I like to listen to the radio early in the morning. I've been listening to Guy Phillips on Y98 since my college days, when he was half of Phillips & Wall and the station's call letters were KSLQ. The duo parted company years ago, and these days, the drive-time show is called Phillips & Company. It's the only radio program I listen to for the talk more than the music.
A couple of mornings ago, they had, among other things, a discussion of childrens' allowances. Three members of the team have children. Guy said he based his kids' allowances on the age of the child: a dollar for each year. They discussed whether or not the money should simply be given to the child, or if it should be earned by doing appropriate chores around the house.
When I was very young, I got a dollar a week--which, back in the late '50s-early '60s, was worth a lot more than it is in 2014! As I grew older, that amount increased--especially when Mom and Dad were oblivious to the fact that they were both paying me!
Collin also received an allowance. He also had multiple sources of income. My dad once promised him a certain toy on the 3rd of the month, when his Social Security check arrived. Unfortunately, it came on the 2nd that month because the 3rd fell on a weekend--so even though Collin got the toy on the 2nd, he thought he should also get one the next day.
Dad bought him a second toy on the 3rd.
I sold my first novel when he was six years old, and he quickly learned to use the ATM machines. He used to tell his teachers and classmates that my publisher didn't give me any money--just a card I could use to get money. Whenever I got an advance or royalty check, Collin got to go shopping.
Not that he wasn't good at saving. He once saved the money to buy himself a bike with all the extras: banana seat, headlight, horn, the works.
Just before Dad passed away, I received a partial advance payment for my novel Luck of the Draw--$35,000. Dad was in the hospital (at that point, we thought he'd be coming home the following week) when Collin spent $350 at Children's Palace. When Mom told him about it in a phone call, he told his roommate--who didn't believe it. Dad couldn't wait for us to get to the hospital that evening to verify it.
One might think that Collin would have grown up with no sense of the value of a dollar--but he's actually quite good with money, in ways I never was. These days, he manages everything. He pays the bills and does the budgeting. He got that from Dad. I guess it skipped a generation....