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Teen Allowance Blown on Starbucks

Updated on December 6, 2011

Starbucks is pricey

It is what my kids do with their friends after school. I only dole it out once a week for each kid. Yes, I cringe at the cost, after all it does add up! Its what kids do today, there is no other comparison for me growing up. I never thought of hanging at a coffee shop, that was for adults only. Kids today are more savvy about their beverage choices.

Am I overreacting when I think about the cost,$40.00 a month allowance. This does not take into account for the weekends when they want to hang out with their friends, that is another $40.00. So now I am spending $200.00 on kids to entertain. How does one teach the value of a dollar when a dollar buys zero today. A simple cup of coffee is $1.80, a ticket to the movies is $9.00. Both of my kids are A students and they also participate in team sports. They are good kids. I try to keep things in perspective, but still have a need to somehow teach them that money does not grow on trees. My 13 year old did a lot of babysitting this past summer, but my 11 year can only do paid chores around the house. So far I have come up with dusting, weeding and raking leaves.

I made a rule that they had to do their own laundry and clean their bathroom. I won't pay for those things that teach self-reliance. So where does that leave me? My 13 year old does babysit so she has some responsibility. The 11 year old will dust but balks because I only provide minimum wage. She thinks it should be $10.00. Imagine that!

I told her that a professional cleaning woman charges 10.00-$15.00 per hour, a retail clerk makes $7.85 an hour. She screams,"her friends get paid $20.00 just to do their laundry." The two of us are head butting verbally. I can tell you that I do not want to raise a child of entitlement for fear of hurt feelings. But our society has this thing for enabling our children, over praising what little they contribute, putting them a on a pedastal. The wake-up call has to be now. My daughter thinks it is beneath her to do dusting for less than $10.00. I had to explain to her that if she wants to earn any money this is what I expect, take it or leave it. She cried.

Kids just think parents can just dole out cash for their every whim. I am dead serious about making kids do some type of chore to earn money. Many of us have had to do jobs we never liked. It builds character. It challenges us to perform a task well in spite of what we feel. The media makes kids think being famous and rich just happens over night. "No, it takes a lot of work, some times years before you get famous...and even then many never reach stardom and riches in spite of all the hard work."

Like most busy kids, it can be a challenge when they are in sports after school, then they have home work, but there has to be at least an hour somewhere where they can do a paid chore during the week. We set our kids up for failure and create a false sense of reality when kids are not allowed to work for money. I know this summer when my daughter babysat, she squirreled away her earnings. Suddenly her money was not squandered away so easily because she earned it.

Suggested reading

Smart-Money Moves for Kids
Smart-Money Moves for Kids

When it comes to money, every parent needs a game plan. Dr. Judith Briles' Smart Money Moves for Kids is designed for teaching kids from 3 to young adult about the value and use of money. It is laid out in 5 parts: The Game Book for Parent; Kids--From Preschoolers to Preteens; The Teen Years; The Adult Rises; and The Internet. Packed with games, quizzes, the stock market, collecting, buying cars, even planning a wedding, the author makes the money maze easier. It covers ALL aspects of money management including allowances, saving, spending, developing the entrepreneurial spirit, getting a job, using credit, leaving the nest and much, much more. Smart Money Moves for Kids is an excellent, and very readable, resource for all parents (and grandparents!) who want their kids to have money savvy.

Silver Spoon Kids : How Successful Parents Raise Responsible Children
Silver Spoon Kids : How Successful Parents Raise Responsible Children

A parent's guide to raising financially responsible children in an age of unprecedented wealth

It is natural as parents that we want to give our children the best of everything. And in an age of unprecedented wealth and easy credit, upper- and middle-income parents can indulge that urge like never before. Yet, you have become alarmed over the impact this newfound affluence may be having on your children. You fear that through your generosity you are training your children to be greedy, selfish spendthrifts. The first parenting guide to focus exclusively on this increasingly sensitive topic, Silver Spoon Kids was coauthored by a psychotherapist who counsels people with money-related emotional problems and a lawyer specializing in estate planning.

Drawing upon their experiences as members of the renowned NYU Family Wealth Institute, they tell you how to talk to kids about money, how to teach them to handle it responsibly, and how to instill in your kids a sense of giving to their communities.


Kids and money

Do you think kids should work or do chores to earn some of their spending money

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    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 6 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      I think you are absolutely right, and that we do our children a great disservice by not teaching that money comes from work, not charity.

      I just see so many of our youth that think they should earn great sums for little to no work, or that work is entirely beneath them. Sadly, they will learn the hard way that neither is true.

    • alphagirl profile image

      alphagirl 6 years ago from USA

      Thanks Damek for the encouragement.I learn something new every week. Middle school can be a roller coaster ride for everyone.

    • damek profile image

      damek 6 years ago from USA

      Wise hub. You're a good parent. Keep up with this hard work!