We Accidentally Destroyed Our Kiddos’ Allowance

When I was little, I decided it was time for an allowance. My dad looked at me and asked, “What will it be, a dollar a week or a quarter or day?”

I thought for a moment and replied, “A dollar a week!” Having that bill in hand seemed a much better deal than a bunch a change.

“Think about it,” he said.

I knew then there must be a catch. “A quarter a day!”

“Are you sure?”

It took me a minute, but I finally settled, realizing $1.25 (it was a Monday through Friday kind of deal) in quarters would be a much better deal than a $1 bill.

We have never really given our children an allowance; we were way savvier than that LOL . . . we called it income. Our children would have to earn their extra because that was how the world worked. Each child had a list of household tasks to complete–some were income earning, others were FTF’s (For the Family’s–things we do because we are a part of the Brandenburg household.) We taught them to save for what they wanted and ever so often would buy the want for them as a gift. But, for the most part, they saved.

I did everything in my power to keep Kensi from seeing those American Girl catalogs that had suddenly begun to fill our mailbox. We were in the depths of our financial upheaval; there was no way we could afford such an expensive doll. But fate was not on our side when her best friend brought one to church. So, we told Kensi to save, and she did. Through the years she bought three of her own dolls as well as clothing, accessories, and even pets for them.

So this is how it went. When they wanted something big, they had to save their income for it . . . until The Doubling Project. Jamie gave them each a bit of seed money (on top of their current income) to invest in Doubling. And invest they did! One round and Jack realized he could make more than his weekly income! He began saving and doubling, reinvesting, buying bigger, and saving for more. Before long, Kensi and Jack were earning more money with our family project than they were getting as an income from us.

When Kensi turned thirteen, she asked for the phone we had permitted her to have, but she had to buy it herself. With a goal in mind, Kensi bought, resold, and saved until she had enough to buy a brand new iPhone. Jack set his goals high as well. With the recent release of Nintendo’s newest game system on its way, Jack wanted to be ready.

Our kiddos had reached the point where they didn’t need us to give them an income nor chip-in in any way to help them buy what they wanted. Please hear me–we were not allowing our children to go on shopping sprees. Investing and saving takes time. They learned to be careful in their spending and research the best deals. We put a buying cap on them mid-October . . . Christmas was coming and grandparents would be asking for a list. We also wanted them to start thinking about buying for others. Last Christmas, Kensi and Jack bought presents for us, each other, friends, and immediate family members using the money they earned by Doubling!

Using their earned money for purchases has become second nature. Recently, I took Jack to the American Picker’s store in Nashville, fully intending to surprise him by buying him a souvenir as a memory of our mommy and son outing. After surveying the store and checking to make sure his wallet was in his pocket (he carries it with him everywhere), he decided it was time to check-out with a leather journal in hand. I handed him the money.

His response: No mom, I’ve got it.

I persisted, explaining to my ten-year-old that I wanted to buy him something special. He was baffled, grateful, and so overcome with my gift that I truly think he teared up. Buying his own wants had become so much the norm he saw my purchase as something special, unexpected . . . a surprise.

In one year we unintentionally destroyed the idea of an allowance or in our case income. The Doubling Project has not only provided for our family in some very fun ways, but taught our children valuable lessons on investing, spending, saving, and even giving. Our ongoing journey from $1 to a million has been so much fun we have decided to teach others how we do it! Become part of the club at Club.startdoubling.com!

Check out our progress to a million HERE and be sure to follow!

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