Allowances: at What Age Do We Start and How Much $

Updated on March 13, 2009
C.H. asks from Beverly Hills, CA
40 answers

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.)

Thanks moms!

23 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

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

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.G.

answers from Phoenix on

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)

4 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.G.

answers from Beaumont on

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.

3 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.R.

answers from Oklahoma City on

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.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.D.

answers from Providence on

Hi C.,
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
Good luck!

8 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

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!

7 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

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!

6 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.O.

answers from Seattle on

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.

6 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.K.

answers from St. Louis on

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!

6 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.S.

answers from Dallas on

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.
Good luck,
L.

5 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.D.

answers from New York on

My children start earning an allowance when they enter Middle School. My theory is that, that is when they will need money of their own to spend (for a dance or play at school, a movie with a friend, etc.). They earn $.50 for every year of their age per week (for example, if they're 14 years old, they earn $7 per week). No matter what, they are required to save 25% of all money received, even if it's not allowance or if it's not earned (i.e. gift money). The rest can be spent on whatever they choose. They earn money by doing jobs at home. They each have specific tasks at dinnertime, one child also takes care of weekly garbage around the home, one vacuums and one does dusting. As they enter middle school their jobs become more age-appropriate and more like a job that they have to work at to earn money. One big catch to to my plan is that if they do not perform their jobs, they must still save their 25%. Personal space is never tied to earning money. Since they live in my home they are required to keep their rooms clean but I won't tell them to keep their rooms the way I want to see it. It's their own personal space and they need to feel comfortable in it. I allow a bit of leeway there.
Prior to middle school, my kids don't earn an allowance. I don't see a need for it. They receive gift money for birthdays or holidays and I buy them whatever things they need. Beyond that, there is no need for spending money. They don't need to spend $1 or $5 every time we walk into a store. If there is something special they want, I tell them to put it on their birthday list or christmas list. It gives them time to think about the item - do they really want it and prioritize. There are plenty of other ways to teach younger children about money. Play money is a great tool. Taking them food shopping is another great way to teach kids about money. Comparison shopping in the grocery store and showing them how much the items cost will help them understand a great deal in the long run. Family food shopping is a weekly event in our home.
That's how we do it!

5 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

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! :)

5 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.L.

answers from Columbus on

Hi C.,

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!

5 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.T.

answers from Abilene on

Just another thought. You don't have to wait till the child really understands everything about money to begin to instill the idea of giving to God, saving for the future, and enjoying the rest. You can begin as soon as a child notices the contribution plates being passed (if she is with you in church) or as you donate to charity. Let her have five nickels -- give one to God, one to save in a piggy bank, and the other three to spend. Of course, you determine the amounts and in the beginning will have to really help your little one. But hopefully, you will have a finacially responsible child long before she is handling large sums of money or needing to be self-sufficient.

4 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi C.,

Our son is 6 and we told him he's get one dollar per week if he sets the table for dinner and cleans up his toys and feeds his fish. (We always have to double check on the fish). Your daughter can also help you collect the garbage and take the cans out to the street or help in the garden. I wouldn't expect too much at this age but a few little things make them feel grown up and helpful.

Good luck.

3 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.S.

answers from Dallas on

Our kids are 4 and 7, and right now they both get $1 a week, and they set aside their 10% tithe (ten cents) for church, so they learn about giving to support the church too. We do not connect it to chores - chores are just part of taking care of our family. Their allowance is for me more about teaching them money skills and delayed gratification. They save money in their bank from birthdays and Christmas, as well as their allowance. For a while, they were limited to spending their money on one toy once a month (otherwise they begged to go to the store anytime they felt they had money to spend). then after Christmas we had some behavior issues at school, so now they have to have 5 days in a row with no time outs or color changes, and that earns them the right to spend their own money. i don't buy toys for them regularly - if they want something, they save for it, and control their behavior so that they have the privilege to buy it. I also stock some toys in my closet when I find them on sale, and call it the Mommy Store. then if they have money and 5 good days to spend, we don't have to go to the store, they just pay me for the toys, and we got the toys at a discount. We get great studd from the clearance section at Radio Shack for the Mommy Store! Another thing I plan to do and just haven't yet is to make them 4 banks each from coffee cans - one for fun money (to buy small treats, quarters for CiCi's games), one for long-term saving for big items (Lego sets,art sets...), one for college and one for any charitable giving they want to do (beyond the church tithe - I just give them allowance Sunday morning so that money goes straight to church and requires no bank). My 7 year old loves counting his money and planning ahead, so his money skills are quite good for his age because of all the practice, and the four year old practices with him with the 7 year old teaching!

3 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.T.

answers from Modesto on

Hi C., I am not sure how much to give, but I will tell you what 3 of my friends families do and what we are going to do when our kids turn 10. The first thing though is to say that I agree with the person that said that the money should not be seen as a "payment" for chores. Taking care of a house is what you do because it is your home and we need to be good stewards of our things. Instead chores are a way to train how to do things and gives the child a chance to learn about money and a chance to feel good about themselves for saving up for something special.
OK so here is how it works. Each chore that you give them gets rated point. 3 for a job well done, in a timely fashion and with a good attitude. 0 is for them not doing it at all, and then you give a 1 or 2 as you feel that it fits between a 0 and 3. Then you give them $ based on how many points they earned. For our 10 yo we are going to start with $2 a week and then up it as she ages. She will be able to keep her Birthday and Christmas money (-10% that she will give to a charity). Hope this helps.

3 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.H.

answers from Omaha on

I wanted to tell you that we just started an allowance with our 6 year old. I know many people are dead set against doing an allowance as children should be expected to help out also. HOwever, I believe as a parent, it is our responsibility to teach our children money management and the value of hard work and personal accountablility. Therefore, since we are going to DisneyWorld in June our daughter is trying to earn spending money for simple souveniers. I personally believe there is nothing wrong with an allowance so ours is set at $5/week. BUT she has to complete every chore, every day (SUnday is excluded, as it is family relaxation day). We do not make any exceptions. Her chores are setting and clearing the dinner table, emptying the bath trashes, filling toilet paper cabinent, emptying the dishwasher. There are 5 total tasks for each day. Now notice we did not include making her bed or keeping her room clean. We have taught her that her room is her responsibility. SHe makes her bed and maintains the basics of her clean room. She has to have that done every day or she looses priviledges such as playing outside or playing with some of her favored toys. We do not incorporate her basic family responsiblity in her allowance. Now I must tell you that since we have started allowances, we have had more daughter, mother time. She tells me about her day when she is setting the table, or emptying the dishwasher. We always had talked about it before, but it makes it much easier when we are having casual conversation and bonding. I think she also is learning how hard I work to maintain a happy home.....

I hope this helps and good luck with you. I realize I may be in the minority and people may think it is wrong, however I have enjoyed our mommy/daughter time even more. I am sticking with our allowance plans well after our Disney trip!

3 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.S.

answers from San Antonio on

We actually started our daughter out with allowance at about age 3 because she was always doing more than was expected of her. As she got older, she is now turning 7, we started a reward chart.

I took a piece of small poster board and wrote her name and reward chart on the top. I then went online and pilled up pictures of quarters and of dollar bills. I also bought some velcro at the store.

I printed out on card stock the pics of 20 quarters, 5 $1.00 bills and 1 $5.00 bill. I made the chart so each row would fit 4 quarters and 1 dollar bill. She starts every week with $2.00. As she does extra chores she is given an amount of money to put on her board. Once she filled in 4 quarters she would put up the dollar bill. If she did all her "additional" family chores then she could earn a total of $5.00 for the week.

Now, on the same token if she was bad, did not do her chores properly, etc she was responsible to take a paper quarter off and put it back in the jar.

What I like about this system is that it also teaches them how to count money and they are directly involved in putting up thier quarters and telling me when they have earned a dollar bill to put on the chart. She is also always SOOO excited when she gets to ask for that $5.00 bill. The challenge then is to keep all her money until Sunday which is "payday!" On payday she tells me how much she earned by counting the money as she puts it back in the jar to start the next week.

As far as what is expected of her without getting a reward (this is part of the "beginning $2.00): Making your bed, picking up your toys, cleaning your bathroom, helping with her indoor animals, putting her clothes in the laundry room on laundry day.

Sometimes we will write on a stcky note something she really wants and as many dollar signs that it costs. Then she actually has a goal and we cross off on the note every dollar she earns to show how much more she needs to reach her goal.

Good Luck!

3 moms found this helpful

B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

I never got an allowance growing up and neither did my husband. My 10 yr old does chores (makes his bed, helps carry in / put away groceries, puts away clean dishes from dishwasher, takes out trash, and takes trash can out to curb on collection day). No one is ever going to pay you to clean your own toilet. Cleaning it yourself gets you the pleasure of using a clean toilet. (It is it's own reward.) My husband and I don't beleive in allowances as all it teaches is how easy money is to spend and teaches nothing about how hard it is to earn. My son gets to keep money gifts from birthdays, holidays and the Tooth Fairy, but he calls it all Pig Food, and he feeds his Piggy Bank. We give him gift cards to the book store, and he can buy what ever books he wants. If he wants more money, he's going to have earn it by walking the neighbors dog, help cut their lawn, or offer to muck out stalls at the horse barn down the street. The lesson THAT will teach him is hard labor is HARD and he'd better do his best in school unless he wants to earn a living like that all his life.
From reading most of these other comments, chores sound so optional. When I was growing up (many years ago), you did your chores because they needed to be done and to avoid getting a spanking. Not doing them was not an option. What happens if you have kids who are happy with doing nothing and don't care about earning money? You end up doing all the housework yourself and they are more than happy to sit back and let you.

3 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.H.

answers from Honolulu on

Hi,
When my son was 7 years old (He's now 30), I was a stay @ home mom, but felt that he needed to learn the value of the dollar and Responsibilities.

I was recommended this book by his school teacher by James Dobson.

It suggusted several things to implement exactly what I was looking for.

I had a list of chores jotted down on a Poster board like
clean up room, put toys away, put clothes in laundry basket, put toys away etc.

We paid him a nickle for every chore he completed that day.
But on the days that he didn't do his chores a nickle was taken away. So it really balances out. he began to see that if he wanted to make some money he simply had to do what was task him on the board.

I had another child 8 years younger and we did this with her until she was 16 yrs old. She finally got a job.

It works and both my children are very sucessful in their lives. My son a manager for Tony Romas resturant and my daughter @ 19 yrs. of age now 22 bought a car and was able to pay for her apt., cell bill, car insurance and still have some left to play with.

Hope this helps.

3 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.L.

answers from Dallas on

Hi C.,
As a child, I HATED that I did not have the chance to earn money until I was 16.

We are going to expect our daughter to do certain chores as a part of just being here. She will have other chores that she may complete and get paid for (but, only if the required chores are done). That way, you get the best of both worlds. I think it's very important that young children start to understand the concept of money. Many people say that children decide a certain level of life success by 2nd/3rd grade. I don't want her to obsess about money, but wouldn't it be great for her to understand that you do need money to survive?

As far as which chores and how much, ASK HER? Ask her to show you some of the chores she can actually do. You might decided that she HAS TO do the chores in her room, but the other rooms are extras (for an allowance)? I think it's very important to make sure the chores are something she can handle and that she understands the purpose for... Ask her what she would buy if she had $1, $5, etc. I would be surprised if she needs much more than a couple dollars a week.

It's also a great way to talk about saving your dollars and change for a larger items. And possibly, a way to start a savings account and/or understand a long term project (and the patience and endurance you must have).

FYI: I teach M.S. students, don't make tons of money, and I am very happy with my lifestyle...
Hope this offers a different perspective.!
Take care, E.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.F.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi C.,

I started getting allowances when I was about that age...I thought about waiting till the kids are older, but they are 3 years apart, so my daughter is now almost 8 and my son is already 11, so I am thinking I will start next year when he enters middle school and do the same for both kids, even though she is younger. I have made them do chores as part of the family since I took over as step-mom, and I don't tie money to food or chores. They have to eat all their dinner or no dessert. If they don't like certain foods, they have to eat it any way, but not all of it - just enough so they won't be hungry. They have 'acquired' new taste buds this way and now it's no big deal when they eat....as for chores, I make my DSS take out the trash and recycling twice a week, bring his dirty laundry down, take his clean clothes upstairs, keep his room clean, etc...and my DSD has to dust the living room and den areas, same with clothes and laundry, and keep her room fairly clean (she tends to be very messy!!).
When i do start giving the money, I will probably do a flat $5/wk so they can save up and buy the stuff they want and it will come in handy because they won't beg me to buy them stuff - I will ask, "Do you have your money?" and not feel too guilty - I usually make them use gift money, etc or I will sometimes buy them things they want if they have gotten good grades or behaved well all week. I also like some of the other ideas people have given about creating a 'savings' and 'tithes' accounts for them....maybe I will set up two jars and have them donate 10% of their $5 to each...however, my husband and I have been discussing whether or not to give them the money if they have behaved poorly in the week. They are good kids, but if they are to be punished for something that week, do they deserve the $5? Probably not. I would base the allowance being taken away if they have not 'earned' it with good behavior (not necessarily chores, etc....).

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.L.

answers from Dallas on

My sons started getting money around age 8. The money is good grade money. For instance they will get so much money for straight A's and then less for A/B's and nothing if there is one C. The kids have learned to work hard for their money just like a real job in the real world. They understand that they can save the money for something they want or spend it quickly without thought. This has been very effective. Other things you can reward with money would be like a big improvement in a sport he/she plays. Like finally making that big soccer goal or getting past a big fear to accomplish the next big trick at gymnastics. You can also teach them to tithe this way as well.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.G.

answers from Washington DC on

Camielle,
Thought I would add my 2 cents!

I just read in a book call How to have a new kid by Friday that you shouldn't pay kids for chores (kind of like what you said in your update). The author suggessted that each family member gets some of the family's entertainment budget. So you could give your daughter 2 or 3 dollars as part of the family "fun" budget. She is expected to do chores and help out but money is not tied to it.

I've been trying this with my kids (8 and 6) and they have scrimped and saved and now have about $30 each but it has taken them a long time to save it.

As they get older and better at their chores when a chore isn't completed then the other child can be paid to do it. I.e. sister 1 doesn't do the dishes like she is suppose to I ask sister 2 to do it and sister 1 has to pay her sibling for completing chore she was suppose to do.

Thanks for letting me share!

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.J.

answers from Houston on

I actually just started doing allowances for my 3 kids this month, which is based on weekly chores. I started the chores list last year, but wasn't giving money until I saw that they could handle the chores. They rotate every week between the living room, bathroom and kitchen, which is a dollar a day. I deduct $1 on a day the chore was not done. It is only based on a 6 day work period. I don't pay for cleaning your room. The vacuuming is 2 days a week and we all work on the laundry. My kids are 8 and 10, so at the age your daughter is now it is good to start teaching her about money, if she is in the 2nd grade the classwork and homework asks question about money. Also she could earn money for report cards and progress reports, I am starting that for the 4th six weeks.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.W.

answers from Harrisburg on

I'm really late answering and I've enjoyed so many of the other opinions. My daughter will be 7 next week. Last year I made a chart with pictures and boxes to be checked off. She has 3 ferretts, and part of her responsibility is to make sure they have food and water. She we got a cat and she is responsible for making sure the cat's food dish is full. She also has to make her bed, and help out with the little trash cans thru the house. For each job done, she gets a check mark. Each check mark is worth 20 cents. At the end of the week, we add them up and that's her allowance. I read once somewhere that there allowance should be a dollar for their age (that's why the check marks are worth 20 cents). If she does them all for the week she gets $6.60. I hope this helps. She always gives $1 dollar every week for tithe, and the rest gets saved in her piggy bank. When enough is accrued I deposit it into her savings account at the bank. This way she can see the money building up. When she wants something more than small stuff, she knows that she has to spend her own money. Many times she decides not to and would rather save it. This way she is learning the value of money, hard work and reward. We do not reward good grades, that is expected of her (she is only in first grade right now). Stuff like brushing her teeth and hair, and cleaning herself in the bath aren't rewarded either. This is personal hygiene and she needs to know just to do it.

The big thing to remember is how much can you afford to pay your child each week? Keep in mind that a nickle buys nothing now a days compared to when it did 20 years ago.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.H.

answers from San Luis Obispo on

Hi! I'm late in responding. I've enjoyed all of the advice given thus far. We do allowance in our family but not connected to chores (only to attitude when doing chores!). Chores are a part of life and work is a blessing Just ask anyone out of work right now! I, too, wanted my children to have the benefit of learning about money the RIGHT way while in a safe environment (home). I also saw that giving TOO much money sets children up to be spenders and not necessarily savers. So, we give our children $1 per year per month. At the 1/2 year mark, they get a 'raise' of 50 cents. My 4 1/2 year-old gets $4.50 a month now. They are taught to tithe 10% and save 10% (long term savings). Any toys they want to buy when not a birthday or Christmas is up to them. In the past I've said, "I'll pay for it now and you'll pay me when we get home". They were expected to pay the full amount (price plus tax) before they got to enjoy the purchase. This process is evolving as I'm a recent fan of Dave Ramsey and see that credit is rarely necessary and should be avoided. I think it's time for a family meeting to discuss the new rules.

N., Loved Wife, SAHM, 4 kids with total monthly allowance of $34.50

PS: My 12 year-old announced recently she has almost $100 and is looking at an Ipod. Bet she'll take good care of it!

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.D.

answers from Tampa on

I'm a little late a responding but I still want to share my input.
As a person who came from a home where we did not get allowance, but we did all the chores, I can tell you I grew to hate doing the chores. I can't stand cleaning to this day.
I have 5 kids that live with us full time. They each have a chore to do and they get paid for doing it. It's not their responsibility to take care of us, but ours to take care of them. They clean their rooms, their responsibility-no allowance. They help with dishes, cooking, dusting, vacuuming, moping, yard work MY responsibilities, they get allowance.
Better example: If they wash their own laundry then they don't get paid, but if they take the initiative to wash all of the laundry they do, It's not their responsibility to make sure everybody else has clean clothes, Its mine. It teaches them to take the initiative, and gives them good work ethic.

2 moms found this helpful

M.P.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi C., I am a late responder also, but I completely disagree with the people that say chores are a part of life.
In our house, responsibilities are different than chores. For example, making your bed, keeping your room clean, and keeping up after your animal are all responsibilities, as well as grades and behavior in school and out of school.

Children should know that working hard in school EARNS them their grades, not money. Those that bribe their kids with money to make good grades in school are not setting good examples. The reward for kids working hard in school is their grades and should never be anything more than that.

However, chores are tasks you would like them to do to earn a living, or an allowance. Period. If you instill the same principle that you hold with regard to your or your husband's employment, you teach them a much greater life lesson. Those that reward their children for good behavior are skewing their view of life. Just because we mind our manners and behave doesn't earn us a salary. Its the extra effort in life that we put forth that earns our salary, so just living day to day saying please and thank you doesn't pay the bills. Children are a lot smarter than we realize and will benefit from this approach.

Having said that, it is never too early to instill responsibility and chores. Responsiblity should begin as soon as they can walk by teaching them to put the toys they get out to play with back where they found them. When they move to a toddler bed, teach them how to make their bed. This will take a few times and it won't be perfect, but they need to make the effort. When they are ready for allowance, helping clean up the yard, emptying the bathroom trashcans, and/or taking the trash to the outside dumpster, dusting and vaccuuming are all things smaller children can accomplish for an allowance. Those are things for which a child should receive a reward. If you think kids are too small to understand the concept, think again. As soon as they see the reward from their hard work, they will work even harder. It has worked with my kids. All of them!

I hope this helps.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.M.

answers from Denver on

In our house, we give the kids a weekly allowance. run a coupel of businesses out of our home, so if they want to earn extra money, they can do things that support our business, such as putting mailing labels on envelopes. We also have some behaviors we are working on, and through that they earn rewards that are time based, such as a family game night, a trip to the store to spend their money, playdates, etc.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.J.

answers from Dallas on

We also do the Love and Logic method. We started it when she was 6, and it has been fabulous! There are free classes often offered, so keep an eye out. The books and cds are great too.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

money! Put God first before money. Bless any money you give her and tell her to be wise on spending it. I'll say 3 to 5 bucks is plenty for candy and small toys. And if she wants something expensive tell her to save and wait. Great rewards and more apreciation towards whatever she really wants.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

G.T.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi C.,

I have a 7 and 4 year old. They have their own chores they are responsible for like getting themselves dressed in the morning, putting their dishes at the sink, making their beds, etc.

I give them a quarter for anything they do to help me with my chores. That might be empty out the dishwasher, sort the laundry, fold the cloth napkins, etc. They split their money between 3 jars: spend, give and save. This is from the Dave Ramsey approach.

Honestly, I keep forgetting to suggest they make money and so do they. This all started when my daughter left a library book outside in the rain and she had to pay me back for the cost by doing some of my chores.

I don't want to force it on them right now. Sometimes when I suggest they do something I get "Do I have to?" I figure after several times of being disappointed they don't have money to purchase something (and see their friends do) when we're out and about they'll start to want to do more. I think you have to deal with whatever temperament your child is otherwise you may have more of a battle than is necessary.

I figure as they get older, more of those items will become their responsibility for being part of the family and I will have to think of other things they can make money on.

I have a hard time thinking it's ok to give money without doing something for it. If you do when do you take it away? When they can get a job at 16?

G.

P.S. Please vote for me at the Leading Moms in Business contest: http://www.startupnation.com/leading-moms-2009/contestant...

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.M.

answers from Bakersfield on

Hi C.-
I know you already received alot of responses, but i still wanted to chime in for just a moment.
My mother and father had a chart of chores for us during the year and a chart of add on chores during the summer (since we were not in school). THe dishwasher was not used- we girls (there were 3 of us) became the housekeepers. Our chores rotated and included dishes- one washer, one dryer/put away, and one to set the table for dinner. Then we all split helping prepare dinner. We were also responsible for vacuuming, dusting, cleaning the bathroom twice a week, keeping our rooms clean, etc. During the school year the chores were lessended because our parents thought it was important to focus on our studies. We did not get paid for any of this. HOWEVER, there were opportunities to make money. WHile it was expected that we help out with yard work and doggy poo duty, mowing the lawn was an especially laborious chore and I was paid for that. We lived on a double lot so that backyard was twice the size of our house. I was paid $5 for the backyard and $3 for the front yard. Washing the car (with vacuuming) was $5 and could only be done every other week. My father also liked his shirts pressed for work. We were paid at first, $1 for 3 shirts, and I got very good at ironing them. But then my mother upped the bounty to $.50 a shirt, and WHEW!, I was in heaven for that one. My parents also let us know that major expenses like school trips, etc., were on them. We were to do any fund raisers requested, but they would take care of the rest. But any extra spending cash (aside from $5 or $10 for meals) was up to us to earn.
It worked for us and I think we are better housekeepers and more organized for it, and we see money as more valuable and are less likely to spend it on crap and cheapies. I really think the jar ideas are great, so the kids can see what they are earning, and that negative behavior or lack of finishing up chores means they don't get paid. It's just like the real world and they will learn that good behavior, a good attitude, follow through, and being people of their word is worth not only their integrity, but also some cash.
Have a great day!

1 mom found this helpful

A.W.

answers from Denver on

Umm, no offense to Melodee-R, or anyone else out there, intended. But, don't you want more for your daughters then to be just wives and mothers? I mean, I'm a wife and a mom, so I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that, but when you say "Well trained Daughters make wonderful Wives and Mothers!" it sounds a little old fashioned like when that was all women were meant to be and do. Maybe I am misreading it, but I mean, why can't boys be "well trained" to be husbands and fathers. I don't know, maybe its just me.

Way late responding. I have to say though that my brother and I had things we were required to do growing up. My parents considered it part of being a family and never rewarded us for things that they thought we should do with out being told.
Doing the dishes, vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, mowing the lawn, all kinds of things.
Now I hate house work, I am always loathing the hour or day I have to clean my own house and I am an adult and married and have a kid.
My husband was raised the dame way and feels the same as I do.
So, we have decided, and already do, make chores a game. We have a race to put her toys away, if she can get her toys put away fast and without complaint she gets to have a sticker (she is 3).
Right now that is her only "chore", she tries to help with other things, but at this age she usually ends up doing more harm then good.
Stickers have been the key to success with potty training, sleep training, and getting her to pick up her toys. I think that when she is a little older rewards for doing other chores will help keep her motivated and help her to feel appreciated for doing these mundane tasks.
In other words I have no problem with rewarding her.
I also think that monetary rewards will be good for when she is older and wants that special toy, or to go with friends to a movie or whatever.
When they are under 16 they can not work outside the home for money, but I think they can learn to do chores or work for money before then.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.H.

answers from Chicago on

When I was a kid I used to get .15 to empty all the waste paper baskets in the house (back then that is what a pack of trident cost)

So basing it on that I gave my 5 year old one dollar for the same task.

He is very money motivated so, now that he is 7 I have increased his tasks by his own ability.

Because he has bam bam strong man attitude I give him 2$ a week to help bring up the laundry out of the dryer and to help with bringin grocerys. ( he has been doing that since 5) but now he gets paid extra for it.

He asks for jobs all the time now and we try out new things you would be shocked and amazed at what kids are really able to do with good motivation.

Good Luck

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.B.

answers from Miami on

I don't believe in allowances either. House chores need to be done and the reward is a nice clean house.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.L.

answers from Washington DC on

I do not think 7 is too young to start an allowance. I started getting a few pennies a week when I was a preschooler (but only because I saw my older siblings getting allowances and I wanted one, too). My own kids are only 3 and 6 months, so we haven't started yet. But I'm planning to start each when they start kindergarten with 50 cents per week and then raise it to a dollar for each grade level. So for instance, $1 in first grade, $2 in second grade, etc. I think the amount they need depends on what you expect them to buy for themselves versus what you will buy for them.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

I.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

I just have a comment , i am going to parenting class and i personally ask about rewarding my kids with money when they do their chores or they behave good, they answer my question telling me that i have to pay them to do what they supposed to be doing, what you should do if your are broke and don't have any money to give instead of that i will give them nice comments , make something they like or go to places they love.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

I'm replying without reading the other responses. Many years ago, my mother explained her theory of allowances, and I followed it with my 7 children. I still believe in it. Allowances should not be tied to chores. Chores are part of what you do to sustain the family. You, the mother, do not receive (I hope!) an "allowance" based on how you do your "chores." My children each got an age appropriate (and our financial abilities appropriate) weekly allowance. The allowance covered certain things and they were taught to budget from their allowance for a Sunday School contribution, and saving for special things they wanted as well as fun expenditures like gum and candy during the week. There were extra jobs, besides their regular chores, where they could earn additional money as they got old enough, so they could save for more expensive purchases or help with gift buying.

I think the allowance should be an aid to teaching children to budget so they understand the need to save up for their own special purchases as well as contribute to good causes and finance the little weekly treats that everyone enjoys.

S. Toji

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches