This week, the family finance picks include hot holiday toy prices (already?!), damaged iPhones, and one of the classic kids & money debates: should parents tie allowance to chores?
- Toys R Us released its Holiday Hot Toy list over a month before Halloween.
- The average price of a toy on the hot list rose 34% from $62 last year to $83 this year.
Both seem crazy and out of step with our current economic realities.
To see whether Walmart’s top toy list promotes similar escalation in consumption, read Brad’s story here.
Does your teen share responsibility for a damaged phone? Did you know that a whopping 30% of iPhone users damaged their devices within the past 12 months? Yow!
So apparently my teen, who cracked his iPhone screen just last week, is in good company. With a replacement iPhone costing $600 without a contract, this might be a good time to teach your smart-phone toting kids about the concept of insurance. We give our teens the option of paying for insurance each month or bearing the full replacement cost of their phones.
Read Quentin’s iPhone story here.
P.S. Before you rush out and replace your old iPhone, be forewarned that the maps in the new one may leave you feeling lost.
Related FamZoo Activity: Share costs with your child for recurring fees using automatic debits.
Discuss on FaceBook.
Personal finance editor Janet Bodnar writes Kiplinger’s Money Smart Kids column. As you might surmise from the article title, she has very definitive opinions on allowance and chores. She admonishes parents: don’t “use money to motivate kids to help out around the house.” Somebody should arrange a debate between her and Dave Ramsey who champions the opposing “commission chart” approach.
Even if you’re a fan of linking allowance and chores (we’re cool with either approach at FamZoo), this article is worth reading. It raises some good discussion about matching your system to age, distinguishing between expected chores vs paid jobs, and delegating spending responsibility to your kids. She calls this last one “financial chores.” I love the idea of delegating spending responsibility to your kids as they mature, but I think her label for it is awkward. Spending responsibility doesn’t feel like a “chore.” In fact, tweens and teens crave independence, and I suspect they’ll view the opportunity to manage their spending in an area like clothing as a welcome new privilege, not a chore.
We’re constantly scouring the Internet looking for articles related to family finances and teaching kids good personal finance habits. You can visit our ever growing list of family finance bookmarks here. We’re up to 2,883 now!