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Old 02-18-2014, 02:03 PM   #1
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Tween allowance and constantly losing wallet

My eldest is in 6th grade and pushing 12. We started giving him an allowance several years ago to encourage saving, giving, and spending lessons and experiences. The issue is that he physically loses his money.

We started out giving him a special place to keep it. Then his father got him a wallet (separate households) and the cash would travel to his dad's never to be seen again. He wasn't spending it. It would just disappear. So we made him purchase a new wallet out of his own money and it happened again.

No amount of reminding has caused him to find it. When I hand him his allowance, he stuffs it some random place never to be seen again. Three months ago I told him he got no more until he found his wallet. Still nothing.

I may as well flush it. If he was blowing it on bubble gum it would be better. At least then he'd be learning how to spend it.

What do I do? He's almost to the age where I would expect to have him plan and budget his back to school wardrobe, but he's nowhere near this! I need some ideas to help make things real for him before he ends up grown and clueless.

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Old 02-18-2014, 02:05 PM   #2
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Re: Tween allowance and constantly losing wallet

Maybe it's with your salt?
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Old 02-18-2014, 02:11 PM   #3
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Re: Tween allowance and constantly losing wallet

I would stop giving him an allowance. He obviously doesn't care. Maybe wait an other year. When he sees other kids having money it will matter more to him.

Although does he lose other things as well? I lose money left and right. I always have. I also lose everything else as well. My debit card is my friend. I have never had it expire though. I always manage to lose it somehow. This last time I was sooo close. Only 2 months from expiration I forgot it in the ATM machine. It isn't that I don't care it is just that I forget things very easily. I have tried all my life to correct this. It is only recently slowly getting better. I still don't carry cash on me though. To much risk I will lose it.
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Old 02-18-2014, 02:17 PM   #4
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I would stop giving allowance.

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Old 02-18-2014, 02:24 PM   #5
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Can you make him keep it in his piggy bank and plan for specific expenses that he can take the money out to go buy that specific thing? Like a bank an withdrawals?
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Old 02-18-2014, 04:07 PM   #6
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Re: Tween allowance and constantly losing wallet

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Then his father got him a wallet (separate households) and the cash would travel to his dad's never to be seen again. He wasn't spending it. It would just disappear
I hate to suggest it and I am sure you have thought of and dismissed the possibility, but could it be possible that someone in his dad's household is stealing some of it? Does he have a stepmom or step siblings? Would his dad do something like that?

On one hand, I agree with the concept of not giving him the allowance if he can't handle not losing it. However, money makes the world go round and he's going to need to learn how to handle it at some point.

So, I suggest teaching him, forcing him to use, at least while he's with you, some coping strategies. I am another one who loses everything and it's a struggle.

First, have him buy a new wallet, with his own allowance. If you have to, plan to give him the allowance at the store, then you turn around and make him pay for the wallet himself. Then, find a home for the wallet. Perhaps make this some sort of public location, or perhaps it might be where your DH keeps his wallet. I assume he has a spot on his dresser, or your office or something, where he keeps his wallet overnight. Maybe this might even be some sort of family mini command center, where keys, your purse, wallets, etc, all goes each night.

Then, whenever you give him the allowance, you require that he go get his wallet right then, watch him put the money in the wallet, then watch him put the wallet back in it's home. Whenever he goes to his dad's or the store, or bank or whatever, you have him go get it, watch him put it in his pocket, then when he gets back, making sure that he puts the wallet back in it's home right away will all be a big key.

I make these suggestions as modifications on my own strategies that I am currently trying to use for myself. I am CONSTANTLY losing cash, debit cards, etc. I bought myself a new wallet, which for me has labels already in it-debit card here, insurance cards here, cash here, etc etc. That was big for me because I didn't have to figure out what the homes were for my stuff, it was already done. Anyway, I have to force myself, every single time, as soon as I buy gas and swipe that card, I put it in my wallet, in it's home, and put that wallet in my purse, before I do anything else. When I hit the ATM, I make sure to put it all away before I pull away from the ATM, regardless of how many people are lined up behind me, etc. I HAVE to do these things, or I will lose the stuff, as has happened anyway, since I started doing this stuff, because I didn't follow my own rules. But, all of these things have helped. I have been doing better.
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Old 02-18-2014, 04:27 PM   #7
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Re: Tween allowance and constantly losing wallet

Could he be buying something he doesn't want you to know about?
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Old 02-18-2014, 05:03 PM   #8
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Re: Tween allowance and constantly losing wallet

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Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post
I hate to suggest it and I am sure you have thought of and dismissed the possibility, but could it be possible that someone in his dad's household is stealing some of it? Does he have a stepmom or step siblings? Would his dad do something like that?

On one hand, I agree with the concept of not giving him the allowance if he can't handle not losing it. However, money makes the world go round and he's going to need to learn how to handle it at some point.

So, I suggest teaching him, forcing him to use, at least while he's with you, some coping strategies. I am another one who loses everything and it's a struggle.

First, have him buy a new wallet, with his own allowance. If you have to, plan to give him the allowance at the store, then you turn around and make him pay for the wallet himself. Then, find a home for the wallet. Perhaps make this some sort of public location, or perhaps it might be where your DH keeps his wallet. I assume he has a spot on his dresser, or your office or something, where he keeps his wallet overnight. Maybe this might even be some sort of family mini command center, where keys, your purse, wallets, etc, all goes each night.

Then, whenever you give him the allowance, you require that he go get his wallet right then, watch him put the money in the wallet, then watch him put the wallet back in it's home. Whenever he goes to his dad's or the store, or bank or whatever, you have him go get it, watch him put it in his pocket, then when he gets back, making sure that he puts the wallet back in it's home right away will all be a big key.

I make these suggestions as modifications on my own strategies that I am currently trying to use for myself. I am CONSTANTLY losing cash, debit cards, etc. I bought myself a new wallet, which for me has labels already in it-debit card here, insurance cards here, cash here, etc etc. That was big for me because I didn't have to figure out what the homes were for my stuff, it was already done. Anyway, I have to force myself, every single time, as soon as I buy gas and swipe that card, I put it in my wallet, in it's home, and put that wallet in my purse, before I do anything else. When I hit the ATM, I make sure to put it all away before I pull away from the ATM, regardless of how many people are lined up behind me, etc. I HAVE to do these things, or I will lose the stuff, as has happened anyway, since I started doing this stuff, because I didn't follow my own rules. But, all of these things have helped. I have been doing better.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erinne View Post
Could he be buying something he doesn't want you to know about?
These were the first two thoughts to cross my mind as well.
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:17 PM   #9
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Re: Tween allowance and constantly losing wallet

I would quit giving an allowance until he values/appeciates it enough to keep track of it. If he's not understanding the lessons you're hoping to get across by giving it in the first place, what's the point?
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:45 PM   #10
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Re: Tween allowance and constantly losing wallet

DH set up ING savings accounts for each of our kids. His paycheck is direct deposited, so he has their allowances deposited in their accounts. The kids can buy whatever they want as long as they have the money. If they think of something they want, they ask him how much money they have. DH takes them to the store, pays for their stuff, then transfers money from their account into his to cover their purchase. Our older kids have accrued well over $100 and I don't think they should be carrying that around.

They do carry around some cash, not much, mostly birthday money. If they lose it, too bad, we won't replace it.
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