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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Passing The Buck



     In rare moments of financial lucidity, I ponder some of the more interesting questions regarding the present state of the economy.

     For instance, do kids still get an allowance?  I mean, what could they possibly buy for a few bucks a week…    a candy bar or snack-sized bag of corn chips?  
     How many chores would kids have to do to earn the money needed to refill their iPod with iTunes or iPad with iGames? Would they have time to go to school? Would their parents get arrested for breaking the child-labor laws?


      From what I’ve heard via the Grandma Grapevine, the current allowance rate must align with your state’s requirements for minimum wage—or the kids can go on strike.
     Sounds like a rumor, but it could be true. I spotted a chore chart on my granddaughter’s bedroom wall. Her to-do list included cute things like helped Mommy, didn’t fight with my sister, put my clothes in the hamper. All age appropriate for a small child.
     I made the assumption that her allowance landed somewhere within the fifty cents to one dollar per week rate. What I found in her Hello Kitty wallet lying on the floor, however, shocked me into reality. There was enough money stuffed in there to keep me in Cirque du Soleil tickets for years. 
     I shudder to think of the going rate for my teenage granddaughter’s allowance. Does it have to include credit cards or an IRA and full retirement benefits? 
     Trying to teach kids the basic principle of work-equals-pay hasn’t changed much over the years. It’s the bottom line that’s fluctuated dramatically. Kids today are much more dollar savvy than they were in my generation. That TV commercial with the baby consulting his brokerage account proves my point. Long gone is the thrill of finding fifty cents under your pillow left by the tooth fairy. Now its five bucks minimum or the fairy takes a hike.
     Guess that’s the thing about getting older, the only allowance one has to take into account is the waistband on your pants. And in the final analysis, that doesn’t add up to a pretty figure, no matter how you tweak the numbers.

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