Updated on April 09, 2007
D.T. asks from McKinney, TX
7 answers

My oldest just tirned 5 and we want to start an allowance for her. We have not done this before so we aren't sure what the best method is. We have already decided that a portion will be put into a savings for her, but aren't sure about anything else. Should it be tied to chores? How much is appropriate? Any advice would be helpful!

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answers from Nashville on

I second Dave Ramsey. My kids are on "commission," not alllowance. They "work, get paid; don't work, don't get paid." Commission means "to give authority," whereas to make allowance for is to "make excuses."

And yes, somethings are just basic chores, others like homework or piano practice, they don't get any money for, but will lose $ if it's not done. There are certainly things they do "just because," you just have to decide what things those are. I know it all sounds a little hard core, but it is a great program & my girls are learning to be responsible with money, to "save" about 10%, to "give the same & to have money for spending, as well.

I wish I'd learned these lessons at their age. It would have made my previous 35.5 "pre-Dave Ramsey" years much more fruitful!

Good Luck! Be consistent, whatever you do!




answers from Dallas on

I haven't dealt with this issue as a parent yet but I can tell you about my allowances growing up. Firstly, my allowance was never tied to chores. Chores were expected to help keep the house going so we weren't paid for them. I was given my allowance every 2 weeks which is when my dad got paid from work. I had a little coin purse in my drawer and whenever he got paid, he would put 30 one dollar bills in my coin purse and he'd give my older brother 40 dollars. He explained that this money was to last 2 weeks and there will be no more given until he was paid again so be wise. Even as a 5 year old, I quickly taught myself how to budget for 2 weeks of meals at school, my offering at church, and any other treats I wanted to buy for myself. I think I overspent a couple of times, but dad was not giving anymore money until payday (so mom had to bail me out a couple of times with money for lunch). To this day, I have no problem budgeting for bills and when I overspend, I understand that there is no more money until payday and I'll just have to deal with it. It's funny because my husband was never given an allowance growing up. His parents gave him money whenever he asked. To this day, he doesn't understand that when the money's all gone, you have to wait until payday so be wise in your spending. I'm so glad I learned early.



answers from Dallas on

We started allowing our son to earn an allowance when he was about 6 or 7 (not very long ago). He understands there are certain chores that are his responsibility and he doesn't get paid for them (ie. cleaning up after himself, keeping his bedroom neat, making his bed) and then there are the chores that he does for his allowance. He vacuums and dust for $10 a week. Once I gave him to opportunity to earn allowance I cut out buying toys and videos and so forth as I had done before so he would learn to save his money when he really wants something so not only does he learn you have to work for the things you want but hopefully is teaching him some lessons about saving as well. Good luck with what you decide.



answers from Dallas on

We found the kids program from Dave Ramsey. We like his philosophy and simplicity of can find it on his website...he has different recommendations depending on the age of the child.




answers from Dallas on

Our kids get an allowance for doing their personal chores but also whatever else we ask them to do. The reason we do it that way is because we have a very large family & the only way for thngs to run smoothly is for everyone to pitch in. It actually makes our kids want to do more because they know they will get their full allowance. We keep a chart & if someone just doesn't do what they're supposed to be doing, then some money gets taken away. It only took taking away money once & I haven't had to do it again. Whatever their age is, that is what they receive in allowance.



answers from Dallas on

There are great articles everywhere (Parents magazine, babycenter, Parenting, etc.). I would search those sights for additional ideas. The theory that I have heard and will try myself is that allowances are given for doing work above and beyond regular chores. For example, you should put your toys away and help with dinner b/c that's what families do...take care of your stuff and help each other. But if the child helps clean up the garage then that would be earning their allowance. Some chores should be set as required and some as ways to earn allowance. Then decide the percentage of that allowance that should be put in savings, spending, and charity/tithing. One way would be, 50% in savings, 10% in charity and the last 40% for spending how they choose. Hope this helps some.



answers from Dallas on

My son just turned 6 and he gets allowance for cleaning his room, taking out the trash, helping empty dishwasher, and folding towels.

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