Children allowance and purchases



Each week I give my two boys an allowance based on the principles of "The Opposite of Spoiled" by Ron Lieber. Most of my children's purchases are online so I usually purchase the items using my credit card. My issue is that I'm not sure how to enter this into YNAB.

Steps that I take:

1- purchase item online using credit card

2- Enter purchase on my credit card account under a specific category for online purchases

3- Take the cash from my children

4- Enter the cash into my cash account

4- Pay off credit card using the money from the online purchase category 

I'm not sure this is the best way so I wanted to know if there is anyone out there with the same scenario. 

Thanks a lot



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    • Vibrant
    • No more counting dollars, we'll be counting stars
    • vibrant
    • 1 yr ago
    • 1
    • Reported - view

    I do basically what you do. My "online purchase" category is called "Bank of Mom" and it gets used for the following scenarios:

    1) when I purchase something on behalf of my kid, the purchase is categorized to Bank of Mom.

    2) when the kid gives me cash for something he wants to buy, I pocket it (I don't keep a cash account in YNAB) and move money from elsewhere in my budget - usually one of my personal spending categories since that's most likely how I'll send the cash instead - to Bank of Mom. (If I (rarely) deposit the cash later, I categorize it as regular inflow:TBB with a memo of where it came from).

    3) when the kid does an extra chore for money and I don't have enough cash on hand, I move money from elsewhere in my budget to Bank of Mom.

    Like 1
      • Peter
      • Professional Designer, Web Developer
      • lasty
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Vibrant I love "Bank of Mom". Thanks for the smile

  • I don’t give my kids cash. I just add to their category in ynab. It makes things so much easier

    Like 1
    • nolesrule
    • Stealing From the Future fix is an improvement but is incomplete....
    • nolesrule
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    Your OP is pretty much how I handle it. Although I've moved my older kid to a debit based bank account (not in my budget), so I can just transfer the money as needed. Sometimes I cash flow the allowance for smaller purchases with the younger kid (as in, they owe me money, so they don't get the allowance payment in the amount owed)

  • We have a son who will turn 5 in September and a daughter who will turn 3 in December. A year ago we said we would start giving our then 4 year old son a weekly allowance. We were slow, then Covid quarantine started and we just don't go out much so we dropped the ball on it. I'm thinking of starting his allowance now that he'll turn 5. 

    Wondering at what age other families started giving allowances, how much they give and if there's any 'strings attached' chores/work the child has to do or just a straight forward allowance. And wondering families have the child split it for savings/giving/spending?

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