The Lie: Your allowance is high enough.
The Truth: Her allowance is hopelessly low. She can barely buy anything with it. That’s by design, though, since she’s demonstrated a penchant for buying the most useless, asinine merchandise I’ve ever seen. Last week, at the grocery store, she bought some kind of “candy” – and I use the term loosely – which consisted of nothing more than packets full of colored sugar and a stick to eat it with. Doesn’t she realize that she could make that at home for a fraction of the cost? And yesterday, at the mall, she bought a Hello Kitty keychain. She doesn’t have any keys! That’s the kind of absurd purchase that feels like it came straight out of a Joseph Heller novel (or the Pentagon budget), and I’m not willing to fund it.
Besides, if the point of allowance is to teach money management skills, then my stinginess is justifiable: I’m preparing Olivia for the brutal financial immobility that she and her generation can look forward to if the current economic woes persist (which they probably will). She thinks it’s “not fair” that she can’t afford a Moxie Girlz laptop now, but wait until she can’t afford a real laptop when she’s twenty-eight with student loans and no job prospects. She’ll be thanking me for my foresight and guidance – every morning, at my breakfast table, before she spends all day applying for telemarketing jobs in her pajamas.