For the majority of American children, it pays to be a kid. More than half of American parents — 61 percent according to the Institute of Certified Public Accountants — give an allowance to their children. While the average yearly allowance was $65 a month, or $780 a year, only 1 percent of parents reported their kids saving money. An allowance can be an important tool for teaching the basics of financial literacy. By learning the importance of saving from an early age, children can avoid money troubles in the future, said Nolan McClure, a graduate assistant in housing and consumer economics at the University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences. “It’s never too late to learn…[but] I think the earlier, the better because you could avoid more difficult consequences,” McClure said. The AICPA reported that 54 percent of children received an allowance before turning 8. Age, however, shouldn’t be the deciding factor in who gets allowance, McClure said. “As soon as you ask for money, you’re given an allowance,” McClure said. Parents can teach financial responsibility through allowance and help their kids develop the mindset of “my money.” McClure and Michael Rupured, a financial management specialist with UGA Cooperative Extension, are developing an educational program that teaches parents how to prepare their children for future financial responsibility. The main goal of the program, McClure said, is to produce financially literate children and young adults. “We’d like to teach, one, the idea of spending money wisely and, two, financial management in general,” McClure said. Their program advocates parents teaching financial lessons through instruction on how to spend and save allowance. When parents provide an allowance, they should explain how to handle the money, McClure said. “Give instruction on how to manage the money,” he said. “Say ‘save 10 cents per dollar,’ or tell them what they need to pay for with it.” Parents should assign responsibilities according to age and allowance amount and emphasize the importance of saving at every age. For example, a child in elementary school could have the responsibility of buying his or her school lunch each week. If all of the allowance is spent before the school week is over, the child becomes responsible for making bag lunches at home. This method, McClure said, provides a “teachable lesson,” with minor consequences, rather than a “hard lesson” with extreme financial consequences. To gradually increase responsibility, McClure suggests parents increase allowance and financial obligations. A child in middle school could be responsible for their lunches and back-to-school shoes, for example. “[More money] comes with age and discretion,” he said. “Some kids are going to be more mature at a younger age … But I wouldn’t say to give a third grader money and say ‘You have to buy your clothes and your shoes and your lunch with this.’” As allowance increases, parents should encourage greater savings and explain the different means of savings. This way, children can move from their piggy bank to a savings account. The lessons can continue in this way until the child becomes financially independent. “College students who can manage money are those on the same system,” McClure said. For more information on financial management, contact your local UGA Extension Office at 1-800-ASK-UGA1.
Mark Hughes is focused on “moving Stoke forward” after being named as the replacement for Tony Pulis. Press Association Hughes, who most recently managed QPR and was sacked by the club last November, was confirmed as the Potters’ new boss on a three-year deal at a press conference alongside chairman Peter Coates. “I’m absolutely delighted to get the opportunity,” Hughes said. “The Coates family have given me this opportunity and I’m really grateful. I’m pleased they have done their due diligence and looked beyond my last position and taken my career as a manager as a whole. I have the opportunity to work with good people.” He added: “With the passion in the area, this is very much a local club that’s close to its community. The passion and real desire from the crowd for the team is obvious.” Hughes, 49, spoke about his time at QPR which ended with Harry Redknapp taking the reins after their poor start which culminated in their eventual relegation to the Championship. “It was difficult at QPR and a lot of managers have gone in there and found it difficult,” Hughes said. “Their turnover of managers, not just in the last 18 months, but historically has been high. It was difficult and mistakes were made. I made mistakes which I learned from but I felt I was given the task of keeping them in the Premier League which I managed to do. “I had 17 games to do that and 12 games later I lost my job. It was a difficult situation with a lot of chances and if we are honest with ourselves we tried to run before we could walk. From my point of view it’s all about the here and now and moving Stoke forward.” The former Blackburn, Manchester City and Fulham boss hailed Pulis for the work he has done with stabilising the club over the last seven years, but said he will be looking to bring more entertaining football to the Potteries. “It’s a big decision that has been made and I understand the success Tony had enables me to have a better chance,” Hughes added. “He’s put things in place to make the club more stable and is conducive to being in the Premier League and I will reap the benefits of that. I can only take the club forward as I know and my philosophy is to play football, play good football, make chances and make it entertaining for the fans who pay good money to come and see us.”