07 November 2011

Savings is all relative

I've been giving my two school-going kids their weekly allowances.  My older boy who is in secondary school is given $20 a week.  My younger daughter who has reached the end of primary school is given $3 a week. Yet, the boy has practically no savings, every cent is spent.  My girl on the other hand has a net savings of more than $500 (inclusive rewards, and birthday ang pows).  Interesting isn't it?

One could argue that a secondary school student needs to spend more money than a primary school.  Perhaps the canteen food is more expensive.  Perhaps there is greater peer pressure to hang out and chill out.  Perhaps there are more CCA activities in the afternoons and hence the corresponding expenses.  But I suspect it's a question of being a "saver" versus a "spender"?

One interesting indicator is that whenever my son gets his allowance, he tends to spend big on the first few days of the week.  Instant gratification, and consequences be damned!  He can rapidly run out of cash before the end of the work and struggles to live on the balance for the rest of the week.

My daughter on the other hand has yet to exhibit these same behaviour.  So there is hope yet.  We shall see how things pan out next year when she is also in a secondary school.