Allowance - What's your policy?

Filed under: Work Life, Chores

piggy bankMy older daughter is closing in on six years old, so we've been mulling over the idea of an allowance. After comparing how allowance was dealt with in our own childhoods, my husband and I have decided that her allowance won't be "payment" for her chores. As my husband said, "It's an allowance, not a paycheck."

So we've figured that much out, but there's so much more to consider. Like, what exactly is her allowance for? Is she now in charge of purchasing her own toys? Because if we give her the recommended $1 per year of her age, that's $6 a week. She certainly doesn't get $6 a week worth of toys now. Most expert recommend parents keep their mouths shut when it comes to what kids buy with their own money. Do I have that kind of self-control? I don't know.

We also need to decide how to handle saving and giving. I've read that some parents have their children divide their allowance three ways -- spending, saving, and giving. We'll probably do something like this too, but again -- do we decide how much she puts into each category, or should she? So many things to ponder.

A good friend and I were just discussing this same issue. She doesn't give her son an allowance, but she does pay him for jobs around the house that go above and beyond his normal chores. Another friend pays her child to do their chores -- no work, no pay. Yet another friend thinks kids and money don't mix, so she keeps the purse strings firmly in her control. There are so many ways to handle allowance -- what's the policy at your house?

Visit for tips on allowance -- including some great printables -- for kids of all ages.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.