4 Pocket Allowance in Action!

  • My son desperately wanted a WiiU.  He saved his allowance money (most weeks foregoing any spending money), added any birthday money and Christmas money, and in less than a year was able to save the $400 that was necessary.  I had made him a deal that if he saved the $400, I would cover the tax (a great teachable moment to explain what taxes are and how they affect the prices that we pay).

  • We have been very fortunate to take our kids to Disney, as well as other trips.  As soon as we book a family vacation, we let the kids know, and recommend that they start saving some spending money.  Then, when we're on site, we are not faced with the pressure of kids asking for endless souvenirs.  We remind them of the amount they have saved and its up to them to evaluate whether a particular souvenir is worth it.  It has also lead to some great teachable moments on how to pace spending to last throughout the duration of the trip.  



  • Every year, my son's school does a charity fundraiser for the Terry Fox Foundation.  My son, every year takes the money in his Giving pocket, and donates it to this cause.  ​I think he feels good knowing that he himself is donating, and not just mom and dad.

  • This past Christmas, we decided to reign in some of our spending on gifts.  However, several years ago, I started the tradition of our boys having to buy gifts for each other, in order to frame Christmas as being about making other people happy, and not just focused only what they would be receiving.  So this year, we took it a step further, and had the boys use their Giving money to pick out a special gift for each of their brothers.



  • Prior to starting the 4PA, we had set up a trust fund for each boy (essentially an investing account in each of their names).  While we make a small contribution each month, the money from the boys Investing pockets, once it reaches a significant amount, is added to this account, so the boys get older, they see how money invested over the long term grows.  We show them the interest and dividends going in to the account, and discuss how we can use our money to make money. We talk about how when they are grown up, they will be able to access this money to buy their first home, or start a business. 

  • Our boys love to keep a couple of dollars out to visit the dollar store for small treats.

  • At the movie theatre, our kids are now responsible to buy their own treats.  They are shocked by the prices of a bag aof candy and note that the same bag is significantly cheaper at the regular store.  Most times, they opt to wait until they get home.

  • Our oldest is now in a highschool with a cafeteria.  While we buy lots of healthy lunch options at home, there are days when he takes some of his lunch money to treat himself to something from the cafeteria.