Allowance - Palmerton,PA

Updated on December 21, 2010
L.C. asks from Palmerton, PA
10 answers

When did you start giving your child an allowance? I hadn't thought of it before until another mom mentioned it, assuming she was too young; DD is 4 and we give her a couple of dollars for treats at school each Friday. But ti's not an allowance per se. Did you link it to behavior, chores, etc? Still thinking DD is a bit young for this...

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answers from Washington DC on

I do not and have not given allowance. They are required to do chores but it is because we are a family, they are not paid. They get enough money throughout the year from the grandparents and now that they are older they can babysit.
And I think giving a child a couple dollars is way too much for a preschooler. Mine would bring $.50 for popcorn on Friday if they remembered, that was it.

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answers from Biloxi on

I just started giving my son an "allowance" this fall. My son is 14.

I have never paid him for household chores since that is just a part of being a member of a family - we both have to do our bit to make our home nice. But, he did start mowing the lawn this summer saving me a ton of money since now I don't have to pay $40 a pop for it. I was paying him $10 a mow, then decided it was easier just to give him $20 a month for mowing, extra lunch money, whatever he wanted to spend it on.

This has worked out well for me as I can just put the extra $20 into my monthly budget - which has been slashed due to being laid off. :) Every once and a while I will throw him an extra $3 or $5 in pocket change. But, he has learned to manage his money better. And I don't feel like I am hemorrhaging money for little things all the time. Right now I just let him keep it all as we volunteer in non-monetary ways, and I cover our household tithe to church each week.

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answers from Harrisburg on

I personally don't think I will cave to giving my kids an allowance. I grew up having to do chores (family of six) we all had to pitch in a do work-thats how things get done and everyone has to help to keep everything running smoothly. I'm going for the same thing with my three boys. I will give them money when they need it for school or events and any money they get and don't use they may keep.

My oldest, 8, does get money from his grandparents for things he does at their homes and I don't mind, its usually minimal like $1-4 for raking leaves. He keeps a money jar at home and puts all of it in there and when it gets filled we take half for his bank account and half he likes to have a day with me and we go pick out something at the store and have snack/lunch. His money doesn't usually cover all of that but I fill in where needed :) This started when he was about 5.



answers from Detroit on

We started giving DD an allowance on her 5th birthday. She gets $2 a week - $1 in change that she counts out and that ultimately goes into her savings account (our credit union has a change machine and everything we put in there goes into a 2 year CD we opened for DD to save for a Disney trip). The other $1 is hers to spend and it is rare that she finds something that she 'needs' to buy.

It is mostly tied to behaviour and she has lost her allowance a couple of times for bad behaviour.

She is still learning the concept of money and saving but this seemed like a good age to start.



answers from Minneapolis on

I started giving allowance when my oldest was 4 years old. There is a weekly chore that he does and he used to get $1. Now that he is 6.5 years old, he swiffers under all furniture and gets $2/week. This also includes picking up all toys on the floor and putting them away. My youngest is almost 4 and now her chore is to help pick up and help me put the laundry in the dryer (she also starts it) and she gets $1/week. There are other chores they're expected to do that they don't get paid for. Cleaning their rooms before bed, my oldest has to make his bed, helping set the table and cleaning up the dishes after dinner.


answers from Dallas on

i did not link allowance to chores. I gave their age per week, but required they save 30% for a rainy day, and 10% for charity of their choosing. We kept a book and logged the balances.

So a 4 year old got $4 per week, but was only allowed to spend $2.40 of it per week. This way when my kids asked for things I thought were frivolous I just said I didn't want to spend my money on that, but they were free to spend theirs.... if they had it. I encouraged the savings to try and get them to save for something bigger...... teaching delayed gratification.

Usually at the holidays they gave to a charity of their choice, or donated a toy.

It sounds complicated but they didn't want much and so the money added up. They liked having their "booklets" and figuring out what they could afford.



answers from Seattle on

Prior to age 3 kiddo just got all of our spare change. It was HILARIOUS because he decided the "best / safe" place to keep it would be his underwear drawer. ((Apparently it's an instinct)). And he'd hunt for it as well as ask me for what was in my pockets at the end of the day (metal change only, not paper).

Starting at 2ish, however, he also started campaigning for a puppy. So around age 3 I started giving him an allowance and made the still standing deal that dad and I would match his savings for "big" purchases. It wasn't linked to anything, but was "pocket money" for him to save or spend as he saw fit. ((It's quite fun to see what a 3yo sees fit to buy)). From 3-5 he got $5 a week. Once a month he'd go half with me on buying a train or book from the store. He'd buy treats from the store, broccoli from the market (his favorite food for years), donate some... and in a little over 2 years had saved $400. Half the adoption fee for our puppy and half the projected costs for food and vet bills for 6 months ($800). Then he started K and got a new "campaign". He wanted a MacBook. He only had to save $500, and his allowance had increased to $7-$10 (his allowance increases every year on his half birthday) but it took him 3 years to save for it (he got it a few months ago). 2 big setbacks were Summer Food Programs for kids (he gets highly offended/horrified at kids not being able to eat breakfast or lunch when school isn't in's not a charity I donate to, but he feels close to it, so I encourage him to follow his heart but NOT to give more than 1/3 of his money away), to which he gave over $70 each summer, and an illicit xBox purchase (he was signed into dad's account and bought over $100 worth of games with just a few mouse clicks). He had to pay us back for that one.

From K until present his allowance IS linked. He has a list of things that need to be accomplished every day. Chores, school, hygiene, helping out with family projects, and play. I believe that balance is very important, and as an adhd household, balance can get rather elusive... so rather than just have chores on the list; every day also his play gets checked off, and bathtime, and helping others with ______. Whether that's cooking dinner or decorating the xmas tree. He gets a flat rate for getting everything checked off and a "bonus" for doing them all in a timely fashion with good attitude.

Every year as his allowance increases, so does what he's responsible for paying for. Last year we started going dutch on "extras". Like a movie, or going out for lunch. If he proposed an outing and I agreed, we'd go dutch. If I proposed it was my treat. (Sometimes he'd treat me, with his chest all puffed out). He gets his first bill this year (and he's sooooo proud of it, and making sure it's paid every month)... he's responsible for his $10 a month cellphone bill. He's also now responsible for buying birthday gifts, and for saving $5 a month for his next year's season's pass.

Here's the quick rundown... 'cause I've probably been rambling:

8.5 = $15 per week (1.50 a day + 4.50 bonus). Responsible for Cell phone bill ($10), xBox Live Membership ($3), & 1/2 his season pass for snow ($5). Also gets his first bank account in his name / with card & online banking so he can start to deposit his allowance and be taught how to use a debit card (tracking purchases, balancing/not overdrawing, etc.).

Age 8 bought his MacBook

7.5 = $10 per week ($1.00 per day + $3 bonus) Responsible for 1/2 of "extras" (like lunch or movie), & xBox membership.

6.5 = $7 per week ($1 per day... no bonus at that point) pure pocket money

Age 5 paid $400 for puppy and care/upkeep

3 - 5.5 = $5 per week (no bonus) pure pocket money

2ish = whatever spare change I had in my pockets or kiddo found laying around. House rule: metal money only. If he found a $20 on the counter and a bunch of change, he could take the change but had to leave the paper money.

ALL of this has been a very organic process. The only thing I knew going into it is that by 14.5 I want him paying for *everything* (sports, clothes, school supplies, entertainment, etc., plus his "share" of bills or the total of his "own" bills) that I would be paying for otherwise. Point being that I don't want him unleashed on the world without real practical money experience as to how much things cost and how to manage his money. I want those lessons as solid as stone before he moves out on his own. And if I'd be paying for those things otw... why NOT let him learn by trial and error while still in the safety net of being home? How we get there though, there's no strict "plan" other than to gradually increase both the money he has to work with and his responsibilities. "Increasing levels of responsibility" is a theme in my house. Of course, with more responsibility, also comes more fun :)

Sorry if this has dragged on a bit.. I probably should have gone to bed a bit ago, & I tend to ramble when I'm sleepy. If I remember I'll try and make this a bit more concise tomorrow.



answers from New York on

Mine are 6 and they still don't get an allowance. They do their chores as supposed to without being paid. I think I would start an allowance (weekly) around age 8. At that time they can take on more responsibilities than they have now (which are mainly pick up after themselves, put toys away, make their own bed, and after getting undressed put the clothes near the washer.



answers from Cleveland on

Four is a little young, but just cater it to her age. I think allowance is a good tool in teaching children that "extras" are to be earned. And that bad choices can "cost" you.
I never had an allowance as a child, we did chores, period. There was never a reward for doing so. But i think even a small allowance would have made them a little less annoying. lol.
But I also think kids should be taught that being a family is a "team" and everyone should work together as a family so theres more time for fun.



answers from Portland on

I see a base allowance as money given to children as a share of the family resources. They get it because they are a part of the family. I assign chores on the same premise. Chores are a responsibility that we share as a family.
For me an allowance is a given and is unrelated to chores tho it can be reduced or taken away for misbehavior. For example, if a child doesn't do his chores then he doesn't share in the money. There is a subtle distinction there.

Then I would give extra money for extra chores if you wanted to do so. Extra chores can be a way to earn extra money.

I agree that 4 is too young for an allowance per se. I used an allowance as a way to teach about money and budgeting. A child probably isn't ready to understand and manage money until they're 8 or older.

In the meantime, giving her money to purchase things that she needs money for, such as treats at school each Friday, makes sense.

My daughter still does not give her children an allowance. They're 7 and 10. They do have chores to do. She gives them money for things that they need and she provides things for them as treats from time to time. She with holds money or treats when they've been unco-operative. Thus money and chores are more fluid than structured and I suggest causes confusion for the kids.

An allowance can be used as a teaching tool or as a means of maintaining a certain amount of control over children. I prefer the teaching tool approach which means the child has to be mature enough to learn what you want to teach.

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