Mom And Daughter View Computer

The Allowances, Dollars and Sense System

The Making Allowances System

Helping you avoid these dangers and realize these opportunities and benefits is the purpose behind the Making Allowances System. It provides the principles, structure, and tools you need to teach your kids about money. The system is presented step-by-step as a series of distinct concepts (one per chapter) to help support you in your knowledge of money management. Each concept contains the following primary components:

Achievable goals

At the start of each chapter, you will see three goals listed—what the chapter aims to teach both you and your children. All of the principles, structures, and tools presented in each chapter are designed to help you achieve these goals.

Helpful guidelines

Each chapter presents key guidelines for how best to teach your kids each concept. Following these guidelines will give you more confidence when you are teaching your kids. It will also make it easier for your kids to understand why you want them to do things a certain way. Build upon what you are doing well and what you see will be best for each of your children.

A step-by-step system

Lack of structure is one major weakness of most books about kids and money. They contain a lot of useful information, but they do not give you any real ideas about how to put this information into action. The Making Allowances System is different. Each chapter focuses on a specific concept and concludes with a step-by-step summary. This structure will bolster your confidence, and it will also help your kids learn faster and more effectively. The first six chapters are best completed in order, as the concepts build upon one another; later chapters can be addressed as slowly or quickly as your family decides.

Worksheets, Tips & Traps, and Reality Checks

To help you teach your kids important money concepts, and to keep everyone on track, the book includes practical tools such as worksheets for your family to work on together (also available via my website, The worksheets are not mandatory but can be helpful to reinforce the discussions you are having with your kids, especially if more structure is needed. There are plenty of take-action tips and cautionary notes in the “Tips & Traps” sidebars. In addition, I share kids-and-money stories from my own life and from the experiences of other people in the boxes titled “Reality Check.”

Making inexpensive mistakes when you are a child and learning from them is far better than making costly mistakes as an adult.

In an attempt to be gender neutral, the text alternates between the use of “he” and “she,” “his” and “her.” However, I make no effort to use feminine and masculine pronouns in precisely equal numbers. In the words of the personal finances author Jean Ross Peterson, “Any child is every child, and it is children who are important.” Families also come in all shapes and sizes. Not all of them have two parents or more than one child; children may be from blended families, diverse cultures, or raised by their grandparents. I aim to be inclusive but tend to refer to the traditional family model most often, simply because that is the one I am most familiar with. Please forgive this bias and adapt the advice for your own situation.

©Paul W. Lermitte