Give kids allowanceMy kids have learned to work from a young age – even my 20 month old is in charge of cleaning up her small corner of toys. Several years ago we began giving my kids each a small allowance to help them understand the value of money. While we made it clear that we weren’t paying for them to clean up after their own things or do the chores that are expected anyway, they were able to earn a bit of money by going above and beyond what they would normally do.

Pros and Cons of an Allowance

I’ve heard a lot of mixed opinions on whether or not you should give kids allowance. Some moms feel that they don’t want to pay their kids to do things they should do on their own, which is why we’ve taken the stance we have on it. Kids do need to learn to work simply for the value of getting a job done. On the flip side, I’ve seen my kids grow by having an allowance. They have a better idea of what money is worth and less of a sense of entitlement because they know they are expected to work for the things that they have.

How Much Should you Pay?

Determining how much of an allowance you should pay your child is a personal decision and dependent on many factors such as family circumstances, age of the child, and attitude. I’m a big fan of the attitude clause. If my kids do their chores but complain about them as they work, they don’t get their allowance that week. I expect them to learn that an allowance is something they have to earn, not something they have a right to no matter how they do their work.

When are Kids Ready for an Allowance?

In my house, my 10 and 8 year olds get an allowance. I make my kids show me that they are capable of going above and beyond their regular chores before they earn the right to have an allowance. That means my older kids go out of their way to find things that need to be done and do them without being asked. I’ve explained to them that if I have to tell them every little thing that needs to be done it doesn’t save me any time. I want them to learn to see problem areas on their own and fix them without being asked.

My 6 year old would normally get an allowance as well but unfortunately he still hasn’t learned to do his chores without complaining. It’s more work for me to get him to do his chores so he won’t get an allowance until he develops better habits.

Do your kids receive an allowance? What have you found that works?


One Response to Should You Give Kids Allowance?

  1. H Smith says:

    When my kids ask for an allowance, I tell them that I “allow” them to live in our house, eat our food, watch our tv, etc. and that they need to pitch in just like their mom and dad do. However, if they need extra money then they are able to earn it by taking over some of my “jobs” like laundry. Basically, I contract out to them. My rates are low, though…$1 per load of laundry (wash, dry & fold); if they clean the entire downstairs $5; 30 minutes of weeding (with obvious results) $5; lawn mowing & edging $10; and so on….

    I totally agree that as children grow older they need to have their own money and understand its value but I also agree that it needs to be for “above and beyond” actions…without complaining!

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