Barack Obama Cheaps Out on Daughters' Allowance

Filed under: Celeb Kids, Celeb Parents

There are a few different schools of thought when it comes to giving children an allowance. Barack and Michelle Obama have a slightly different take.

Some parents feel that giving kids a little spending money of their own, say $10 per week, will teach them how to budget and manage their finances. Like a real job, this weekly stipend is often tied to work -- chores, school performance and so on. Then there's the other two extremes: Mommy ATM or Daddy Scrooge.

The Obamas seem to be taking a fairly frugal stance. Assuming they take care of their chores, first daughters Sasha and Malia are said to get a $1 each weekly allowance. One dollar.

Malia and Sasha Obama

    Sasha Obama Takes Her Ugly Doll to School
    The newest Obama trend, courtesy of Sasha, 7, is an Ugly Doll by the name of Babo's Bird. Photographed with the stuffed toy on her backpack, Sassy Sasha sure is trés-cool for school.

    Callie Shell, HO/Change.gov

    Malia and Sasha's Excellent Adventure
    Malia, 10 (right) and Sasha, 7, wave to the crowd at the 2008 election night rally in Chicago. Politics are child's play to these sweethearts, and we can't wait to see them come into their own.

    Jae C. Hong, AP

    Sasha and Malia, kissing her mother Michelle, get ready for the first day of school in Washington, DC, as President-elect looks on. The Obama family are staying at the Hay Adams Hotel prior to their move into the White House.

    Callie Shell, HO / Change.gov

    US President-elect Barack Obama orders shave ice treats with his daughter Malia and Sasha during an afternoon outing in December 2008 in Hawai'i Kai, HI.

    Tim Sloan, AFP / Getty Images

    The girls kept it casual on their Hawaiian vacation, enjoying days at the beach with friends and shaved ice treats and a dolphin show with their dad.

    Bauer-Griffin / Getty Images

    Malia gives Barack Obama a big hug -- followed by one from Sasha -- at the Honolulu Zoo on December 30, 2008.

    Tim Sloan, AFP / Getty Images

    Sasha (left) and Malia Obama stayed in Chicago for Thanksgiving 2008, squeezing in some volunteer work with their dad at a food bank at St. Columbanus Parish and School. The President-elect said he wants the girls "to learn the importance of how fortunate they are, and to make sure they're giving back."

    Jim Watson, AFP / Getty Images

    Sasha and Malia walk to school in Chicago after their father dropped them off in November 2008. Sasha takes gymnastics and tap classes while it's soccer, dance, drama and (by the looks of the case) flute for Malia.

    Charles Dharapak, AP

    The Obama family wave during a rally at the Ohio State House in Columbus, OH, two days prior to Barack's historic election to the White House.

    Getty Images

    The Obama clan leave a restaurant in Chicago in August 2008. We know where the President-elect stands on taxes and bailouts, but about comfort food vs cuisine?

    Emmanuel Dunand, AFP / Getty Images



I don't understand the point. Janet Bodnar of Kiplinger's Personal Finance doesn't get it either. "With an allowance, kids learn how to be patient and save money for something they really want," she says.

An allowance of just four quarters a week requires a lot of patience. But by the time Sasha and Malia have enough money saved for that really cool Webkinz they've had their eye on, it'll be retired and only available at an inflated price on eBay.

Maybe that is the point. Delayed gratification to the point where you just give up? Perhaps. But the Obama girls are due for a little stimulus package of their own. Bodnar recommends a weekly allowance equal to half the child's age. In this case, 7-year-old Sasha would get bumped up to $3.50, with Malia, 10, at $5.

Far be it for me to tell the President of the United States how to spend his money. But like most of you, I'm hoping that he knows what he's doing when it comes to finances. After all, he is in the process of handing out some heavy duty allowance to jump start our failing economy.

One dollar a week! How much, if any, do you give your kids for allowance?

Is a dollar a week fair or cheap?
Fair - it sets a good example for the girls.11178 (32.4%)
Cheap - who gets ONE DOLLAR A WEEK?!?15244 (44.1%)
Kids don't need an allowance!8126 (23.5%)

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.