Believe it or not, the concept of receiving an allowance is foreign to many. Here are 12 curious insights from an online community who grew up without pocket money.
1. Allowance Absurdity: A Fiction
Many folks admit thinking that allowance was “a TV show thing.” Growing up, they didn’t know anyone else that got one either. One thought it was a “rich people TV thing” at first before they moved away from Memphis to Raleigh. Another member aptly cites Julius from Everybody Hates Chris (2005) on this occasion: “An allowance!? I allow you to sleep here at night.”
2. Allowance Is for Rich Kids!
“I supposed it was for rich families, as they would have the extra money to do so,” comments a member. However, another user disagrees, saying they came from a privileged position in a highly well-off family and didn’t get an allowance because it was deemed all their needs were met. A member who grew up in the upper-middle-class part of the school district shares how all their friends thought they were wealthy. “No, my parents are — I was budgeting my birthday money to last until the next year.”
3. A Yearning for Earning
One member shares how they helped at their dad’s stone masonry business for 40 hours a week! They did it for free until 18, when their father finally had to start paying them. A second member got a job when they were 14 and have worked ever since. Another one started working right away at 16 just to be able to buy the things they wanted.
4. Making a Case Before the Parental Court
As someone who grew up without an allowance, a member had to ask their parents to buy anything they wanted. However, it was a challenging feat as it entailed explaining what it is, why they want it, and any other justification for the item.
5. Alternative Avenues
However, an allowance isn’t the only way to acquire some cash. One member shares how they would get “tooth money” when their teeth fell out. Later, they would get birthday money but not pocket money. Besides, they explain, they never went anywhere they could spend the money anyway.
6. No Allowance: Mindfulness or Penny-Pinching?
A user who grew up in an upper-middle-class household never got any allowance. While their parents paid for everything, such as sports, clubs, hobbies, youth group trips, events, etc., they weren’t as forthcoming about buying “stuff.” “In fact, our dad was rather against the idea of wasting money on things he saw as frivolous,” they recall.
7. A Tale of Unfulfilled Desires
One member shares how, despite being wealthy, they were always a console generation behind everyone else. “While everyone else was playing Xbox 360, we were playing Xbox.” They understand that their dad was trying not to spoil them, but this user wants their kids to live out their video game dreams and get an allowance tied to their chores.
8. Sneaky Tactics
Desperate times require desperate measures. One commenter mentions developing an ability to pirate things as a teen because of a lack of allowance. Another commenter notes that though they don’t do it anymore, they’d skip lunch as a teenager to save money to buy other things. “It just is what it is, being low-income,” they say.
9. Pocket Money: A Preventative Measure?
Kids may resort to unconventional means to obtain what they want if they’re not getting an allowance. In unfortunate cases, that can include shoplifting. Hence, a commenter has observed allowance being given to the few working kids attending school in a wealthier side of town. This was done to discourage them from giving in to temptation or even accusations of shoplifting. “They knew the system would be much harder on their kids over a five-finger discount than it would their more well-off or privileged peers.”
10. Money Management Skills: Lessons in Prioritizing
A keen observation from a commenter suggests that many families give their kids an allowance to discourage them from asking for things at the store and teach money management. They gave an example of parent-child interaction: “‘Can I get new shoes?’ ‘Do you have your allowance money saved up?’ ‘No.’ ‘Maybe in a few weeks.’ Cut to a week later: ‘Can I get candy?’ ‘I thought you wanted those shoes?’”
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This article was initially published and syndicated by The Cents of Money.