Allowances…do you do them?

allowanceI’m not sure how you all feel about allowances.  I got one and so did my boys.  I just felt that kids needed to have money in order to learn about it. I’m not sure why, but my boys loved “work charts” for a long time.  I know with some kids charts don’t work but mine really liked them.  I used to make them out of tag board and I had stickers and stamps that they would use to mark off what they needed to do.  

When they were young, I kept them simple with things like “make my bed” and “brush my teeth.”  Just simple everyday things that they did anyway so getting a sticker or a stamp on them was just like icing on the cake.  I like to think they got used to it and as they grew, the charts had bigger chores like “set the table” and “change the litter.”  I will say though that I tried to give my kids chores that suited them and things that they didn’t hate to do.

This is a very good news article that was on a few weeks ago.  I pretty much agreed with the whole thing.  I know a lot of people don’t believe in allowances because they feel you are “paying” your kids to do chores that they should be doing anyway but I don’t see it that way.  I feel it’s a way of “giving” them money in order to learn what to do with it.  This broadcast states that kids at age 5 should be starting to get one.

It can also help with the “can I have this,” “can I have that” when at the store.  If they have their own money, it can help to make them think about spending it instead of making you the bad guy.  I will admit that when I took my kids to the store I did let them get a treat if they behaved.  This will only work if you are consistent and your kids know if you say no, you mean it.  It doesn’t take very long for them to know if they broke the rules they didn’t get that pack of gum.  Bribing you say, okay, I’ll admit it, I did bribe them but I probably would have let them get a treat at the checkout anyway if they behaved so it killed two birds with one stone.  My opinion only.  But this article also states that things start out with a pack of gum and then it’s a small toy and it only goes on to bigger and more expensive things.  I never did that but I guess some people do so why not start making them spend their own money on it so they know how hard it is to earn and way to easy to spend?

I also didn’t give my kids their allowance if every chore wasn’t done.  This way they couldn’t just do the ones they didn’t mind.  It was also this way for me when I was young.  My dad used to say that when you have a job, you don’t get paid just for what you like to do.  That you have to do your entire job in order to get paid. That made a lot of sense to me.

My kids also had to put part of their money in the bank and their offering envelopes for Sunday school.  So they donated, saved and had money to spend.  I’m not sure if it worked or not.  I have a spender and a saver.  It probably just comes down to your personality but I felt I tried.  My kids also didn’t have to buy anything they needed with their allowance.  Only the things that they really wanted but I felt were to much money just to buy them. When they were old enough to drive and had to pay insurance, they had to have a job.  I felt that cars and insurance were just a part of life and were a luxury and you need to work for those things.

What about you?  Do you make your kids do chores and if so, do you give them an allowance or plan to when they’re old enough?


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12 Responses to Allowances…do you do them?

  1. SKL says:

    I got one starting at age 5, and I think it was really a good thing. I do plan on giving my kids an allowance. Of course, things are a lot different nowadays. We used to have penny candies and other small items that we could buy at the corner stores. I would go to the delicatessen and buy a cheap little book and a handful of Jolly Ranchers, or go to the print shop and buy a couple of pencils. Silly, but at least I had the opportunity to really figure out how money works on a small scale. Nowadays, we don’t have nearby corner stores; we don’t have penny candy (or even quarter candy); we don’t even use cash most of the time; so I am not sure how I will do this. I have a few years to figure it out.

    When my sister was 4 years old, I was teaching her the 3 R’s, and I used to use pennies as an incentive to learn new words. We’d walk to the nearby Ben Franklin store, where they had candies for 2 cents, 3 cents, 5 cents, etc. It was really good for her to figure out how much she could buy with whatever coins she had. I hope I can find something similar to help my girls learn these concepts.

    As far as chores, I don’t know. My mom will say our allowances weren’t connected with chores, but I sure thought they were. We didn’t get paid until the house was “clean” on Saturday. I do agree that eveyrone should do certain things just because they are part of a family. But I don’t see anything wrong with having some paid chores too. The only problem is, what if the kid decides he’d rather do without the money and refuses to do the chore? Maybe it’s really just a question of semantics. Kids know what they can and can’t get away with.

    One thing I noticed among my siblings and now with my daughters: they are born with different tendencies toward work, responsibility, etc. I have one little worker bee and one who runs the other way upon hearing the words “clean up.” How do I treat them both fairly? If one child takes her chores much more seriously, do I give her more allowance (they are the same age)? Or do I badger the lazy one to finish her chores and then pay them the same? Or turn a blind eye because it’s all about learning how to handle money and they both need that skill? I know that when I was a kid, I really noticed and resented these differences (I was the “responsible” one, of course).

  2. I was never given an allowance when I was a kid, although I always wanted to have one. Instead, my parents would just give me money on the rare occasions when I went out with a friend to a movie, and bought me the necessities I needed – they would say no if it was something I didn’t need or something I was splurging on.
    I don’t know how I learned to value money, but I suppose it was when I started to covet silly things like clothing and accessories that I knew I didn’t really need. I decided to get a job and so I wouldn’t feel bad asking my parents for things I really didn’t need and were just for my own pleasure.
    I do however like the idea of giving allowances to kids, and I think that eventually when/if I have children, I will use this method.

  3. thegoddessanna says:

    I do not believe in paying my kids to do chores. Chores are required; if they are done, the child is rewarded by not being punished. An allowance is an entirely different matter, something Tim and I have not decided on as of yet. We do want to teach the kids money management, but I’m not too keen on just handing them money. What we’re leaning towards is more of a pay-for-work system, where the kids would get money for doing things that are not a part of their regular chores. They’d get money for washing the car, but not cleaning their rooms. It’d have to be strictly voluntary too – if they want the money, they’ll offer up their services for no prompting.

    Of course, our oldest is not quite to this stage, and right now she gets rewarded for behaviour. If she wants a treat (very rare, actually), she has to earn it by being good. But we do this so infrequently, I can’t even think of an example. Of course, this also has something to do with the fact that we simply don’t have the money to do extra things right now in any case.

  4. mssc54 says:

    When I was growing up (in the last century lol) the only allowance I got was being allowed to go out and cut grass to earn money.

    We never gave our three (grown) bio-daughters an allowance.

    I think it may be beneficial if we “revisit” that issue now that we have our “new kids.”

    I can certainly see the advantages of children being able to understand that Santa Clause doesn’t just pick their gifts up at the toy store for free. 😉

  5. Just a Mom says:

    I give allowances. But the jobs must be done or they don’t get paid. I do not give my kids a lot for allowances my 16 year old gets $10 a week and my 9 year old gets $5. I do pay for them to go to the movies or stuff like that. The allowances are for stuff like a special toy or magazine they want.
    I think giving the kids allowances not only teaches them about money and work ethics, but it also allows them to feel proud when they buy that special thing they wanted with their own money.
    I too bribe my kids at the grocery store. Hey at least they are not screaming in line at the counters!

  6. Tessa says:

    Great idea to have them put some in savings and for charity!!

    I believe that every member of the family should want to help each other out, so no allowance for chores. I want them to learn how to give just to give, and what better way then everyday at home?

    I am starting my boy on chores as soon as he can walk and talk!! My mom did this with us, and we loved to help her out. She made it fun, and when we were kids we liked to help out and see her smile when she came home from work.

    I’ll do allowances, just not for chores.

    JustAMom, my mom told us if we misbehaved at the store we couldn’t go with her next time, and she meant it! So we stopped that quick. She became a single mom, but stuck to it.

    Great idea, Joy, to have them give money for charity and to the bank. I’ll do that too!

  7. nikki says:

    I never got an allowance yet I had many chores. It was a combination of my Mom not having extra money and just a mean step dad. I feel if I were given an allowance for the things I did, even if it were coins, I would have learned to be a saver not a spender. I think Jason and I fall somewhere in the middle. We aren’t huge savers or spenders. We use to spend money as fast as it came in. We are more frugal with our money now. I do have to admit that we did the chart thing awhile back and didn’t stick with it. Bailey did like it but it takes all 3 of us to be consistent with it for it to work. He loved being payed for the chores he did. I think it’s a great way for kids to learn the whole concept of money and saving and the value that money has. We do pay for most of what he wants. The money he saves comes from the change laying around and whatever dollar bills he can con out of Jason or I. When we go out to the bowling alley he spends his quarters that he’s found the week before. I know that isn’t teaching him anything and we really need to get back into the allowance chart. I also have to admit I usually clean his room and yes even make his bed. I like taking care of that kind of stuff though, I feel it’s kinda my “job” as a stay at home mom. I know that isn’t teaching him anything either. If his room is ever a disaster he either does it himself or I help him. He does set the table and clear it off, but he gets no money for it. I do realize we need to get back into it. Bailey loved it and it helped us too. I think I’ll sit down today and make up a new chart, he’ll love that!! Thanks for the reminder Joy!!

  8. Amber says:

    Kids need to learn the value of money. It is an earned thing and when it is gone it is gone. Too many parents never teach their children budgeting and financial planning. It makes me sad. Allowances and chores are the first steps to these very key skills.

  9. mssc54 says:

    I completely agree with Amber and others regarding the imoprtance of children learning the value of money.

    If you will send me the valuable money I will immediately explain to the children all about it’s value.

    Honest! 😉

  10. Jane says:

    We do give Dylan an allowance. He’s only 4 but it works for us and him. Yes, chores are a part of living with a family and we each have chores to do in order to maintain things. But on the other hand, how can smaller children earn money? It’s kind of catch 22. You either “pay” them for doing things or you just give them money for no reason. I would prefer to look at it like he’s helping us and we pay him for his help. He knows he collects the eggs from the chickens and he can rent a movie or buy a book once he fills his chart. Yes, he has a chart and nothing gives him more pleasure than getting his stickers when he does one. He’s not really old enough to know if he doesn’t do all his chores that he doesn’t get paid but when he is, I will do it that way too. I do feel it’s important to know that when we have a job there will be some things we don’t like to do but we have to do the whole job.

    Great post Joy.

  11. Sue says:

    I never got an allowance. There were 4 of us and not a lot of money so it was pitch in and help or else. I remember when my mom made the dishwashing cart for us and then when she started working weekends we had to do laundry and pick up the house. Nikki, don’t feel bad about wanting to do stuff for Bailey. I can remember my mom making our beds and cleaning our room when I was plenty old enough to do it. Eventually it became our responsibility, but I don’t know at what age. I don’t think kids need to be paid to do their chores, but everyone’s points above are valid and make sense. I’m going to make a chart also for my kids. Trinity use to have one and I hope Christopher gets a kick out of stickers. It doesn’t hurt to try!

  12. Doraz says:

    I believe a family needs to work together and realize the rewards they receive by doing so. A monetary allowance should be given if it is something “special” that needs to be done…that instead of paying another person outside of the family to do it…they can do it and be paid instead!

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