Business Magazine

The Bare Minimum:

Posted on the 21 May 2011 by Finance4youth @Wil_Stanton

Last week, and over the past few weeks, we talked about the best ways to handle the issue of allowances for young’uns. I discussed three of the most popThe Bare Minimum:ular strategies, and then went with a fourth one as the absolute best.

Unless it isn’t.


On occasion, in my classroom, I will not say something in a lecture that I believe is common sense and therefore can actually go without saying. Each time, I am proven wrong. Finance4Youth has proven to be about the same in this regard. After posting about allowances, some of my other blogger friends and some other people I know started bombarding me with why my idea is great for most, but wouldn’t work for their kids. Their kids are somehow different, special.

Whenever I hear this, I am reminded of a story about Jimmy Johnson, former coach of the Dallas Cowboys and current spokesman for male enhancement products, and Emmitt Smith who was one of the greatest running backs of all times. The way the story goes, Johnson was really rough on his players (hold your jokes, this was before the boner pills), firing players who would show up to practice late or who would sleep during sessions when the team watched game films to look for areas of improvements. If you were a second-string running back, and you dozed off during meetings, you were liable to wake up without a job. If you were Emmitt Smith, you would be gently woken up and reminded to pay attention, or you would be sent to grab a cup of coffee to help keep you awake. When asked about it, Coach Johnson pointed out that Smith was the star of the team, and deserved to have different treatment.

I can hear everybody asking already, “WHHHHHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO CARES?” Well, here’s how it is. Any advice I give, or any advice on any topic that anybody gives is only as good as the information that we have at the time. Another important point to remember is that no two kids are exactly the same. When dealing with the allowance thing, some kids will take the program and run with it, making more money than you could have possibly hoped for. Others will do the very bare minimum to get the amount of money that they feel is appropriate for them. I don’t know which is which, but I know someone who should. You are the parent. I personally believe that you are (and absolutely should be) the most important influence for your children. I teach your kids for a few hours a day, at most. You are with them their entire lives.

So, when you tell me that you don’t like the idea of incentivizing your child to take on extra chores, guess what? Not my kid, ultimately not my problem. My best advice for you is to not incentivize your kid. You don’t like my post on getting a job; don’t encourage your kids to get a job.

While you are checking out my advice and deciding whether it is or isn’t appropriate for your kids, do yourself a favor and start digging around with the same skepticism in other areas of their lives. If at all possible, sit in their classes at school. They go to a church youth group? Check it out sometime. This really is the bare minimum that you can do as a parent. 

There isn’t really any connection between this week’s song and the post, but it is one of my favorite songs and I stubled upon this version.  Check it out and enjoy!


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