Hi Reader 👋 -
Happy Wednesday. This week has certainly taken an unexpected turn. My family and I are leaving for Disney World tomorrow morning. And on Monday evening, my son fractured his arm. 😕
It's minor as far as fractures go, but he has a cast. Going to make our trip a bit more logistically challenging since he injured his right arm and he's right-handed. But hopefully he'll still have a magical time.
I learned money management from my dad. I had my first checking account when I was 16 years old and my first credit card when I was 18. My dad taught me to use Quicken to track my spending and talked a lot about budgeting.
When I was in 7th grade, I wanted to start wearing contact lenses instead of glasses. My parents told me that the cost would come out of my allowance: $10 per month. Even back then, I'm sure contacts were far more than $10/month but the point was that I shared the cost of something I wanted, that wasn't absolutely necessary.
I recognize that I'm lucky to have learned money management growing up. It's not often covered in schools in the U.S. and it's a skill: something you have to learn and practice. I've tried to do the same for my kids that I learned from my dad.
I started issuing my kids allowance when they were in kindergarten. They'd rarely have enough money for something they wanted, so I'd supplement — within reason. They had to make choices: if they wanted one thing, they might not get something else.
10% of their money has to go into charitable giving (their choice of charity) and 10% has to go into savings (which they often use to do things like buy Christmas presents for family members, that type of thing).
Their allowance goes up as they get older. My older kids, age 14 and 11, can save their money and buy things they want, like video games. And they've both been saving for our upcoming Disney World trip. I gave them fair warning that I will not be an ATM while we're there.
I use an app called Greenlight to manage allowance for my kids. Greenlight has accounts for each of my three kids, which I manage through an app. Within each account, their allowance is automatically deposited and then divided between "Spend Anywhere," Savings, and Charity, according to the percentages I have set up.
The older kids also have debit cards so their purchases can come directly out of their accounts. You can also have money be tied to chores (but I don't use that feature).
If you're in the U.S. and would like to give Greenlight a try, you can use this referral link to earn $30 when you sign up.
That's it for this issue of Tinkering! See you again in two weeks.
Anna Burgess Yang
Want more ideas?
I did a fun collaboration with Nola Simon — a hybrid/remote futurist I met a few years ago. I interviewed her for my Substack and then she interviewed me for her podcast, and we published on the same day.
→ Check out my Substack article: Transparency isn't trust
→ Listen to me on Nola's podcast: The Remote/Hybrid Centre of Excellence
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Writer. Productivity geek. Always tinkering.
I share tips, tools, and resources to make your daily life a bit easier.
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