Kids average $15 a week in allowance

kids spending too much

Kids are raking in an average of $15 a week in allowance, according to a recent survey. But money earned isn’t money saved, and a majority of parents say their kids are spending their allowance just as quickly as they receive it.

While children generally receive a larger allowance the older they get, the average across all ages is $780 a year, according to a survey by the American Institute of CPAs. That’s enough to buy an iPad and an iPod Touch, or an XBox 360 with 10 video games. In just four years, a diligent saver could buy their first clunker to drive their friends around.

But, as the survey found, allowance money is rarely saved. Parents say most of their kids’ allowance is quickly spent on outings with friends or toys.

The AICPA’s survey found that 61% of parents pay an allowance, and more than half of them starting making these payments to their kids by the time they’re eight years old. Yet only 1% of parents say their child ever saves any of that money.

Part of the problem: More parents teach their kids about good manners, eating habits, and grades than money management. Eighty-one percent of parents say they’ve discussed managing money with their kids, compared to 95% who discuss good manners, 87% who discuss good eating habits and grades, and 84% who discuss the dangers of drugs and alcohol, the survey found.

Surprisingly, parents who pay allowances are more likely to cover other costs for their kids than parents who don’t. Nearly 9 out of 10 parents who pay an allowance also pick up other discretionary costs, including sports and hobby expenses, cell phone bills and music downloads.

Although many parents are quick to point out that their kids aren’t getting a free ride. Almost all of the parents (89%) who responded to the survey said they expect their children to work at least one hour a week. On average, these kids work 6.2 hours a week. And good grades also get rewarded, with each ‘A’ harnessing an average of $16.60 — above and beyond regular allowance pay.

With more kids moving back home after college, these parents could be paying up for the long haul. Nearly half of the parents surveyed said they expect to support their children financially until age 22 or older.

Kids who are taught to handle money at an early age will be better prepared once they leave the nest.

The AICPA’s financial literacy commission advises parents to set clear parameters on allowances with details on why the child receives it and how they can lose it.

Parents should use an allowance as a gateway for budgeting, by setting aside a percentage of the money each week for certain spending categories like outings with friends, short-term savings, and a college fund, the group said. To encourage even more savings, offer to match the long-term stockpile dollar for dollar.

Finally, talk to kids about finances early and often. The more they hear, the more likely they are to follow the guidelines they learned from a young age.

If you want to feel equipped to teach your kids about money, check out Raising Financially Freed Up Kids.

How I talk to my spouse about retirement

Pope Francis: Idolizing money is the root of all evil

September 20, 2013

“People will say, ‘But Father, I read the Ten Commandments and they say nothing about the evils of money. Against which Commandment do you sin when you do something for money? You sin against the first one! You worship a false idol. And this is the reason: because money becomes an idol and you worship it. And that’s why Jesus tells us that you cannot serve money and the living God: either one or the other. The early Fathers of the Church, in the 3rd Century, around the year 200 or 300, put it in a very blunt way, calling money the root of all evil. An so it is. Because it turns us into idolatrous, fills our thoughts with pride and leads us away from our faith.”

Pope Francis explained that the desire of making money at all costs corrupts the heart. He also added that Jesus clearly warned humanity about this.

The Pope said worshiping money leads to envy, conflicts and a weak spirit. He said it can also give the false impression that religion is about profit.

People who enjoyed this article, also enjoyed Freed Up From Debt.


Freedom, Security, Power, and Love


September 2013 Newsletter: Freedom, Security, Power, and Love

Have You Ever Been Pick-pocketed?

Recently I made two back to back trips to New York City. During one trip I walked over the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan with the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, and the One World Trade Center in my panoramic view and I found myself marveling at what God had allowed men to create. Amazing structures, monuments, and memorials! A sense of freedom and righteous power seemed to wash over me. Then on the other trip, I was pick-pocketed for the first time in my life! Very humbling. I have traveled all over the world and always put my valuables in my front pockets, but that didn’t help this time. My phone, cash, credit cards, and ID were all gone in an instant! I felt violated, insecure, and even unloved! However, not pondering my loss, I jumped in a cab and raced to the only 24-hr Best Buy in the USA, which happens to be in downtown Manhattan. Within an hour my old phone was canceled, contacts downloaded from the cloud, and I was back up and running.

In retrospect, my NYC experiences reminded me of the money motivation quiz which is part of the pre-work for the Freed Up Financial Living course. The quiz is designed to give you an indication of how strongly you are influenced by Freedom, Security, Power, and Love in your money management practices. None are inherently good or bad, although each certainly has its dark side. One of the keys to managing money wisely is to understand our relationship to it. Of course Matthew 6:21 counsels: “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

For me, my recent NYC experiences were great reminders that Freedom, Security, Power, and Love come from God rather than man-made buildings, monuments, cell phones, or a pocket of cash or credit cards. Knowing where and in whom my trust is placed makes a big difference on how I steward the resources God has given me. So where is your heart? I have heard Andy Stanley ask “Would you be more upset if you woke up and realized your bank account had a $0 balance or that there was no God”. Hmmm….maybe it was a good thing I was pick-pocketed?!

September 2013 Transforming Truths

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21

How do you view your work in stewardship ministry? Is it about teaching people God’s Word as it relates to money? Is it about helping people get out of debt or learn how to use a budget? What if it was about more?

What if it was about introducing people to Christ? What if it was about helping people know how cherished they are apart from what type of stuff they own, and how secure they are apart from how much they have in the bank? What if it was about saving married couples from divorce? What if it was about releasing many, many more dollars for the spread of the Gospel and the alleviation of suffering, for reducing the staggering poverty-related daily death toll? What if it was about helping people make spending choices that reward companies for

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their fair treatment of workers, fair trade, and the responsible use of natural resources?

Wise, God-honoring financial practices can do all of this and much more. That’s why stewardship courses should be standing room-only events. And yet the reality is that by some estimates just five percent of people in churches with stewardship ministries are reached by such ministries. Perhaps we need a larger vision for what our ministries are all about. Perhaps we need to be reminded of all the good this work can do. Perhaps we need to trust God to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.

What are you trusting God for this year in your ministry?

We would love to know your perspective. Please leave your comments below.

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