Money with a 6 Year Old

Updated on February 05, 2010
D.R. asks from East Meadow, NY
5 answers

hi moms, i think i am moving into new territory here. my 6 year old has been hoarding money, and taking money, as we just discovered last night. he didnt realize it was wrong or anything, told us openly, which is fine, now he does realize he cant do that. but in talking about it, i think its time for him to be able to have or earn some money and start learning about money and earning and saving etc. a new era....makes me sad. anyway, im not sure what to do, wondering what everyone else does. an allowance? earn money for tasks that he wouldnt ordinarily be doing? do i require or just encourage him to save/spend/donate? wondering what everyone else does at this age. thanks, D.

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answers from Mansfield on

I do not pay an allowance for chores in my house. I exoect my children to clean up after themselves and help keep our home looking nice, clean and healthy. However my children earn money for their responsibility and attitude toward thier chores. For example... I was out of dishwasher detergent and didn't have a car to get to the store, so I was washing and drying dishes by hand. My 4 year old daughter happily offered to dry the dishes and put away what she could (pots,pan, silverwear, and plastic containers are all low enough for her to reach). She also cleaned up the bathroom without being asked (that was her chore for the day) and cleaned up the entry hallway where everyone takes off their shoes but doesn't put them on the shelf. All in the same day and she did it happily. She got quite an allowance perk for that day. I have them divide there earnings into save,spend,donate at all ages 4,6,10. My youngest always give more then they spend or save which I do not discourage but think eventually they will start changing on there own. I let each kids decide for themselve what they think they should save,spend, give.... they have to stick with that for about a month and can then change if they really want to. My son (10) was spending immediately for a while most of what he about 10% and spending 50%.... then there was something quite expensive he really wanted.... so he started saving it all. Which is fine with me. You know your kid well enough to know how much responsibility they should be allowed to have with money. This is just what I do. My middle daughter is 6 and she tends to be a saver more than a giver or spender. I let the kids spend there money on what they want (within reason) and they see how long it takes to earn it and how fast it goes. I have them pay for the items... not just throw it in with the rest of the stuff I am getting.
Your son should learn how to count money etc... soon (my daughter is in 1st grade) so this would be another great learning experience for his as well.
Hope this helps :)

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answers from Spokane on

This reminded me of a story...when I was younger my sister and I and lil' cousin (about 6/7) went to the movies at the mall... when it was over we were walking out and had to pass thru a open section of the bistro type restaurant that was connected to the theatre. When we had passed by all the tables and came out the other side my cousin was holding a whole fist full of cash! When we asked where he got it he said "it was just laying on all those empty tables"...aahhh!!! He had totally swiped all the tips and didn't even know what they were or that it was wrong....So funny!

I think you would be wise to start teaching him about money.They start learning to count money soon in school anyway. I have been thinking about allowances a lot lately too and I think what I am going to do is this...

-Give allowance for chores (but they will still have regular chores they do for "being part of a family" and their own room and such)
-Set up savings account and require 1/2 to go in it! My grandmother started savings accounts for all us kids and we made our own deposits (grandma deposited the $ amount of your current age, on all holidays) and at 18 it was FUN MONEY! ~ So Cool!

Never bad to start learning the rewards for working towards a goal...

I am still contemplating the "forced charity"...not sure about requiring financial donations...was thinking I would go the route of "forced participation/community service" ...but not yet decided...

A new era is right. I feel you. My oldest is 6 as well!

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answers from Dallas on

Here is what we did. Allowance. A six year old gets $6 per week. A 10 year old gets $10, etc..
30% was to go directly to a savings account not to be touched.
30% child saves for something special they are saving up for
30% spend whenever you want
10% save for charity of childs choice

Of course you can switch it any way you like. After the first couple of years we switched and let them have 60% upfront. We figured they'd learned to save up by then if it was important enough. the Charity usually went to a big project at Christmas time or something like Haiti. We kept track of their eligible money by category in a book we kept for them.

This really helps because if you are in line in the grocery store and your 6 year old asks for gum. You can say, "I don't want to spend my money on that, but you can spend yours." You child learns about money this way. He decides whether its worth it to part with some of that money in his book! Or in the jar in his room, or whatever you decide.

Yes, we still offered paying chores when something came up on rare occasions.

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answers from Chicago on

my husband and i just started going to dave ramsey classes called financial peace university & last night we had our 2nd meeting & he talked about kids & earning money.....i got so many ideas about how to let kids earn money....if you go to he does have a kids program that you may be interested in learning more about....


answers from Dallas on

i giv my kid 6.00 dlls a week but he has to do the things in his list without nobosy tell him anything ,also he need to have good behavior all week ,he has a chance 2 sad faces a week means .50 less but 3 sad faces means 3.00 for that week and the end of the month he can choose he wants to spend it in something or keep it for next month

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