We started giving the kids an allowance this year. I confess it’s mostly to help us quit impulse-buying them junk to bribe them through shopping trips. Now, we can fend off their pleas with Lessons About Fiscal Responsibility! Cool!

The biggest obstacle to the whole enterprise had been our complete inability to keep cash on hand, especially small bills suitable for allowances. We’ve had to keep stealing back and reusing the same $5 for tooth fairy visits. So we decided to do what any sensible parent in 2022 would do: become their online bank.

Screenshot 2022-01-24 8.23.11 PM

I’m sure you can immediately sense the beauty and craftsmanship of this spreadsheet, but let me highlight some of its features, just in case:

  • Their $5 allowances are deposited into three funds: one for saving, one for giving, and one for spending.*
  • Balances are automatically calculated based on the previous week’s totals. All we need to input are withdrawals, which appear in red.
  • Conditional formatting highlights the current week.
  • Calculations into the future allow easy look-ups for when they can afford that super-cool train set they saw at Costco, or their first Dogecoin.
  • When withdrawals are made from the spend fund, the notes field allows us to creepily track every purchase. This helps them become accustomed to the surveillance economy they will inherit.

*We heard about this split on a podcast or something; it sounded cool. Annie has already stated her intention to donate her “give” fund to a Deer Rescue organization.

Who is enjoying this more: Annie in her rad new hat with ears that perk up when she squeezes a pump, or me reading “A Beginner’s Guide to General Ledgers”? It’s really hard to say.