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Here's Your Allowance, But You Owe Me

As you all know, we are living in a tough economic times.  Yet, I am reminded of Rush Limbaugh when he said that although we are living in a recession, he chooses not be to be a part of it.  I have the same sentiment.  Well, I have given the boys an allowance.  I'll be honest, I really just started to get serious about it.  Anyway...

I promised the boys that I would give them a certain amount every two weeks.  They can use this money on whatever they want (within reason).  They also have to learn how to use their money. They have a piggy bank that they got from an investment firm called Lenox Advisors.  It teaches my boys how to use their money wisely.  Thanks Lenox Advisors.  Check it out...

I am not sure if this is the case for everyone, but when money gets tight, you look for ways to conserve it.  For instance, cutting back on eating out, reducing cell phone usage, turning off the lights, using coupons in the grocery st...did I say turning off the lights???  I did!  This is one of the things I had to consistently tell the boys to do!  When my boys would leave a room in the house, they would always leave the lights on.  I am a cotton-pickin' stickler about leaving stuff on...TURN OFF THE LIGHTS!!!  Especially if you are not in the room.  I would tell them to turn them off, time and time again.  Still, no change.  I had to get drastic!  I came up with a brilliant plan. 

Everytime you left on a light in the house, you owed me $.20.  Every time.  They did not really take it seriously.  Lights were still being left on.  So I let them know that I was taking twenty cents from their allowance and I was not keeping track of who did it.  This meant that both would owe me money unless someone confessed to it. 

Well, the magical day came.  After dinner, I brought them over to the couch and gave them their allowance.  I felt like an old patriarch giving my sons a blessing. 

"Here's your allowance and here is yours!"  They were so appreciative, so grateful.  But here was the kicker.

"Boys, you both owe me $.60 for leaving on the lights.", I told them both.  Mouths deropped!  Not dropped, but deropped!  I really wanted to hold back the laughter.

"What?", the youngest exclaimed.  The oldest had his bottom lip hanging below his belt buckle. 

They finally regained some composure, picked up their lips, and submitted to the agreement.

Look...some of you may or may not agree here.  But I have seen an dramatic reduction in the number of lights that are left on in my house.  Even when a light is left on, they race back to go turn it off before I get there.  I love it.

Another life lesson for them.  I have to teach them to be wise consumers for their own good.  I have to teach them how to be 'green', how to look for the best bargains, and how to effectively manage their life.  This is just one way for them to do it and a great way for me to 'try and trap them in order to get some of my money back!' Just kidding.

I am NOS in hearing your thoughts...


  1. Yay! Love the idea. We use a phrase that they have at school--Power Rangers. They are the ones that have to turn off the lights when leaving the classroom. So before we leave the house, I call for Power Rangers. But that doesn't mean the lights get turned off at other times!

  2. I.

    As a momma, I am quick to snatch back what I already (just being honest here) don'[t wanna give up in the first place. Plus, nobidy in this house but me has a real job, and is required to pay bills so that these lil boogers can live it up the way they do.


    As an advanced youth development worker, I still feel that it is a great idea. It teaches them a bit of responsibility. Just like you get your Pepco Bill every month (after you have used the service, without keeping track of usage), you are able to bill the boys. It is teaching them to think about what they use, and how. I would encourage you to continue with this, especially the financial education. My kids have 3 banks themselves (besides the savings accounts they opened at school). One of saving, one for tithing (yup, they help out with Special Contribution) and one for 'spending'. It has to start somewhere, and you are teaching them, but also giving them safety and stability...

    Great NOS topic!


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