The girls feel a bit more empowered since we started allowance. We are doing $2 in the spend jar, $2 in the save jar and $1 in the give jar weekly. As their "spend" amount increases, they ask for fewer things. They talk about what they want to buy which functions as wish-fulfillment psychologically. Whether or not they ever purchase the items, it's almost as if they have since they COULD (eventually). They didn't even bring their spending money to TN (Dollywood etc.). They don't seem to think of their allowance as possible "mad money."
Many simplicity and frugality peeps say we should write down our purchase hopes for 7 days (up to a month) when the item is $50 or less and then longer periods for greater purchases. Cait Flanders said in our Simple Year webinar that she counted up $400 she saved one month from avoided impulse buys! (Imagine what that looks like for a family of four rather than a single gal!) To write it down and then decide a bit later really curtails impulse buys that aren't in line with our lives/values.
I'm trying to decide if I should continue my ban, making it longer (or opt for a write-down-and-wait method? or just continue the mindful budgeting procedures?). I'm curious to see if I'd start to feel worse about it as time went on or just the opposite? I also wonder about the notion of personal discipline and character shaping. (Those are certainly good things!) The jury is currently out.