Allowance Do you do it?
Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive June 2004:
Allowance Do you do it?
My kids are 8 and 9. I am thinking of giving them allowance to start getting them thinking more about the cost of things. They just do not seem to understand that a $50 playstation game is a lot of money!
If you give your children allowance how much do you give? Are they required to work for it or do you just give to them?
Lexi is 6 she gets 5.oo a week. No chores are tied to it, she has to do things to help out b/c she is part of the family. I want her to have $ so that she can squander it on crap and learn about that now. Also how to save for something worh while. I also want her to have money so b/c sometimes she might, as a natual consequence have to pay for something, like a babysitter the next time I go shopping if she didn't behave the last time she went with me.
"I also want her to have money so b/c sometimes she might, as a natural consequence have to pay for something, like a babysitter the next time I go shopping if she didn't behave the last time she went with me."
OOOOH Love that one! Great punishment! LOL
My girls ages 4 & 6 get $2.00 per week. We weren't going to start giving them anything until they were older, but we changed our mind.
They are really getting good at saving the money until it adds up! My oldest saved up almost $10.00 to spend on our vacation. She was *so* excited to have *soooo* much money to spend on whatever she wanted. A couple of times she wanted to buy her own Happy Meal....but we talked her out of it LOL
When they are a couple years older, when they turn 8, we will bump it up to $5.00 per week.
Our kids don't "work" for their allowance. They have chores to do regardless.
My DH was paid his allowance growing up based on if he completed chores or not. If he did his chores, he got his allowance. If he didn't, then no allowance. Funny as it may sound, that attitude has carried over into our marriage. He won't just do something because it needs to be done. He really expects a reward or a cheer if he does "chores" around the house. He is reluctant to do things if there isn't some type of reward. I hate it. He knows that he does it. We discussed the allowance issue and decided that our kids allowance wouldn't be based on chores.
They can earn extra money by doing tasks that they wouldn't normally have to do.
Christian is seven and he will start getting an allowance next week. He will get 20.00 a month. He has to put aside $4.00 for his cub scout monthly dues. The rest he can do what he wants with.
IF we go to KFC or get pizza or something, and he wants something other than what we plan to order, he will be able to use his money. (He only likes cheese or pepperoni pizza and kids meals at KFC.)
He has already said that he wants to save his money up and has mentioned the things he is saving up for. He is all for the arrangement we have made.
He has certain things he has to do around the house, just because he is expected to. However, if he wants to earn more money, he asks if I have jobs.. for example, picking up the apples or plums that have fallen off the trees, or pulling weeds, things like that.
I go back and forth on the chores for allowance issue. We have done both. My son kind of got that attitude of "well, I won't do it if you don't pay me" but when he stopped having money for things, his attitude changed. My daughter on the other hand, is very willig to help out, but has no clue about money. She is dying to spend it as soon as she gets it. We sort of do a combo, basic chores, base allowance with chance to earn extra money.
I wrestle with it myself because except for SAHM, it's the only time I ever did work for free! LOL
My how allowance has gone up! LOL
I'm not consistent with allowance. Both of my children help out around the house but they don't get paid for it! I keep a bag of quarters around and if one of my children does something really sweet to the other, or just happens to pick up a mess without a nagging mommy, then I give a quarter or two.
My boys get $1/year of age, so my 7 y/o gets $7/week and 10 y/o $10. I think that's a lot and DH didn't. They are racking up money pretty quickly and spending it frivously. We discussed it again and have started making them pay for some of the things we would normally pay for, like a snack at after-school daycamp twice a week, souvenirs on vacations, etc. Of their money they have to tithe 10%, put 20% in long-term savings, and the rest is theirs to do with as they please (except for the things like snack, etc. that they have to cover).
Allowances at our house aren't tied to chores. As a part of the family everyone has jobs they have to do to make the household run and everyone gets to partake of the household "kitty." My boys are expected to make their beds daily, keep their rooms clean, clean their bathroom once a week, empty the garbage cans weekly, and each feed a pet daily. Additional chores may be tacked on due to behavior (i.e., if I find dirty socks around the house and/or clothes are inside out in the hamper they have to sort clothes and help with laundry) or to earn additional money.
My 13 year old gets $5., 10 and 8 year olds get $3. and 7 year old gets $2 every Saturday. They aren't tied to chores either but can earn more for special tasks they are asked to perform.
They can spend it on what they want or save up for something special. They do pretty well. They do tend to be more picky about their choices when it is their money they are spending.
For birthday and holidays which they get money from relatives they can keep half but have to put half in the bank, to save for the future. They each enjoy seeing their account balances grow!
My 9-year-old is asking for an allowance. I can't decide. He has friends who get $1/per age/per week and he has friends who get $1/every day and he has friends who get $5-10/month. In the case of the first two ($9/week and $7/week) the kids pay for ANYTHING they want. So they have to save for the video games. In the case of the lower allowance of $5-10/month the parents still buy the kids certain high dollar things and the allowance is for the candy or the neopets and other small things.
I have also in the past paid him to do certain things around the house, but then I'm at the mercy of his mood and desire for money at any given moment and I'm not sure I like that. I think the better lesson to learn is that we all have to do things we don't want to do rather than you only do something if you're rewarded for it, otherwise you're getting screwed. So I'm steering away from that.
So, I don't know, but I'm glad you brought this up. It's very timely for me!
I agree, allowance and chores should not be tied, and chores should be done regardless of allowance because you are a member of this household and everyone in the household pitches it. When chores are not done there should be penalties (like, you can't go out to play until this chore is done to my satisfaction), but not reduction of allowance. And I think there should be clear guidelines on what mom/dad will pay for and what the child must pay for out of his/her allowance. I do agree that paying for special chores is a good idea, but when that is done the chore must be done properly and no pay until it is done properly.
As to the amount of allowance, to some extent that depends on what you can afford and think appropriate (not the same thing), what other kids are getting, and what the allowance is supposed to cover.
For example,I have read of families that expect the allowance to cover clothes and the allowance is a proportionately large amount; others expect it to cover snacks/toys type stuff only, and then it is based on what things cost and what the parents want the child to have. Other families have a clothing budget amount for a child and allow the child some choice - still others do what I did, buy what is needed and choice is limited to picking within the selections I approve (I had boys and life - and clothing style - was much simpler then).
Every financial expert I've read says allowances are a good thing because they help a kid learn at an early age how to manage money, set priorities and make choices. And community/peer standards are important. If all the boys go for burgers and sodas after a game or practice or whatever, your son will be left out of this important social stuff if he can't afford it - that's part of what you keep in mind when you set allowance levels.
One of the things I resented growing up was that I didn't have the stuff the "other kids" had, but I truly didn't know until I was almost 18 how poor my parents had been for most of my then young life. In reaction, when I became a single parent and my kids began to think about money, I sat down with them twice a year and went over money stuff with them - this is how much I make, this is what is left after taxes, this is what we have to spend on groceries, transportation, clothes, etc., etc., and this is how much is left as discretionary funds. One of the results of this practice is they stopped asking so often for me to buy them this or that because they had a better understanding of what was available to buy what was advertised on TV. Two became good money managers and savers (one partly because he is married to a good money manager), the youngest is only now really working on that and still doesn't do well at it from what I can see.
My kids get $5 each Saturday that they can save or spend, whatever they decide. They aslo get $10 each Friday directly deposited into their savings accounts. That money they can't touch. Occasionally they will save up enough at home that they want to add to their savings accounts (well, Randy will anyway, Robin usually spends his!). Their allowence isn't tied to chores, either. I do need to start making them help out around the house more, though. For a while they were cleaning the table off, taking the trash out and unloading the dishwasher. We've slacked on that, and that's our fault. Time to get back on them!