Thursday, August 28, 2008

Keeping Track of the Kids' Money

A while back we decided to give the kids a certain amount of money every month and make them responsible for their own expenses - clothes, shampoo, makeup, stuff like that. Every couple of weeks I transfer money into their accounts, and they're supposed to keep track of it and pay for their own stuff. It sounds like a good way for them to get used to handling their own money and to get an idea of what things cost and that money does not grow on trees. Well, maybe not that last part, with money just showing up in their accounts.

The problem with the whole system is that they aren't very good at keeping track of the money they spend. Especially Beth. I've also been adjusting the amount I transfer them sometimes - deducting for things like text messages or something I picked up for them when I was out shopping. And then I got busy on the calendar and got behind on reconciling everything. Now I have these odd amounts, and though I knew what I was deducting for at the time, now I'm either totally confused or it takes me a lot longer than it should to figure out what's been deducted, what's been paid for, and what I still need to charge them for. It's too much like running my own credit company, without the benefit of interest and late payment charges.

So, good idea - make the kids responsible for their own expenses and help them learn to handle money. However, to make it very clear to both them and me, I need to set up automatic transfers so they get their money every two weeks, and then I need to turn around and deduct the money they owe from their accounts. It just took me a year or so to figure that out...


  1. I haven't done this yet, but I need to. My boys are 14 and 15 and think if there is a check left in the checkbook there must be money. Ahemm...boy do I wish that were true! I did give them a budget for school shopping and they did pretty good, so maybe there is hope:)

  2. What a great idea hopefully it will teach them the value of a dollar.


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