Posted by: Cathi Brese Doebler | April 2, 2009

Children and financial responsibility

A few weeks ago my son announced to my husband and I that he no longer wanted us to pay him an allowance.”I’ll do my chores, but I don’t want you to pay me anymore,” he said.

I was surprised by his statement, and wondered where it had come from. “Why don’t you want to earn an allowance anymore?” I asked.

“I just don’t want you to have any trouble paying for our house,” he said.

After talking with him further, I found out that at school he had been talking with one of his friends. Our son’s friend had some neighbors who had to move out of their house because they couldn’t afford to pay for their mortgage anymore.

This discussion had clearly upset him, and he was worried that we might not be able to pay for our house anymore either. Our son’s response to this fear was to try to contribute to saving our house by not taking payment for his help with chores.

This was such a good opportunity for talking to our son about financial responsibility, especially when he is hearing so much about the economy! I explained our situation with our home, and then also explained that I didn’t know his friend’s neighbors, or their own personal situation. Then we talked about the economy, and how many people are struggling without jobs, and this lead into a conversation about how we can try to make good decisions with our money.

Your children might be hearing about the economy through their friends, teachers, church, media access, and other ways. It might also make them worry, and feel fearful for what it means to your family. In a time of financial turmoil, it is ideal to use the challenges our world is facing as a teachable moment for your child. Take some time to talk to your children about worries they have, as well as how to be a smart “saver” even as a child.

To read more about our allowance process, you can click on the link on the right hand side bar that says “Allowance” and there will be several blogs listed there with ideas.

Also, click here for a link to The Dave Ramsey Show on a day when he focuses on kids and money.



  1. I love Dave Ramsey!!! We have done his class and Eric is currently teaching it. The program has taught us how to use money God’s way and truly given us financial peace. Great suggestion!

  2. Another great post, Cathi! At First Trinity in Tonawanda, we’re hosting a live webcast of Dave Ramsey called Town Hall For Hope on Thursday April 23rd at 8pm. It’s free–come and join us! More information at

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