Every parent I know is struggling to both connect their child’s allowance to homework and household chores. They are also encouraging their child to manage their allowance wisely, splitting the money between short-term purchases, long-term savings and charity. While my first tech new years resolution is to re-organize my business, my second tech new years resolution is to evaluate all the options to set up a responsible allowance system for my children.
1. Find an online system to manage my kids allowance that also teaches fiscal responsibility: I will be looking for a system that exists in the cloud (online) so I can set it up – then have my kids join to manage their budgeting using their laptops and desktops. Of course – then I can set it up and maintain it using my laptop. I want the system to not only keep track of chores and corresponding allowance payments due, but also allow my kids to save up for higher price items and contribute to charity.
2. Evaluate mobile options: I will be looking for an allowance system that also has related apps to manage using my mobile phone or tablet on the go.
3. Decide if I can use the same allowance system for Middle School son and Elementary School Twin Boys: My older son has an iPhone so I may choose a different cloud-based system for him that he can manage from an app on his iPhone. I also want my tween to have options for buying items from this allowance. For example, after using the American Express pre-paid card for a business conference, and realizing I can issue up to 3 cards off my account, I am considering issuing a card for some of my tween’s projects. Because I will load the card with only the amount he can spend, it will force him to stick to a budget! For example, my tween son likes producing videos and needs some new equipment. This is a project he needs to save up for and will require a bigger investment that usual. At the same time, he needs a regular allowance to pay for his outings with friends. Budgeting is key.
On the other hand, my younger twin boys don’t go out with their friends. Their financial goals are more modest and usually have something to do with a new Lego set. A simple financial system, allowing then to save up and also contribute to charity, will be perfect. My twins have access to the family tablet and a desktop, so their system should be able to work with both. In the end, my resolution is to stop allowing them to go over budget when I take them to the store and they plead with me to use part of next weeks allowance to buy a modest toy. Instead, my 8 year olds need to learn the concept of saving. And their mama must help them adhere to limits.
Disclosure: This post is in partnership with American Express Prepaid Card.