Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Making Allowances

El Niño and Cheeseball have been earning a regular weekly allowance for a while now. We follow the pretty common $1 per year of life formula, and it's worked out well for us. As a general rule, we'll buy whatever books and craft supplies they might want, but we don't buy toys outside of birthdays and Christmas, so they really look forward to their allowances.

Having moved to Europe, the allowance situation has gotten a little more complicated. In America, we'd just give them their dollars in cash every week. But, in Germany, they need dollars to spend on post - where the game cartridges work in their players, the instructions come in English and their favorite things (namely Legos and Barbies) can be found in abundance. But, they need euros to spend off post - where they are the majority of their time. Since they have to buy their own toys, trading off weeks in dollars and euros would make it take twice as long to save up for anything specific they want. And, Mom has a hard enough time keeping dollar and euro cash separate and organized, they don't need to have to maintain two wallets!

So, we've moved to an overly complicated Excel spreadsheet factoring current exchange rates, allowance payments and money spent to come up with a constant balance in both dollars and euros. Which is very handy! Except when you're at a store and the kids want to know how much money they have and you forgot to pull up the spreadsheet before you left.

So! I created two balance books for them. We'll copy the balances in as they are updated, and the kiddos will be responsible for keeping track of the books.

allowance balance books

I'm not posting a printable, as it's unlikely many people will need separate dollar and euro columns in balance books for their own kids! But, a simple table with dates and balances are all you need if you want to create a similar system for you and yours. Design a cardstock or heavy paper cover, fold it all in half and staple at the center!

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