Monday, August 29, 2011

Pocket Money, Allowances and Piggy Banks

I am forever grateful to my parents for giving us moderate allowances during our teen years. I was one of four children in a doctor's family, so they could have given us more than they did, but they were deliberately conservative regarding the amount. We had to use our allowance for entertainment, clothing, toiletries and gifts, and it was never really enough for all of that. My wise parent's intention was to encourage us to learn to sew and / or work to earn the extra money that we wanted. Both my parents also have a strong work ethic, which I couldn't help but inherit too.

As a result, my eldest sister worked for many years at the cosmetics counter of Clicks stores, my second sister mostly earned money working as a waitress, and babysitting. As for me, I was a failure as a waitress, but I babysat, helped my dad's receptionist at his office, mowed the lawn, washed cars, assisted my art teacher in holiday workshops, and did whatever I could to earn a bit more. I also learned to sew. I remember taking old sheets, dyeing them and making dresses for myself. They were not well made at all, and when I met my future husband, a clothing designer, I tossed all my handmade clothes out. I also learned to budget, save, shop carefully, and I discovered factory shops. I believe that this wise decision by my parents helped me to be able to gain the skills that I still use now.

I have followed the same principles with my own children: pocket money until the age of thirteen, and then an allowance. I can already see the positive fruit in my daughter's life. She has started a little business, making beautiful tutu's.

The tutu's are as varied as her imagination.

She is also learning to sew, knit and crochet. Photography is a passion of hers and recently she recently was the assistant photographer for a local wedding. 

My daughter also adores babies and little people.  Sadly she can't really earn money babysitting as we live in a very small community with lots of older siblings and grannies that can look after the tots. Even so, the little ones gravitate to her and she spends many hours caring for them. Unexpectedly, one of the grateful families has offered to pay for her dancing lessons as a thank you for all her help with their toddler.

My son will be starting his allowance in November, his thirteenth birthday. He has already started a few money earning ventures. At Easter he very successfully made and sold bunny eggs and hot cross buns.

He worked really hard and I was proud of him. He showed a lot of determination in completing many orders in a short space of time.

So my parent's wisdom is now bearing fruit in my children. Thanks Dad and Mum.


  1. lovely important for the children to learn and earn!

  2. What a great post. You have given your children very valuable education, and they have 'run' with it. What a fantastic job they have done on their individual projects, those little bunnies and the tutu's and the hotcross buns. How wonderful!

  3. A great start to life for your children. They will always be able to look after themselves in one way or another and have every opportunity to be highly successful. You have wonderful parenting skills; a lovely gift to your children. Well done and TFS.

  4. Thank you so much for these lovely comments. I give all credit to my own parents, as I can see the value of what they did in my own life.

  5. Hi Cath. I finally came up with a dish for the pantry purge, and posted today about it.

  6. hello cath,
    what a wonderful post!!!!
    great blog!!!
    have a nice weekend,