Eagle Archives, January 18, 1941: You Never Really Know the Value of Money Until You’re the One Paying – and Paying | Story

“That boy has no idea the value of money,” fathers always complain about their high school and college-aged sons.

But few dads bother to do anything but complain to mom.

A father, who came up with a plan to teach his school-aged son where a family paycheck goes, has not been bothered since by complaints about the amount of the son’s allowance.

For a month, this dad handed his son his weekly paycheck, giving him a list of the bills to pay each week and the money needed to be set aside from each paycheck to meet the monthly bills.

The boy took care of everything. He gave mum his household and personal pocket money. He paid the maid. Paid him for groceries, laundry, cleaning, for the upkeep of the family car (which he used more than any family member). He even paid himself the allowance he had rejected because he was too small.

The plan was for Dad to get whatever was left. That, the son thought enviously, would be a good looking kid.

But he discovered differently the first week. When he had paid all the bills and paid the child allowance, there was less for Pop than what Son had already drawn for his allowance.

The story wasn’t much different the following week – or the next. At the end of the month, the son got a new photo of his father. Instead of seeing him as a man who earned a good salary but was tight with him, he saw him as a guy who worked hard to earn a good paycheck – which he received even less than his high school-aged son.

It’s a true story so it doesn’t end with the son’s offer to take a cut from his own allowance. But he never kicked again because he didn’t have enough pocket money.

Maybe other dads could borrow the idea. There is only one downside. Young men across the country are likely to wonder if fathers aren’t giving their families a lot for what they get in return.

And if the young men became so skeptical, the girls might have a little more trouble getting them down the aisle.

This story within a story is selected from the archives by Jeannie Maschino, The Berkshire Eagle.

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