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4 DECISIONS TO MAKE ABOUT ALLOWANCE AND CHORES FOR KIDS 4 DECISIONS TO MAKE ABOUT ALLOWANCE AND CHORES FOR KIDS

Should I give my kids an allowance? How much should it be? Should they do chores to get their allowance? So many questions, but what are the answers? Here are four things to consider.

1. Decide why you want to give your kids an allowance

I gave my kids an allowance to teach them how to manage money. I made them give 10% to the church and set up savings accounts and made them put 10% into the bank. I also taught them to choose a toy that was about $10 or so, and put some money into a separate fund for that, which I kept for them. We would count the money as it grew, and when the balance hit the desired amount, we’d celebrate by going to the store and buying the toy.

As we kept setting a savings goal, I discovered the kids didn’t even want to save for anything in particular. They would just put money into this extra savings fund and watch it grow. They seemed to learn more from this savings fund than the required 10% savings fund too. I think it had to do with the control they had over this savings fund.

My kids had the ability to take out the money when it hit the predetermined amount and spend it. And because they had this ability, they found they enjoyed watching the balance grow-instead of pulling it out and spending it. They had choices.

2. Decide how much should you give your child each week

The website The Balance says that the average weekly allowance for kids between the ages of four and fourteen is $8.91. In general, the consensus seems to be $1 per week per years old of your child. So a four year old would receive $4 a week allowance, and a fourteen year old would receive $14 a week. But you are the parent, and this is just a starting point-you can adjust the amounts according to your personal budget. You can also offer extra money for extra chores above and beyond regular household duties. You may need to adjust your program after a few weeks, if the kids seem to have too much disposable income. Or not enough.

3. Decide whether you want the allowance to be tied to things your kids do

Some families choose to tie allowances to chores, and as the kids get older to their grades. As I said before, I kept allowance and chores separate. I didn’t reward my kids for good grades either-my parents told me good grades were their own reward, and I guess that stuck with me. But again, you are the parent and there are no hard and fast rules with this-set up a system, try it for a month, then revisit and adjust accordingly.

4. Decide how chores factor into the equation

My kids had chores to do every week, but I didn’t tie their allowance to the chores. I told the kids that the chores were because they are part of a family, and everyone in the family has responsibilities to help our family be successful. We all share in the fun, and we all share in the responsibility. I explained what my chores were and what their father’s chores were-and these chores had to be completed to help our family be successful. Now it was time for the kids to have responsibility and help make the family successful.

The website The Spruce lists acceptable chores by age-again, a great place to start. I was a mean mom-I had my kids doing their own laundry at age eight. It wasn’t perfect laundry, but it was done. And sometimes done is better than perfect. Ironically, when my kids come home from college I offer to do their laundry for them. And most times they decline, telling me it’s no big deal and they just appreciate being able to use my laundry facilities.

Please comment and let me know your thoughts on this post-how is your household set up for chores and allowance?

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