Over Christmas break, the entire extended family went to Cracker Barrel for lunch. Since there were 14 of us, we ended up waiting in their store for quite some time. All the other cousins asked for (and occasionally whined for) random trinkets and junk food, but our kids didn’t. I wracked my brain as to why my kids weren’t and really never do, and when I asked DH he said, obviously it’s because our response is always, “Did you bring your allowance? Do you have enough money saved up from your allowance?” And that makes total sense. Our friends in Paradise all gave their kids allowances and their kids never had the gimmies when we were out and about either.
DC1 saves up hir allowance to purchase big things like video games and board games (and holiday/birthday gifts for other people). DC2 buys stuffed animals or candy every time zie goes to the grocery store. In the end, I think they probably end up with as much random stuff as their cousins (or maybe a little bit less, I dunno), but all in all it is much more pleasant for us because we’re not put in the position of having to say yes or no. We just give them a predictable amount each month (currently 20 cents per year of age, which is not that much money!) and they make their own purchasing decisions. (DC1 also makes some money from doing RA work for me, and they both occasionally get $10 or $20 bills in cards from grandparents.) They may also end up with stuff that they prefer because they’re the one making those yes/no decisions so they’re in the position to optimize rather than just getting what our more random choices give them.
DC1 did complain recently that hir friends who get allowances all get $5 or more per week but zie only gets $2.20. Sorry, kid!
How do you deal with the gimmies? Did you have an allowance growing up, and did it help? If you didn’t have an allowance, how did you get little luxuries (if any)?