As a kid the means I had for picking up some pocket change were slim pickins.
There was my allowance...$5 a week, more or less.
Christmas and birthday checks from generous family members would usually last well into the following month...if I rationed.
Nobody I knew had a paper route, or mowed lawns, or collected aluminum cans in shopping carts for extra change.
Heck, we were a bunch of privileged middle-class suburbia kids with little for basic need but much for unnecessary want.
Not until sometime slightly after my 15th birthday did I seek out and acquire my first real job -- bagging groceries, retrieving carts, and running for price checks at a local grocery store chain.
Part of the contract of being a parent is wanting to do better for your kids than your own parents did for you. Problem is, my parents did just fine by me, and if I were to have any aspirations of exceeding the financial support bestowed upon the youthful me, onto my own soon-to-be "needing more than lunch money" offspring, I would have to first take stock in what exactly is necessary, and what is excessive.
We've dabbled in chore based allowance, but since our 5-year old has not yet developed an interest in collecting greenbacks while our 9-year old is wild for the stuff, the effects have been vague and various at best.
The other day I overheard a couple of kids about my kids age talking about what they were planning to do with their "fair money."
Turns out every year they count on a certain number of their county free fair entries to take home prizes of varying levels and cash worth. As I recall, C's photographic and fine art forays brought home more than just some purple, blue, and red ribbons. She also received a check somewhere in the amount of 25 buckaroonies.
When reminded of her windfall of colorful ribbons and cash prizes at last years fair, she instantly kicked into go-baby-go mode and vowed to start churning out the fine art by the trunk load.
Nice of the free fair folk to encourage the arts. Our own small town N.E.A.
Here's a sampling from a recent trip to our small town's most excellent historic themed museum.
I think the kid's got an eye.