Here's an interesting excerpt from Mothering Many: Sanity-Saving Strategies from Moms of Four or More. Enjoy the variety of responses and real-life ways that moms make allowance work for their families (or not)!
What are your ideas about whether or not children should receive allowance?
- I don’t think allowance should be based on doing chores. I think if you’re going to give an allowance, then give it. But, do not loan any money for extras. Chores are simply required because you live with your family.—Shannon
- I think children should have an allowance so they will learn about managing money. I also want them to learn how to tithe. However, I don’t think large amounts are appropriate. I’m thinking about starting my 5- and 7-year-olds at around $1.50 a week. Obviously this topic isn’t hugely important to me, or I already would have implemented it, but it is something I want to try.—Kate
- Ours are too young for this, but we do want them to learn the value of a dollar. We have started some introductory work in this area by giving them a little money to spend when we hit garage sales. I also give them the opportunity to sell me the candy they receive from people. And if they don’t sell it to me, I just throw it away after they go to bed! Mwa, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!—Betsy
- I’m not sure about this one; it’s always confused me a little. Kids shouldn’t be paid to breathe, and everyone has to chip in to keep things in working order. If you eat here, you work here. On the other hand, who doesn’t like getting rewarded for a job well done? We all do! The older kids have small jobs they get paid for outside of home. This summer, I’m paying my 11-year-old daughter to be my gardener. She’s in the middle of four boys though, so I feel like she does so many other things automatically, and this is one way I can reward her.—Karina
- I’m not against allowance, but I don’t see the need for it in our family. Plus, we just don’t have the finances to do it. I think it’s more important to show the children how to work hard for the family. Our children are needed.—Sheri
- My husband is a financial planner and this is how we handle allowance. We pay each child, once they turn 3 years old, a set allowance on the 15th each month. For instance, our 3-year-old would get $3 a month. Ten percent of the total amount goes for tithe (30 cents). Half of the gross amount ($1.50) automatically goes to his savings account at my husband’s work. This savings can be used for education, house down payment, or business start-up costs, as an adult. The rest ($1.20) he has to spend on his own. Because our children have all their needs and wants pretty much met, they usually just have me keep their money in their account. Lately, they’ve been saving for family vacation treats and extra things that would not be paid for by us, like souvenirs. In the Parable of the Talents, the master gave the servants “talents” which could also be viewed as allowance, since it wasn’t payment for a job. It was a “test” to see what they would do with their master’s money. The servants spent, buried, or invested that money and each received his reward for his actions. In the same way, we give our children part of our income. My husband instructs them on the hows and whys of using money properly. But in the end they either spend wisely or unwisely and each will eventually receive their “just reward” for their spending actions. As far as working outside the home, we don’t really want our children doing that, so that’s not an option with our own family’s values and vision.—Lissa
- We don’t do allowance. They help because we all live here. Don’t get me wrong; the kids don’t do all the work while I read a book or visit with friends. We all work together and all play together. They rotate with what they do. They all understand that the more they help, the more time there is for fun.—Amy
- First, we do a stewardship class with them. Right now, they each get one dollar’s worth of dimes on Monday; if I have to do something for them that they can or should do for themselves, they lose a dime. If there’s any money left on Sunday, they split it between church and savings.—Dana
- We don’t do allowance. Our philosophy on this has evolved over the years. But, I believe we are definitely settled on it now. Basically, any chores we would do ourselves that benefit the entire family are the responsibility of the entire family to work together (or individually) to get done. Any chores that we would hire someone else to do (like going to a car wash), we could instead hire one of our children to do. This provides an opportunity to teach them and give them an apprentice-type job that they can learn from. We have paid our 10-year-old to mow the lawn because my husband wanted to hire a gardener to do it. She is learning to be efficient and do a good job and hopefully will be able to work for someone else in the same way someday. We have also not paid the agreed amount if the job was not done properly—also a learning experience! It takes time, but it’s worth it! We also pay our 13-year-old to babysit for our date night once a week. She has been doing this for 2 years and makes $1 per child per hour. It’s a deal for us and a deal for her since she couldn’t find a job at 13 that pays that much! She has learned from this experience, but it has required us to keep a close eye on the process to make sure it was done to our standard.—Tina
- We’re still trying to decide about this. We’d love to hear ideas on the subject.—Laurie
- I tell my children there are things we are rewarded for on earth and some just in heaven.—Diana
- We will probably put something in place at some point, but aren’t doing it yet. We are not opposed to the idea. We think it helps them to appreciate money and learn to use it wisely. It can also be helpful as a motivator, depending on how you set it up.—Sarah