Wednesday Q&A – Should I give my kids an allowance?





No matter how much money you make, how many children you have, or how much in debt you are, giving your child an allowance is always a personal opinion and choice of each family.


Now I will give you my opinion on allowances.


Should I give my kids an allowance?

I don’t believe in giving them a weekly allowance for no reason at all.  I don’t think they should get paid for just being part of your family, or just to have spending money.  While you might be able to teach them how to use money when they have it, it’s free for them, and doesn’t teach them the value of a dollar or hard work.  You work hard for your paycheck every week, so why not teach them the same.   My kids can earn money by doing certain chores or jobs.  They also can earn money by coming up with their own businesses and ways to earn money.  (lemonade stands, selling things they made, chopping and selling firewood, etc.)


Why should I give my child an allowance?

I think it’s VERY important to teach your child about how money works, how to save, give/tithe, and spend, and the importance of not going into debt.  An allowance gives your child free money, where earning money for chores is a hands on way of teaching our kids valuable lessons, especially in a time when most of the population lives in debt.  When kids earn money instead of just getting it, they consider their purchases more, are more responsible, and value what they’ve earned.  They don’t become spoiled, expecting you to provide all their desires.  If there is something they really want, they can use their own, earned money.  You are building character traits in your child when you have them give or donate a portion of their earnings as well.  They can learn how to care for others, and what an impact they can have in other’s lives.


What can they do to earn money?

My kids have normal chores that they have to do no matter what, and they don’t get paid for them.  These include cleaning their rooms, making their beds, putting away their laundry (and doing their own laundry), keeping their bathroom clean, setting and clearing the table after a meal, picking up toys, etc.  These are things that they should be responsible for no matter what.  This will train them to be responsible when they are older and out on their own.

I do pay my kids for other chores, such as cleaning the garage, special spring cleaning jobs, washing the cars or windows, etc.  I put a dollar or cents value for each chore.  If my kids want additional chores, we come up with special projects.  There is always work that needs to be done!


Should I give them an allowance without doing chores, just for being part of our family?

I don’t believe this teaches children the lesson of work = money.  In reality, when kids are older, they need to work to get a paycheck right?  Well, let’s teach that to them now.  It will help them learn to work hard, and how to have a good work ethic.


What if I don’t earn enough to pay for chores?

Kids can be paid 10 or 25 cents for each chore, or they don’t have to earn money at all.  They can work toward coupons (for a special date with Mom or Dad alone or a friend sleepover or playdate, etc), or sign up for freebies you can get mailed to you.  Stock up and have a prize basket ready.


Should my kids save it all or be allowed to spend it however they want?

I have 3 jars for my kids, and each child has a savings account.  I encourage them to give/donate some and save some, and allow them to spend some.  My kids can choose where to spend, but we still have our influences over their larger purchases, and definitely put limits on frivilous spending.  We also encourage saving by matching dollar for dollar what our kids save in their saving accounts.  They are not allowed to spend this on just anything, but can apply it toward a larger purchase or investment, like a car, small business, college, house etc..  Remember to take advantage of those teachable moments, and never allow them to buy anything they can’t pay cash for.  This will help them later in life to stay out of debt.


Here are a couple tools to help your kids save: (little jars labeled with each category are cute too!)






What age should my kids start earning money for chores?

Kids can set the table, help fold laundry, and feed pets as early as 2.  Remember at this age, they don’t have  a concept of money.  I don’t start paying for chores until my kids understand the earning concept.  This usually is around age 5.  Be patient with them as they learn.  Even let them spend it on something they may regret.  It will be a good lesson that they can only learn the hard way sometimes, and it’s better that they learn with a pack of gum or toy than with a house or car later in life.



Do you have any other tips on kids and money?

If kids want to buy a larger ticket item, have them wait for a while to really think about it, and if it’s really something they want to spend their money on.  It may just be a fad for them that may wear off very quickly.  Never give them an advance or loan to buy something now, or even let them borrow money until you get home.  If they aren’t prepared, they have to wait.


Check back next week for more tips on teaching your kids about money.  We’d love to hear your tips too and advice on allowances!  Let us know what you think!


“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”  Proverbs 22:6






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