Allowances? . . or Work? . . or Both?
question of allowances is often raised by parents
and children alike. While it is a personal decision,
the concept of giving an allowance and having
work income seems to work best. Parental goals,
when paying an allowance, should be to:
- Shift some spending decisions
from parents to the child.
- Eliminate or dramatically
reduce the need for the child to have to ask
- Provide a method, under
proper supervision, for learning about accumulating
money and also wise spending techniques.
Establish a base allowance for each child. If
the child wants more money, then, create a list
of jobs and other duties which the child can perform,
at will if, they want to earn additional money.
For each item on the list there should be a set
amount of compensation and a complete description
of the work to be done, so there is no question
about when a task is properly completed. Children
will form good work habits and job skills by keeping
their own weekly and monthly records. List the
dates jobs are assigned and completed, extra jobs
available to increase earnings, savings, etc.
Also, children can keep track of progress towards
reaching their savings goal.
Birth to age eight
1) Assign basic household chores.
Even 4 year olds can make his or her bed and pick up playthings.
Have a list of" little jobs" that small hands can
do to earn a dime or quarter. Provide a piggy bank for savings
and little sheets for easy record keeping.
2) Don't buy toys on demand. Help them to
look forward to birthdays and holidays for special items.
3) Let the child learn about actions and consequences.
Having possessions brings responsibilities.
Ages 8 to 12
4) Allow your child to begin making
more decisions on their own. Encourage comparison
shopping for instance.
5) Give a specific allowance and stick to it - or
none at all. That's right! Some parents have found
the best way to teach children to value money is to have them
6) Don't pay youngsters for doing regular chores.
If you do, there may come a time when she or he might refuse
you because money isn't needed.
Ages 13 and Older
7) Be consistent. Continue to
have daily household chores. No child should be too busy to
pick up after her or himself and also help out around the house.
8) Help your child forget his or herself. A
great family activity is donating time and/or funds to a worthy
Parents, educators, others interested, may receive by return
mail the Institute of Consumer Financial Education's Reading
List. It contains books, videos and course workbooks
for all ages PLUS there are also several guidebooks for
parents and teachers too.