I started elementary school when I was five. The public school was walking distance from our house so there is no need for me to have fare money. I can also go home for lunch easily. But for recess, my mom packed me yummy sandwiches or cakes. This went on until I was Grade 4. I think it wasn’t until I was in Grade 5 that my mom gave me money to spend as my daily allowance.
However, I got jealous with my classmates because they had money and can buy stuff in the canteen, especially those candies that came with toys. Since I didn’t have money to buy, I bartered. Looking back, my mom would say that I bartered my really yummy, almost gourmet sandwiches to freebies of candies that cost about 10 cents a-piece. That was how cheap my happiness back then. Haha
I guess what I craved more was control. I did not have money to keep or to spend. I was a pretty intelligent girl, being in Grade 1 at 5 years old who gets to copy the teacher’s notes on the blackboard when she gets lazy, I believe at that time I was ready to handle my own money. It was just a matter of probably instructing me how to do it. I remembered that at that time I have a couple of bank accounts already. And since I knew how to read, I knew how much money I had in the bank.
So I believe that the right time to give money to kids is when they are ready to handle it. As parents, how do we determine this readiness then? For me, I think that spending time with your kids will let you know when you child is ready for something.
I will be homeschooling Dindin and as such we will not be needing allowance. But I think that at some point, I will start giving her daily and then weekly allowance in order to teach her the value of keeping money, budgeting, and also in offering to God and giving her tithes. It is not the amount but the discipline of handling money that matters. In this aspect, I will have to ask God for wisdom when to make this decision. Dindin is pretty advanced for her years, so I will have to make adjustments.
I believe there is no exact age when kids will be ready. Some will be ready ahead of others. As parents, it is our job to find out. 😀