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Should You Pay Your Kids?

Is an allowance necessary and if so, how much?

Some parents give an allowance. Others don’t. Some parents pay kids to do chores or tie their allowance to chores. Others don’t. What should you do?

How Old?

Kids Health (from Nemours) suggests that there is no ideal time to start, but the website suggests starting by age 10.

How Much?

How much you give a child will likely depend on the child’s age, your past experience and, quite frankly, your own income level.

Experts recommend children’s weekly allowance be $1 per year of age, according to About.com, which has an interesting allowance calculator that takes your own age into account and tells you the equivalent buying power of that allowance when you were that age.

Why Give an Allowance?

An allowance can be a good way to teach children about earning, saving and spending money. There are even websites like Allowance Manager to help kids track their money.

Advice?

What advice do you, as a parent, have for other parents? What have you found works best in terms of frequency of giving the allowance, how much to give, whether to give it in exchange for chores or not? Share your expertise with your neighbors.


Eileen October 14, 2012 at 11:47 AM
A weekly allowance of $1 per year of age....are you kidding me? My 9 year old does not need $9/week. I suppose if your child is required to save a third and give a third to charity....perhaps.
CHARLES MARCZYK October 14, 2012 at 05:48 PM
IF A CHILD IS GIVEN AN ALLOWANCE TO SPEND, WHY SHOULD THERE BE RESTRICTIONS PLACED AS TO HOW IT SHOULD BE SPENT. LET THE CHILD LEARN BY TRIAL AND ERROR THE MANAGEMENT OF THE MONEY.
fed up October 14, 2012 at 11:43 PM
First Charles, take off the caps lock & stop yelling at everyone. Second, trial and error is fine, however education is better. Educate your child on how to save & spend money, a well as the value of earning money through work so they will appreciate things. Finally, restrictions are necessary because they are, after all, children.
Lindsay at Flag Lady Gifts October 22, 2012 at 03:13 PM
We started giving our daughter an allowance this year as she started Kindergarten. 50 cents per year of age, in quarters for easy math. Up to 1/2 may go in the "Spend" jar, and the rest must be divided amongst "Save", "Donate", and "Invest" (100% match from us). Save can be spent after a few weeks or a month, and Invest will eventually get a bank account. It's great fun to see her put money in Donate, then pull it out for Unicef or Salvation Army. It's a wonderful math tool, as well. She can collect spare house change and we trade in coins for dollars.
Ben Goldberg November 18, 2012 at 02:58 PM
What about paying for chores? Does that teach your child not expect something for nothing in the real world, or does it teach him/her not to contribute to the common good unless there is immediate gratification for the individual?
Lindsay at Flag Lady Gifts November 19, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Good question, Ben. A number of youth finance sources suggest that allowance not be tied to chores, and thus cannot be used as punishment or bribery. We have gone this route, as chores are a responsibility that everyone in the family shares. I don't get paid to cook and clean, and neither can I not do it if I don't feel like it! The same applies to her. If my child wants to do extra chores above and beyond what we expect of her, then she can earn extra money.

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