Are allowances necessary?

March 28th, 2012 by Behaven Kids

Lately, I’ve noticed many kids not respecting the things that their parents have purchased for them (my kids included).  A new bike gets left out in the rain, a new movie gets scratched, and a new stuffed animal is covered in sticky gunk days after purchasing.  So how do we teach our kids to respect their things?  The last thing that we want is for them to grow up and never learn the value of keeping their things nice.  There are several options obviously but what has really worked with Reece is having him spend his own money on things he really wants, I have noticed that he is much more careful with those items.  He’s less likely to leave them at a friend’s house or outside to weather the elements.

When I was growing up, I don’t remember ever getting an allowance, at least not one that was just given to me for no reason.  When I was Reece’s age – I got $2 a week if I completed all my designated chores.  I could spend that money for TV time (I always spent some of it to watch Full House – I was in loooove with Jesse!), save it, or spend it on something when we went shopping.  My parents also gave me an opportunity to earn more money for doing extra chores.  I don’t really remember ever spending that money weekly except to watch Full House, I think I was born frugal – I loved seeing my piggy bank get full!  The first big purchase that I remember making was when I was 10, I really wanted a mail order Princess Jasmine costume but it was $32 (which even now I think is expensive for a costume, let alone 16+ years ago).  My parents told me that I could have it but I’d have to pay for half of it myself –which I did, and I wore it for several Halloweens after.   I knew how hard I worked to save that money, so I treated the item with respect.  The same goes for the Doc Martens I bought a few years later – my parents thought $110 was a ridiculous amount to spend on a pair of shoes, so they refused to buy them for me.  I wanted them so bad that I bought them for myself and wore them for YEARS (honestly I think I only threw them away a few years ago) – I wanted to get my money’s worth!

Since getting an allowance worked out well for teaching me the value of money, I have been debating giving Reece one. Right now the money that he spends on the things he wants comes from work that he does for me or his grandparents or money that he’s saved from birthdays.  He seems to be grasping the concept of money well based on the statement he made to me the other day, “Mom, I just want to look at the toys, I don’t want you to buy me any.  I don’t want you to have to spend your money because then you’d have to work more to get more and then I wouldn’t get to see you as much.”  So he understands that the only way to get money is by working for it, so do I want to mess with that and start “giving” him an allowance each week (he’d have to complete his chores for it)?

Which brings me to our “Win it Wednesday” – for a chance to win this week, comment below and let me know your thoughts on allowances.  How old are your kids?  Do you give them allowances?  That’s the ONLY thing you have to do to win – if you want extra entries you can do the following (one extra entry for each thing done):

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You can pick your prize this week from a Timmy Time Talking Timmy (ARV $25 – for those who have younger kids) or a Wilson Mini Football (ARV $20 – for those with older kids).  Both would make great additions to any Easter basket!

Giveaway will end March 29th, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. Winner will be announced on our Facebook page on March 30th, 2012.

13 Responses to “Are allowances necessary?”

  1. March 28, 2012 at 5:11 pm, Jessica H. said:

    I don’t think allowances are necessary. Chores, good behavior, and doing well in school were expected when I grew up and it’s the same for my boys, 6 and 3 right now. My children do get money for Christmas and/or birthday and we try to teach them to give and save with that.


    • March 29, 2012 at 9:55 am, Behaven Kids said:

      Thanks for the comment Jessica!


  2. March 28, 2012 at 5:32 pm, Doug Heffernen said:

    I think that you should give kids an allowance and then make them pay for rent, groceries, and everything else. Then set the allowance on a sliding scale where at certain age points, the allowance is decreased beacuse they are responsible for getting a job to cover some of their own expenses.


    • March 29, 2012 at 9:56 am, Behaven Kids said:

      Thanks Doug, I’ll take that into consideration!


    • May 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm, Carlos said:

      After reading we itseituntd allowances for our 7-year old ($1/week) and 5-year old ($.25/week). It’s been about one year since doing and we’ll probably make an adjustment soon but haven’t decided how much.The allowance is not based on chores (they have to do those regardless) but we will pay for extra chores.We do not require savings or charity because enforced savings or charity is not teaching the correct principle of either. However our 5% interest per month (~70% annualized) helps solve the issue of savings as they quickly see how getting their money to work for them is exciting. We do weekly allowances (Monday when FHE is) and the first Monday of a new month we count up what’s in the jar and compute interest (helps teach math and basic counting).They can pretty much spend it on whatever as long as it doesn’t break family rules so no TV in their room for us.My take on Rich Dad, Poor Dad is that it’s tightly coupled with the MLM crowd. Do you feel the same about RDPD as MLMs?


  3. March 28, 2012 at 3:12 pm, Kristen said:

    First, I am imppressed with Reese’s understanding of the work time/hours you put in to earn money! I think it says a lot that he understands not only the value of money, but the value of your time & efforts and what it means to your time with family. That is quite an accomplishment!

    I remember being 15 and explaining to my parents when they asked about my overdraft charges, “But I still have checks!!??”

    We tried allowance with my oldest son, but it didn’t stick. So we let him spend his Christmas/Easter/Birthday money however he chooses. He earns $$ for working on chores around his Grandparent’s farm. He can bbsit his sister or work on things around the house outside of his expected duties if he wants $$ for movies or dinner w/ friends.

    We haven’t discussed allowance our no for our 3yr old. But now you have me thinking!!


  4. March 28, 2012 at 10:12 pm, Sarah Acri said:

    Luckily my son is almost 3 so his rewards come in the form of stickers and the occasional piece of Starburst! I haven’t started to dish out cash yet, but I will. If you go to work daily, but don’t always meet your performance standards or you’re having an off, less productive day you still get your weekly pay. So why should it be different for children? I think providing them with a little spending cash will be good for their self-esteem. Who doesn’t feel good when they have a money to spend?! It provides teachable moments for budgeting, comparison shopping, patience, etc and as parents we’re always looking for a way to connect to our children. I know the day will come when I’m dishing out a few dollars a week, but with that will come teaching about working (when he’s older of course) and then the real lesson of “it doesn’t grow on trees” really begins!! I’m all for it.


  5. March 29, 2012 at 1:56 pm, Adrienne gordon said:

    mine are 10 and 7 and they both get allowances for chores


  6. March 29, 2012 at 2:06 pm, Shannon Baas said:

    I don’t have kids. I think they should have an allowance and be allowed to earn extra if they help out with extra jobs in the house.


    • May 24, 2012 at 3:32 pm, Mohmed said:

      A value that we hold strongly in our famliy is accountability. So, we wanted to establish a simple system that encouraged accountability for the inevitable mistakes kids make on the road to maturity cell phone overrage charges, breaking the occasional window, speeding tickets, spilling coke on the laptop, etc. (All real examples from my kids, and I’m editing out the more embarrassing ones Many times, the kids don’t have the money on hand to pay for their transgression, so we allow their virtual spending accounts to go negative and have them pay off the debt incrementally each week by garnishing their wages . In the meantime, they have to forgo their regular purchases. It’s proven to be an effective, unemotional way to reinforce our famliy value of personal accountability.Cheers,Bill


  7. March 29, 2012 at 3:14 pm, Erica C. said:

    They don’t really have allowances, but I give them money when they have plans or going out with friends. They know they won’t get to do these things though if they don’t help around the house.


  8. March 29, 2012 at 7:44 pm, Candie L said:

    I am a horrible parent, I pay the kids for every chore they complete. But they have been saving for a PS3. WE told them if they could save $100 we would pay for the rest. THey have saved $70 so far (they are 9 and 12). Thank you


  9. March 29, 2012 at 9:34 pm, Amber said:

    I’ve recently considered doing an allowance with my 5 year old son. I never had one growing up and neither did my husband, so it is a different idea to bring in to the family.

    Our son seems to expect us to buy him the newest fad toys and so we’ve discussed that perhaps allowing him to save up to buy his own toys would teach him the value of hard work and how the money piece fits in.

    I’ll let ya know how it goes!


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