Allowance - Torrance,CA

Updated on September 16, 2011
R.C. asks from Torrance, CA
10 answers

At what age did you start giving your children an allowance, frequency, how much and were there certain expectations from the child? My oldest is in 2nd grade and another in kindergarten. I was thinking of creating a chore chart and adding things like homework/test and since bed time is a struggle including that as well. Also considering the option of adding bonus if they do extra things. I had another mom tell me allowances for chores or grades were giving out the wrong message. These are things to be expected and not rewarded, I would be giving the wrong message. My opinion, chores and grades are like work and reviews. Always nice to have bonuses and incentives, would teach them the value of money etc.
Wondering what other parents do... Suggestions, comments...

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answers from Washington DC on

We never did an allowance.
We told the children that they were part of the family, had chores to do, and that their most important job was academics.
We took care of all of their needs.
As they got older, they got babysitting jobs and we taught them how to manage their money.
We also told them when we couldn't afford things and gave them options. It's okay to say NO. They learned very early on that there were kids who had it all and kids like them who didn't...

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Los Angeles on

I subscribe to the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University principles. First, we call it a commission rather than an allowance. That way the kids know they have to "earn" it rather than just receive it. Then, there are certain things my kids have to do as part of a contribution to the household. For example, they are required to keep their things (we call them "tracks" - toys, books, clothes, etc.) picked up in the common areas. The philosophy is we all have to live in this space and we all have to respect one another by not making others have to step over it or pick it up for them. We also require them to clear their own dishes from the table and put them in the dishwasher, do their homework, and practice piano. These are non-negotiables and are expected of them as a member of our family. But they then can earn commission for other chores, such as feeding pets, cleaning their rooms, making their beds, etc. Their room, for example, is their space. While I'd prefer them to keep it clean, they can choose not to. A commission motivates them to keep it the way I want it. If they don't keep their room clean, then they would lose their commission for the week.

The societal guidelines are to give children $1 for each year they are old. For example, a 3yo would receive $3 a week. I have a 10yo and $40 a month is a little rich in my opinion. So, I pay $1 a week per chore and each child has 5 chores, hence $5 a week. I've given my 10yo the option to add 2 more chores to his chart and earn $7 a week, but he hasn't taken me up on that.

I also implement penalties for failing to keep "tracks" up or clearing dishes, the jobs that are expected of them. The penalties are $0.25.

The money my kids earn then must be divided into "GIVE", "SAVE", and "SPEND" envelopes.

This program can be easily used for a child as young as 3yo. Good luck as you decide what works for you!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

My kids are 6 and 3 and I give both of them money to complete tasks/chores. I have the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Jr kit and I love it. (I started off with the Total Money Makeover for me and loved it so much I got the kid version) I understand that the kids are expected to do the chores as part of the family, but I view it more like real world teaching. I might not get paid to do laundry, but I do go to a job and get paid. I'm a salaried manager so I am expected to accomplish a certain amount of work. If I exceed my expectations, I also am able to bonus. So, my kids get a quarter everyday for picking up all their toys, cleaning their room, helping unload the dishwasher, and putting away their laundry. Anything extra will get them a bonus (usually 10-25 cents depending on what it is). Then they have 3 different envelopes to put their money in. One envelope is to save money, one is to spend money and one is to donate. They get to pick an item that they want and they learn to save up for it. Also, if they really want something now, they have to pay for it out of their spending envelope. It they don't have enough money, they don't get to buy it. The donation envelope goes to whatever charity they want such as an animal foundation or to help other children (you can also give to your church if you belong to one). This way, the kids have control over how much they are saving, spending and giving. I mostly let them do all the decision making and I just monitor it. They are more than willing to share too, which is really priceless.

If you just give your kids an allowance for being a part of the family, it just teaches them that mom and dad work hard and spoil the kids (even if they do chores in this scenario, they don't understand why they are getting paid). If you put them to work, it teaches them the true value of earning money.

I was never taught anything about money and have learned the hard way (still paying off way too much debt - have 85k in student loans - ouch). I heard about Dave Ramsey on this site and found his advice to make so much sense for my entire family. What a gift I can give my kiddos by teaching them to not have debt - ever!

Good luck to you!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

We did not tie the allowance into the chores chart. Chores are part of being a family. Each child had their own chores that had to be done. We tied privileges into that. "You want to go to the movies sure after your chores are done" etc.... Each child did get an allowance. we based ours on the grade level of the child. so a first grader got $1 a 10th grader got $10. They all had the ability to earn extra by doing some extra chores. things like the lawn, shoveling snow and cleaning gutters were jobs that "paid" things like taking out the trash, doing dishes etc were just regular everyone helped jobs. But making the regular chores part of allowance gives them the impression that they don't really have to do. Hmmmm I don't want to do the dishes tonight I can do without the allowance. Its a recipe for a battle that you really don't need / want

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Missoula on

I give my 3 year-old $3/week. He has chores that he must complete every day, but the allowance is not payment for the chores. He has chores to contribute to the family and the household, and he is not paid for doing them. He gets allowance so that he has his own money and has a chance to learn to manage it himself. He is learning to save up his money to buy things he wants, he is learning about the values of different coins and bills, and he sometimes chooses to give his money to charity, so he's learning about giving as well. I also like that we don't have any more "Mom, can I have that?" when we go to the store. He knows that he has his own money and mom isn't going to be buying everything he wants. If he wanted to earn extra cash for something I would probably let him do some extra work around the house for extra pay, but we haven't ever had that come up.



answers from Los Angeles on

The first "chore" my daughter had was to feed the dog each night. (dump the cup of food in his bowl) and she got 25-50 cents per week. She was 3. She had no needs that we did not provide nor does she still. So it was just a fun way for her to fill up her piggy bank.


answers from Boston on

We bought our 2 kids the melissa and doug magnetic wooden chore chart off of amazon. You can change around the chores too so one week you might focus on homework, using good language, laundry, picking up toys and the next week you could put helping with pet, sharing, putting dishes into the sink etc.. I think each week there there is enough spots for 8 chores/responsibilities.
We give each kid $1 when their chore chart is filled that way when we go yardsaling on the weekend they can look for a pokemon or littlest petshop..



answers from New York on

Yes, tying allowance to chores, grades and getting homework done makes a wrong impression, IMO. Allowance is spending money. Paying kids to do things that they give you a hard time with like homework and bedtime isn't allowance, that is called bribery. My kids did chores because they were assigned chores and they are not a prince and princess with servants, they are part of the family and expected to do some of the work around here. I started giving allowance at elementary age, for them to have some pocket money, not nickel and dime me constantly and learn how to budget money/make good money choices. I don't believe in rewarding for basic behavioral expectations like going to bed at bedtime and doing your homework, sorry.


answers from Los Angeles on

I give my children the same in money as their age . I.e a 10 year old would get $10 a month.
They have a list of chore that HAVE to be completed every day, and they can earn extra by doing chores not on the list.
Washing the car is an extra $2. I don't say the money is for the chores. Chores have to be done regardless of whether they get money or not.

25% of their money HAS to go into savings - this teaches discipline, but they can use those funds to contribute to any big purchase they'd like to make one day. i.e. car, house, engagement ring etc.....

My daughter saved up for 2 years to get to go on a school trip. I paid half and she paid half.

I agree with the never pay for chores. No-one pays you to drive a car / do school runs or do housework - but it still has to be done.

My kids did chores for a year before pocket money was brought in, by then chores were established. I told them pocket money was to learn how to budget, and be responsible with money.

Good luck with whatever you choose to do!



answers from Dallas on

Well, we did not use this method but I like the sound of it none-the-less. You say that some of the family chores can be done by kids and then they receive some of the family budget. If they do not do their chores then the family budget is earned by someone else, whether it be mom, a sibling, or a neighbor (if yardwork, dog pick-up, etc.) That way you are not really "paying" for chores, just sharing chores and sharing budget.

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