Finding ways to save money, provide an appropriate discretionary allowance, AND develop a sense of organization and financial awareness in child(ren) is no easy task. Demands for the latest brand items fueled by clever marketing campaigns and consistent peer pressures, can easily strain most any parent’s bank account. Fortunately, the Children’s Rights Council has developed a tool to assist parent’s achieve all of the above goals, with the side-benefit, of reducing last minute requests for important purchases.
The Child Allowance & Savings Habit (CASH) form is a parenting tool offered by CRC to promote the development of lasting skills and help build healthy families. It is designed to take advantage of several money-saving strategies by teaching children how to distinguish between Wants and Needs, how to plan in advance, and the basics of comparison shopping by especially using coupons and other related discounting techniques.
The money saved from purchasing pre-approved items ranging from personal hygiene and school supplies to food, beverages and other items is offered to the child(ren) as an allowance in exchange for the value of the coupon they have provided. Higher-end purchases such as clothes, sporting equipment, toys, etc. may be shopped for comparison pricing and potentially for purchase via online discount and auction sites. These funds (or a portion thereof) are then divided into a percentage for discretionary spending (certain parental approval will be required on certain spending) and the remainder deposited in a savings account in the child(ren)’s name.
The intention is to encourage child(ren) to participate in the management of the family household in a direct and simple manner by teaching basic concepts and principles in personal organization and finance. The expected goals to be learned include:
- Money is a scarce resource for the household and must be managed wisely. Children cannot have everything they want.
- Making a regular saving deposit is another form of simply spending on oneself.
- How to distinguish between “wants” (as may be fostered by marketing, peer pressure, etc.) and “needs” which provide for essential items.
- How to organize, prioritize and value purchases for school, home and play.
- How to maximize shopping bargains through coupons, seasonal sales, second-hand merchandize.
- How to comparison shop between national, store brands and generics, in-store and online sales, new & used auction items, etc.
- How to plan in advance to buy larger (less expensive) often-used quantities, and avoid last minute high-priced purchases.
- Child(ren) are a major expense, and can make significant contributions to the family by changing spending and saving habits.