Updated on 11.09.07

Should You Give Your Child An Allowance For Doing Chores?

Trent Hamm

This week, The Simple Dollar attempts to address challenging questions in personal finance by looking at both sides of the story and figuring out some of the factors you need to look at to make a decision.

As my son approaches an age where he starts to really understand money (he already is understanding the idea that money can be exchanged for items), the issue of an allowance starts to rear its head. Growing up, I had an allowance sometimes – at other times, I had a system of earning money for tasks, and simply nothing at all at other points. My wife had an automatic allowance, but a very small one.

Naturally, in our desire to raise our children with some sense of financial self-discipline, the issue of an allowance has already come up for serious discussion. The answer, however, is not so clear. Let’s look at both sides of the issue.


As soon as possible, children need to feel the risk and reward of completing tasks for earnings. In the real world, people don’t receive money for nothing – they have to work for that money. Children should realize that with effort comes reward, but a lack of effort brings a lack of reward.

Part of the job of parents is to prepare children for the real world, and giving them something for nothing gives them a strong false impression of how the world works. If you supplement this with very strong financial and personal lessons, they may be able to overcome this, but actions speak far louder than words, and they’re learning, by your actions, that they should expect compensation for things they’re going to have to do in everyday life.

A child that is well-rounded will eventually learn that there is a fair market value for some jobs and then they will come to expect some compensation for those tasks – mowing the lawn, for example. However, there is no fair market value for making one’s bed, and to expect to be compensated for it either assumes you’re rich enough to afford a maid (which makes most of this conversation moot) or you’re teaching them some very faulty lessons about life.


In a household, there are certain expectations that everyone should fulfill to keep things moving forward. These responsibilities vary from family to family, but in most families this usually involves a child keeping his room clean, helping with dishes, and perhaps a few other tasks.

These are fundamental tasks that parents do without financial reward, and so should the child. Sometimes tasks need to be done and aren’t met with financial reward – adults don’t receive payment for doing the dishes or making their bed, so it creates false expectaions if a child begins to expect to get paid for such things.

When an allowance is given to a child in exchange for basic chores, it creates a very false reward system. They expect to be rewarded for doing basic household tasks, and that kind of expectation does nothing but persist and grow over time into some beliefs that funds should be expected for basic things that, in adulthood, they simply won’t receive compensation for.

There are some systems where it’s fine to pay a child – extra chores and other accomplishments above and beyond the average. But a basic allowance tied to basic chores teaches things that you really don’t want to teach.

My Take

I’m fine with a basic allowance completely not tied to basic chores. A small allowance of something like $5 to $10 a week seems appropriate to me – it enables the child to figure out some financial lessons for themselves. Meanwhile, they should be expected to complete some tasks, but it’s not tied to their allowance – that expectation should be taught via other carrots and sticks.

Similarly, I’m on board for “bonus” allowance for doing things above and beyond the usual. For example, I have no problem with paying a child to mow the lawn – I’d have to pay someone to do that, too. I’m not real strong on bonuses for great grades – I guess I can tolerate a small amount for an A, but that’s really not something I’m sure about.

I don’t feel that the giving of a basic allowance by itself can teach useful lessons. Tying it directly to tasks teaches things I don’t feel right teaching. However, I think that many valuable lessons can be taught after the allowance is given: budgeting, investing (in a savings account), and so on.

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  1. Jessica says:

    Also, by paying a child to do basic chores, you’re setting up system where they could decide not to do it because they don’t want/need the money.

  2. Smart. Healthy. Rich. says:

    Trent, I agree completely that this is a perfect opportunity to teach your children about money and responsibility. If you simply give them an allowance without doing any work for it, they will develop a “money grows on trees” attitude. And by tying their allowance to their chores, they will see an immediate and direct consequence if their chores are not done.

    – Brandon

  3. Mark Bunge says:

    Absolutely. If you don’t pay them to work then they don’t understand where money comes from and how to earn it!

  4. s says:

    Your “yes” argument seemed to be arguing against itself. I’m not sure if I read it wrong or if you didn’t write what you meant to write. But I was confused with the point you were trying to get across – you seemed to say the same thing in all three sections.

    “… but actions speak far louder than words, and they’re learning, by your actions, that they should expect compensation for things they’re going to have to do in everyday life.”

  5. Writers Coin says:

    I think allowances are crucial to educating young people about money—something that isn’t a high enough priority.
    I wholeheartedly agree on the decision NOT to tie it to grades. That is a BAD idea. Things like grades should be done for the right reasons, otherwise the child will grow up thinking everything is done for money.

    Which we all agree it’s not, right?

  6. Michael says:

    When I was a kid, my allowance was split into $3 spending, $1 long term saving (from which I eventually bought a computer), and $1 college. It started out as automatic, but after a couple years, as my parents started wanting me to do more chores, if I didn’t do them I’d get docked a $1 or more. Beyond that, if mom had a project she would pay someone else for, but I was willing to do that, she’d pay me to do it (although often at a slight discount). This was everything from shoveling snow, painting, etc.

    There were times that I decided to forgo some of that extra money, but these were not the day to day chores that I was ignoring, but the extra offerings that mom came up with. And while the allowance stopped when I got a job in high school, the extra jobs were still available for me to make a little extra money, something that mom promoted because it meant me being productive and mom getting stuff done.

  7. Samantha says:

    I like this, Trent. I am of the mind that chores are something that everyone in the house has to do because we all live here, so they don’t get an allowance for that. However, they do get spending money because the money my husband and I make is for all of us. (BTW, my children get paid twice a month an amount equal to half their age.. so every birthday, they get a raise! HAHAHAH!)

    Speaking of chores, our family has fun doing Chore Wars. My husband lists chores as quests (like washing the car, or doing the dishes, etc.) and whichever child does the chore, they claim that quest and collect the experience points and gold for it. We are discussing allowance bonuses based on experience points/gold at the end of the year. LOL!

  8. I’ve been washing dishes and raking leaves since I was in 1st grade. My parents never paid me a cent and I grew to associate such tasks with responsibility rather than compensation.

    Quality control was another matter…I frequently did the chores quickly and haphazardly so I could go watch TV or play video games. Heh

  9. Mrs. Micah says:

    My parents took your middle way. We could earn extra money for special stuff, but we were expected to do our chores and we always got our allowance. They just didn’t tie the two together. Our allowance did carry with it certain responsibilities–like we had to buy some things for ourselves because we could save for them.

  10. Looby says:

    I completely agree with your take on this, I had small weekly “pocket money”, if I wanted/ needed more money I had to do something to earn it. My daily household chores were jus things that had to be done. They taught the basics of teamwork, everyone should do something, if my mum cooks and I set the table then my brother should do the dishes and my dad take out the garbage etc. Also I never received money for good grades, I was pretty much the only one of my friends who didn’t but I was taught to work hard so that I could get where I wanted in life.

  11. Midg says:

    I’ve never believed a child should be given an automatic allowance. My wife and I both believe doing so only encourages them to be more dependent. We have 2 kids (ages 6 and 9) and want them to understand the value of money and be self reliant.

    My wife and I have talked about allowances quite a bit lately. We’ve decided that when our oldest is 10 we’ll start paying her weekly for chores she has completed during the week. In addition we’ll help her set up a savings plan and teach her about setting money aside for tithing, long term savings, short term savings, and play money.

    Currently, we use a point system. They get a set number of points for doing specific tasks, like doing their homework without complaints, putting their laundry away, cleaning up their toys, etc. For each small fixed number of points they earn they get an extra snack/treat/small toy up to $1 value or $1. For each large number of points earned they can have go out to each/buy a toy/etc… up to $20 value or $20. We were quite impressed with both kids this last year when they saw something (a dragon shoulder puppet) they wanted at a fair last year that cost $80. They both worked hard all year and saved over $100 each. They bought their shoulder puppets at the fair last month. They earned their shoulder puppets and know it and they feel good about it.

  12. SJ says:

    Don’t tie money to grades – this is especially true if your two kids wind up with very different grades – I was never “paid” for my straight A’s, yet my younger sister was… I resented it and it didn’t work for her because she really needed to be self motivated.

    We had an allowance that wasn’t tied to chores but we were expected to pay for certain things out of it, any extra was ours to keep/save for other things, etc. My parents would sometimes “match” our savings to reach a larger goal.

  13. kath says:

    Emphatic NO! from here. There’s already an entire generation who have been raised with a sense of entitlement. Handing them money for nothing only reinforces that. The way the real world operates is that if you work, you get paid. If you don’t work, you don’t get paid. In our household, everyone has specific household chores to do- unpaid (and age-appropriate). A family needs to work as a team, and everyone needs to do their part. If they want to earn money, then there are other tasks above and beyond basic housework that are paid chores. My kids learned that money is something that you earn, and they gained a sense of pride that they earned it themselves. Plus, they realized the value of a dollar, and aren’t so fast to spend it foolishly. I work too hard to just give money away. I see too many kids given allowances, and spending it all at the mall on silly things. It has no value to them, because it was just handed to them. It teaches them nothing about responsibility.

  14. Dave says:

    I’m pretty sure I read this article on MSN Money. Pretty much said the same thing as your “Yes.” Allowance is not a salary… being part of a household means having to pitch in, and getting an allowance is separate from that. But extra things like mow the lawn, shovel snow, could be a few bucks… but you don’t want your son to not make his bed and throw you $1.

  15. frogandpig says:

    My stepson has chores that we require him to do without pay, such as cleaning his room, making his bed, and then added this year is cleaning his own bathroom. We want him to understand that being a productive member of our household is mandatory, and that as he is able to handle additional responsibilities, he will have more chores.

    However, if he wants money, he has to earn it. His mother is on welfare, and we really are having to counteract the “free money” thing. If he really and truly wants/needs money, he can scoop the cat boxes and earn $1/day. He’s only 9, how much money does he need?

    I did make a deal with him to pay him for good grades. He’s an incredibly bright child, but he doesn’t want to put forth effort. And if paying him is what it takes for him to put forth the effort, so be it. Besides, isn’t that what college and work are about? The more effort you put forth, the more you learn, the more money you are likely to make as an adult. Not a pretty picture, but a realistic one.

  16. E.C. says:

    This format of point, counterpoint, “my take” is getting old in a big hurry. It’s much more interesting to read a thoughtful essay in which you describe and more fully develop your views.

  17. klf says:

    I don’t believe money should ever be tied to grades. Good grades should be an expectation, and not a bribe. What if your child is doing the best he can in a subject, yet for whatever reason, earned a C? Basically, you would be punishing your child for getting a passing grade.

    I grew up with an allowance/pocket money given to me, based on age. My parents always made it clear that the money came from their wages that they earned working at their jobs. I remember knowing this in kindergarten, so maybe that would help with ridding the idea of “money growing on trees”. (this was a popular question of my father, when we asked for extra money, heh)

    Like many of the other posters, we were required and expected to do basic chores around the house, with responsibilities increasing with age. It was not tied in to the allowance, as the chores were part of the “teamwork” that went with the running of the house and property.

    If we wanted something extra, we either had to save for it, or ask Mom and Dad if they could help out. They would then discuss between themselves and come back with an answer, giving us rationale as to why they could or couldn’t purchase the widget or whatever. They were always honest about the finances in our house and included us in discussions.

    Ultimately though, it comes down to how you want your child to view money and it’s uses.

  18. Oswegan says:

    We pay weekly per job for some predesignated stuff. It adds up to about ten buck a piece per week.

    Then there’s stuff you just have to do, because we said so, and because you’re part of this family Mr./Missy.


  19. anon says:

    As the mother of three grownups and grandmother of two, all responsible people –
    Do you get paid to do daily chores? Why should they?
    A small allowance, then jobs. Real ones.
    Paper route
    Clean Mom/Dad’s office (if self employed)
    Do filing or (be creative here) for the home business
    Mow lawns
    Walk dogs
    And many more etcs.
    My grandkids are active in several sports, get good grades, have boyfriends. People find time to do what’s important. Don’t you?

  20. Dawn says:

    I agree with Money Blue Book that the basic household tasks a child helps with teach responsibility and a sense of family community.
    Kids like feeling that they are contributing.
    Plus the feeling of accomplishment should be reward enough in itself.
    I believe allowances should be a separate entity from household chores.
    My pet peeve is parents paying for grades.
    That just yanks my chain.

  21. !wanda says:

    What do you do when your kids earn money and want to buy stuff that you don’t approve of, like candy, video games, or inappropriate clothing? If you control the money, to some extent you control the child, and that seems very worthwhile. Also, the kid won’t get into the habit of buying stuff.

  22. Adrian says:

    When rewarding (or punishing) children it is very important to reward (or punish) them immediately. The more immediate the better because the child will associate their action with the reward or punishment. So, if you reward a child with money for mowing the lawn give it to them right when they are done, not at the end of the week. After a while the rewards can be given later because the child will already have associated the reward with the action.

    Also, smaller rewards more frequently can be more powerful than one large reward. For example (this is a true story) a boy was not getting very good grades. His parents promised him a ATV if he got all ‘A’s on his midyear report card. The reward was so far away that the boy’s daily efforts were not influenced by the ATV. The parents then started giving him a few dollars for every test he got an A on. He started getting more and more ‘A’s. His parents would always verbally tell him how proud they were of him and ask him how he felt. After a period of time the parents fazed out the financial reward because it was replaced with more intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation can led to intrinsic motivation if the transition is slow and the child’s feelings and thoughts are revealed. (Adapted from personal communication with Dr. Paul Robinson, Department of Psychology, Brigham Young University)

  23. Dave says:

    Adrian, that sounds like dog training advice. Seriously.

  24. ngthagg says:

    “In the real world, people don’t receive money for nothing – they have to work for that money.”

    If you want to teach your children about how the real world works, a system of “mow the lawn = $5” is about as far removed from reality as you can get. How many jobs do you know of where employees do such minimal piecemeal contract work? This is how freelance jobs work, but that’s about it. And even most freelance jobs require a significant effort and time investment in order to make money. (ie, a magazine article needs time for research, time for writing, time for editing, and time to actual find a publisher. It’s not a matter of “I think I need some cash, so I’ll write an article”.)

    The combination of a weekly allowance (not based on specific tasks) combined with an expectation that certain jobs must be done, and done promptly is much more like the typical job. Employees are hired not because an employer needs work done today, but because they need work done tomorrow, next week, three months from now, etc.

    If you do want to pay for extra tasks, above and beyond normal household duties, and you want it to reflect the real world, how about setting up a contract? Instead of $5 for every time the lawn is mowed, hire them to mow the lawn for the summer. Calculations are easy: lawn gets mowed every 3 days, $5 per mowing, spread out over July and August is a little over $100. Hire your child for the 9 weeks at $11-12/week, and make sure to set out before hand what happens if the lawns don’t get mowed. I expect this would work well during the early teenage years (or possibly pre-teen), when the child is old enough to understand work and money, but young enough that they can’t go flip burgers yet.

  25. Marsha says:

    I think I must be totally out of touch. $5-$10 per week allowance for a young child sounds like a fortune!

  26. Adrian says:

    Dave, you are absolutely right. Our lives are just much more complicated so it is difficult to see that as humans we act relative to potential rewards and punishments.

  27. Jessica says:

    As kids we didn’t get paid for good grades, but my parents would celebrate a good semester while we were in elementary school (we always had As and Bs) by letting us get a small toy or having dinner out as a family. It was a real treat as getting toys or eating out wasn’t something that happened often.

    I think teaching kids to celebrate their successes is a good thing, so long as it doesn’t get out of control.

  28. Jillian says:

    I agree with Marsha. Kids don’t need that much money. I remember I used to get 10 cents a week for every year of my age, so by the time I was 12 I was getting $1.20 a week. Some of the 12 year olds I work with now are walking around the mall with hundreds of dollars to spend on junk. Although I suspect a lot of it is guilt money from absent fathers and parents who can’t be bothered paying attention to their kids…

  29. J.B. says:

    I think allowances and incentives can really teach a child the meaning of hard work early on. If they want something, tell them how they can earn it going above and beyond their normal activites. Some people pay to get their car washed, when we were kids we capitalized on this and negotiated doing it ourselves for a few bucks. When your a kid a dollar is alot, and having to earn that dollar makes a life long lesson than just asking for it.

    An allowance doesn’t necessarily need to be for basic chores, that’s a part of sharing in a household. But above and beyond that should most definitely be rewarded. Bonuses for great performance are a great incentive to keep up the good work…

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with getting rewarded for good grades. It’s an incentive and can work very well. Getting a monetary incentive for grades can hold over until the child grasps that an education has non-monetary benefits and is worth the effort.

    And what if a child isn’t into grades at all and needs the extra push of a small monetary incentive? Is that so wrong? Don’t think so. Rewarding good performance (good grades) is better than reinforcing negative performance (getting rewarded for getting bad grades)

    We grew up with very little money around, so the carrot of getting money for good grades was a big incentive in my life. I ended up doing well and school, which opened up options later on while understanding the work that goes into earning money.

    In alot of ways, the working world (ideally) is getting rewarded from hard work, be it in terms of a promotion, raise or awknowledgement. Not much different than getting an incentive for grades if you ask me.

  30. Jillian says:

    By the way, it wasn’t *that* long ago since I was 12. My friends always had more money than me, but I’m glad I didn’t because I never got in the habit of buying things I don’t need.

  31. Sophie says:

    I was amused by kath’s “Emphatic NO!” comment because our thirteen year old been “handed money for nothing” in the form of a monthly allowance ever since she was six years old. I can assure you that she doesn’t “spend it all at the mall” (or anywhere else) on “silly things”. She hasn’t been raised with “a sense of entitlement” and she definitely realizes “the value of a dollar”. This past summer she started babysitting and between that and the allowance and the $20-$30 she gets for birthdays she has saved over $2000 so far. Trent, I’m with you about the many, many valuable lessons an allowance NOT tied to chores can be used to teach. Chores are what we ALL do to keep our household running – my husband and I aren’t paid to do household chores and neither are our children.

  32. Justin B says:

    This is one of the things I have thought about when I think about how I’ll raise my children when I have them. My idea is to make allowance a paycheck and chores a job. Work with them to set their schedule of what time they will do what job. We’ll figure out how long it will take them to do each job and pay them per hour. Write checks to them and take them to the bank. If they are late doing a job then they get warnings. They have to request off if there is some where they need to be. I don’t know. Just figure I’d try and show them what it takes to be a responsible worker and how working hard will pay off.

  33. Diane says:

    We gave our three kids allowances that were not based on chores. We gave them 50c per year of age up to age twelve and then $1 per year of age until the turned 16. They got paid every two weeks like we did. Once they were old enough to work, they got nothing.

  34. Carrie says:

    So now I am really confused after reading everyone’s comments. I have a 2 and 4 year old and I was looking into setting up a system to teach them how to spend and save money. I agree with both points- they shouldn’t be rewarded for doing jobs they are suppose to do around the house but I can’t seem to think of a single job they can do to earn money that they shouldn’t do anyway. Things like mowing the lawn seem like normal maintenance not worthy of reward if you are on that wave of thinking. (Obviously I can’t have my 2 and 4 year old mowing the lawn but it’s an example that was discussed for older children) On the other hand, they MUST acquire money on a regular basis in order to teach them how to spend and save it without them loosing interest in the idea. I am just not sure I am on board with handing money over without them earning it but I also believe they should do chores for the good of the home and family, not for money. I guess I need to pick which I feel is most important….Can anyone think of a middle road without picking and choosing the least and most important chores to place value on?

  35. Sue M says:

    As for grades, if the kids got all “A’s”, we did something special…a trip to the zoo or big amusement park. That way we all celebrated.

    I failed on the allowance scheme. Here was my idea: pay the kids on a “per-piece” scheme: making the bed was $0.25, picking up from the floor was $0.50, washing dishes was $0.50 per meal, and actually had a whole scheme based on per room. If they did all the chores listed on the price sheet, they could earn $5.00 for cleaning the bedroom, $5.00 for cleanup in the kitchen, $10.00 for yard work. What they did was read the entire list, and chose mowing the front and back lawns at $3.00 each…that was worth the most money!!! They never did see the big picture…

    Later on I capitulated, and gave them $1.00 weekly per year of age…the 9-year old would get $9.00, the eleven year old would get $11.00. But then, they had to buy their own special items. I’m not sure this worked, either. They could pack their lunch, or buy at school, but I didn’t give them the money for that…it had to come from their allowance. Packing lunch was free.

    Well, these are just ideas that, like I said, I don’t know if they worked. One had no math/money skills at all, the other was just shifty. They are now in their 20’s, so I’m waiting for the results.

  36. !wanda says:

    I never had an allowance. My parents made it clear that the money they earned was theirs, because they earned it, and if they chose to buy me stuff, it was a gift from them to me. If I chose to not listen to them, they could choose to not buy me stuff, including food and board, although it never got to that point because they are basically soft-hearted and I was basically a good kid. (It also got me out of the house really quickly- I was 16 when I left for college.) I’ve also done a fairly good job managing my finances, despite never handling money before leaving the house, because honestly, the concept of spending less money than you earn is really, really simple and logical. Money is power and control, and it’s good to have power and control over your children. If you mold them, even if they hate you, even if they rebel, the grooves of thought you’ve laid in them never quite go away.

  37. Sandy says:

    For my girls, aged 14 and 9, they both started getting regular allowences about about age 5. For a long time, they both recieved $3 per week, and they were responsible for their rooms, helping in the kitchen, and once per week chores. The allowence comes whether they do their chores or not, but priveledges are taken away if the chores don’t get done. that, in our household, seems to work best. For example, if the cat goes unfed/watered for more than a day (or if I have to do it) they lose 3 days of TV/computer time.Likewise, if they want to make more money by dooing additional chores, they could.
    My 9 year old still gets $3/week, and my 14 year old gets $5. As for budgeting, we give the 14 year old $20 evry semester for lunches. She can eat through the $20 in the first 3 days, or she can plan to spend it sporadically. Sleeping in and not having enough time to make lunch doesn’t count for more $. Tough. If she goes over $20, she must spend her own money…hopefully, she’s learning budgeting this way. We still buy her clothes, but we think in HS, we’ll give her a set amount, and what she does with it is up to her. She pays for all her entertainment (movies with friends, etc..)She has a part time job now, too, and helps a neighbor girl with her homework 3 afternnons per week, and she’s bringing in a tidy little sum, and every few weeks, we go to the bank where she’s happy to save her earnings, so she’s watching the amounts go up fairly dramatically, and enjoying that!
    We’ll do the same with the 9 year old, who is more into “stuff” than her sister.
    Oh….they have never received a dime for good grades…that’s an expectation, and they know that if grades come down, out of school activities they love (Tai Kwan Do for the older, dance for the younger) go away, as will TV and other such things. But never money for grades.
    It’s tough…there is no manual for these kinds of things…you just do what you think is best, and hope that that’s the right thing!

  38. Robin says:

    Our 12 year old son receives $20 monthly as an allowance. He divides it 4 ways-tithes, save, invest, and spend. 1/2 of the tithe goes to church, the other half to a charity of his choice. (He recently purchased $42 in toys for kids for Christmas). The investing money is currently being saved until he has enough to purchase a CD or mutual fund of some sort. The save money goes into the bank to help pay for college or what ever someday. It is untouchable until he is at least 18. That only leaves him $5.00 to spend each month. If he wants extra, he must earn it for doing extra and he is expected to tithe and save on that money also. This summer he set up a stand in our yard selling produce and made over $300 in two months. He’s talking about expanding next year! He also has two saving accounts-the one that is off limits and the other to put some of his spending money in to help save for a larger item he may want. Last year he purchased a PSP, which is about $300, from money he earned and saved. As parents we have to teach them about money and how to use it. With the buy now, pay later mentality of the world out there, we must be sure we are setting good examples and teaching our kids the right way. Good grades are expected but we will reward him monitarily sometimes. It’s always after the fact and he doesn’t know it’s coming until he gets it. Sometimes it’s cash or something he’s been wanting, sometimes we go to a movie and dinner and celebrate.

  39. I do like using the allowance as a way to teach kids about money, specifically that there are decisions one has to make. If you buy the shiny Polly Pocket this week, you’ll not be able to get a pack of gum until you get paid again. I let them do stupid things with the money, though I try to guide their thought process.

    At this stage, the allowances are modest: $2/week for the 9 year old, $1/week for the 7 year old. For now, that amount works out well. When they get older, we’ll raise it, trying to perhaps instill more of a sense of earn/reward by adding options for them to do optional things.

    I would advocate not tying allowance to chores since it instills the sense that chores are optional. Dishes need to be washed, dinners cooked, trash removed. Everyone in the family should do chores.

    I also agree grades should not be tied to money. My parents did that when I was a kid with my brother and I. His grades didn’t improve, mine were already stellar, only rubbing it in at payment time.

  40. Ro says:

    Another interesting discussion. My husband and I are still trying to figure out what approach to use with our child. I never received an allowance as a child, nor was I expected to do any sort of chores at all. I don’t think either thing was a good idea, to be honest. My mom is a great person but she is very anal about how she wants stuff done and since we could never measure up she didn’t even try to teach us to clean our own rooms, do laundry, cook,, etc. (Of course, she wonders why I have so much more trouble staying on top of my house than she did!!) I don’dt feel we learned those life skills, and I am trying to make sure my son does. As far as money goes, if my needs were supplied and if I had any wants and they had the money, and if it was something relatively small (bigger gifts were for Christmas), she would try to get it for me. My wants were nothing like the wants of the kids today though…there were XBoxes, Wiis, etc. But I do think I would have gotten more out of having to learn to budget my own money to buy it myself,with gifts here and there as they felt like it. I am only beginning to even learn the basics of money management at the age of..well, let’s say 29ish (um…that would be if 40 is the new 30!!!)

  41. PiFreak says:

    I got an allowance before I needed one, and now that I’d like one, I don’t have it. I’m 16 now, and although I have a good sense of how the world works, I’d like an allowance. I’m gonna head off for college, and I pay for all my own christmas gifts. Sometimes I spend upwards of 40-50 bucks. I make no allowance, and due to my schedule, I have no time (literaly) for a job. Unless there’s a company that will hire me from 7:30 to 8:30, three nights a week, I have no time for a job. My only form of allowance is a “reverse allowance”. I have to pay my mom for each time I don’t do a chore on time. I think a combination would be best. Give them an allowance of say, a dollar a week ($52 a year), an additional dollar if they do something extra, like rake up all the leaves, and if they fail to do something, take 50 cents away each time. They’ll catch on soon.

    Oh yeah, if I want something or need something, my parents will pay. However, my wants are relatively small. If something is high-quality for a low price, I usually want it more (eg, my parents bought five pairs of speakers for me at dollar tree, because the first pair has lasted for over a year, and they always sell out) My wants usually are something like $5 a month.

    What do you think of reverse allowances? Yes/No, why?

  42. Ro says:

    I would dock my son for stuff, yes, but I would give him something to dock it out of first!!!!!

  43. PiFreak says:

    That’s what I think too Ro, because I get docked out of my birthday money and Christmas money, which all goes to my college fund.

  44. belleandthecity says:

    My parents always gave me a pretty nice basic allowance, which adjusted as I grew older and needed more money for entertainment with my friends. I also recieved it during the school year because they did not want me to work and focus all my energy on my studies.

    When I was saving for something, like a big purchase I wanted to make, they would let me do extra chores for extra cash.

    I think this is a good system because I had to do my normal chores because I was part of the family. My parents also felt bad making me work for allowance or witholding it if I got into trouble because they didn’t hold themselves to that standard–my parents got her weekly spending money from the budget whether they did the laundry or not–so it didn’t seem fair to them, and I agree. But by giving me extra money for extra chores, I learned the value of hard work and the reward of saving for something you want early on, so it’s a good mix.

  45. Sandy says:

    I thought of another thing, in addition to my earlier post. When it comes to giving money for grades, it reminds me of another parenting strategy…that of bribery for nearly every aspect of life, and it starts early.
    I never used bribes like “if you go number #2 in the potty, you’ll get an M&M” or “If you make your bed, I’ll give you extra dessert” or things like that. As far as I’m concerned, once a parent starts that kind of “negotiating” with their kids like that, it is a very slippery slope, and the “negotions” get more expensive each time. I made some concious decisions early on that the girls needed to want something intrnsically before they see the need in doing something, and it’s worked very well at our house.
    Now, my husband will challenge them with various things that hopefully will benefit their future. Currently, they have a financial incentive to learn to type quickly and accurately and once they have hit so many words and acuracy of 80%, he’ll give them a few dollars, and a fairly hefty sum once they hit 30 words per minute. The reason behind this is obvious…they’ll be able to do their work faster when they are older inHS and college. So far (1 week into it) they have each gotten to 12 words per min and got the first reward.

  46. Brianna says:

    Kids from the age of 5 to 8 should get $5 a week.
    Kids from the age of 9 to 12 should get $10.
    Kids from the age of 13 to 17 should get $15.
    Kids from the age of 18 and older should get $20.

    Hope this helps! :)

  47. Fred says:

    Since this discussion has broadened from Trent’s initial question to how to best educate your kids about money, let me add my 2p.

    When I was young (I’m now 26) my parents taught me to save any money I received rather than spend it. I even did exactly that when I finally (quite late, actually) received an allowance. When I finally decided I needed some pocket money (for parties, bars), I worked for it (baby-sitting) and only used the money I had worked for (moreover, only part of it).

    I now realize there’s probably no better way to learn your kids to spend wisely. If abstention is one’s second nature, money never has a chance to become more important than it should be.

    However, this approach doesn’t encourage my kids’ entrepreneurship (spotting earning opportunities). Therefore I will give my kids the opportunity to work for money from an early age on (only for special tasks, not for their fair share in the household). I will try to find a good middle between the fun of spending (to fuel their entrepreneurship) and abstention/saving (money should be a tool for what is truly important only).

  48. annellle says:

    Wow nice hints but I want to know how much a 13 should get for school clothes once a year. What’s reasonable for my daughter?

  49. Mary says:

    I grew up doing chores with no allowance, and will probably do the same for my future kids. I feel I truly learned the value of hard work, and I’m seeing in my own generation (Gen Y) how the sense of entitlement has instilled in individuals thanks to their upbringing.

    Plus, I’m an adult now, and still have to do chores. Do I get paid? Nope. I suppose I could pay myself in a glass of wine while doing it, though. :)

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