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Giving an Allowance?

Hi Moms! Our 10-year old son is requesting a $5 a week allowance. He takes out the trash and recycling; sets and clears the dinner table; empties the dishwasher, gets the mail, folds the laundry and occasionally vacuums and helps me in my office. However, we already buy him everything he needs and most everything he wants. Yes, he's spoiled. But he still wants more. So he wants an allowance to buy the few things he don't buy him such as Wii games. However, we don't think he will save an allowance week after week to buy a game. He would most likely spend it on soda and candy--two items we don't want him consuming. Please advise. Should we give him an allowance and if so, how much? Thanks!

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Wow! Thank you ladies for all your responses. We've decided to give our son the $5 per week allowance he requested. But not for helping around the house; he is still expected to do that because he is lives under our roof and we feed, clothe and shuttle him everywhere. As for the allowance, I explained that $4 per month is to be given to our church, and together we would decide how much would be saved and the remaining he could spend on anything he wants--even soda and candy but that we, his parents, would still retain control over when he consumes the soda and candy. His response? He said he probably wouldn't buy soda and candy every week because he wants to save his money for a scooter too! He even figured out how long it would take him to save enough money for it. Yes, I do have an amazing child; I'm truly blessed. Now I'll teach him about managing money. Oh, and I forgot to mention in my request, I do pay him $5 per day every day he helps me in my office. I don't always have brochures to stamp or products to put labels on, but when I do that $5 would be additional to his allowance. Thanks again ladies for passing on your knowledge and experience!!!

Featured Answers

I think allowances are a good thing. It teaches good work ethic for later in life. Also you won't be able to keep soda and candy from him forever, maybe make a compromise, one week he can have a candy bar the next week a soda.

At the local swapmeets, they sell ceramic piggybanks with NO opening. My BIL makes his kids stuff them to the top and when they cant get one more cent in, they take it out and bust it open. They love that part, and always have more then $200 saved (depending on size). Just an idea.

I think getting an allowance is a great way to learn about handling money. But I make my kids use their allowance to buy the things they want, instead of me paying for it like I would if they didn't get an allowance.

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I think an allowance of $5 is fair since he is doing his chores. Your doing a great job if he does that much. I don't know many kids his age that do that much even with an allowance. I'd however make it a rule that he has to put half of it into savings for the future and help him learn to be responsible and learn about real life a little. I'd take him down to your bank and have him open a savings acount. I think it would help him become more self reliant and learn responsibilty and make him feel good about himself...get him thinking about the future like paying for college, down payment on a home etc....Life isn't a hand out...he's going to have to work hard to get what he wants and this will show him how a little. You could even talk about family expenses and maybe he wont just waste it away on junk food and meaningless items. Good job! and Good luck!

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The standard rule these days (or so I'm told) is a dollar per year. So if he is 10 years old, $10 a week. Consider yourself lucky if you get away with giving him $5 a week. He is plenty old enough to learn how to manage his own money, and that is a VERY important skill to learn. Learn being the operative word. If you tell him what to do with his money, how to spend it, what he can and cannot buy (within reason), where is the learning experience? You cannot control every aspect of his life, and it WILL backfire on you if you try. A little freedom in his life now will go a long way toward preventing him from becoming a rebellious teenager in a few years. The years between birth and ten are an eternity compared to what is ahead. He will be a teenager before you know what hit you, and if he feels too controlled and restricted, you will be in for a wild, wild ride. You will wish you'd lightened up a bit on your "no soda, no candy" policy when suddenly your issues are now drugs, tobacco and alcohol. Mom of 26, 23, 21 and 8 year old boys. And yes, my 8 year old gets $8 per week for his allowance - but only if he does his chores well, and without complaint.

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Here is just a suggestion. Since you are already providing everything that your son needs and/or wants. Why don't you use this allowance situation as a great way to teach him about saving. Advise him that he will get an allowance, however 50% of it must go to a savings account. If he puts in $2.50 a week by the end of every year he can have a savings of $130+. At the end of the year he can decide what he would like to do with the money, continue to save or he can use it to buy something that he really wants. But you have to be very specific in saying that this is only a once a year option and no you can't just take it all out and be willie nillie with it. He is at a great age to learn the value of a dollar and that if you work hard and save your money you can accomplish some great things. My uncle did that with my cousin at a very young age. Ever since she was born 1/2 of every dollar that was given to her went straight to the bank and she got a kick out of making her deposites. When she turned 18 she had a nice chunck of changes saved and bought herself a car. She is better at saving money then most adults.

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Ok, so here's what my parents (who had PLENTY of money) did and it was great.

We got X amount of money every 2 weeks (like a paycheck) if ALL of our chores had been completed each DAY (and marked off) for the entire 2 weeks. 1/2 we could spend the way we wanted (as long as mom and dad approved) and the other 1/2 HAD to be saved. I always spent my 1/2 and my brother always saved 100%. When we turned 16, I bought a car and my parents would match whatever we wanted to spend on a car. I had $3000 saved, so I got a 66 Mustang. My brother had over $10,000 saved and he bought a brand new Ford truck.

Also, my mom bought our school clothes and would pay $20 for a pair of Jeans, and if we wanted a $60 pair of Guess jeans, then, we had to cough up the other $40 for them. It quickly made me realize that 1 pair of Guess Jeans were enough...and what the difference between a "want" and a "need" was.

You could split it up for there is some money for tithing as well.

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Dear J.,

I was HORRIBLE about giving an allowance to my kids! And, like you, buy them whatever they need [and many things they don't (=] . . . There are so many theories on allowances - the one I liked was in the book Making Your Children Mind Without Losing Yours, by Kevin Lehman. He stated that children should have jobs to do . . . but they don't get paid to do them. They receive an allowance simply for being a member of the household - just like you would even if you did not work outside the home - BUT if they DON'T do their jobs, then they must PAY someone else to do it - just like you would (such as paying someone to mow your lawn if you don't do it yourself)

Good luck with how you decide to work this - and I hope you are better with it and more consistent than I ever was!!! (=

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We give our 10 year old son an allowance, and recently raised it to $5.00. He is to tithe (10% off the top to church), and also save a portion of it. You decide how much you require him to automatically save--10 or 20% is the norm. He ends up saving most of it anyway--he's actually very thrifty with HIS own money!! :) For instance, right now he's saving for Rock Band, so his money is going straight to his drawer and he's not taking it out for much, believe me! The nice thing about an allowance is giving children a feeling of power---and it's also a learning experience--how to budget and save, learning the difference between needing something and wanting something, learning about frivolous spending, etc. These are some of our rules---he has to have the money with him when he wants to buy something. (Learned skill=planning ahead) So if we're at Target and he wants to buy baseball cards, if he doesn't have his money, he usually doesn't get them. (Okay, I do cave once in awhile!) I read that in a children's money manager book "Capitate Your Kids" and liked the idea.... He can buy junk with it, but needs permission to actually eat the junk, so that I can control the amount. However, he has NEVER, not ONCE, bought junk food (or any kind of food) with his money. That's not where he wants to spend it! So, yes to the allowance and the amount, and it's okay to put some rules on it---require savings, can't eat junk w/o permission, etc. Just don't take away his "power" that he feels when he gets his money and can spend it how he likes it. Check out the "Capitate Your Kids" book from the library, it'll be very helpful!

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Here's an idea I have used. To encourage saving, offer him an allowance of $2.50 cash to spend but if he saves it you will match it creating the $5. he wants....then set a limit, such as "when you have saved $50, you can spend $25 of it".

We live in a culture that promotes debt and scoffs at fiduciary responsibility so teaching you kids about balancing long term and immediate needs is crucial.

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Hi J.,
Here's one Mom's opinion on allowance. I have an almost-9 and a 12 year old (boys). I think allowance helps children learn important lessons about money, spending saving, etc. and they should be allowed to do this on their terms. Some kids are naturally better with handling money, but it is important they have these oppotunities to learn. For example, they spend all their money on Burger King, then ask you to buy them something at the store later - you can say, "That's something you'd buy with your own money." Then they realize they don't have any money, they've spent it, and they will start to think about how they spend it. My two boys get a very minimal allowance compared with their friends. My older boy gets $3 a week. It's not tied to any chores. He just get that every Sat. no matter what. We also pay him $5 to mow either the front or back and he alternates between the two every week and gets $5 for that. If he's too busy and we do it, then he doesn't earn the $5. We want him to really understand the concept of earning your money, so that is why we do that. I would suggest you add a chore for your son to earn the $5, such as washing your car each weekend. It is true our kids have everything they need and then some, but they also need to learn about money. We also watch what our older son eats as too much sugar can really get him hyper (and then the crash makes him over-emotional), so he knows he cannot buy sugar with his money. We do let him buy some junk food (which we don't like either), but draw the line at sugar. As they get older, you really have to start letting this go. So we are currently in that process of trying not to be too controlling over what he eats and let him live with the consequences. Sometimes.
All the best to your family!

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I don't think he should get an allowance because the household things are things he should be doing anyway. He lives there too and everything purchased belongs to YOU AND HIS FATHER, even if it's purchased 'for him'. The sooner he knows that, when he's 18, the better off he'll be, truly. All of you contribute: you work, you buy things for the house and he should have some automatic responsibilites as well, since you get him all he wants/needs anyway. By the way, if you're spoiling him, as you say, the 'want' never ends, it goes on and on...and you're making it hard on his future wife. Even as adults, when is enough STUFF, enough?? If you know what he's going to spend it on;junk, then why would you knowingly hand it over? I don't think allowance is a bad thing in every situation, but it is as you describe it.

Hi J..
Sure give him an allowance. But put it into a savings account at a bank or at home. Let him manage his money. Put down limits on what you don't want him to buy, and make him withdraw money out of his bank. Teach him the value of a dollar.
So by doing it this way you can give him more than $5 dollars, but the money is still in your control, he just needs to manage what money he has to get what he wants. That includes all the extras , his nessesities you get.
I have done this with my kids(3 girls 11,13,14) and it help to let them know just what they are asking for and to realize what is more important to them. If he chooses the xbox then he wont get those cool shoes or jeans or whatever because his money is gone.
I hope this helps
Take care

We never tied an allowance to chores - we feel that chores are simply what you do because you live here. Our youngest, almost 10, spends her $5 as soon as it's in her hands, but my 13 year old saves his religiosly and often buys his own video games and such. It's a good learning experience - just point out repeatedly that spending means not having money for more expensive stuff. My daughter's been wanting to save for a $30 toy for months, and she has less than $1, but she knows that it's because she constantly spends (mostly on small toys - like she needs any!)

Hi J.,

Happy holiday. You sound like you have an awesome son. He is a true "keeper" if he willingly does all those chores for you. Yes, it is probably the right time to start him on an allowance so he knows the value of a purchase. That said, now is also the time to start backing off on buying him most everything he WANTS. That will be a two-fold bonus. One, you will be saving a little money. Two, he will now have to make choices about the "want" items. Like, can I save for a few weeks to get the "want" item; or, is the daily candy and soda that I know I shouldn't have more important to me. If you explain all this to him up front and tell him it is on a trial basis, in the end you will most likely see positive results. In the beginning he may succumb to the sweets temptation, but if he really wants a Wii game bad enough it will win out in the end. It is time for him to grow and live with the consequences of his decisions. Like having to exercise more because of the sweets, and not having the game. The biggest committment is on your part. After the ground rules of this trial basis are laid down, YOU must NOT give in and buy him what he wants. Give it six months then re-evaluate the situation. Good luck!


Hi J.,

I have a 7 year old that gets a $5 allowance every week. He does all the same things as your little boy. I understand way you think he would spend it on the little things because our boy would too. What we do is he tells us what he wants and than we keep track of how much he has. So that when he has enough than we can go get it. So he understands how much things cost like games. We have a chart in the kitchen so he can see it at all times and he knows how much he has saved. I am sure like our boy he wants to get the money every week, but we tell him that if he wants the item that he wants to buy than we have to hold on to it so he doesn't lose it or his sister doesn't take it. Once a month we will give him the $5 so that he does have a little money to spend. I hope this helps you. It seems to work for us. M.

Hi. Yes, you should probably start giving him allowance. Yes, he will blow it on junk. (If you're concerned about what he's eating and drinking you can set a rule, such as -- he can only buy one soda per week with his allowance, or he can only have sweets X number of times per day and then let him choose if he wants it at lunch, snack time, dinner, whatever.) The junk food issue can be dealt with separately from the allowance issue. However, an allowance is how kids learn about money and finances. If you're really lucky your son will grasp quickly the fact that if he always blows his allowance he'll never have a big pile of money saved to buy something important. Also I suspect that as he gets into his teens and his "wants" become pricier, it's good that he'll have allowance. That way you can more easily turn down his requests for something expensive and indulgent and put it on HIM to save for it if it's that important to him ... I'm not sure what to tell you about tying allowance to chores. My husband and I disagree on this. He tells our kids they have to do their chores and the allowance is to pay them for it. I say, they live here so therefore they have to contribute to keeping the house clean, neat and organized, and that's regardless of what allowance they're getting. Anyway, whatever you do, DON'T get into the habit my husband has with our son. Our kids get $3 per week allowance (they are 6 and 9). Often when they want to buy something with their allowance they insist they have enough cash, then we go off to Target, and when my son gets to the cashier he discovers he's a few dollars short. OR he sees a toy he hadn't thought about yet, falls in love with it, wants it NOW -- either way, my husband bails him out by buying it for him or pitching in the extra cash, then tells our son that he just won't get allowance for however many weeks it will take to reimburse Daddy. This drives me nuts because basically Daddy's teaching our son to live on credit. I keep trying to tell the kids they need the cash, ALL of it, first, THEN they can buy stuff. Whatever you decide to do with your kids, hash things out with your husband first so the whole family is clear on the rules. Good luck.

I think getting an allowance is a great way to learn about handling money. But I make my kids use their allowance to buy the things they want, instead of me paying for it like I would if they didn't get an allowance.

I think that if you want your son to learn how to be responsible with money, giving him an allowance will help a lot. If he really wants those Wii games, he'll have to practice restraint in order to save up for them.
It sounds like your son helps out a bit, and 5 bucks a week is a pretty reasonable request. But anyway, another idea is maybe letting him earn points for the chores he does (a point system thats fair for him and you) and when he earns a certain amount of points, you will buy him a game of his choice, or whatever.
One thing I want to mention, though. Your son is getting older, and you're not going to be able to contol every little thing he does anymore. If you continue to choose everyhting for him, including what he eats, he will end up resenting you for it, and going ahead and sneaking the junk behind your back. Maybe if you gave him a little freedom, and showed some trust in him, he won't go crazy with the sweets.

Just my opinion, I would cut back on things that he wants that you give him and reserve giving him wants for only special occasions. Talk with him and let him know that he can either have allowance OR have you buy him things he wants but not both. Teach him the value of money and how hard it is to come by. Believe me, you will not regret it. I have an older stepdaughter whose mom buys her everything she wants and she has grown up to not value money at all and expects things now. She is unappreciative when she wants something and someone gives it to her as a gift. We have tried to teach her the value of money but her mom working against us is counterproductive and has been. A good resource for you is Dave Ramsey. He has written several money management books for families and children. Good Luck in your situation. I wish you the best.

Hi J.,
It is a great idea to honor your son's request. He is asking for more responsibility. My kids have all earned allowances and learned about how to handle money and to save money. You can give him a savings plan as well as cut back on what you buy him. Have him save 10% (yes, it isn't much but adds up) and then if there is something he wants to save for, he can add more. Don't buy him the big stuff anymore. I paid for movies etc. until they were 16. Then I had them hit their own money to do that. My daughters saved their money when they were 9 and 11 together (they shared a room) and put a TV on lay away and put money toward it every month. They bought the TV to share in their room because I would not buy them one. I acquiesced because they worked so hard themselves to earn it. It was a great accomplishment for them, they still feel really proud today about having done that. Now they are 25 and 27!
I think it is important to help him relate money and work, that it isn't just handed over. He seems to want the responsibility, let him learn about what it means to earn money and then the responsibility that comes with having it (good and bad).

Great to have a home business huh! I am an independent Mannatech associate. Best way in the world to Optimal Health! Acai has some great benefits but if you'd like to learn about complete nutrition (nature always puts a blend together) happy to share. My health is completely different today vs. 4 years ago, I have it back!
Good luck,

Hi J.:
I will keep this brief,since its so very late and its been a long day. I think Its an important lesson for youngters to earn an allowance.If you think about it,Its probably even more important,for children that are a bit spoiled. Kids nowadays get the impression that all we have to do is just go out back,and pull a few bucks off our trees! lol It's important for them to realize,the hard work it takes to earn it,how far a buck will stretch today,and how to become thrifty and manage what you have.This lesson, helps them realize, just how hard their parents must work to provide the things they do,and It can also have a positive effect on what they choose as their profession. When my grandson was about 11,he told me. " I'm going to college" I said "Thats a very good idea" "What made you decide to do that?He said "Heck, "I don't want to have to work as hard as my dad does for his pay" You may be pleasantly suprised,as to how your son handles his finances. The very best to you and your Son.

Hi J.,

We do give an allowance to our children, who are now 14, and 11. I have seen them grow finacially more responsible over the years because of it. We actually have coupons they have to fill out each week, one for allowance, one for savings. (mostly because I could never remember how much I owed them!) They do have chores they have to do to earn the money, but if they are not done by Sunday at 5, they don't get paid, but still have to do the chores. They have to put at least $1 in savings each week, and we match whatever they save. Did they buy candy and junk for a while, yes, but they have backed off on that and now buy most of their own games, etc.

Good luck,

There are fantastic books on allowance. What financial experts say is that giving the weekly allowance should be INDEPENDENT of tasks around the house. So if he doesn't take out the trash--it doesn't affect allowance. (however it could mean taking away gaming time or t.v. time or favorite toys or ipods etc. etc.) An allowance is a way for kids to learn about managing money. They recommend $1/year--but I'd say $5/wk. is fine to start with. 10% (or whatever amount you decdide upon) needs to be saved--either in a savings account you go to deposit it in together--or to start with in a piggy bank. Another 5-10% needs to be earmarked for charity. This can be donated anyway HE sees fit--like my son wanted his to go to the school's book fair to buy books for his class (remember at this point it was only a few dollars--but that's where he wanted it to go.) So good luck--go for it! GREAT way to learn about money---and the HUGE caveat is--he can spend it any way he wants! Good luck!!

Hi J.-

I think it sounds like your son helps out a lot. And as such, he should earn an allowance for it. Maybe a certain amount per chore, that's what I got as a kid, then the more he does the more he earns. I think it is a great way for kids to learn the value of money and learn to be responsible. Let's face it, he can't buy too much candy and soda for $5. Not like when we were kids! Plus, if he spends his allowance on that stuff, then he won't have enough money to buy the other things he wants. So he will learn to curb the candy and soda quickly. Each kid is different and you need to give him a chance to show you if he is a spender or a saver so you can direct his actions a little bit. Good luck.

My oldest daughter is now 13. I wish I had been paying her allowance. We are just starting the allowance thing. We are putting both our kids on the point system. Basically we have given points to different things they do each day. Not just chores, but school work and hygiene and eating. We are tracking their points daily on a calendar. At the end of each week, if they meet their point requirements then they get their allowance. We started a teen checking for our oldest daughter, so she now has a way to save her money.

I really like the first suggestion about the 4 banks. I remember seeing a piggy bank once that was divided into three. It was self, save, tithe. So along those same lines, we are going to have them bank money for themselves, God and savings. We will keep buying gifts for birthday parties, but we will definitely show them how much things cost. I used to think they didn't need to know. Now I know differently.

You have a great son who is helpful. Reward him for it. I don't think he needs a contract. Just a list to check of daily so he remembers.

Good luck...have fun with it.

hi J. s,

give him allowance. $5 sounds fine to me. my children got tired of other kids buying stuff for them on their way home from school or field trips. plus he'll learn the value of the dollar or lack there of . . . lol. as for the junk food, well lets hope you taught him well in that area. tell him baked chips are fine and juices with low sugar or a v-8.

My son (he's 8) gets allowance--$3/week, but it's not connected to chores. He's expected to do chores as part of the family. Getting allowance helps him learn to be responsible with money. Just because you give your son allowance doesn't mean he can buy whatever he wants. My son isn't allowed to buy soda and candy with his, and he has to save 1/2 of the money he gets until he has enough to buy a big thing.

I'd give your son allowance so he can choose what he wants to buy, but cut back on what you're buying for him. When my son started to get allowance, I told him that meant that I would no longer just buy things for him, but now he could choose for himself and spend the money on what's important to him. It's worked very well.

Congratulations! Sounds like you're doing a great job with your 10-year-old and this is just the next step in teaching him a great character trait like responsibility. I suggest that you sit down and discuss the allowance. It appears you've already let him know that you buy him everything he needs (and most things he wants). Perhaps it's time to let him be responsible for some or all of the "want" items...my 6-year-old has already grasped the concept of buying his own toys with the money he earns from recycling, yard sales, lemonade stands, etc. It keeps him motivated to be creative in thinking up ways to make money and to think seriously before making a purchase. If it costs him $40 for a new toy, he knows that that represents a whole afternoon of selling lemonade or 3-4 months of recycling. He also has become interested in stopping at yard sales if we see a sign on the weekend. For $1 he was able to buy an entire set of softball bases and a few balls as well. Just as in real life, when the money's gone...you've got so save until you spend again. good luck!

J....this would be a perfect way for you to transition your son from getting everything to learning the value of money and how to achieve goals! I am sure with beign with mary kay for so ling there have beent hings trips prizes you have worked your way to earn.....use that same concept for your son! I am a mom of two boys 7 & 3 and my husband and I own a Primerica business. The boys always see us working towards a goal, so we figured they should too! We started giving the 7 year old an allowance for helping in various ways, and began teaching him the concept of saving his owning, and using his own money! We were very pleased to see how excited he was to make his very first purchase with HIS OWN MONEY! Good Luck!

I had read that it was advised to give $1.00 for each year, so a a 10 yr old, would get $10.00. We give our 5 yr old son a $5.00 weekly allowance. However, we stopped buying him toys, except for birthdays/holidays. We still buy his clothes and shoes, etc, but the toys stopped. We used to buy him everything and it started to get out of control. We didn't think he would save either, but to our surprise he does. He really budgets and thinks about his decisions. He looks forward to getting his allowance and deciding what to buy. It has really given him responsiblity for his money and it works great. Hope this helps.

Hi J.,
I recently heard a financial advisor highly recommend giving children an allowance to teach them early on about budgeting & managing money. I give my kids allowance and they have to use that to buy toys, etc. (other than B-days and Christmas gifts). It is amazing how they really think it through when deciding on wether or not they "really" want somthing beacause they have to spend thier own money. Maybe have a set ammount and add to it for doing "extra" chores. You really do have to stick to it, if you want good results! Also, have him set aside a portion that he has to save a another for him to spend. My boys save nearly 75%. Good luck!

We give 3.50 a week to our son. We also provide everything for him. He's 12 and have been doing it since he was 9 or so. He likes having his own money. He's a magician and spends his money on magic tricks, cards etc... He also makes $$ now on his own with his magic. You can't believe the amount of money some his friends in private school get for allowance. It's pretty ridiculous. 3.50 is modest compared. Good luck. A.

Yes give him a allowance he is working for it if he makes bad choices this will be good because as we grow up we all make choices and there are concequences for are actions they for you will be teaching him a life long lession. and you wil be helping him to grow up to be a fine young man. you never know he may surprize you remember he is 10 and has many years to get it right.

If he already does chores around the house he has learned how to work and that is awesome. I am in huge favor of allowances because it teaches a child how to manage money. If a child never has money they won't ever learn how to save, spend, or any of the other consequences that go along with money. I think it's smart to start teaching money principles young...that way they will be more responsible with money when they are older and adults. Don't just give him the allowance...teach him about money, how to save, how to invest etc. We give our children $1 per day...so $7 per week.

Well I feel all children should receive an allowance, but at the same time have them learn a great experience too. It sounds like he does a lot around the house so $5.00 is good enough, for now. But you need to stand firm when you are in the store and he wants something such as Wii games make him pay for them. Don't you buy them. I did this with my 4 children and you be surprised on how fast they don't really want it when they have to pay for it. I also made them pay me when I had to pick up their jacket, or put their shoes where they belong so on so forth. We all learned from it. Yes I didn't always like what they bought but after a while it all worked out and they did't buy the junk anymore. As he gets older you can always increase it or if he helps with something bigger than give him a little extra. It will teach him later in life that you can't get everything in life and wil teach him to save for the important things. Buy him a locking bank so he can put it away and save until he has enough for whatever he wants later. Wii games are around 45 dollars that is going to take him a while. you can increase his allowance as you see fit or every year on his birthday. Whatever works for you. Try an allowance for 6 months if it doesn't work you can stop but explain to him this a trial to see how he does he just may surprise you. A.

Hi J., sounds like a lot of chores for a 5 year old, but he is developing good work habbits, what I would do is this, give him 2.00 a week and tell him 1 dollar goes in his biggy bank and one is for spending. you are teaching him good work ethics, this will teach him budggeting and saving ethics, a dollar won't go very far so it will take him a few weeeks to have enough to actually buy something, and as time goes he will realize, maybe I really don;t need that, cause he will see it takes time to save, again once you spend what you have already saved, hope that makes sense. J.

Giving him an allowance each week would probably be a really good way to teach him about the value of money. He'd figure out real fast that if he spent his money on candy or soda (which, BTW, you can still tell him he's not allowed to buy - you're the parent, so you get to make the rules! ;) ), he'd never be able to afford a Wii game. I think it might be a good move at just the right age!

Since I didn't ever get an allowance, when I had my own kids I listened carefully to financial people and parents I trusted whenever I had my own kids. Here's what we've landed on. Our girls (8 and 4) get a dollar for each year of their lives every time we get paid (once a month). They get the money regardless of chores. Chores are to help out the family and learn responsibility around home; an allowance is to learn how to budget money. Better now than as an adult!) A portion of it is for charity, but the rest is to spend. They've saved for a blowup swimming pool, Furreal Pets, a shirt I didn't want to spend the money on. They've "blown it" on ice cream and cheap toys, and I've bitten my tongue. When the money's gone, it's gone. There are no advances. I'm sure whatever your family decides will work fine for you!

I think allowances are a good thing. It teaches good work ethic for later in life. Also you won't be able to keep soda and candy from him forever, maybe make a compromise, one week he can have a candy bar the next week a soda.

Wow, wish that were my kid. Scale back on the things you buy him, make a contract out that states his jobs for his allowance and teach him about savings. Make it clear that he may not spend his money on sweets and teach him to set goals for himself. THis is an opportunity made in heaven. They make banks that have different compartments and he can watch his savings grow. Take him to the bank and maybe he can start an account. He sounds like a real gem, let him grow!!!


Your 10 year old does so much. I have 2 boys, 8 & 12 and they don't do half as much as your son does. I need to add more chores. I would definitely give him his 5 dollars. Just explain that it's okay to buy an occasional candy but it's not okay to spend all the allowance on candy. If he does spend it all on candy then the allowance will stop. He sounds like a great helper. Please send him to my house, my 8 and 10 year old need a role model.

D. Poe

Thousand Oaks

This may be a good opportunity for him to learn about money, how to manage it and just how far it does and does not go. Some kids are born savers, others have to spend every penney the second they get it (sounds like you are concerned that this may be your son) but all have things to learn about responsible use of the money. If you decide to give him an allowance (which I personally am in favor of) it would be a good idea to make clear some expectations (i.e. what things you will buy for him and what he must provide if he wants it, if and how much he is required to put into a savings account), make sure that those conditions are met and then step back and let him make a few mistakes. Let him spend the money on anything he wants (as long as there is no moral objection) and do not "help him out" if he is a couple of dollars short; this way he learns how far the money goes and learns how to priortise his spending.

As to how much, I do think that $5 may be reasonable at this age; in the future you may start requiring him to buy things like his own clothing and at that point the amount would need to be increased.

It sounds like your boy deserves an allowance -- he does do quite a bit of chores for a 10 year old. I've always read, and we did this with our son, that the amount of allowance should correspond with his age, so $5 isn't really that much. Giving him allowance is a good way to teach him about saving. We did it this way: 10% to savings, 10% tithe to church (or donate to a cause), 80% to pay for things he wants. This is also a way for you as parents to limit getting him anything he wants. Now he can save for his games. Of course, you would still buy him his necessities and special occasion gifts, but he will have to learn to save up for something he wants outside of that. I would actually give him $10 and give him $1 more every year on his birthday. That is, providing he still continues doing the chores you assign him.
I'm a mom of a 17 year old -- and he's at the age where he doesn't do much around the house anymore... thanks for letting me share...

wow!! THat is great that you can get him to do all those chores! My oldest is 10 and throws a fit to take out the trash!
What we do is he gets "payed" for doing items. Anything above and beyond his normal "chores" has a price on it. Bathrooms cleaned $2. Floor washed $1. YOu set the price and the limit of how many times a week it should be done. (my son tryed to clean the bathroom 3 times in 1 day...not going to work!!!)
My mom did this when we were younger and it worked great. We each started out with a $5.00 per week allowance (this is 20 years ago, so $10 wouldn't be bad) and you had to not loose any of it. Anytime we went to school and our room was messy it was $1 off our allowance. If we didn't do our daily chore $1 off. If we talked back 50 cents off for the first offence, $1 off for the second, and the 3rd offence we went "bankrupt". If we left the light on when we left the room it was 10 cents off. We really had to work hard to get any money at the end of the week, and it rolled over...so if we were already bankrupt and left our room a mess, we owed her $1 at the end of the week. It worked good for us! Maybe you can try it. I just havn't got organized enough to make the "cost chart"!

Aloha J.,

I think that it is good to give children an incentive and value of money so if you feel that you give your son the equivalent of an allowance on a regular basis with toys and his necessities then maybe break that down for him so that he understands the value of all that you give to him. I think it's more about understanding the value of hard earned money than giving him his own money although as he gets older maybe allowing him to earn money and take care of purchasing the things that he feels he "needs" so that he can appreciate how much energy it takes to supply him with the things he desires. I think it's very important to instill this early on so that there is more understanding and therefore more appreciation...hopefully.

M. Mills

P.S. you mentioned the acai berry, Have you heard of Mona Vie?? It is a acai berry juice that is marketed similar to Mary Kay and is just 3 years going strong ( a great time to get involved). If you have any interest I would love to share the juice and some info about the product with you.

Well, we did something that worked well, and taught them about saving AND how much things cost. Our kids got a LARGE allowance, but they were responsible for purchasing ALL their clothes, toys, backpacks, shoes, any "extra" personal hygiene items (for example, I would purchase "X Shampoo" if you want the fancy "Y Shampoo" you buy it yourself). They also had food here for making lunch for school. If they wanted something different (like school lunch), they needed to purchase it.

The first shopping trip (son) for shoes - he wanted "VANS" and no amount of discussion would help - I even told him they had exact Vans knockoffs at Target. He wanted to spend his money on Vans. So we went to the OUTLET for Vans -- he picked up one pair, looked at the price (almost a whole month's worth of allowance), turned to me and said "Uh, can we go to Target?" So I think he learned to appreciate how much things cost.

My daughter has turned into a saver -- she saves for everything she wants and makes sure she always has some money in her savings account.

You could add some rules like Only 10% can be spent on candy/soda; 10% on charitable donations/church; 50% must be saved for a goal; etc.

Why not go for a 3 month test run, But you need to stop buying him everything. He is now old enough to start saving for the things he want's. Give him the $5.00 he asked for, but if he is truly saving it for something big, let him know that he can make additional money by doing extra things, but he needs to talk to you first about what it's worth. Let's say: I'm almost to $50.00 I want to buy it this weekend is there anything extra I could do for this extra $10 ? This is when you get extra things done. You are only helping him to learn to do these additional things, plus him to budget his money.

If you see that he is just wasting his money, you can be the bank. Have him keep track of the $5 a week on a paper, dated the week and the earnings he made, you keep track on your own paper, and if he doesn't do his chores then he doesn't get paid that week. This way the money is not eating at him to spend me, spend me, spend me! Good luck you'll find something that works for the both of you. J.

Hi J.,

I think giving a child allowance is an opportunity to teach many skills. You can teach him budgeting, etc, so he can buy things. Don't assume you know how he'll spend it but even if he spends it on junk, it will give him a feeling of power that he chose it and used his own money. At 10 he may spend it on junk but at 15 he may start to save for a car, etc. You could always say $1 each week goes into a savings account and go with him to set it up in his name.


Dear J.,
Sounds like you have a GREAT KID! I don't know all the info to take into account, but if he is that good and you don't give him SOME freedom to have his own money and to make a choice in how to spend it, he may rebel later and it may be worse! However if you give him the chance to have the money WITH some provisos, it may work just fine. The way we did it was with the 'quarter jar' or the 'Dime Jar' method mentioned on:
If you scroll down to the middle of the page it tells how to do it. That way if the start smarting off or neglecting their chores you can 'deduct' for going against your rules - it's a sort of checks and balances method!
And if they DO waste their money once in a while they will soon see that it's not worth it after it's gone and will perhaps learn a valuable lesson that way, too! Your son sounds smart enough to figure out that he COULD save it up and get a better value for his money that way! Good JOB, Mom!

At the local swapmeets, they sell ceramic piggybanks with NO opening. My BIL makes his kids stuff them to the top and when they cant get one more cent in, they take it out and bust it open. They love that part, and always have more then $200 saved (depending on size). Just an idea.

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