Giving Kids an Allowance – Things that Break the Budget and How to Avoid Them

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Last week I talked about providing just the basics for your children, and letting them use their own money to pay for any extras they want.  Because the kids spend their own funds for extras they are more likely to value them and take care of them.  This week I’m going to talk about how I think they should get that spending money.

There are many different views on allowances for kids.  Some say they shouldn’t get it.  Others say they should be given it.  And still others say it shouldn’t be an allowance and that they should earn it.  I actually agree with all 3 points.  (fickly, I know LOL) I also agree with the principle that people won’t know what to do with something they’ve never had before.  

At our house the kids were given an allowance, and part of it was attached to daily chores expected of each child.  If they chose not to complete their chores, I did them and the kids paid me a portion of their allowance. At the end of the week if they had chosen to not do chores all week they’d still have a small amount of money left over.  Why?  Because they need to have a little money to learn how to manage it wisely.  If they wanted more money because they were saving for something special they could always ask for extra chores to earn extra.  When we were going to the store the kids knew to take their money with them so they could buy any extras they wanted. Bottom line: The money for the candy at the register or toy they just had to have didn’t come from our budget. You can read more about how we handle allowances and the break down of “maid money” here.
'how to teach kids money skills' photo (c) 2010, Carissa Rogers - license:
Whether you give your kids money with no strings attached or make them earn every penny they get, give you 10 yr old $1 a week or $20, kids need to receive money regularly so they can begin to learn how to manage it.  Otherwise they’ll go off to college and spend money as if grows on trees.  Besides it’s really nice to hear your 8 yr old son say that the new action figure he wants isn’t worth the $14.97 Walmart wants for it so he’ll find one at a garage sale for $1 instead!

What about your family?  Do you give your kids an allowance and if so how much for what age kids?  Or do you require the kids to earn all their money through chores or give no allowance at all?  I’d love to hear how other families handle allowances.


  1. Totally agree that kids need to have/earn money consistently to truly understand and practice money management. They have to practice in a safe environment to learn to ride a bike. Why not apply the same theory to learning about money management?

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