With school beckoning one’s parental attention, many turn to thoughts of relief … and money.  

Kids need dough. It’s not just about having money to spend, but about learning to handle one of life’s most essential resources.

Many parents increase allowances on birthdays. But back to school is actually the best time of year for kids to get a raise. And I bet you won’t get any argument when you broach the topic.

According to the U.S. website, threejars.com, 71 per cent of parents believe setting allowance should be a joint decision. Start by putting together a budget with your child. This is how I did it with my 13-year-old. Her passion then was (expensive!) graphic novels, costing about $26 each. We settled on one a month.

She also loved to buy a frosty drink and an Archie comic on weekends. We budgeted one per week at $4.50. Now we are up to $44. I also believe in saving both for short term goals and her own education. We calculated $10 monthly for short term saving (video games) and $10 for her college fund.  

The total came to $16 a week. To that I added another two dollars for school special events such as pizza day. When I told her $18 was too rich for me she agreed to cut back to an Archie and frosty drink every other week.

She took her $16 weekly cheque to the bank once a week, and once a month transferred $10 into a savings account and $10 into her RESP. The Canadian website, moonjar.ca, also recommends a portion added for charity. My daughter decided she would donate half of her pay from her Saturday job in a stable.   

Do this annually and you’ll never have allowance tears. 

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