Are You Doing Allowance Right?

Ha! That was just an attention grabber.  There isn’t really a right or wrong way to manage allowance, as long as you are consistent and communicate the rules to your kids.


The big controversy is whether to tie allowance to chores.  Some say that allowance should be earned by doing specific work around the house.  Others maintain that allowance is a tool to kids about managing money and household chores should not be rewarded with pay.  After all, does Dad get paid for cooking dinner or Mom for cleaning the kitchen?  No!


My husband and I disagreed on this, so we came up with a hybrid system.  Some chores are required no matter what and that’s what your allowance pays you for.  In our house, those include making the bed, taking care of the cats, lawn mowing/shoveling snow, taking out trash, and setting the table for meals.  Other things above and beyond can be negotiated for extra pay.  My personal favorite is cleaning the baseboards which I HATE to do and am glad to pay minor a few bucks to do for me.


We also use the system of requiring part of allowance to go into a Save bank and a Give bank.  This hopefully gets in their minds that not every penny earned is to be spent on pleasure.


We’ve had hiccups.  My older son was raiding his Save bank for large purchases and I didn’t know for a while.  So I hid that bank from him because he can be sneaky.  A bank account would be a MUCH better learning tool, but frankly, I’ve been too lazy to start that because it means extra trips to the bank for me.  Plus with rates so low, it’s not like they get to see the beauty of compounding interest.


So you see, even a financial planner has holes in her allowance policy, but we are all doing the best we can with the time and patience allotted.  Keep trying, parents!  It’s worth it in the end.

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