My Materialistic Son

They say 4-going-on-5 is an impressionable age. I'd say they're right, but may have the gift of understatement. Andrew's a sweet kid, but a bit of a follower. And, like most kids his age, everything advertised on TV becomes part of his wish list. I thought it was bad before, but this past week has shoved him into overdrive.

It all started with the Audi dealership. Hubby had to take his car down to the dealer to get the stereo reprogrammed. And, while they were waiting for the service to be completed, it seems that Andrew got to check out all the expensive cars in the lot. Heck, the nice receptionist even gave Andrew a little Matchbox car Audi to take with him.

Then, to add fuel to the fire, the next day Andrew and hubby headed off for the Disneyland of opulence. Hubby's family is pretty well off. They've got a huge home, expensive cars, vacation properties, yadda yadda. So after a few days of being thrusted into the fire, Andrew came home with a terrific hunger for all things expensive.

Top it all off with a husband who naturally wants to indulge Andrew and give him everything he didn't have as a youngster, and we've got a mess on our hands.

Hence, the allowance.

What we're doing is working with a basic chore chart and star stickers. Each sticker is worth a nickel. If he completes his task with minimum direction, he gets 2 stars, if he needs to be reminded it's reduced to one star, and if I have to hover over him it's a no-pay. I know some of you out there will say how harsh that sounds, or that a child Andrew's age isn't capable of understanding the foundations of finances, but unfortunately this is the life we're living.

Hubby isn't the only one who wants to indulge Andrew, you know. It tears at my heart when Andrew asks for something and I'm left to explain that we don't have the means at this time. I know it's an important lesson, and can prevent him from future heartbreak, but that doesn't make it less painful.
So therein comes Part B of the plan. The 80-10-10 plan. Yeah, yawn, haven't heard that one before, right? But it's something I missed in my childhood, and I wonder where I'd be if I hadn't. I think, if I'd saved 10% of all the money I'd ever made, man-oh-man....
So, go ahead. Flame me if you want. But maybe, just maybe, if Andrew's earning his own money, he'll start to grasp the concept of fiscal responsibility early. I'm hoping, because just today he told me how he's going to "waste all the money he wants when he grows up".


  1. tough for sure, but i back your decision. all d best Emily.

  2. Thanks I.T. After 2 days he seems to be responding well...fingers crossed!

  3. I think it's a great idea. It kinda sounds like another theme I've heard of called "Spend-Save-Give." If a child has 3 dollars, they learn how to spend one dollar, save one dollar and give one dollar to something meaningful. Maybe I have it wrong and it's not in equal increments, but something like that.

    Charity is always hard for people like us who just don't have anything extra to give, so I try to focus on replacing the giving monetarily with doing something nice or helpful for someone else. I always feel guilty that I can't afford to make a donation but I use space on my blog for a badge that might attract the attention of someone else who might be able to afford a donation. I just look for opportunities to help when I can instead of giving money. Time, space, donated items, donated services can be just as good at times too.

    I think it's a fine idea to have him learn at such a young age. I don't think some people give kids enough credit. (no pun intended, LOL)