Piggy Bank Woes

Readers, I have come across a parenting “issue” that I’m not sure how to handle, and neither is my husband.  Would you all be kind enough to weigh in?

Here’s the thing:

My four year old daughter was born in late November.  So, near the end of the year, she gets LOTS of stuff between her birthday and Christmas, and then there is a long, long stretch of time where she doesn’t get much of anything.  We are not the sort of people who buy her toys just because.  For one thing, we don’t have the money for that.  For another, she has PLENTY of toys.  She has enough toys for four kids.  Seriously.

But, she has come into the age where she wants things.  She sees them in the store, or at a friend’s house, and she wants them.  She has quite a lot of money in her piggy bank because we’ve given her all of our change over the years and put every gift of money she’s ever gotten in there.  So, for awhile now, I’ve been making her find out how much the item she wants costs, and we have literally gone into her piggy bank and taken money out and used it to buy the items.  It’s been working out just fine.  She’s learning about money, and I don’t have to spend my money on things I don’t think she needs.

Well, soon, she’s not going to have enough money in her piggy bank left to buy the things she wants (let me tell you, she has expensive taste!).  We’re not quite there yet, but we will be soon.  So, my question is, what do I do then?  I didn’t get an allowance as a child, and I don’t really believe in an allowance.  I think it is the responsibility of everyone in the house to help out.  I think that we – her parents – cloth her and feed her and keep her warm in winter and cool in the summer and so she has to pitch in.  It’s just her duty as our child and a member of this house.  And she does “help” already.  Of course everything she does needs A LOT of assistance from an adult and it always takes FOREVER for her to do her “chore,” but she does get some stuff done.  

But, I have to figure out a way to pay her (I guess?), for the things she does do, even if it is in a small way.  I was thinking maybe I could make her a sticker chart and every time she completes a “chore” successfully without (much) help, she’d get a sticker and then maybe each sticker is worth $0.25 (or some other small amount)?  So then I could deposit that money in her piggy bank and she could keep using her own money to buy the things she wants.  Does this sound reasonable?  Does anyone have any other ideas or something that has worked for you?

I’d love to hear your comments here or on Facebook 🙂

Happy March to all of you!

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