Money Matters

#MoneyMasterClass Recap–Week 11

There was a lot of info shared this week, but it started with three quick notes:

  1. Stop using single use products because they are a waste of money and are bad for the environment. Reusable items are cheaper.
  2. Collect 5 things from around your house and add them to your donations box to give away.
  3. Turn your lunch hour into something productive–go for a walk, read a book, knit…just don’t go wander around a mall where it’s easy to spend money.


“Money isn’t rocket science, it’s discipline!” —Gail

Gail pointed out this week that it’s easier to be disciplined when you have your goal front and centre. She also shared a number of tweets about discipline and its payoffs.

I’ve been able to see the payoffs of discipline in some areas, such as my spending journal. After years of writing down every purchase I make, my spending journal is second nature to me. I’m looking forward to March’s topic of investing because thinking of and planning for retirement is an area that lacks discipline for me–among many others!

Allowances for Kids

Gail focused one day this week on tips and information about giving kids allowances this.

Gail shared a 5-point summary of her book Money Smart Kids:

  1. Give your kids an allowance. Kids can’t learn about $$ if they have no $$ to work with. Money management is a concrete skill. Yes, there are some abstract concepts you’ll have to cover but it all starts with nickels, dimes, quarters, loonies and toonies.
  2. An allowance not only provides kids with the $$ they need to experiment with saving & spending, it also gives them the responsibility for keeping their money safe and using it wisely.
  3. Allowance alternative = dole system: Your kid asks for $$ & you dole it out. No limits means kids don’t learn to set priorities or make a decision on relative value. Using the dole system now? Track all $$ you hand over to your kid in a month starting now.
  4. Use each child’s age as a guide, giving $1/week for each year of age (a 7-year old gets $7/week) You’re the best judge of the amount that will be most appropriate for your child.
  5. If you tie an allowance to chores, who pays you to do your chores? And when your child no longer wants to make the bed, will you stop giving the tool she needs to learn how to manage money well?

There were a lot of tweets and retweets about this topic, so here is a summary of some main tweets from Gail’s profile:

  • An allowance is the money you would normally spend on your kids, but it is now put in their hands so they can learn to manage it.
  • The money is not given “just because.” It is given for kids to learn how to manage money–and it’s a vital lesson.
  • An allowance does not have to be “earned.” It is the tool given to teach money’s best use through practice. If you want to reward labour, use a chore jar with posted pay for work items.
  • It is not recommended to tie your child’s allowance to chores or school performance. The day your kid turns to you and says, “Okay Ma, I’m gonna forgo the $12 a week you give me if I skip making my bed & taking out the trash.” Now what? When you take away the allowance, how does he learn about money? They don’t, and you’re stuck with the chores.
  • With respects to separating the child’s chore money between saving, spending, etc, limit the savings to 10% and include all sources of income. Some parents try to get their kids to save half, but who saves half their paycheques?
  • With respects to an allowance being called “free money,” it is only this if you look at it as such. Another view is it’s the money kids need in order to learn how to manage it. How much do you spend on your kids in a month? An allowance lets you funnel some of that money into the kid’s hands for them to manage themselves.
  • You’ve got to do what works for your family. Starting with less money is fine. You have to work with what you can afford. Being consistent in delivery & expectation is the MOST important.


Gail let everyone know that in March we will be looking at investing. We started last week by moving money into HISAs (High Interest Savings Accounts). This week Gail brought up some notes on RRSPs, TFSAs, and savings plans with your employer.


Back to kids for a moment. Gail encouraged everyone to sign up for RESPs (Registered Education Savings Plans).

One Money Master Class participant also shared that there is a program available for lower income families called the Canada Learning Bond.
See information on this program here.

Big Batch Meals

Turning to money saving tips, Gail suggested we cook up some meals to stock our freezers. It’s a great way to prepare for weeks that are too busy to cook or need to stretch your grocery budget a little further.

Don’t know what to prep and cook? These are two sites that were shared this week that have over 100 recipes for you to choose from:

Bon Appetit “97 Big-Batch Cooking Recipes
Meal Plan Addict “10 Batch Cook and Freezer Recipes You Need

A lot of info was shared this week! What was the most helpful tip for you in this season of life? What are you most looking forward to implementing?

New to the Money Master Class? There’s still time to get started!
Check out this tweet to see all of Gail’s #MoneyMasterClass tweets from the start.
Check out my weekly recaps to get caught up.
Start here with the Money Master Class Intro and Week One Recap
Missed last week? Find it here:
Week Ten Recap

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!

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