• Family,  Rants & Musings

    Should You Give Your Children an Allowance?

    Until the last couple of years, we never gave our children an allowance. I just never thought it was necessary. I couldn’t see the reasoning behind providing an 8-year-old with their own money, but I also thought about this for years. Should you give your children an allowance?

    When my oldest was about 12, I read a lot of blog posts about giving your child an allowance. There were so many different opinions and options on how to give your child an allowance. After reading multiple articles about allowances, I found a couple that resonated with me. These articles were different from everything else I had read or thought about. What I liked most about what I read was that these articles had rules for giving the kids allowances, which I thought was important.

    The Allowance Rules I Liked

    • The allowance is not tied to anything; you give it to them without any expectations.
    • I WILL not give an allowance for good grades.
    • I do not give an allowance for doing chores.
    • The best rule is that you stop buying things for them.
    • I don’t love this last rule, but you should let them use their money however they want (within reason, obviously).

    The allowance is not tied to anything, so they don’t have to earn it. Each month, we just put the money into their account. I will explain later how much we give them.

    I will not give an allowance for good grades. School is vital to us as parents. Our children are expected to go to school and earn good grades. Are they expected to have straight A’s? No, they are not. They are expected to do the best that they can. We will not pay them to do well in school. This is just an expectation.

    I do not give an allowance for doing chores. Everyone in the house is expected to help keep it clean. Everyone pitches in and helps. Is our house spotless? Nope, never. We do the best we can to keep it clean. They each have their own space that they need to stay clean, and they do the best they can.

    The best rule is that I stopped buying everything for them. Please don’t take this the wrong way. I buy the necessary things for them, such as clothes, school supplies, specific activities, or vacations. The things I won’t buy for them are what they want, such as stuffed animals, toys, and clothes they want, not what they need or treats at the store. They have to buy all these things themselves.

    This last rule is the hardest for me. You are supposed to let them spend their money however they want. You let them spend their money whether they want to buy a shirt with it or a treat. My kids usually want a treat, a toy, or a stuffed animal. I am not a massive fan of this rule because my kids have too many stuffed animals, and I don’t want them to buy more. I try to guide them, but ultimately, they are in charge of their money.

    How Much Allowance Should You Give Your Kids?

    How much allowance you give your kids is a personal choice. This is how we do it, though. It is all based on age. So, for how old they are, that is how much they get for the week, for example, with my children. My 16-year-old gets sixteen dollars a week, so they get sixty-four dollars a month. My 12-year-old gets twelve dollars a week, so they get forty-eight dollars a month.

    Reasons to Give Your Kids an Allowance

    I finally realized why an allowance was so good for my kids. It gives them a chance to learn money management. When they want to buy something, they always ask if they have enough money. Most of the time, they do, but sometimes, they don’t, and I feel like that is a good lesson for them. This teaches them that if they want something more expensive, they need to save money to buy that item.

    The other nice thing is that they have stopped asking me for stuff every time we go to the store. They know that if they want something unnecessary, they have to buy it themselves.

    When they do want to buy something, I usually make them pay for it themselves. This allows them to learn how to interact with the cashier and the actual process of buying something.

    I am shocked to see how each child spends their money differently. One child has saved money for months and bought something significant. Another child saves their money and doesn’t buy very much with their money. Their account has grown quite a bit. Then I have one that spends and spends their money. They love to go to the store and shop. They are the child that is a shopaholic. I am unsure where she picked that up because I am not a shopper!

    So far, these are the reasons I love that we have chosen to give our children an allowance. Every family is different, and you must do what is best for your family. As for our family, this is what works great for us.

    Do you give your children an allowance? If you do, what techniques do you use? What do you do differently? Do your children have to earn their allowance? I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment!