The Wall Street Journal recently published an interesting article about the next generation of allowance options: “Allowance 2.0”. But here in Silicon Valley, one must be careful using the term 2.0. But I do agree with one thing that relates web 2.0 and allowances; the game has changed. Just as kids have become more savvy with the Internet, they have also become more sophisticated with understanding financial options. Can parents just give their kids quarters for their coin bank as an allowance or will cashless allowances become the standard? In this new world, how should parents handle allowances?
I have to admit, our blog was contacted by John Jurgensen from the Wall Street Journal to obtain feedback for this article. We forwarded his request to many moms in the area. It seems he did his homework. I talked to him a couple of times about my experience with my 8 year old son. My husband and I tried to combine our son’s love of music with an
allowance by setting up an iTunes allowance. I thought it would be such a great surprise, my son would do his homework and then get to choose songs for his iPod using his iTunes allowance. He loves listening to music on his iPod. But, when I told my
son about the iTunes allowance he said he would rather get quarters for his special quarter bank. Quarters! Twenty Five cents!
But the more I think about it, my son may have figured out that at the end of the month he can collect more money in quarters by doing extra chores then one $10 iPod allowance. Maybe my reward system was flawed. In the end, I think virtual cash is too abstract for an 8-year old. Except when he earns virtual dollars for getting math equations correct on his Leapster L-max. He seems to get excited about that even though he can’t use that cash, it is only a reward. Go figure.
BusyMom.net also discussed the article and the quest to find a good allowance solution.
She listed one of the online allowance managers called Pay Jr. David Jones, the CEO of Pay Jr. commented on that post with a cost comparison between online allowance managers. Other online allowance managers listed in the Wall Street Journal article were EasyChild and My Reward Board . Prepaid debit card options such as Mastercards Allow card were also discussed. And an interesting section of the article had examples of the allowances given by some celebs and good hints on how to pay your kids.
For those Crackberry moms like myself, the article includes details about a mom who tracks her kids allowance with her BlackBerry. The next gen allowance options are endless. And we have not even implemented plans for including saving for charity
into the mix. I think for now I will stay with the quarters. Using quarters has been a great lesson in finance for my 8 year old. When we go to Target instead of asking me to buy him a toy, he asks me if I can exchange his quarters for dollars to put in his wallet before we go. He feels embarrassed paying for his Pokemon cards in quarters.
Originally published at the Silicon Valley Moms Blog