The transaction was sealed with a handshake. The account manager said that she'd never met a family that took a picture of their child opening a first bank account, but said that she thought it was a fabulous idea to mark an important moment...but of course I know that her kind words were meant to appease/butter up this slightly-psychotic mama.
Matthew has saved pretty much all of the money he's been given over the past few years - the only thing I can remember him purchasing is a $22 Perplexus game a few months ago...and maybe a $0.25 gum ball now and then. Since his eighth birthday in March, he has been receiving an allowance of $6/week and we now transfer that directly into his account every Saturday so that we no longer have to worry about having $6 in cash in our wallets. It's also helpful that he doesn't actually see his allowance going into his account - out of sight, out of mind! He is determined to save as much money as possible.
We waited until Matthew was eight to give him an allowance, not because eight is a magic number in any way but because by then he could identify and tally up both cash and coin and seemed to have a decent appreciation for the value of money. We also felt that he was showing an increased ability to be responsible.
We do not make him earn his allowance. Nor do we reduce the amount he receives if he doesn't complete specific chores. Basically we believe that as a member of our family, he will contribute towards the household through completion of simple chores simply because he's part of the family. Geoff and I both objected to the notion that we should 'pay' our child to do the chores and, conversely, reduce what he receives if he doesn't contribute to the household. Quite frankly, I found just the idea exhausting, that we might have to calculate how much is owing every week for chores done/undone!
Seth and Lizzie are now, of course, anxious to receive an allowance as well, and Seth is quite convinced that when he turns eight next summer he will be entitled to an allowance. I have explained to him, however, that this may or may not happen, and that we don't always treat people exactly the same in the family. Just like for Matthew, we will assess when he (or Lizzie) is comfortable understanding denominations and coins and demonstrates a sense of responsibility.
At any rate, we've had some interesting conversations around here lately about interest, where the actual money goes that Matthew deposited, how it's used by the bank, and so on and so on.
Do your kids receive an allowance? If so, how much? Do they have to earn it? What kinds of purchases does it cover? What was your thinking behind giving/not an allowance?