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.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

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!!

Featured Answers

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.

More Answers

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.
J.

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.

I don't think that allowance should be a reward for helping around the house...they should help reguardless. I do think allowance is a good idea, help teach our children how to use money correctly. Our system(not that I am right). the dollar amount is 1/2 the childs age...my 5 year old gets $2.50.
then we break it down(3 jars) first jar...charity=10% (.25 to the charity of their choice...school, child's wish...whatever), second jar=spending 50%(on what ever they want) and last jar =40% savings(to the bank once a month no exceptions). They all love their birthdays because they get a "raise". Goodluck.

In order to learn how to use money, kids need to have some. Allowance remains the best teaching tool, says Jayne Pearl, author of Kids and Money (Bloomberg Press, 1999) and financial columnist for Oxygen.com..

At what age?

"It can be started quite young in a very modest way," says Pearl, citing age six or seven as a common starting point.

Before receiving an allowance, kids should...

be able to count, add, and subtract
be familiar with the different coins and bills
show interest in money or spending

Should allowance be linked to chores?

No, says Pearl, along with other experts. Tying allowance to chores can lead to power struggles and take away the incentive for helping out the family with no reward.

As an older women, I think I can provide with some valuable insights.

I think a child can be given a small job to do without getting an allowance. Your child is a member of a family and should learn the valuable lesson that it takes everyone to "chip in" to make life work better for everyone that lives there. It does teach some responsibility and I have seen charts made up so a star or check mark can be placed for getting the job done.

When an allowance is given, I think it should be for the purpose of teaching your child to manage money; saving for something special, etc.

Remember the purpose is to teach about money managment, so don't just give it and be done. Give it, let them make mistakes and talk about those mistakes, on a weekly or more basis.
and don't bale the child out the first time they spend all thier money and then can't buy gifts or their next favorite toy. Thats a lesson too,you don't want to teach him that when you over-extend yourself mommy will be there to give more money. And once a lesson like that is embossed into a little one it is tough to shake! Good luck this is a lot tricker than people think and most people don't try too hard.

my son will be 6 next month and we started giving him an allowance about 6 months ago. We give him a dollar a week. He can earn extra money by doing extra chores, but his $1 a week is not tied to chores. He seems to be obsessed with making more money and wanting more allowance now so that he can buy more Webkinz (or whatever his latest craze is). We now have put a limit on his spending. He must now save half of what he earns, and also contribute 10% to the church or another good cause. We hope we will install good values with this. Good luck!

Great question!

Kids do respond best to authentic experiences and handling their own money certainly is a valuable learning experience. I do this already with a reward chart for positive behaviors where my 3 yr old can turn in "stars" for a special treat like extra cuddles, special dessert choice, etc. There are many extrinsic & tangible rewards that can be supplied (extra cuddles, play date, mommy or daddy time, choice time for family outing, etc) in addition to money, whether it is a quarter or a dollar. Using an allowance as a tool for teaching fiscal responsibility is a fabulous idea. Personally, I don't think a child, age 5, needs to collect large sums of money to begin to feel they have earned respect or independence. However, you need to consider your own values and the individual qualities of your child in putting such a program together. Keep in mind that you are trying to teach your child to make good choices, which isn't the same thing as a free choice.

Here is an idea that a friend told me she has done with her 8 yr and older children:
Sit down and create a budget outlining things that the child would like to use money for. Break down line by line to include birthday party gifts, field trips, special purchases, activities (dance, sport, etc) - you get the idea. Then the parents would review and approve the budget, and remove costs that they do not approve (with explanation).
The child then describes what will be done in exchange. For example, if she does the following to earn her weekly allowance: clear the table, water the plants, feed the pets, make her bed, etc. Extra spending money on a vacation was not planned directly into this budget - however, the parents gave a set amount at the beginning for the children to manage for the entire trip.

Hope this helps. Good luck!
A.

My oldest son just turned 7 and i just started giving him allowance. He takes out the trash(when it is not too heavy)and everytime he brings home a green note i give him a dollar. I would say $5.00-$10.00 is enough for him a week. My middle son who will be 5 in july is not interested in money yet so i can give him $2.00 or $3.00 once in awhile and he is satisfied! I let my oldest spend his earnings on whatever he chooses as long as he is doing good in school. So giving ur little girl chores or what have you or making sure she does good in school to earn the money will teach her how to become responsible and instill her with the value of a dollar!

We don't give an allowance yet, our 5 year old doesn't know how to count money, so it's really meaningless to her. She does a few chores (pull up the covers on her bed - she can't tuck them in yet, unload the silverware from the dishwasher, help set the table), but they are not rewarded with money - just part of sharing the work of the house. As Chrisitans, we like the way Larry Burkett addresses this issue. Once they can count money (maybe age 7ish), he recommends that they learn to save 10%, tithe 10%, and have the rest available to use, immediately or saving towards a larger purchase. It teaches kids systematic saving, charitable giving (if you're not a churchgoer you could pick a charity together), and saving for a purchase. He also recommends that the money be easy to split this way - like $1 given in dimes - one dime to savings, one dime to church, eight dimes to spend or save up - he even makes a special bank with three compartments. Good luck!

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.

Hi W.... there is a great piggy bank

Money Savvy Pig Savings Bank
Meet the piggy bank for the 21st century . It is a unique, patented four slot piggy bank with separate chambers for Save, Spend, Donate and Invest. This interactive tool for children ages 4-11 teaches them sound money management techniques

They have a coloring book to go with it and programs and curricula to teach kids and teens the way to manage money. The banks are very cute bright colored see through plastic and they even have a football and a cow one in addition to the pigs. You can find out more at www.msgen.com just click on the parents link and you will find lots of information including an at home program with a CD and a workbook kind of thing and a coloring book as well.

The banks are really fun and the kids can put money in spend, save, donate and invest sections and watch the amount grow. There are stickers and other things to help teach kids about money.
K.

It is best to have them save part and also give a part to charity so that they learn how to budget early in life.

We just started allowance this year with our 5 and 7 year old. The 5 year old recives 60 cents a week. Then cents goes to church, 25 into savings and 25 into spending. then when he recieves money for his birthday it goes into savings.

the spending he can grab for the ice cream man, ect.... but the savings he uses for things like mothers day :-). It isn't much but it gives him a place to start saving money and seeing that even when you recive money it isn't all yours to spend.

My seven year old receives 1.50 a week and it is split into thirds. We presented it that the money is given for they are part of the family and work with us to have things run smoothly. However- I and dad have the right to charge them for doing their chores at our convience and the cost I decide on the spot. I was even totally honest and said if I'm really frustrated it will cost more money for me to have done yoru chores!

This has worked for us, the hardest part is remembering to pay them on Saturday mornings.

My daughter is also 5. She gets $5-7 per week, but she has to help set the table, make her bed, and help clean up her room. She can put 1/2 of it in one piggy bank that is hers to spend when we go to the store (so she can get one small thing without making a scene at the grocery store), and 1/2 in another piggy bank to save for something big that she wants to get (right now she wants a build-a-bear, but that may change - its her $ and she can pick what she wants to save for).

Hi W.,

Allowance is a great thing to teach kids about how to handle money and make decisions about money. I waited until elementary school age. I don't tie allowance to chores, my kids have always been expected to be responsible for their rooms, and do family chores. They don't get money for this anymore than Dh or I do. Does your 5 year old need her own spendng money? That's an important question too. What would the money be for? What would you allow or expect her to spend the money on? I noticed that another poster gives a child this age $5 to $7 a week. I think that's outrageous. No kindergartener needs $7 a week. My 7th grader doesn't get that amount of money. True, I still pay for her when she wants to go to the movies or ice skating, but I feel the allowance shouldn't just be about the kids accumulating things, it should be for age-appropriate expenses. I give allowance as spending money and don't require my kids to "save" their allowance. If they can't spend it, I would just put it away for them myself and not give it to them. My kids do have a much better sense of money, budgeting, etc than their friends who have never received an allowance.

Good luck.

we tried the allowance thing with my son, and he does not care about money. He's also five. I would use stickers and praise instead for doing special things around the house. He seems to like that better.

I started my son at age 5. I give him half his age, so he started out with $2.50. I made him save a dollar and he put the rest in his wallet and was able to spend it as he pleased. I increased the amount to put in his bank as he got older. I told him if he doesn't spend the money in his wallet and saves it he will be able to get better things. He is now 7 and he does very well with his money. When there is something he wants he finds out how much it is and doesn't spend any money until he has enough for it. I also do not give him his allowance if he does not do his chores. I made a list of everything he has to do that week and he marks it off as he gets them done. This has worked best for us. I hope this has helped.

I recently read the book 'Total Money Make Over' by Dave Ramsey. I love his take on this. I agree with everyone that some money is good as long as they are doing chores. Teach them to save a little, contribute a little and spend a little.

The concept in Dave Ramsey's book is only pay if they do a job, not a weekly amount. If we did a job, we would get paid, if not we wouldnt. Paying weekly for helping around the house is what we used to do, until the chores wouldnt get done and they would expect allowance anyway AND expect us to pay for activities.

I would always say that if I went to work and didnt work, I wouldnt get paid so it works the same for you. Now I pay for things outside of everyday chores. Dishes, garbage and picking up is not a paid chore. Chores are being part of the family in helping out.

With all the credit card debt that college students have right now, the most important thing to teach, is how to use/handle money. This is the best time, when they are young and still in the house.

Best of luck on whichever way you decide. You've made the first step in teaching your child and that is a plus.

Dear W.
I have an 8 year old that we once gave money to for chores. however that did not make her understand how to safe or the purpose of chores.
I have recently changed how we reward her for chores. I recently received a chore game you can call it from my step mother. I believe that she got it from either ABC Distr. or LTD catalog. The way that we worked it is this. There are stickers that go on a tag ex. make bed ,brush, clean bathroom counter. Each chore is broken down into morning, afternnon evening and extra. After each chore is completed they move the tab to the completed box.
We have deceided that each chore is worth one token(they come with the program. Then we made up a rewards chart for example a new movie is worth 100 tokens, an ice cream treat is worth 30 and so on. I believe that this is much better to teach them that hard work is rewarded with something special than just money. Hope this helps..

Hello,
My kids are 16 and 12. We have never given them an allowence. By 5 both of them would have age appropriate chores to do. They were taught that being a part of a family means everyone pitches in to do the chores that must be done daily. If they have done their chores each week when they want to go out on the weekend or need a little something at the store they get it. If they have chosen not to do their chores their priveliges are revoked and they get nothing on the weekend. This has taught them responsibility and that nothing in life is free. They have learned to manage money by having their own bank accounts where they keep the money they recieve as gifts.

The standard is $1 per age...so for the 5 year old, $5 seems appropriate. Have them save it for something they want or in the bank and explain how by saving, they can then purchase something later in the future

My children are now 15 and 11 but my advice is to have them do something to earn it so later in life you won't have a hard time teaching them that they have family responsibilities. I started by having my sone, empty the bathroom trash cans and wiping out the bathroom sinks each week to earn "his money" As the kids got older, these jobs became an expectation and you only received your allowance when you did your jobs without being nagged and reminded.
We started out small.... with quarters that went into the piggy bank for a job well done..... and now we're up to $5.00 per week that can be saved or used as he sees fit.

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!

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.