Tips For Giving Kids an Allowance

Consider handing over a portion of your paycheck to the kids in order for them to manage their own spending. Additionally, you can also help by teaching them about budgeting and saving money. Keeping track of their allowance is another way that parents could teach their children how finances work.,

The “average allowance by age 2020” is a way to help kids know how much they should be given for their allowance and what they should do with it.

Vintage dad putting coin into son's piggy bank.

“Dad, I’d want to have those Hot Wheels automobiles.” Will you go out and grab them for me? You’re well-off.”

Kate and I realized a few months ago that our small son Gus had begun to discover that things aren’t always free. He discovered that money is required to purchase food, clothing, and, yes, even Hot Wheels. We decided to start him Gus an allowance when he began asking us to purchase him toys when we were out shopping.

Nonetheless, I had a lot of questions: Should his allowance be conditional on his performing chores? What should we provide him in terms of money? Should we require him to deposit his funds in a legitimate bank account? Giving a child an allowance is one of the simplest and most effective methods to educate them about money management, and I was eager to put in place a system that would teach him solid budgeting and financial fundamentals.

I performed a lot of study to find out the answers to my queries and come up with best practices. Below, I share what I’ve learnt in the hopes of helping other fathers raise wise money managers.

Should You Tie Allowance to Chores or Not? The Big Debate: Should You Tie Allowance to Chores or Not?

The huge argument on financial and parenting blogs is whether or not you should connect your child’s allowance to duties; that is, should your child earn their allowance by doing particular domestic tasks?

“Of course!” will most likely be your automatic response. But it’s a shockingly difficult issue to answer since each side has its own set of advantages and disadvantages:

The Case for Making Allowance Dependent on Chores

The majority of parents feel that tasks should be tied to an allowance. In fact, according to a T. Rowe Price poll, 86 percent of parents believe that children should only be paid if they assist around the home. It makes logical sense to link allowance to chores because it teaches children how money works in the real world – you have to work if you want to get paid.

Allowance-for-chores supporters believe that merely giving your kid money would cause them to grow spoilt and entitled. The logic is that if you want to instill a strong work ethic in your children, you must demonstrate that prizes are only given to those who earn them.

The Case for Giving a Salary That Isn’t Dependent on Chores

The proponents of a no-strings-attached allowance claim that the primary objective of allowance should be to educate children how to handle money and save for long-term goals, rather than to reward them for their hard work. When parents attach allowance to chores, they are more likely to concentrate on their children completing their responsibilities than than controlling the money they get.

This side also claims that attaching allowance to chores teaches kids that they only need to contribute to the family if they receive money in return. Why should children be compensated for completing household chores while their parents are not?


As a result, this group feels that attaching allowance to tasks actually prevents rather than instills a good work ethic in children. Instead of educating children to work hard and do excellent work for the sake of working hard and doing good work, you educate them that making an effort is only worthwhile if money is at stake.

Furthermore, giving your children an allowance for tasks may create a perverse incentive for them to avoid doing duties. Your children could feel that skipping a few weeks of allowance is worth it in order to avoid putting out the garbage, clearing the table after supper, or cleaning their room. So, how are you expected to get kids to perform their chores?

Between the Two Camps, a Compromise

I absolutely want my children to understand that the only way to get money in the real world is to trade your labor for it. At the same time, I want allowance to be about money management and learning to save for long-term objectives. I also want to educate my children that some duties are required of them just because they are family members.

Fortunately, there are various methods to strike a balance between the two mindsets mentioned above. One method is to split housework into two categories: Citizen of the Household Chores and Pay for Work Chores. Chores that must be completed merely because you reside in the home are known as Citizen of the Household Chores. They do not get a stipend. If your children fail to do these duties, you may impose age-appropriate consequences such as timeout or a reduction in screen time. Pay for Work duties, on the other hand, are the tasks that children must do in order to get an allowance. They won’t be paid if they don’t complete them.

This balance avoids the issue of children foregoing allowance in order to avoid particular duties while still developing the link between labor and money.

Another compromise approach suggested in The Opposite of Spoiled is to offer children a certain amount of money that they would get regardless of their circumstances — a type of living stipend. Junior must complete basic duties for free, just like mom and dad, but you will reward him with additional money if he identifies and fixes a problem around the home. So, if your child observes the vehicle is filthy and offers to clean it, you may work out a price and he’ll get compensated for his efforts. Personally, I’m drawn to this compromise because it teaches children to think like entrepreneurs.

Gus is now receiving an allowance from Kate and myself that isn’t connected to any particular duties. Simply because he is a part of our family, he has responsibilities around the home, such as emptying the dishwasher and keeping his room and playroom tidy. Gus’ stipend is primarily intended to teach him money management and patience in saving for long-term objectives. We’ll put in some larger jobs that are related to money when he grows older and capable of handling more activities.


Listen to my podcast with Beth Kobliner to learn how to turn your child become a money genius.


When Should You Begin Giving Your Children an Allowance?

If your child can perform some basic arithmetic and is beginning to ask questions about how much items cost, she’s probably ready for an allowance.

The age at which this knowledge and ability “goes online” differs from kid to child. Gus is just four years old, but he’s always been bright, and he can already read, count money, and do double-digit arithmetic problems, so we knew he was ready.

When deciding whether or not your kid is capable of managing an allowance, use your judgment. Keep in mind that kids don’t have to be wise money managers right away; they’ll most likely be delighted and want to blow their weekly budget straight away. Learning to save and spend with delayed gratification will require time and experimentation on their side. It’s all part of the process of learning.

How Much Should You Pay in Allowance?

Vintage family at dinner table discussing allowance.

After you’ve chosen to start giving your child an allowance, you’ll need to figure out how much to provide. If the goal of an allowance is to teach children the lesson of patience and delayed gratification, you don’t want to give them so much money that they can purchase whatever they want as soon as they are paid. You want them to have to save and scrimp to obtain what they desire over time.

I heard from many financial gurus that paying $1 per week each year of age is a good idea. We pay Gus this amount, so he gets $4 each week. If your children are paying for clothing and meals, they may need more money as they become older and enter middle school.

Three Jars for Helping Kids Manage Their Money

As we’ve discussed throughout this article, the main goal of allowance is to educate children about money management. That’s why, when you first start paying an allowance, you don’t simply hand over the cash. You should establish some spending and saving rules and principles.

Spend save give kids allowance jars.

The Three Jar System is a fantastic approach to accomplish this with younger children. Purchase three large mason jars from the shop. Label one jar “Spend,” another “Save,” and the third “Give” using a Sharpie.

Bring the jars to your family meeting the day you decide to start paying allowance and tell your child that she will be receiving an allowance. However, clarify that the money is subject to certain conditions. She must put aside part of her money for saving and some for giving before she can spend it – it’s never too early to begin educating youngsters about generosity.

From family to family, the amount they need to save and put aside for donating will differ. You could use percentages, but that’s difficult for a young child to grasp. We’ve instructed Gus that he has to set away at least $.25 in his donation jar and $.75 in his savings account. That works out to around 7% for donating and 20% for saving.


He may spend the remainder of the money on anything he likes (within reason). He’ll have to save up till he has enough money buy something that costs more than the $3 he has left.

Gus’ struggle with short- and long-term desires has been fascinating to see. Gus enjoys chewing gum and mints, thus he often spends his money on them. Whenever he asks for a pack of $2 gum, I take the time to show him the price label and explain him through the arithmetic so he knows that he only has $1 of spending money till next week. If he’s been talking about a Lego set he wants, I’ll tell him that if he buys the gum now, he won’t be able to afford it. You can see the cogs in his mind turning as he tries to decide if he wants the gum right now or whether he should save up and purchase his Legos later. He can sometimes defer gratification, but he typically caves in and buys the pack of gum; his abilities of delayed gratification are still developing, but they should improve over time as he has a better understanding of how the world works.

When Gus begins moaning about how much he still wants that Lego set, Kate and I remind him that he has to save more money next time by not buying gum. A suburban four-year-life old’s is difficult.

The savings jar should be utilized for short-term objectives while children are small. A four-year-old is unlikely to comprehend or appreciate the notion of retirement planning. A year may feel like a decade; seventy years may seem to be an eternity. So, for the time being, Gus’ savings jar is for putting money aside for things that cost more than $3. It normally takes a few weeks for him to save enough money for the item he desires, so he learns the value of having goals and being patient.

You may consider include long-term financial objectives like college tuition and perhaps retirement when your children become older. You may also create more complex savings plans. Some parents have a matching scheme in place, similar to what some corporations do with 401(K)s, in which they will match the amount their children save up to a particular amount. This may be an excellent strategy to encourage older children to save for long-term objectives.

The purpose of the giving jar is to educate your children the value and delight of donating money to people and organizations in need. Where can the children donate the funds? If you go to church, they may be able to place it in the collection basket. You might also have your child choose a charity to which he would want to donate his money and establish a savings goal with him. You may submit a check or donate online on his behalf with your debit or credit card after he obtains the required amount.


Is it Necessary to Use a Bank?

Financial experts usually agree that while children are young, it is preferable for them to be paid with cash and to store their money in a visible container. Putting the money in a bank makes it too ethereal for little minds still trying to grasp concepts. They can comprehend a jar full of cash more easier than a computerized figure on a bank account. Store your child’s money in the jars until he is approximately ten or eleven years old, but explain to him about how mom and dad keep their money in a bank. Gus and I have a weekly ritual of taking him to the bank with me to deposit business cheques. Every time we go, I explain to him why his parents save their money in a bank and how one day he will be able to do the same. That, he believes, is quite fantastic.

Open the savings or bank account when the kids are approximately twelve (or sooner if they inquire on their own). Then you may start dispensing allowance in a more mature manner. You may, for example, put your children’s allowance into their bank account in a similar manner to direct deposit. It’s then up to them to transfer funds to the proper spend, save, or gift accounts. You may also utilize applications to assist you manage your child’s allowance. You may assign duties to your children using FamZoo. They accumulate a balance online as they do their duties, which may be used to make online purchases or transferred to a bank account.

Maintain Consistency

Consistency is crucial when it comes to allowance, as it is with everything else when it comes to your children. If you’re going to pay an allowance, make it a weekly habit. Make your child utilize their allowance money if they desire anything that isn’t an essential life requirement. If you break that rule even once, your kids will learn that mom and dad’s rules are changeable, and that if they complain long enough, you’ll buy them stuff they can’t afford on their own.

Allowance is a crucial tool for teaching your children about money management, delayed gratification, and patience. You may expand on the skills they acquired with their allowance as they become older to teach them more complex financial ideas.

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The “average allowance by age 2021” is a blog post that discusses the average amount of money kids should have for an allowance. The article also provides tips for giving your child an allowance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to give kids allowance?

A: The best way to give kids allowance is to have them do chores around the house.

What is a reasonable allowance for kids?

A: This is a highly subjective question and will depend on the child. In general, I would say that anything between $10 to $20 an hour is fair for children of this age group.

Is giving a child an allowance a good idea?

A: No, the child will spend it on candy instead of saving for something that you want them to own.

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