Tuesday, March 18, 2014

When Should Kids Get An Allowance (If At All)?

This is a huge hot topic in my home. My husband has never been for giving our grade schooler an allowance. His idea is that our son must earn money. Now, this isn't money earned in a "do your chores and get paid" but money earned as we do by contributing and solving problems in our workplace. My husband just didn't care to hand money over just because.

This was tough for me. My parents weren't consistent but they did believe in a Sunday allowance. As I got older my mother began handing me a couple of dollars every school day. Having some money no matter how little felt empowering. I eventually began saving the dollars I had for "bigger buys." 

With both sides of it laid out, what's your take? To give or not to give? We went with giving my son an allowance (when he was 7 years old) and here's why:

1. He learns to manage money by having it. He doesn't obsess as much about us buying him items because he now has his own money to manage and count on. He is also well aware that this money isn't a must. We often remind him this is an optional allowance given by us. We reserve the right not to give him an allowance. This diminishes the whiny entitlement that might result every single Sunday.  

2. He isn't constantly asking us to buy him stuff. We found a dollar amount we could agree on. The hubby and I decided on $4 dollars every Sunday. I wanted to do $7 but my better-half thought that was too much for a 7 year old ($28 monthly). In hindsight, I believe he was correct and $4 has been a happy medium for all. My son manages his 4 bucks weekly and can decide on spending it daily on knick-knacks or save it for big ticket items. Saving money can be tough for a youngin' but our son is learning the concept of delayed gratification. At this age there's such value in accepting that not all things can or should happen instantly. 

3. He becomes responsible around the concept of money. He's expected to remember and kindly remind us it's Sunday and ask if we'd like to give him the allowance (not demand it). I've always given it, though there was once a time I deducted 3 dollars (of $4) for a frame our son broke and we agreed he should replace. We also make it his responsibility to keep his money in a safe place and responsibly save for whatever he'd like to buy that costs more than one week's allowance.

These are a few of the factors we considered. 
What have you decided in your home? 
Yay or Nay on an allowance for kids?

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