Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Clothing Allowance

Oy the controversy!

Let me start by saying that I had one. I don't remember if I liked or disliked it. Mom? Dad? But it seemed to teach me responsibility and I never left the house naked.

(I did, however, dress completely inappropriately for the Alaska winter. Bonus points to Mom and Dad for keeping their opinions to themselves.)

Here's the situation at Casa Pink right now. Eldest Daughter is 14. She has good taste, expensive taste, and I think the timing is right. I polled the cognoscenti before making any decisions. The feedback went something like this:
  • It' a horrible idea because we'd end up supplementing to cover her mistakes. These people are thinking of their child, not mine. Dave and I believe that mistakes create learning opportunities for both parent and child. Parenting creates a whole lot of learning opportunities, doesn't it?!
  • A 14-year-old would not be capable of getting the same deals as a savvy shopping parent and we'd waste a lot of money doing it this way.
  • Shopping is an activity these mothers and daughters enjoy and that they don't want to lose that experience. (I'm not sure what's worse -- the smell or the music in Abercrombie.)
  • They tried it and ended up buying their daughters clothes in addition to the allowance because special events kept coming up and their kids also lost / lent out clothing.
We are still going forward. This will teach Eldest Daughter when to invest in an item (classics or designer) and when to go with the Forever 21 version for the season (sequined tank tops). We've decided to give her a lump sum on the first of every month to cover school lunches (3 of 5 days/week), clothes and her regular allowance. We'll buy a coat and as many tennis shoes as she needs, and underpinnings. We'll cover her athletic wear. But everything else is up to her. 

I don't foresee this being a problem. She gets royalties from her books, has a paid job being a teacher's assistant at the synagogue and babysits. (If you need babysitting, call or leave a comment. She's happy to commit to summer, too. Perhaps you need help one morning a week to do errands without the kids in tow? She can also entertain your youngest child at swim meets while your eldest ones swim.)

I'll let you know how this goes.


Neeracha T. said...

Fascinating - can't wait to hear more. I buy my daughter some stuff, but she buys her own from allowance and bday money (esp stuff I don't care for and anything from A&F)!

Mom said...

After the first month when you spent all your money on shoes and we wouldn't give you any more money that month, I don't remember you having a budgeting problem. You also had a job at the Anchorage Times newspaper when you were in H.S. so that helped.

Polka Dot Moon said...

I would happily add to her funds as we have NO babysitter! Chris and I have seen one movie since TITANIC! Sad....so sad! If only we lived closer!

I think you have a very wise daughter and will do just fine :)