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Should I Give an Allowance?

Jul 22, 2008
Children start earning money from an allowance at home before they ever get a job. Not all parents, however, agree that giving children a regular allowance is a good idea. Consider some ways to decide whether or not to give an allowance to your children.

In times past, allowances were very low, being perhaps fifty cents each week. This is no longer the case, with many parents providing children with a weekly allowance of five to ten dollars. This can quickly add up, though, if your family includes several children.

An allowance is not the same as money earned for chores performed. An allowance represents a way to teach kids about handling money. In my family, we used to get three dollars each week for allowance. On the weekends, we would ride our bikes to the store and stock up on goodies before heading to a nearby park. We learned early on that if we put our money together, we could buy more snacks than we could separately.

Allowance is based on parental income and the age of the child. If you are struggling to make ends meet, the allowance may have to wait, or it can be small until you can afford for it to be more. When a child asks why they are getting the money, say that it is because they have the privilege of being your son or daughter.

Wait to give an allowance to children until they are able to comprehend the concept of money and how it is to be used. You might choose to wait until their school discusses money and then use an allowance in conjunction with what they have been learning in their class.

Even if kids really don't show a desire to buy anything in particular, providing them with an allowance will help get them accustomed to using money. Use the allowance you give to teach kids the importance of saving. You can also take advantage of opportunities that arise to explain the prices of things they want and how saving up will let them be able to buy what they want.

With a goal to work towards, children look forward to receiving their allowance each week and watching the money pile begin to grow. Once they reach the amount they need, it is up to them whether to purchase the doll or keep the money. You have just shown the benefits of delayed gratification.

Receiving a weekly allowance, kids will learn to have a realistic and healthy attitude towards money. By the time kids are making money from jobs they do for you at home, they will have already developed saving habits and will know how to keep themselves from just blowing their money pointlessly.

Providing a child with a weekly or monthly allowance is a good way to help them become responsible with their money at a young age. Although they won't always make the best decisions when it comes to spending, parents will be there to help them learn to care for their money wisely.
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