If you’re a parent, you know how quickly money rushes out the door. It doesn’t seem to matter how careful you are with the budget – children always seem to cost a little more than planned.

Money is one of the largest controlling forces on our planet today.

It’s powerful because we believe it’s our single biggest answer to happiness. If we have more money, we will have more power and therefore more choices.

This freedom of choice is what we believe creates happiness. If this argument was needed to be backed up by example, there would be an endless supply of them.

On the flip-side however, there are also many examples of those who step out from the grasp of power money holds because they have understood choice, freedom and happiness come in that order and they choose a higher ideal to live by.

It could be religion, conservation, community or even just to have a more authentic and healthier lifestyle.

You may well ask, what does this have to do with parenting?

Let me tell you: If you have the opportunity to put money in its place, whether you have a little or lot of it, you will develop greater parenting skills for your family.

2 Simple Money Secrets to Stop Money Ruling Your Home

Child Allowance (Pocket Money)

I encourage parents to have an allowance for their children.

Often cast adrift as teens without much clue of financial matters, we’re left to work out how money affects our lives. By instigating an allowance for your children, you will teach your children strong money-management skills early in life.

What does the allowance cover? Depending on your family, the allowance could cover clothes, shoes, haircuts, school uniforms, books, gifts for birthdays, Christmas, outings, games, top-ups for phones etc.

How much to pay? As much as you believe it would cost you to buy these things. Take an average and pay this amount to your child each week, fortnight or month. I prefer a more gentle approach and start small. In our home we took an amount (say $2 or $3.50) and then multiplied this by their age and paid that to them. This meant that every birthday they received a little bonus too.

Will they fail? Indeed they will. And I wanted mine to be in an environment when they could spend too much and not have the money for the next purchase so we could examine how they’d overspent. They all took turns at overspending. They’ve all learnt how to budget and save. It was a gentle, life-long lesson.

Child-Only Account

I suggest you set up a separate bank account and put a small amount of money aside into this account to cover your children’s costs. It sounds so simple and yet this is a very powerful technique to transform your financial arrangement.

If you parent with an ex-partner, have their child support payments paid directly to this account.

Get an EFTPOS card for that account and ONLY use this money directly for the children. It is not to be used for anything else. You pay for school fees, extra tuition, pay part of the children’s allowance and so on.

Obviously if you’re stuck without funds to fill the car and you need to use some, that’s going to be sensible to use, but this money is not to fund your lifestyle, it is for the children.

This simple change will quietly grow gratitude and that is a very powerful medium of positive creation.

Parenting with financial stress is a long term wearing down pressure that too many of us live with. Until next time, all the best on your parenting journey and take the time to put money in its place … as a servant and not the master.

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Jill Darcey (author, parent, founder, and speaker) is a mother of three with thousands of hours of experience as a counsellor and coach, and more than a decade of real-time experience with "complex family" parenting --- parenting through separation, divorce or some other family breakdown. Jill is someone who has both vision and wisdom and has learned a lot of what does and doesn't work — and some of it the hard way!

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Messed-up-Mum

My ex has finally got around paying child support. He pays it direct to the IRD as I am on a solo parent benefit. He now says that because of this he wont help out with any childcare costs. I do get a partial childcare subsidy from WINZ for my youngest 18mnths, and my oldest gets the 20hrs ECE. However even with both of these it is still not quite enough to cover all the fees. I don’t really want to have to make the kids change preschools to somewhere cheaper (and further away), as they are really settled, and… Read more »

Jill Darcey

Parenting with an Ex can be tough going. If you need ‘real’ help for your co-parenting situation, then please feel free to visit http://www.ComplexFamily.com for some of my free eBooks :o)

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