C.H. asks from Beverly Hills, CA on February 03, 2009
Allowances: at What Age Do We Start and How Much $
My daughter will be turning 7 soon and I'm feeling like this may be a good time to start giving her an allowance. I feel that an allowance should be earned but am wondering what household tasks would be appropriate at this age and how much money she should be getting. (I want to make sure we don't start too high, so that she can earn raises as her tasks become more involved.)
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So What Happened?™
Thank you for the very helpful responses! I had never considered the pit-falls of associating an allowance with chores! Makes perfect sense that those chores come with the territory of life, not employment. Thanks again! C
L.G. answers from Phoenix on March 12, 2009
there is a book (theory) called "love and logic" that can help with questions like this. i took it as a class and remember asking the question about chores. i was told that kids should only be expected to do 1 chore at that age i thnk that it was well past 3rd grade when 2 chores can be fulfilled properly. personally i did not do allowance at that age mostly because it was a pain in the butt for me (they got enough from the tooth fairy and birthdays/grandma, when i did do it i just kept a chart on how much i owed them each week.
i do remember keeping identical individualized jars up on a shelf that i used to put in (or take out) dimes. those became a really big deal. They loved pulling them down and counting them, taking special pride that their name is on the jar but they did feel that they earned each and every one of those dimes. use a bad word, lose a dime, do something special and nice without being asked--get a dime...
I suppose you can put in a dime a day (unless earlier in the day she lost the dime for putting you in a position to take it away) and that would be 70 cents a week and when the jar is full (or once a month)she can pick a charity to donate a dime to, even if she donates it to her school... (it will make her feel important as she can see now that every dime counts)
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T.G. answers from Beaumont on March 12, 2009
I have two girls. Age 8 and 10. I do not give them allowances. I get them to do chores around the house and I give them money for doing the chores. For example: they get 50 cents for unloading the dishwasher and 50 cents for loading the dishwasher. My husband gives my youngest daughter 3 dollars a week to keep the bathroom clean and my oldest daughter gets 5 dollars a week to keep the living room clean. If they sweep the floor in the living room and kitchen they will get a dollar.
My youngest daughter saved her money. She has been wanting a bicycle for such a long time. She had this little bitty bicycle that she had been practicing on and she finally learned how to ride her bike but, it was too little. That is all she talked about was getting a new and bigger bike. My husband saw that she was riding the little bike and he told her that he would pay half of the bike if she could come up with half of the money. She worked and worked and saved her money and she finally got her bike. She payed for half of it and my husband payed for the other half. She is so proud of herself! My oldest daughter wanted to know if we were going to buy her a bike. I told her no. She got upset. I told her that her sister bought her bike.
I told her -- if you work, you get money. If you don't work -- you don't get money. It is as simple as that.
Maybe that is something you could try.
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M.R. answers from Oklahoma City on March 12, 2009
Three dollars a week will be Twelve dollars a month placed into envelopes of $1.00 to charity (tithe)/ $1.00 to (self)savings / Two dollars to spend. At seven she can make HER bed / keep HER clothes put away / sort HER clothes for washing and put HER clean clothes away / keep HER towels off the floor / put ALL dishes on the counter after a meal. This is teaching her to be responsible for herself so when she goes to camp or sleepovers HER things are taken care of. Then you add things for the House/Family by doing them together(to teach the correct way for each chore to be accomplished) and by then she will be able to excell when you allow her a chore by HERSELF. Well trained Daughters make wonderful Wives and Mothers! Mother of a 31 and 27 year old.
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L.D. answers from Providence on March 12, 2009
i know I am late in responding but I too have struggled with allowances. Dr. Fay from Parenting with Love and Logic helped me clarify my thoughts. He says, if you want your child to learn to read, you give her a book, to write, a pencil and paper. If you want to teach your child to mangage money you need to let them have some to learn from. You can decide what things "her money" will pay for, tithe etc. As for chores those are part of being in the family. you can think of them as room, board and taxi fees if you want:)! Dr. Fay and CO. also said that you should have your child particiapate in choosing chores. I made a list of all the chores it takes to run our household including the ones my husband and I do, so my children could see all the things we do too! a they could pick from the list and we rotate or swap roughly once a month. Children (we have 4, I tell them how lucky they are our list gets divided 6 ways!can pay each other to do his/her chore if they don't feel like it. I will charge them for doing their chore for them if it isn't completed on time. That is where allowances come in handy, I can deduct charges before they receive payment. Children can also earn extra $ for doing one of my chores for me1 It works great. Love and Logic has really changed my thinking as aparent and a teacher. Check out their website loveandlogic.com. The CD "Didn't I tell you to take out the Trash" is the best one about allowances/chores. The book Parenting with Love and Logic is a must have too! Fly lady has also influenced my household chores and we call them Home Blessings! She has great ideas for organizing homes flylady.com
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K.B. answers from Los Angeles on March 12, 2009
I'm a little late responding as well but I agree with Lori H. In my family chores are just part of the responsibility of being a family. They don not get paid for them. My children have been given allowance since they were old enought to see things in the check out line they wanted at a grocery store. They are given a weekly allowance based on age. We give them half their age. My 10 year old gets $5 a week, my 16 year old gets $8 and my 18 year old stopped getting allowance when she graduated from high school. I give my kids NO money for movies, bowling, candy, etc. and they don't ask. It's not that I can't give them the money, it's about learning to budget, thinking about what you are spending, appreciating what you have and understanding the value of a dollar. They learned at a very early age if they wanted something they had to save for it. I never had tantrums at the store over wanting something, not even from a toddler. If they asked for something, I asked them if they brought their money with them. If they had forgotten it, I would "lend" them the money and they would pay me when we got home.
My 16 year old saved enough allowance, birthday money, etc. to pay for half his motorcycle. Because it was such a big ticket item, the deal was if he saved enough for half we would pay the difference. When they are old enough to drive, we pay for one tank of gas. That gets them to school and back and any errands they might run for me. Driving friends around town is at their expense. They also paid half of the cost of youth group trips with our church. They take things more seriously if they are helping to foot the bill. You get the picture. Starting them out young has made the transition to young adults and the expenses that go along with it fairly easy for our family. Toddlers to college happended in a blink of an eye. Enjoy your time with them!
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K.P. answers from Los Angeles on February 04, 2009
I was thinking about starting when my son turns 4 in May. I just read an article about this http://www.babycenter.com/0_giving-kids-an-allowance-what...
I plan to include chores like putting your clothes in the hamper, clearing your place at the table, picking up your toys... not sure what else yet!
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K.K. answers from St. Louis on March 12, 2009
I have another idea...we are just starting it ourselves. If you've heard of Dave Ramsey - "Dave Says".... :) He has a little kit called Financial Peace Jr. I think it is a fabulous plan because it's teaching life skills about money that we all wish we knew before we figured it out!
The kit has three envelopes, one marked SAVE, one marked SPEND and one marked GIVE. It has a Chart - along the side you write down the chores and how much they are worth, then along the top are the days of the week. You can check mark when complete. There is also a small section of negatives - same deal, you write it down and how much it will cost them. At the end of the week, you calculate what they earned and subtract what cost them. Then they put it their envelopes.
The kit also includes a calculater, a clear coin purse so they can see how much money they are saving up, another magnet that you can put a picture of something they want to save for.
Most importantly, he calls it commission - trying to teach a life lesson that you are not getting it if you do not work. Work = pay. Still believes in family chores, but pick certain things so they can understand earning money.
Our daughter is 5 and my fervent wish is to teach her so much about money that she never has money problems and always has wealth and peace.
You can find the kit on www.DaveRamsey.com, it is called Financial Peace Jr and is about $20. Sign up for his emails and occassionally he has cheap or free shipping and his books and items go on a big sale. Also, you could make it yourself, just apply the principals.
He doesn't want to call it allowance because it evokes entitlement mentality....We are learning Dave right now and just broke out the Commission sheet - we call it commission and chores. Best of luck!
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L.O. answers from Seattle on March 12, 2009
7 is not too young to start learning good money management. We started giving my oldest daughter an allowance just before she turned 3. She has the coolest bank! It has 3 sections: 1 for spending, 1 for saving and 1 for church. It is so great that she is learning that things that she wants to buy cost money. When she sees something she wants, I don't have to say no, I can just say, that looks neat. I bet you would like to save your allowance for that. She gets $3 a week. When she gets older, I plan to make a list with two sides. One side will be Resposibilities. These will be things that are just a part of being in a family, that we all need to do. The other side will be extra jobs she can do to earn extra money. But, regular chores will not equal money in our house. YOu should check out www.loveandlogic.com for more ideas on chores and/or allowance.
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A.P. answers from Los Angeles on February 04, 2009
We started young. Our 4 year old gets a dollar week. He has things that he is expected to do, such as make his bed, clear his plate (all meals) and help set the table for dinner. But it's not really framed as an allowance for chores.
For us, it's not as much about the tasks as it is about learning about money (he's going to have to do the tasks if we pay him or not - we actually try not to tie the chores/money connection too tightly.).
We want him to think about his money, and we're trying to teach him how to save. So, part of his money goes directly to savings. Some of it is for spending, although he hasn't spent that much. He did save up for one lego toy he really wanted. When we go out of town, he brings some of his money -- typically $5 -- to buy a souvenir. He really appreciates those more than if I had to buy them. Plus, it gets him to practice interacting with the cashier.
That's my 2 cents! :)
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L.L. answers from Columbus on March 12, 2009
We just started giving our 6 year old twins a "commission" last week. We are taking the Dave Ramsey course called Financial Peace University and this is something he recommends. Commission is only paid when the work is done. We talked with the kids about what chores they thought they could do on their own. We also discussed that some things are just expected as part of being in a family: pick up after yourself, turn off lights, put your dishes in the sink, hang up your coat, etc. These expected items were added to our House Rules which applies to everyone: Mom, Dad & Kids. The House Rules are posted on the fridge.
We decided on 3 commissioned chores: clean your room, clean a bathroom, clean a common area (one does the upstairs hallway/landing and the other does the arts/crafts shelves in the dining room). Each completed chore is paid $2 (for a total of $6 per child). We then started the envelope system with them. They each made 3 envelopes: Giving (Church or Charity), Saving, Spending. They are required to put $1 in the Giving envelope and $1 the Saving envelope and the rest they may spend however they wish. I do not purchase sugary junk foods for our home so they are allowed to use their commission money to buy snacks or toys. We usually make a trip to the dollar store each weekend so they can spend their money.
Hope this helps you with your daughter. Blessings!
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L.S. answers from Dallas on March 12, 2009
I am a late responder, but had to put my two cents in. My 3 boys have chores they do on a daily basis, like make their beds, hygeine, clean up after themselves, feed and take care of their pets etc. We have a chore chart that they use to remind them of their daily tasks. Then they help me keep the house running. We have a clean the house day, where we sweep, mop, clean the mirrors, dust etc. They are responsible to help me with that, as well as take out trash etc. They do not get paid for these chores, as it is for the family and keeps the house running. And we are all expected to pitch in and help.
But as they have gotten older they have expressed the desire to make and spend their own money. So I have assigned them each a "part-time" job. My oldest (14) took the job of laundry. He is responsible for starting the laundry, swapping to the dryer and then taking out. I fold with the owner and the owner of the clothes is charged with putting their own laundry away. My middle son (12 1/2) took the job of rinsing and drying, putting away the dishes on a daily basis. And my youngest (9) took the job of doing the outside watering, or if it is raining, sweeping the kitchen/dining. For their job they earn $10 a week. But I have stopped buying them as much stuff like comics etc. Now, they need to spend their own money and are learning to manage it with my help. I also require that if you don't do your job you don't get paid, and I'm not going to nag and hound you to do it. If you want the money then you do your job.
It is working well so far.
Perhaps you can assign your daughter a chore chart for her regular tasks, with pictures if needed. Then give her a special "job" that you will pay for.
Our chore charts have pictures for when they were younger but they won't let me throw them away. There was make your bed, pick up your stuff ie toys, videos etc, personal hygeine, put clothes away ie dirty to hamper, feed and water your assigned pet, and clear your spot at the table when done eating ie scrapping plate, throwing napkin away etc. I used some magazine pictures and stickers to represent each category. They would refer to it several times a day to make sure they had gotten everything. I also encouraged them to go check their chore chart to see if they needed to do anything. For a seven year old, you would be surprised at what they can do. They can empty little trash cans, clean mirrors or glass, unload the silverware from the dishwasher, dust, sort laundry, sweep etc. If she wants to earn her own money ask her if she wants a job and you will pay her. For her age I would start off with about $3-4 dollars a week.
Anyways, that is my two cents about the whole chore/job thing. BTW, we don't pay for good grades or sports. Those are expectations that you will do your best etc.
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