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Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Amanda Lamb: Paying your way

Posted March 4, 2012 8:48 p.m. EST

When my older daughter started having a more active social life, I realized that the cash in my wallet was constantly being depleted.

From money for the movies, to money for roller-skating or money for snacks at some venue she was going to with friends, my weekends were starting to get very expensive.

I had an epiphany. I told my daughter that if she wanted to spend money in her social life, I would supply half of those funds, and she would supply the other half. I knew she had saved money from babysitting and doing chores, but I also told her that if she didn’t have her 50 percent for a particular outing, I would lend it to her in return for a chore or babysitting at a later date.

This plan was surprisingly easy to implement.

“OK, that sounds fair,” she said with that adolescent shrug that can mean so many things.

So far, so good. She tells me her plan, and estimates how much money she will need. I put in half. Amazingly, she has even brought me change on several occasions. My goal is not to penalize her for having an active social life, but to promote some responsibility when it comes to money — how to spend and how to budget. It’s a lesson I wish I had learned earlier in life. She’s actually become so good at it that I, on occasion when I am short on cash, borrow some from her.

“But you have to pay me back with interest, Mom,” she says in all sincerity.

Oh, the price we pay for imparting a little knowledge to our children.

Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including two on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.