All the discussions regarding allowances, spending, etc. has been
very interesting, and very reminiscent of all the things we went
through before settling in on what I believe will be a more-or-less
permanent solution. (one can hope ;o)

I haven't read *all* the responses....just don't have the
I don't know if this particular concept has been discussed or not.
But for what it's worth...

We figured out, over a period of time, approximately how much we
were spending on our child's, video games and
equipment, special snacks, etc. It turned out to be quite a hefty
chunk of money!

So, instead of fretting over every expenditure, whether or not we
were really spending *too* much on him, and not giving him a good
experience as far as the value of money, etc., we decided to give
him a rather large allowance, since we were spending that much
anyway, and let him learn by experience how to budget his money.

At first, it was kind of awful, because the money went right through
his fingers, and it was gone when he wanted something later in the
week, and he was used to us buying whatever he needed.

But with consistency, he learned to be patient and wait for 'payday'.

But then there came a time when he *had* to have 'EyeToy' (a
wonderful interactive video game than engages the entire body!) And
since we (the 'bank') thought that would be a really good
expenditure, we 'loaned' him the money, wrote up a contract where he
could pay back a certain amount each week. But one of the
stipulations of the contract was that he would also put aside a
certain amount each week into 'savings', in case he ran up against
this same problem in the future and needed something his budget
couldn't handle.

We all sat down together with the contract I had written, and
discussed what it all means, and showed him what all the different
columns in the ledger I had made were for, etc.

I watched as he literally sort of 'puffed up' with pride....that he
has some power in all of this, and that he has decisions to make,
and that his decisions will be respected, etc.

We all signed and dated the contract, after making sure everyone
understood what it all meant.

An interesting thing has happened since we began this almost two
months ago. He has become *very* generous. He wants to spend some
of his money on mom and dad.

At first, I had a problem with this, because I didn't want him
spending his money on us. But after some thought, I graciously
accepted his gifts to me with much pleasure, knowing that generosity
is also a very valuable life lesson. Learning to 'budget' our
generosity is something that has to be considered. We can become
generous to a fault, which can also get us into a lot of trouble.

This began to lead into discussions of other areas of generosity.
Generosity of time spent together, generosity of affections, and so
much more.

It just seems that once we got the 'money monster' (speaking of
the 'monster' of money management ;o) under control, our lives have
become so much more pleasant!