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So in an article from May 2005, I described how I allocate my 3 daughters their weekly allowances.

The simple explanation is that I took advantage of the free transfers between accounts that I had signing authority to transfer the money directly to their accounts. At the time, this was new and exciting. This can be done now using Interac transfers, so your kids don’t even need to be at the same bank.

What I have learned now from running this experiment for over an extended period:

Advantages:

  1. I don’t forget to give them their allowances, which was the major problem I had.
  2. The girls learn how direct withdrawal works
  3. Some fiscal concepts like saving become obvious, which is good. I can also transfer baby sitting payments to my oldest, easily as well.
  4. They are using their money to buy things like gifts for friends and their own clothes, which was not the plan, but I applaud every time they do it.

Disadvantages

  1. Kids don’t see the money, so forget that they have it.
  2. They have not picked up the “checking your monthly balance statements” the way I hoped, they rely on me telling them how much money they have.
  3. Money seems to be invisible to at least one of the children.
  4. The cafeteria at the high school takes direct withdrawal, so they use their allowances to buy lunch a little too often (IMHO).

All in all, I think the experiment is working. I need to sit down with the girls and discuss a few of the finer points I’d like to see, but I think it is working.

I am now searching for any other interesting experiments like this to teach my kids more about money. No, I am not giving them access to their RESPs. That is not going to happen until they need it!

Addendum Allowances

I have restarted this with my son. I am not sure how it will work with him, but the methodology is still sound. He still is working on what money really means, but he is slowly learning.

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Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to all my fellow Fathers out there. My Dad passed away a few years ago, but I still think of his wisdom, humour and how he was Superman to me. One of my favourite stories he told me I include for your enjoyment.

Dad Day
Father’s Day: Dad Just Wants to Know You Are OK

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Dad What Do You Want For Father’s Day ?

My Dad passed away a few years ago, and he was never really “on board” with the whole idea of folks fussing about him on a specific day. He did make my brothers and I do something about Father’s Day but only because he knew my Mother would have been upset (his favorite expression was always, “Don’t upset your mother”), and that is really what your Father wants, is for your Mother to be happy (don’t think I am breaking any masonic code with that truth).

If I was your Father what would I want from you? I think it’s pretty darn simple, it’s a short list of simple things you can do that will make your Dad and me happy:

  • Who the heck is that?

    I am still astounded that I am a Father

    Be better than us. Your Dad may be a hero to you, but your goal in life is to be better than him, that way Dads (as a species) keep getting better. You want to show your Father something, be better than him and that will make him happy (we are complicated beings, we Fathers).

  • Be happy. For God’s sake that is what your parents in general want, but Dads in specific. All Fathers want their family to be happy, because when they aren’t happy, we have to talk about things and discuss things (which detracts from our ability to snooze, watch sports and do things we want to do). Your Dad wants you to be happy.
  • Don’t eat the big piece of chicken. OK I stole that one from Chris Rock, but it’s true, if you are in your Father’s house, show some respect, let him have the big piece of chicken, and maybe thank him for what he has done for you (but don’t get all emotional or loud about it, your Dad is OK with, “Thanks Dad“, not some frigging singing card). Conversely your Father should show you respect in your house as well (yes respect is a two-way street).

Your Father wants to know that whatever he taught you (by act, deed or statement), has prepared (or is preparing) you for life, because we don’t want you moving back in with us. Your parents do their best to help you out, but eventually they should be allowed to live their lives too (in most cases, but we will protect our kids who need protection, as well).

Bring your Dad a beer, say “Thanks Dad“, and make sure your Mother is happy and your Dad will be happy. Oh and for the  young ladies out there, tell your boyfriends/husbands to shut up during the football games, your Dad doesn’t really want to hear their opinions either (he just wants to watch the damn game).

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My Father’s World

I was very lucky to have a Father, and a very hard-working one, so when I sing this hymn at Church:


This is my Father’s world,
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas—
His hand the wonders wrought. —Babcock

I smile to myself thinking that while yes the Hymn speaks of God, I truly do live in my own Father’s world. If it weren’t for my Father’s examples of how to live and his hard work (yes and my Mother’s as well, don’t want to get any hate mail on that) I would not have the relatively easy life that I live.

Many of my friends have fractured relationships with their Fathers for many reasons, but it is on Father’s Day that I am thankful for my Father and that I had a good relationship with him. Was my Dad perfect? Far from it (in fact if he were alive, he would agree), but most Fathers do the best they can, and that is all we can ask from them.

Happy Father’s Day

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Happy Mothers’ Day

Mothers Day is a day to say thank you to the person who did all those good things for you when you were young and helped you become whatever you are today. Call your Mother and say thank you. Can you guess which Mother this picture is?

An interesting stat is today is one of the busiest days for phone calls, however Fathers’ Day is the day when the most COLLECT phone calls are made during the year. I guess that really sums it all up nicely, doesn’t it. Many of us rely on the “Bank of Mom and Dad“, but remember that analysts are saying that Mom and Dad may be relying on YOU very soon.

Our generation will support the Baby Boomers through their Senior Years, hence why we have been dubbed the Sandwich generation. Keep that in mind, no one is going to take care of YOU financially, but YOU may be relied upon to help others, plan NOW.

Happy Mothers day!

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