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Introducing the Quarterly Allowance
​​​​​​​Introducing... the Quarterly Allowance​
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​​​​​Here is a creative idea for increasing your teen’s money management skills:  ​
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​After many years of an inconsistent allowance system which produced uneven ​​results in chore completion and school performance, a parent we know began a ​​revolutionary funding program for her teen daughter. When Charlotte turned 13, ​​she began receiving a quarterly allowance, instead of the standard $10 or $20 ​​weekly allotment for completing required household tasks.​
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​Four times a year, Charlotte knew she would receive $200 in cash.  Additionally, ​​this amount would be increased by $100 if her grades during the period were in ​​the A/B range.  This criterion was established well in advance, and was ​​understood by all parties involved.   In addition, Charlotte would be responsible for ​​paying for most of her life needs, outside of the basic food/shelter requirements.  ​​Charlotte’s parents continue to pay for her shoes, required school fees and travel ​​sports costs.  Charlotte’s responsibility would include things like meals out with ​​friends, sporting events at school, treats at the grocery store that mom was not ​​inclined to buy, and the expensive jeans that Charlotte simply could not justify to ​​her parents.  These extras must be budgeted for and prioritized by Charlotte.  ​​Because when the money is gone, it is GONE until the next quarterly payday.​
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​Mom reports that the results of this system are twofold.  First, by holding Charlotte ​​responsible for her own clothing purchases, she actually WEARS what she buys.  ​​No more closets full of items with the store tags still attached! Second, all the ​​purchases Charlotte makes require a bit more thought on her part; she knows ​​there is a finite amount of funding.  She is learning to decide what is important to ​her and what she can live without.​
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​Quarterly allowance amounts might be different in your family, depending upon ​​your finances or what items you might require your teen to fund independently.   ​​Consider tweaking aspects of this system that don’t fit in with your family values.   ​​Finally, let your teen make mistakes.  The only way she will learn that the $150 ​​Coach purse is a poor financial choice is to let her buy it, then not have enough left ​in the purse for a movie with her friends the next weekend!​
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