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Parents Talk: Giving Your Child An Allowance

Is it a good idea to entice your children to do things around the house with the promise of cash? What can it teach them?

When I was nine years old not only was I the neighborhood babysitter, but—like most kids—I also completed various chores around the house to earn my weekly allowance.

Now to be honest, my boss—who was otherwise known as Daddy—was a little lenient on me. While I occasionally mowed the lawn, helped pick up dog droppings or weeded the garden, as long as I kept my room clean, did my homework and was my usual sweet self (wink) I got my money.

Looking back I had it pretty easy.

But of course it taught me to be a good little worker and to be accountable for things. A neighbor even saw me mowing the lawn one weekend and gave me a job mowing hers for the summer.

I fast forward to now as a working adult and I wonder, with the economy so out of whack right now, are people even giving kids an allowance these days? And how hard do you make them work for it? What's a good age to start an allowance? Should parents not give an allowance?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Caitlin Burgess October 06, 2011 at 04:43 PM
Great points Blair. By the way, I love that there's an online tools for this. So convenient for busy parents. Thanks for the tip! Anyone else have something to add?
Eve October 07, 2011 at 02:50 AM
I'll be curious to read more - I believe that kids should help around the house because they are part of the family and that money is not linked to helping. I also agree though that learning money management at a young age is good. Not sure how we will handle this in our home yet.
Terry Elliott October 07, 2011 at 03:05 AM
We gave our 2 daughters significant allowances starting when they were about 10 or 11, like $20 a month. We bumped this up every 2 years and gave them a list of things THEY had to buy with it. So by the time they were 16 they were getting $100 a month and saving and buying their makeup and other personal stuff. They got their own checking accounts about this time as well. So when they got out of high school, they were already very good money managers.
Caitlin Burgess October 07, 2011 at 03:50 PM
I never thought about giving kids a list of things they can buy with an allowance. That's interesting. What kinds of things were they allowed to buy when they were younger?
Jan Finken October 09, 2011 at 08:50 PM
We have chosen to do the same thing as the Elliott family with allowance--our kids are responsible for doing things around the house and they receive an allowance that lets them make choices with their money. When they were younger we found ourselves giving out quite a bit of extra money for things like movies, magazines, make-up, pokemon cards, etc -- things that didn't seem like they cost a lot, but actually added up. We came up with an amount and like Elliotts we increase that each year. Our 15 year old is a sophomore in high school, and she receives her allowance on a paypal Visa card (that's much more like a debit card, but it's also good wherever they take Visa too) and she uses her money to buy clothes, make-up, presents, etc. It's amazing how much less she spends on clothes with her money...We have seen her make different and I would say "better" choices since she was in charge of making the choices. All 3 of our children have a list of jobs they must do around the house each day and each week -- regardless.

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