30 answers

Allowance - Buffalo,NY

Hi, my daugher is 5 years old and I'm wondering what people have done about giving allowances at this age. do you give them a set amount each week like a quarter or a dollar? Do you make them save part of it for something big or let them spend it as they choose? Thanks for any advice.

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Thanks to everyone for your allowance ideas and advice. It seems that a common theme is to not tie allowance to chores and to divide it between spend, save and charity. What a great community of reponses!!

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I tend to think 5 years old is to young to get an allowance. But if you decide to go up this road, it's best to teach her the value of money by having her save at least half of it for her education. That way she not only learns the importance of saving, but the importance of staying in school and getting an education. If she doesn't have enough money with the other half to buy what she wants, you can teach her about waiting and saving up for the item without using her education savings.

1 mom found this helpful

Hope you have room for one more response. I too have given $1 per year. My kids have chores whether or not they get their allowance, the chores are expected to be done with the explanation that it takes the whole family to take care of the house and one another. We also have the kids save a certain amount in the bank and contribute to charity, about every other month they chose where they want the charity money to go, ex, once they bouth supplies for the animal shelter. One thing I do that I did not notice others have said, is that since they get such a large amount ($10 and $9 each a week), if they want to buy hot lunch, it comes out of their own money. This has really given them an appreciation for their money and having to prioritize their own wants and needs. Since I buy plenty of food for them to make their own lunches, buying hot lunch is a privelege that they get to decide upon since it is their money. As they become teens I Plan on doubling their allowance, but will also require that they buy more things for themselves, ex. if they want their own more expensive salon shampoo, they buy it from their own money, same goes for anything that is a more expensive brand name and is a want vs a need. Hope you find these ideas helpful!

We started allowances at about this age, but not tied to chores. Chores are done as part of being a member of the family -- things like picking up one's room, clothes in the hamper, setting the table, etc. Each child received her age each week, less 10% for charity and 10% for savings. They could save up for Christmas presents or beanie babies from one week to the next. I have one frugal daughter and one who would spend it all. As they reached their teen years and their needs cost more, I doubled the amount so they could at least go to the movies without having to wait two weeks.

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Hi W., We have always lived by the rule that allowances are incentive based items. Do these jobs and make this much allowance. For example, you are responsible for picking up all your toys and putting them back where they belong everyday. If you do that at the end of the week you will get $1.00 (let's say). If you don't, you don't earn the money or you only earn a portion for what you actually did. The amount is up to you, just remember that as they get older you'll have to raise the amount so think about that before you choose a figure. If they have something they really want this can serve as a great incentive to get them to learn about earning and saving. They do the job, get their allowance and save for the item they want. It's all a matter of preferrence. You can also save their money in the bank account and have them go into the bank with you and make their deposit. They feel very grown up doing that.

1 mom found this helpful

We started when our daughter was 5 1/2, when she "graduated" from preschool. We found a great bank, called Moonjar, that has three sections. Spend, Save and Share. To make it easy, we give her $3 each week, one for each section. We don't tie her allowance to chores, she does her chores because she's part of this family not b/c she's getting paid to do them. Turns out my daughter is pretty frugal, like me, but she bought each member of our family Christmas presents (at the dollar store) with her own money, her idea.

1 mom found this helpful

I tend to think 5 years old is to young to get an allowance. But if you decide to go up this road, it's best to teach her the value of money by having her save at least half of it for her education. That way she not only learns the importance of saving, but the importance of staying in school and getting an education. If she doesn't have enough money with the other half to buy what she wants, you can teach her about waiting and saving up for the item without using her education savings.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi W.! I have a 4yr old girl and a 6yr old boy and I haven't thought about an allowance for either. At this point I'm not confident that they know the value of a dollar or how to spend it. Currently my son has chores; (feed the dog, be sure the guinea pig's water is full/clean, empty his own trash, etc.) simple things that he can handle but not too overwhelming. As soon as my daughter hits 5 she will have small chores as well. Currently we are working off of a star chart. I purchased a white poster board and small post it notes. I asked my kids what they really wanted to do or get. (Going to museum, recreational park or an event) Then I post it at the bottom of the board. Each event is worth a different amount of stars. (The museum they picked is 7 stars) I put their names on the top of the board in column like form and for each good deed I use a marker and make a star on a post it note and place it under the appropriate child’s name. When the child gets to the 7 stars he/she will be able to go to the museum. So, essentially the stars are their "allowance". We also have a check system that we use. If the child misbehaves the child gets a check mark on a sticky note which goes under his/her name and if they get 3 check marks a star is removed. It's back and forth until they understand how the system works. Currently we are starting the 3rd week of working toward the museum. My daughter has her 7 stars but still has 2 check marks to get rid of (we make up how to get rid of the check marks by doing special deeds as we go along) It teaches them the skills they need to be good and rewards them for it. Good luck with everything. Hopefully you can collect some good ideas and work out your own family "allowance". Take Care!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi W.,

I have a 5 year old also and have found, at least for us, an allowance doesn't work. What does for me (most of the time) is to let her go to the dollar store and "shop" for a couple things as a reward for being such a big girl and helping mommy out.

Try it, it may work for you.

PS - an allowance is not paid for a chore...chores are just part of our household and no one gets paid for contributing.
The allowance is for when she goes above and beyond what is expected...or when she does certain things without being asked, you get the idea.

Hi, allowance is fine, but a handful of coins my kids love. And it is important to teach them responsibility too. I fold all the laundry and lay it in piles on my bed, my child then come and collect their laundry and put it away in the drawers or closet. They have been doing this since the age of 2 and they love it. I make sure they have done it neatly and they got some coins. They like to save for something they want but dont allow them to spend it on candy.
They now ask for chores so they can get more money, so they vaccuum, which they love, sweep the yard, dust or anything they can think of.
My kids are now aged - son 7 yrs, daughter 8 yrs.
I think kids get things so easy now and have no regard for anything. Easy come, easy go. This way they learn that you need to earn what you want.
And trust me, they dont hate me for it. Good luck

We give our 5 yr old money when he helps out, like for example,he helps my husband outside and gets $5.00.He usually puts it in his piggy bank,but if he wants something special we urge him to use his own money.I think this helps him understand a little bit about how you have to earn a living...As for a set amount, we don't do that yet.I think 5 is too young to have regular chores like vacuuming or setting the table,taking out the garbage, etc., although he does help out sometimes. I don't always reward him monetarily when he does those things because I want him to understand that helping out is part of being a family. When he is a little older, say 7-8 yrs old, He will have regular chores and an allowance to go along with it. I think by then he will have more of an idea how things work,cause and effect so to speak, and a better grasp on the idea of saving his own money for the things he really wants. I hope this helps you a little! M.

Good question W.. I have a 5 year old too and I was wondering myself how to do it.

I have a friend who has 3 boys and they got allowance (how it all worked in detail I don't remember). They had 3 jars, piggy bank type things. From a young age they had one jar for offering in church or charity, one for savings and one for spending. They taught them to split up their allowance into those jars, like 10% goes to church or a charity, 20% save and the rest into spending where they could spend it right away or save it up if they wanted. I thought that was such a good idea. I know those friends of mine had a "Compassion Child" that they "adopted" and they sent money every month so that's where the kids "charity money" went and then they also kept in touch with the child by writing letters and drawing pictures and stuff.

anyway, just another idea i thought I'd add. I guess there's lots of ways to be creative and teach our children to be responsible with their money.

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