his trust income. He is actually a very lucky boy to have this trust from my Mom's estate. Because we also have RESP money saved, we are taking out his income from it as Educational Payments in his hand, and will keep the principal money we deposited for ourselves at this point.

My son and I just had a big talk about living with us rent free and his continued need to keep his space clean enough to meet basic standards. I reminded him that I was not legally required to house him and if he doesn't like he is welcome to find his own accommodation. He has selected to stay at home and keep up his space a bit better. We'll see!
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Re: At what age did you stop giving allowance to your childr

Postby Katherine » Sep 22, 2012 6:48 pm

This IS a tough question. I think some of the root of this questions comes from how we were raised and how we felt about it. I was raised very poor, I watched my mother struggle financially after my dad died when I was 12 and the older sibs were older teens/ young adults. So I didnt want my kids to struggle as much, but I never realized how valuable it was for ME to learn that work was necessary to get "stuff" until I saw them get a bit of an attitude of entitlement when they were in their mid teens. I woke up at that point.

My daughters are 22 and 28, and they have had a lot of help but they also have a really strongh work ethic. They know that if they ever got into a real bind, couldnt pay tuition, couldnt meet their rent, etc. illness, no job and no hope of one, we would help them but they have had to work and save for what they have since they turned 18 or so. The 28 year old is raising two small kids on her own, and trying to go to school. I help her out a little bit but we have a WRITTEN agreement she will pay me back and she seldom asks for help. Less and less as time goes on. The younger one is 22 in teacher training with a BSc under her belt and she is totally financially independant. She knows we are there for her, but she is proud and happy she is independant, lives with room mates, pays her own way totally.

I think if you are helping your daughter by paying her educutional fees, at 19, and she has a part time job, and I am presuming she lives at home still, then she is not eligible for an allowance. IMHO. Allowances are what you give little kids to teach them how to handle money and save for what they want. Work is usually involved in getting an allowance to. I.e. chores, helping out around the house etc.

If she thinks you are cheap, thats just RUDE. It sounds a bit like she needs to get a grip and see how grown ups actually live. I dont mean to be harsh but if it were not for you, she would not be in the school of engineering living on a part time job with very expensive tastes!

I have seen friends older than me who were raised in the 50s and they endulged their young kids right up into adulthood, and most of the 'kids' are in their 30s now. They are like baby birds, always begging, they dont hesitate to ask their retired, pensioned somewhat poor parents for money, handouts all the time. Some of them cant handle money, get into trouble all the time, and they can be offhand and rude to their parents as well, like they are OWED the money. I dont think its a good idea to encourage that. If you had a bad upbringing like I did, and it WAS bad, then going too far the other way with the kids is not the answer.

Sorry my response was so long. Obviously this struck a cord with me. Good luck Donna. I remember you having a hard time before with your kids not appreciating trips to Hawaii etc etc. Kids can be hard some times.

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Re: At what age did you stop giving allowance to your childr

Postby DonnaZn2SK » Sep 22, 2012 7:27 pm

Thanks, Brenda, Heidi and Katherine for your responses. I really appreciate you all sharing your points of view. As you can guess, part of my problem is my knuckle-headed husband. He is quite intransigent when it comes to the children; he wants the best for them and heaven forbid if our children should lack what "other" children have normally.

I think I would cut my daughter a lot more slack if she wasn't such a colossal biznitch, and it's only to me, (and to a lesser extent her brothers). For others, she is exceedingly polite. Her work ethic is second to none when it comes to school work and she knows to avoid drugs and alcohol. Her father forgives a lot of her faults because of this; I am not so tolerant.
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Re: At what age did you stop giving allowance to your childr

Postby Heidi S » Sep 23, 2012 1:47 am

I really struggled giving my son an allowance past age 15, if truth be told. I was working part time by that age, and I did not get any money from my parents for spending money or post secondary schooling - just the opportunity to remain at home rent free for 2 years. My husband also worked much earlier than our son did. However, the deciding factor was the serious mental health issues our boy was going through at that age. We were struggling to keep him functional, and in school from 15-18, so we did not pressure him to find a job to earn pocket money as well. We dd not give him a lot of cash though, maxing out at $50/month until he was 18.

Since his 18th birthday we have not given him any money regularly - except we are paying $35/m for one year for his initial phone contract, as we gave him an iphone for his 19th birthday and graduation present. He is responsible for the account fee as of his 20th birthday. I still treat him if we are going out to dinner as a family, he is allowed to use our car for working late shifts vs. the non-existent bus system at night here, but we have asked that he kick in at least $20 bucks a month towards gas. I have paid the increased car insurance this year, he will start kicking in the next renewal (just got his 'N' 3 weeks ago) Otherwise he has a bus pass included in his university fees, and is welcome to walk if it comes to that.

Our son is much more coddled that I ever was, and it irks me sometimes, but I am also dealing with a different time, and a child who has struggled hard to recover from a significant challenge, so I try to cut him some slack when I feel like rampaging. His Dad is very lax about things too, and it makes me crazy - it is the major difference between us - I am a budgeter and he is a spender! They both seem to feel they are allowed to indulge themselves more than I would or could. I am having to remind them both, wants and needs - 2 different things!
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Re: At what age did you stop giving allowance to your childr

Postby Heidi S » Sep 23, 2012 1:31 pm

By the way, after many years of fighting with my husband over his spending habits, we agreed to an 'allowance' system' which involves him taking $X from the bank in cash at the beginning of the month, and he does not spend any more on his hobbies. He cannot/willnot keep to his budgeted amount otherwise, and he has caused overdrafts, and extra banking fees too many times.

As a former/retired financial planner, you can imagine how psychotic that can make me! He always feels guilty when he does it, but he is a bit like my dog, acts guilty, repeats behaviour time and time again, so finally I told him that we would be getting separate bank accounts if he kept it up and I would not be responsible for any more of his financial mistakes.

I will tell you that this stems from his early adult years, when he lived at home rent free (even when he worked full time) and paid absolutely nothing towards the household, because his Mommy didn't want to burden him . All three of her boys have had serious problems handling their finances since, because they all learned to live on their entire income as play money. Intelligent people, but so financially stupid. Mom-in-law says she was just doing what parents should do - take care of their kids, but after they were all working - she didn't do them any favours. But then she made their lunches and beds too. We daughters-in-law have all had to have strong backbones to beat some sense into the Big Spender Boys during our marriages.

I would rather my kid hated me for being mean, than have him not understand how to prioritize his income, manage his expectations and have a successful life as an independent adult. Tough love, but worth it in the end.

Any of you folks follow Gail Vaz Oxlade - she does the 'til debt do us part' and princess shows on Slice tv - there are perfect examples of people who have not learned how to manage money early in life, and are struggling to get it done after making some colossal and expensive errors. Check out her blog at:
http://www.gailvazoxlade.com.

She has some interesting worksheets for students in post-secondary school. My son and I went through them in August, and set up his personal system using the spreadsheets, so he can keep a close eye on his expenses and track his income. A wonderful tool for getting it right from the beginning.

I can tell you that from a former banker's perspective, I have seen too many people with cock-eyed ideas of how they will be rescued by the banks everytime they screw up their money decisions - not so in this economy for sure.
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Re: At what age did you stop giving allowance to your childr

Postby Heidi S » Sep 23, 2012 1:32 pm

Sorry for the rant, folks, I will get off my soap box now!
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