"Hey Mom, can I have some money for the school bake sale?" There's something you've probably heard in your household before. You dig through your purse looking for a $5 bill, but all you have is a $20, you give it to your child on their frenzied way out the door thinking you'll get the change. But when the change doesn't come with the cookies he or she brought home--what do you say? How do you handle the situation?
We talked to some parenting and money experts about the best ways to make sure your kids 'show you the money'.
Sharon Lechter, founder of Pay Your Family First and author of "Three Feet from Gold" has these five tips on how to make sure you get your change:
Lechter says the best way to take charge of this situation and raise financially responsible children is to make sure you act as financially responsible adults. "What may seem cute when they are young can turn into an entitlement mentality where they just expect to keep the change…and do as adults Kids pick up the financial habits of their parents. Many kids today won't even bother to bend over to pick up a quarter. That may have started with their parents not caring about the change."
Ellen Pober Rittberg who wrote, "35 Things Your Teen Wont Tell You So I Will" says the key is to make sure you teach your child early on that you are not what she calls a "human Fort Knox". "Money should be appreciated and earned. If your child pockets the change and you allow him or her to, essentially you are encouraging your child to be dependent on you for money that he doesn't need and hasn't earned."
Rittberg reminds parents there could be perils if your teen doesn't have to account for the change. "How do you know he is not using it on: cigarettes, drugs or alcohol? Don't say you trust your teen or tween not to do that. That's flat-out wrong. By not requiring your child to work (or do chores or do something in your house) in exchange for money you are giving her a sense of entitlement and will encourage slothfulness and lack of motivation. So yes, do demand the change back, and train your child to give it back to you without your asking and you will be helping to raise a more responsible, motivated adult-in the-making."
You may also want to check out this website: allowance manager says it can help parents manage and track a child's allowance.
What do you think? Do you always get the change back? How do you steer the money messages in your house?