Whether or not to give children an allowance – and then how much to give them – is a topic that I often hear discussed among parents both on and off line.
Over the years, my husband and I have gone back and forth, and I hate to admit that we haven’t been extremely consistent on allocating our childrens’ allowances. The fact is….I believe in allowance. I think it is important for children to have experience handling money from an early age, and birthday money once a year doesn’t necessarily give them enough experience handling money to teach them any long-lasting lessons.
So why do we so frequently fail when it comes to giving allowance?
Here are some things I love about giving children an allowance:
- Giving children an opportunity to earn money regularly helps them learn how to spend AND save wisely.
- Having their own cash teaches kids the value of money.
- When my kids know that their allowance could be taken away, they are more likely to follow up on their responsibilities around the house.
- After being able to save money on their own, my kids are more willing to share and spend money on others (ie – a birthday present for a sibling).
- Children who earn an allowance are less likely to constantly ask for cash from Mom and Dad.
- Handling money teaches children responsibility.
And here are a few reasons why I stink at giving an allowance regularly:
- I never know what is a “fair” amount.
- I rarely have enough cash (especially small bills) to pay all 5 of my kids.
- I forget.
- My husband is a stickler for only giving the kids an allowance if they have done certain things….and often they haven’t done everything.
The fact is that my “excuses” for not giving my kids a regular allowance are really not valid. The benefits of an allowance far outweigh the challenges that I have with giving it out.
I’d love to hear your feedback on a few questions:
- When is the perfect age to start giving an allowance?
- How much do you pay for a child’s weekly allowance?
- Do you require certain jobs/chores to be done before giving an allowance?
- What are your biggest challenges with allowances?
Disclosure: This post was inspired by Kidworth, a free service for parents to help teach children money management that will last a lifetime. I am a Kidworth Ambassador and am compensated for my involvement in the program.
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