Thursday, June 05, 2008
Allowance for kids- Do you do it?
As of Monday, we've started giving our almost 3 1/2-year old son, Snuggle Bug, a small allowance.  He's been getting a quarter per day.  To earn it, he has to help pick up the toys in the living room and his bedroom each night before bed (this takes about 15 minutes).  

He has very little concept of the value of money but he's already learning.  To him, money means he can buy candy (every so often we let him put a quarter in the gum ball machine at the local pizza joint down the street) or small toys.

These past few nights, he's been very cooperative in his chores and eager to get his quarter after picking up toys.  He then goes and puts it in his piggy bank (it's already pretty full with the loose change that Oronzo and I have been adding to it for quite some time, he's just now aware of the piggy bank).  

Yesterday, when he was supposed to be napping, he decided to get into his piggy bank (it has a little plug at the bottom to shake out the change) and he crammed all of his change into his pockets.  It was spilling out onto the floor and that's what alerted us to the fact that he wasn't actually napping.  I couldn't help but laugh when I saw him standing there, with his pockets bulging with coins. :)

If we continue on with a regular allowance, I'm considering getting three jars, labeling them "save", "spend", and "give" and teaching him to evenly portion out his allowance into those three jars and teaching him what those terms mean.  He's a bit young to teach him about a bank savings account, but he can physically see what saving money means.  We can let him spend some of his money purchasing small toys at Target or other stores.  We can have him donate a portion of his money in the collection basket at church.

Can you tell we're winging it here?  We're not really sure what we're doing yet.

So, do you give your kids an allowance?  If so, do you tie the earnings to chores inside or outside of the house or do your kids just get an allowance to teach them money management?  What do you consider the pros or cons of allowances?  Did you get an allowance as a child (we did not)?

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6:00 AM

At 6:52 AM, Blogger Mary said...

A long time ago, in the 1960s my allowance was a dime for each grade level per week--$.30 in 3rd grade. I didn't get paid for chores, but did get 'fined' for some things. (A nickel for leaving towels on the bathroom floor is one I remember). We gave our son allowance (he's now 28) and the only thing I would change is that we made allowance "free money" and I don't think that prepared him for budgeting and managing his own money as well as I would have liked. I like your jars.

At 7:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes I got an allowance as a child, I got $10.00 a week when I was young and it increased to $25.00 as I got older (I grew up wealthy and I REFUSE to allow my kids to follow in my footsteps even if we win the lottery).

Hubs did not do allowance, he grew up being taught that a household was a teams responsibility where everyone is to help out, period. He appreciates that and would like to see our household run the same way.

With Claire being 4 1/2 we really haven't decided at what point she will do chores for money, but my husband said that she will receive no more than $1.00 a week. If the kiddos do something special and over the top he is willing to tip them i.e. help a little sibling do something they can't do, or help mom with something she knows mommy would like.

Hubby would also like to see us have three jars as well.

At 7:31 AM, Blogger Becky said...

HI! I'm also an adoptive mom....but just a MOM!
Our 8 yr. old son gets $3 a week. We started at $5 but, that was stretching our one income budget! HA! We have him give at church and encourage savings but, he is not good at that! He wants to spend as soon as he gets it! This will be a lesson he'll have to learn!
We do not tie the allowance to chores and jobs he is expected to do as a member of the family. In those situations, it's easy for him to say, "I don't want to do ____, I don't care if I don't get my money." So, the jobs are not negotiable! The allowance is a tool to teach him about money.
Our 3 yr. old daughter does not recieve one. Haven't been sure about how to handle that??
Great blog topic! I may have to see what my few readers have to think about it soon!
Blessings.........such a beautiful blog!

At 9:15 AM, Anonymous Christine A. said...

My first allowance was a quarter a week . . . my parents did the allowance thing on and off, but it was never tied to chores.

I think allowance is SO important! Kids need to be taught about how to use money. Most of the debt problems people have today are simply because they don't understand how to deal with their money.

Our kids get $3 a month. They put half of that into savings (we will require them to save half of all the money they earn until they move out of the house) 10% is tithing, paid to our church (this part we're trying to teach as one of our values, but will be more up to them as they get older) and the last 40% is for them to spend. For their spending money, we got them each a check register, and keep track of their money there instead of giving them the actual money. It actually works really well! They can see how much they have without counting it, and it doesn't get played with or lost. Also, this way we don't have to worry about them bringing their money with them when they might want to spend it, we just pay for things and they subtract them from the register when they get home. Then of course there's the benefit of teaching them how to use a check register.

We don't tie allowance to chores. I think it's fine to do it either way, but we don't because we don't want them to learn that everything they do around the house is for a reward. They do chores because they're part of our family and we all pitch in to keep things nice. They do earn money for extra jobs though.

As they get older, I plan to increase their allowance and start letting them buy things like clothes, shoes, and even toiletries with it. That way they'll have more of an understanding of what things cost before they're on their own.

At 12:35 PM, Blogger ~TAMY 3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

I love that you are starting him at a 'daily' rate. He'll learn so much more and so much faster that way. In our house the piggy bank had come from grandma and when we were little 1/2 of all birthday and Christmas money was put into the "piggy" for saving for BIG items like bicycles and such. The other 1/2 was at our discretion. We also had the 3 jars though for the little every day things (SPEND), movies and outing like amusement parks (SAVE) with friends and then for our offerings (GIVE) at church on Sunday. By making it a weekly thing, it truly became habit.

At 12:38 PM, Blogger Milk Mama said...

We didn't get allowances at all. My parents didn't have enough money for that. I did work though. I babysat a ton of children and saved all of the time.

I think your son will love the photobooth. You should share the pics on a wordless wednesday post... oh wait, you don't share pics like that. Never mind, but I'm sure your son will love that!!! :D

At 4:16 PM, Blogger Sheila said...

We started allowance at 3 based on chores. We still do it that way.

After all, when they're adults, they don't get money for doing nothing. They have to work for it! So let's start that now.

We give $1 per year of age, but it goes like this: 10% charity, 30% spend now, 30% save for something, and 30% save for university.

The girls have quite a nest egg for university now.

All birthday money, Christmas money, and baby-sitting money is divided up the same way.

And it works great! The trick to making kids learn about the value of money is this, though: never ever ever buy them anything, except at birthday and Christmas. If they want a chocolate bar while you're out, they have to use their own money. It gives them an incentive to do their chores.

You can read more about this in my book, To Love, Honor and Vacuum! I have a whole chapter on it.

Visit To Love, Honor and Vacuum today!

At 8:16 PM, Anonymous chris said...

We never gave our children allowance for doing chores. We game them lunch money and that's about it. When they needed something, they had to work it off and save for it.

At 12:44 AM, Blogger Chelley said...

My kids dont get allowances for chores but they can earn money doing extra little things the most they can be paid is $1 per year of how old they are eg if you are 6 you get $6

At 7:57 AM, Blogger (((((HUGS))))) sandi said...

We've not done allowances, as it's never been in the budget. We have taught them how to donate/tithe, save, and spend though~but we always leave the actual CHOICE to do so up to them. They are very pleasantly surprising in their decisions! (((((HUGS))))) sandi

At 5:30 PM, Anonymous chelle said...

shhh don't tell our daughter that she could be getting paid! hehe She clears her dishes after every meal, makes her bed and tidy's up her toys all because we ask her to.

At some point we will start an allowance but probably not till she asks for it.

At 4:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said... has a kit and good suggestions for teaching children to save, give and spend

bills beloved

At 7:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did get an allowance as a child, but I can't really remember how much it was -- maybe a dollar a week? It did teach me to save money, though. We will do an allowance with our daughter, but I'm not sure what age to start. We'll also probably do the share/save/spend -- I want to read some more of Nathan Dungan to get a better understanding of this.

At 2:49 PM, Blogger Kathie said...

I really like the jar idea.
Blessings from Costa Rica

At 8:43 PM, Anonymous furrybluemom said...

we don't give an allowance, but do pay our kids for various jobs around the house. Yes it does create a lot of I'm not doing that, I don't need the money. But they do work when they need money!
Our one twist is that we set up a credit account when the twins had learned percents in school.(around age 10) They keep their money on account with Me and on the 1st of each month I pay interest on any positive balance, 10%. I also collect interest on any debt, 10%. each child began with a credit limit of $20. They have a chance to increase their limit if after 1 year they prove to be good credit risks. I do take deposits of gift money and will exchange gift cards for cash.
One son figured out that if he kept his holiday gift$100 on account for 16 days (past the 1st)he would have an extra $10. The second son is a I must spend it now guy. Our third son lives in debt, only making the required $1 minimun payment each month and maybe paying off the interest.


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It wasn't supposed to work this way...Parts 1 through 10

(the story of the private, domestic adoption of our son)

(Part 1)
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Fostering isn't for the faint of heart!

(our journey to adopt again through foster-to-adopt, the good, the bad, & everything in between)

Adoption #2- considering the State
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Family Foster Home Licensing Prep Checklist
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Being a Foster Parent Does Not Make Me A Saint
Adoption #2- Another Placement Call!
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Adoption #2- We have Boo at our home!
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Adjusting to three 3 and under!
Stressful moments in fostering.
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CPS Workers Jerking Our Chain!
It's getting much worse!
Fostering: Update on Baby Bug
Fostering: Update on Boo
The effects of fostering on Snuggle Bug
The time is drawing near to let go of Baby Bug.
Good conversation with Baby Bug's dad.
Boo has a Permanency hearing coming soon!
My heart is breaking!
Bittersweet news about Baby Bug.
Next Friday is going to be tough.
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Working on finding peace, one day at a time.
Referral to the Early Intervention Program
Baby Bug update
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Baby Bug is turning 1 year old soon.
Day 2 of Boo's permanency hearing
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Termination Trial date set!
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