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A couple of nights ago we had some relatives over for dinner and they mentioned that they give their 7-yr-old son an allowance of $7 a week. At first I was really surprised that he was paid so much to do household chores. Then they explained what the money was for.
Their son was allowed to spend $3 of his allowance any way he chose. The other $4 he was saving to buy a car. A car! You might think what in the world is a 7-yr-old doing saving for a car. His dad said that when he was a teenager his parents told him that when he was old enough to work he would have to go get a job and then save the money to buy a car. He was frustrated that he had to find a way to get to work so he could earn the money to buy his car!
He decided that he wanted his son to be able to buy an inexpensive car before he went out to find his first job. He also wants his son to pay for the car. If he starts saving $4 a week now, he will have almost $2000 to buy a car when he is 15 years old! It’s amazing how saving so little can add up in time. It is a great lesson for kids to help them understand that if they really want something that they can save the money that they earned to buy it. Especially with cars, I think it is very important for them to contribute to the purchase of their car, the gas they use, and even their car insurance. We required our daughter to pay for her own gas and car insurance, and she really appreciated the work that went into making the money to pay for those things.
Of course it may not be a car you want your child to save for…that is just an idea. You may want your child to help save for college and/or give a tithe to your church. What your child does with his or her allowance is up to you and your child. Just don’t miss this opportunity to teach your child an important life lesson.