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How do you handle chores and "allowance"


DesertBlossom
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Just curious how other people do it. We have a fairly good system in place right now but still I am wondering. Especially after DS's friend revealed he gets a lot more money than DS and now DS is feeling picked on.

 

I believe kids need to help out just because we're part of a family and we work together. But I also find it really helpful when they have their own spending money because they are a lot more thoughtful about the things they want if it is their own money they have to spend. So I have tried to find a balance.

 

Also, how do you handle savings? Charity or tithing? Or can they spend everything they earn?

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My children have received an allowance since age 5, starting from 25 ct/week and increasing gradually as the expenses grew for which they are responsible.

 

Our main goal in giving an allowance is to teach financial responsibility and give them the opportunity to practice handling money without high stakes. They had their share of impulse buys that were later regretted, have learned to save for larger purchases, and we never had whining for stuff because I did not have to deny a purchase - I could simply say "yes, of course dear, you may buy (insert random plastic junk) with your own money." Interesting how many wishes dissipated immediately.

 

I do not tie chores to allowance, because I do not pay my kids to help in the home; they are expected to help when asked because they are part of the family.

I only paid extra for tasks above and beyond regular help: moving the lawn, and ironing shirt which I hate.

 

My kids are free to use their own money as they see fit. I encourage saving, but don't mandate it. My children have limited sums of money available; I do not make them give to charity, but sometimes they join us in on our Heifer purchases. 

Edited by regentrude
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Money paid to the kids is theirs to spend and not tied to chores. As the adult I take care of donations etc along with bills and food. Part of this is simply that I saved all my childhood and the amount saved by 15 was about enough to buy a shirt. For chores they help when asked.

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My parents also did not tie allowance to chores.  However, we were not allowed out to go spend our money until our chores were done.  :P

 

I have been bad about this.  I keep saying I'm going to give them an allowance, but I never get around to doing it.  So I can't say what works for us, yet.

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I don't do allowance nor set chores.  I ask for help as needed.  Sometimes they voluntarily help when they see it is needed.  This is not to say they are perfect about it.  Of course not, but I don't want to set up specific ongoing chores.  I give money for needs.  I give some money for wants.  They can spend money they get as gifts on whatever they want.  I do not require charitable giving nor paying for club memberships I require of them (my view of what tithing is).

 

 

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Their day to day chores were not tied to allowance, but we offered extra and above jobs for pay.  This was not always typical job related stuff (though sometimes it was).  It might be something to further their passion -- to help motivate it.  For example, we offered our daughter a certain amount of money to compose five songs.  She attributes her motivation to purse music to that challenge many years ago.

 

If the kids ever wanted to earn extra money for something beyond what we typically paid for for them, we usually came up with something to help them earn it. 

 

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We don't do it.  (Gasp!)

 

Money is family money.

Chores are family responsibility.

 

Plus?  It makes them eager to work and earn as teens.

Our 17yo and 20yo each bought their own first car.  Our 14yo is saving for hers now.  (We do have the perk of having family members who run real, working farms and need farm labor for short periods during the spring.)

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They earn allowance, but it is tied to schoolwork/behavior and not chores. We call school their "job" and they get paid for the "quality" of their "work". This includes attitude, turning in completed work on time and well done, and good chapter quiz scores.

 

Chores for us are just things that we all do because we all live here. My children are allowed to "hire" a sibling to do something for them with their allowance money if they choose. If I have to do something they were asked to do, they must pay me for it.

 

I give them a lot of freedom in how they spend their allowance. There are some things I say no to if I simply do not want it in my house or something...but for the most part they buy legos...so no complaints from me. 

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I forgot to answer the part about chores.

 

I am remiss as a parent, as my kids don't have many chores.  I just ask them to help out at times, or to do things for themselves vs. leave them for me to do.  They should really be responsible for at least keeping their rooms clean, but they aren't.

 

I'm not sure if it's a problem though.  A couple weeks ago, I was looking for something and I pulled a bunch of crap out of my daughter's cupboard and left it on the floor, intending to pick it up later.  The next time I looked, my daughter had cleaned it up herself.  I guess she didn't like seeing the mess.  So maybe I should not worry about that one.  The other kid however ....  :P

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I'm contemplating a sort of point system, only with money.  You do certain work (over & above basic requirements), you gain points; you leave your clothes all over the floor (etc.), you lose points.  Problem is that I don't think I would keep up with it or stay consistent.

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For those of you who don't tie allowance to chores, how do you handle it when a child doesn't do their chores?

 

They get extra chores. While mom goes behind and monitors quality and effort.

 

Mine don't have regular chores. I just ask them to pitch in "A you pick up the living room. B you dust the furniture. C carry everything that doesn't belong to that person's room and put it on their bed. D, you vacuum the carpets."

 

We pay for extra chores like picking up rocks, weeding the flower beds, cleaning the cars. Pretty much cleaning and laundry is a "you live here, you help" basis. Farm work is sometimes given a "thank you" payment at the end of the year when we sell a critter or some hay or something.

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For those of you who don't tie allowance to chores, how do you handle it when a child doesn't do their chores?

 

Either I walk them through doing it, or I stand over them while they do it, or everything else stops until it is done.  Or some combination of the three.

 

If I tied it to allowance, I'd still have undone chores because they children would perfectly reasonably decline to do the work and decline to get paid for it.  Which is in itself a life lesson, but not the one I want to be teaching right now.  It *might* work itself out in the long run because they'd eventually decide to buy themselves things...but it might be a longer run than I want at the moment.

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We also don't tie allowance to chores and don't have assigned chores. 

 

Allowance begins at age 5 and is half of their age per week. We ask them to tithe 10% to church because we believe in that. Beyond that they can do what they want with their money. As they get older we've talked about things they may want to consider saving for long term: a car, travel, gap year, college but we don't require a specific amount to be saved. We don't require them to any of their basic needs (clothes, etc) but if they want something random they can use their own money. We still buy them fun stuff/treats but not always. An example would be at the pool in the summer I won't buy junk from the snack bar but they can buy it themselves. It only took a few times of spending an entire month's worth of allowance in two purchases of overpriced ice cream for my middle son to decide he'd rather just eat at home. My youngest ALWAYS wants to buy something when we are out, she's very much an impulse shopper. I find it so much more effective to say "Sure, you can have that if you buy it yourself," than to just say no. She usually decides it isn't worth it if it's her own money.

 

Occasionally I will offer money for a job that is particularly large, hard or unpleasant. 

 

Oldest is now at the point of having some small paying jobs outside of the house. As he's gotten into middle school we've had him cover the expenses of some extra things he wants to do, like more expensive Scout trips beyond the normal camping trips. Or sometimes we'll split the cost with him. 

 

We don't have assigned chores but just expect them to help around the house when asked. We both model that, we do what needs to be done. And we have routines where they are just used to doing it. Everyone cleans up after themselves at meals and helps clean up after dinner. On big cleaning days I'll make a big list and they can choose what job they want to do and we work through the list until they are all done. They complain sometimes but in general it's never been an issue that someone just refuses to help. On occasion the youngest has refused to do a specific job that she hates so I'll just calmly tell her the consequence "Ok, you don't have to do that but then we won't be able to have a dog." (Many of the jobs she hates center around the dog.) Or "Ok, you don't have to do that, but then I won't have time to read to you before bed." Etc. That's always worked. 

Edited by Alice
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For our family the two are totally separate.  Chores are done because they need doing.  Allowance is given because we think everyone should have a bit of funds to use for personal purchases such as small treats, an occasional movie with friends, or gifts for others.

 

The allowance exception comes if one child isn't able to do their chores for reasons of other commitments or activities.  DS frequently makes $1.00/day cleaning out the cat box for his sister who has a busy social life and is frequently not home when it's time for the job to get done.  So, she pays DS from her allowance.  

 

Of course, sometimes they volunteer to pick up a chore just out of kindness.    It's not all about money.  

 

 

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My oldest is 5, so I reserve the right to change my mind. ;)

 

My kids have set chores including picking up, feeding the dog, clearing the table, loading the dishwasher, and the oldest rotates laundry and "babysits" while I do my chores. Nobody eats until chores are done. There are no exceptions so this matter is never pushed by the kids. I'm sure I'll be singing a different tune when chores take more than 5 minutes a day, but for now it works.

 

My kids will never be paid for chores, but I intend to have work for hire available. Bathe the dog $10, wash the car $5 etc.

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I pay the kids to do housework. They are 16 and 14.  We are too busy for them to get real jobs beyond babysitting and mowing lawns and I'd rather they focus on school work.  I work and am also a college student so I don't have a lot of extra time for housekeeping.  So they each get $15/week to keep up with the housework. If I wasn't paying them, I'd be paying a housekeeper MORE to come in once a week.  It works for us. They get regular spending money beyond what they earn & save outside the home and I get a clean house.

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I started the weekly allowance thing to give the kids as a money management thing. but I have always been bad about remembering to give the weekly money. when my DD was younger she had a Visa Buxx card that I set up with monthly payments. That was great. That program does not exist and I have tried to find a similar card for my DS when he was in middle school, but had no luck.

 

I did start him on a job chart for pay last year. Yes, he would do chore before just because I told him to, but but I would have to nag and discipline him to get things done. He would comply but we would both end up angry.

This way work much bett for us both. He will often do his chores with just a quick reminder to check his chart, and if he doesn't do the chore, he doesn't get paid for that. I see that as enough consequence so I don't get angry at him (very often). I don't give him other spending money, so if he wants to buy a soda or other junk, he has to use his own money. Also, he has to count up his total on payday and let me know how much he earned, so that way I don't forget to give him the money

 

The issue of other families giving more money, I think is a separate issue. That money may or may not be tied to specific chores. I told my kids that it sure is nice that Bob's family can give him so much money, but or family is not in that situation. I only have x amount each week for kids allowances. Just like it is great that some families can buy their 16 yr old a brand new car for their birthday when my kid will be lucky to get an old used car when he graduates college.

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For dd15 - she gets $10 a week and that seems to keep her, once she adds in occasional babysitting earnings (maybe $100 per quarter). When she goes out with friends they usually hang around at the mall, buy some food, maybe a small

item. She buys herself music as well. Her savings balance is going up. Big ticket purchases is the last 3 years have included a guitar and rollerblades and a camera. She's managed two of those herself and went shares with us in the other as a birthday gift. So all in all the system works well.

 

Ds9 gets $2 a week and it's an ongoing battle. He is a spendthrift. He likes to buy games for his iPod. We have ongoing drama because he wants to buy junk food (my rule is that they are not allowed the purchase food so that we keep a lid on the sugar intake - this has naturally changed with dd as she got more independent). He does manage to accumulate money (mostly because I forget to hand it over every week) and will but himself something for $10 every now and again. It works out ok, and I wouldn't want to give him more.

 

Everyone in the family contributes to family life. There is no payment for that. You do what you're asked, what needs to be done.

 

We try to limit 'stuff' in our lives, so discourage the kids from fulfilling every purchasing whim. Legitimate needs are met by us. Whims can be satisfied once a year as birthday gifts! (Christmas gifts are small).

 

We have occasionally paid for extra jobs but then they're not token payments - we pay decently and expect a proper job to be done, e.g painting a fence or washing the car.

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For those of you who don't tie allowance to chores, how do you handle it when a child doesn't do their chores?

As a previous poster said, if they don't do what's asked, life gets unpleasant for them, they want a pleasant life so they do as asked. Honestly, because it's always phrased as contributing to family life they may whinge (as I do over some chores) but they would never not too them - that would be hurting others. It helps that there's not a list, they're asked to do something that needs doing more or less immediately. Its hard to 'not do' something when it's phrased as "Please come and empty the bins and the dishwasher so I can get into the kitchen to prepare your dinner. You need to do it now."

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Just curious how other people do it. We have a fairly good system in place right now but still I am wondering. Especially after DS's friend revealed he gets a lot more money than DS and now DS is feeling picked on.

 

I believe kids need to help out just because we're part of a family and we work together. But I also find it really helpful when they have their own spending money because they are a lot more thoughtful about the things they want if it is their own money they have to spend. So I have tried to find a balance.

 

Also, how do you handle savings? Charity or tithing? Or can they spend everything they earn?

I agree with you on the two ideas: that kids need to work because we all are a family and should all be contributing, and that spending money is a great tool for learning. Therefore my kids get an allowance that isn't connected to their chores.

 

I also give away small amounts of money (quarters) for incentives in addition to their regular allowance -- and I feel free to "fine" them on the nickels-and-dimes level for various offenses (like leaving messes in public spaces).

 

Where we might differ is that I give a truly generous allowance ($8 per week to my 11yo, $4 to my 8yo) and I do a lot of teaching with it. The older one buys her own clothing now. Both can request special items and foods from my shopping. If they want to buy a gift for someone, they pay for it.

 

In addition, if they break or loose something sometimes they must replace it at their own cost -- but only if this happens through negligence, rule-breaking or advice-ignoring... Not if it is simply bad luck.

 

One of my kids is a natural saver with few wants (8yo), the other is actively saving for her own laptop with a goal of $350. Whenever she wants to spend, I query her about how this will effect her laptop goal, and she soften decides to save instead. She has spontaneously chosen some pro-saving strategies (like having me "direct deposit" her allowance sometimes, and deciding to recieve it in larger chunks less frequently).

 

For charity I set a 'minimum reccomended offering' each week at church -- for 8yo, at least 50 cents, no more than $2 (yes, she needed a maximum!) and for 11yo, 'usually about a dollar'. This represents slightly more that 10% with wiggle room. I don't make any big deal if they forget some weeks: I'm fairly hands off because the habit is ingrained by now. When/if they express a desire to be charitable in other ways, I make sure they know what they are supporting and approve various reasonable amounts.

 

They could theoretically spend everything they earn, but I would have to approve of what they were doing it for. It has only happened once or twice that one of them emptied their bank... I think the last time was in order to buy Christmas gifts that they really wanted for their grandparents.

Edited by bolt.
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We used to give an allowance weekly, not tied to chores.  We have sinced changed to a system where they don't get a weekly amount, they can do jobs which are considered "extra" to earn money.  So - they need to make their beds, keep their things tidy rather than lying around the house, and don't get paid (or not if they are lazy) for that.  But they can do things like pooper scoop the back yard or walk the dog to earn something.

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Each kid has daily chores and tasks, as do daddy and I. If they've done well during the day and not given any major attitude they get a penny for their money bank, and every Sunday we have a store we run where they can buy items out at various prices. Oftentimes they'll choose to save for weeks or months for bigger items.

 

We do this primarily to teach basic money stewardship and principles, and to control what they have access to and how much we spend - we price things in the store lower so that five or fifty pennies goes quite a bit further.

 

When it comes to allowance that's not really a thing - the kids can earn extra pennies for doing some extra tasks and being good helpers, or even doing really well on their memory verses. But if they actually need money for activities we just give it to them as needed.

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For chores:  ds16, dd14, and dd12 each do one of three chores each week.  The chores rotate.  Dishwasher/meal helper; table setter/table clearer; bathroom cleaner/laundry.  I'm trying to add dd10 into the mix, but she's short and can't do the chores independently yet.

 

We also do "15 minutes of cleaning".  The goal is to do this once a day, but we tend to miss a lot.  Set a timer, everyone cleans something, chocolate at the end.

 

For allowance:  We begin at age 6.  Each child gets $1 in dimes.  We use dimes so they can easily see what a 10 percent tithe looks like.  Each child has 5 "banks" (actually labeled ziploc bags):  tithe; missions; giving; saving; spending.  Each bag must be given at least one dime.  So, the first 50 cents is designated.  They can put the other 50 cents in whichever bank they choose.

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We have regular chores that must be done before they can work for money. These are things like picking up their toys, feeding the dogs, or putting away their laundry.

They can do extra work after their chores are done if they want to earn money. I'm cheap though. I give them a quarter or a dime for each job. On some weekends, my oldest can help DH for a dollar or two. DH is generous.

 

I do not make them save yet, but will once they are a bit older. I'm super proud of my 5 year old, though. He picks what he wants and saves his quarters until he gets there. Last thing he bought was an $80 Lego set. He saved for 7 months.

 

Sent from my HTCD200LVW using Tapatalk

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We don't tie chores together with allowance.

 

We all work to keep up our living space because we all live here.

 

The boys get an allowance because they are members of the family and get a share of the family income.

 

My decision to not tie it to allowances was underscored when we reduced their allowance by 1/2 due to a comensurate drop in income when I left my job 4ish years ago. They didn't do 1/2 as many chores because they were getting half as much. I also don't want to see older kids decide they can opt out of chores because they've started a job and don't want the money because of the chores.

 

We used to give them their age in dollars every week. So $7 a week for a seven year old. Now they get that same amount every other week on the same day dad gets paid.

 

I am tracking my expenses for my older son this year and plan to start giving him a lot more allowance when he is 14 but I will expect him to fund the expenses I am funding now out of that. I want him to have more of a real life experience with budgeting before he's on his own. So deciding to scrimp on clothes to buy more books or to realize that saying yes to too many outings means he doesn't have money for shoes or school supplies right when he needs them. We will see how it goes. He's pretty frugal and has strong savings habits so I am hopeful that it will work ok for him. I'm just trying to decide how much it will be. He already pays for 1/2 of his outings out of his $28ish a month.

 

When I go back to work more than very part time, older younger son's allowance will go back to weekly. I am thinking the larger-but-you-budget-most-of-your-direct expenses allowance will be paid monthly on a debit card and will start at about 3x what he gets now and increase as our budget starts to ease up.

Edited by LucyStoner
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My kids have family chores that are required and not paid.  DD17 cleaned the bathrooms and vacuumed (down stairs, stair case, upstairs hallway). DS21 has done the majority of the dishes and kitchen duties, He mops and sweeps once a week (half of the downstairs of our house).

 

DD17 manages some online things of mine for $15 a week.  Otherwise the kids can ask for extra chores for cash.  DS had a job since he was 15 so he didn't need extra cash.  DD17 used to ask for chores when she needed money.  

 

I don't pay a lot for chores, but pay according to their effort.  If they take an hour to do a chore that should take 15 minutes, then they got paid for the 15 minutes of actual effort. I paid a couple dollars per hour.  

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Dd was set up for an egg business for Christmas last year. Her business is currently in debt from having made a few expensive mistakes, but she is diligently keeping her accounts book and working towards profit! She doesn't spend much because I pay for any reasonably educational request and because she is saving for bee hives. Two businesses would be better than one, obviously. :p

 

I don't give her money, but I do buy eggs off her. :)

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My children have received an allowance since age 5, starting from 25 ct/week and increasing gradually as the expenses grew for which they are responsible.

 

Our main goal in giving an allowance is to teach financial responsibility and give them the opportunity to practice handling money without high stakes. They had their share of impulse buys that were later regretted, have learned to save for larger purchases, and we never had whining for stuff because I did not have to deny a purchase - I could simply say "yes, of course dear, you may buy (insert random plastic junk) with your own money." Interesting how many wishes dissipated immediately.

 

I do not tie chores to allowance, because I do not pay my kids to help in the home; they are expected to help when asked because they are part of the family.

I only paid extra for tasks above and beyond regular help: moving the lawn, and ironing shirt which I hate.

 

My kids are free to use their own money as they see fit. I encourage saving, but don't mandate it. My children have limited sums of money available; I do not make them give to charity, but sometimes they join us in on our Heifer purchases. 

 

 

We approached allowance and chores in a similar fashion, except we did tie some chores to allowance as we wanted him to see that you have to put out effort to get money in return. Our approach worked well for this child as he has great money management skills. 

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We only recently instituted allowance (because I waffled for years on how I wanted to do it!). But now they have some more expensive things they want (movies with friends, Spotify, etc.), so it seemed like a good time. Allowance isn't tied to chores here, because I look at it more as a budgeting investment. They are expected to help around the house because we all pitch in. However, they do have a couple of set chores, which they had before allowance started, because I just need some things to be off my plate where I don't constantly have to track someone down to do them. I do pay extra for some jobs, though, and if they want to earn more, there's always stuff that needs to be done around here!

 

That said, at the same time I instituted allowance, I also instituted the rule that 1/3 of all money that comes to them (allowance, gifts, etc.) needs to go into their savings accounts. DD14 already had a saver mindset, so within a few weeks, she was already giving me more than 1/3. DD11, however, will find a way to spend every penny she has, literally. It was harder for her to give up that money, but she LOVES seeing her brand new savings account grow. 

 

My reason for making the 1/3 rule is that my parents practiced a kind of benevolent neglect in raising me, and thankfully, it worked pretty well. Except in the financial area. I've held a job, sometimes two, since I was 13, and I didn't save a single penny. Not only did I save no money, I managed, by the time I was 27, to get myself into massive (and I mean MASSIVE) debt because I had no realistic perspective on finances and consumer spending. They watched me blow all the money I earned and then keep going with credit cards, and they raised their eyebrows, but they never stepped in to change my view of money or set any expectations on how I was to spend the money I earned. IMO, it's the one area where I needed a lot more guidance, and while I eventually learned my lesson, it was one that took many years to rectify and impacted the rest of my and DH's lives (literally). So my goal is to help my kids develop a better relationship with money when there's much less at stake and sooner rather than when they're in so much debt that they could have bought a house in some states with the money they owe :crying:  

 

ETA: We don't address charitable spending, because I'm comfortable with both my kids' decisions in that area so far. We'll probably go further into that as they get older. And as for someone getting more allowance, someone will always have more than you. It's probably a good time to start learning that lesson too! That said, though, assuming parents can afford it, I think kids need enough allowance that it makes a difference in their habits so that they can actually learn from handling the money. 

 

 

Dd was set up for an egg business for Christmas last year. Her business is currently in debt from having made a few expensive mistakes, but she is diligently keeping her accounts book and working towards profit! She doesn't spend much because I pay for any reasonably educational request and because she is saving for bee hives. Two businesses would be better than one, obviously. :p

 

I don't give her money, but I do buy eggs off her. :)

 

I love love LOVE this  :thumbup:

Edited by ILiveInFlipFlops
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I started a fairly involved allowance system with my kids when they were probably too young. I had attended a homeschool conference and the speakers had this allowance system that involved the kids getting an allowance and doing chores but not hinging the allowance on the chores. So, the kids did the chores because they were members of the family and they also received allowance as members of the family, but they didn't do the chores for the allowance money. The allowance was to be divided into categories like free spending, charity, savings, etc.

 

Well, even though I started with what seemed to be a very small amount for each child, and tried to keep the cash on hand, I would often forget about it or just not have the cash and so when I'd go to catch up, I'd owe my 5 and 7 year old something like $80! That was a lot of money for our family. And this was an allowance where one was getting $3/week and the other getting $5. But the biggest thing I didn't like about it was that I never felt like I could just buy them a treat in the grocery store line or let them get a small toy when we were out. I felt like I should have them use their allowance and then they would usually just decide not to get the item. It might sound funny, but that stole a lot of pleasure from me and was the main reason I discontinued the system. Maybe if they were older when we started, it would have worked better, but my kids still don't have many material things they want and if they had to use their allowance to get the few little things they do want, most of the time they just would not buy the thing. Now that they are teens, they do get a minimal amount of money for birthdays and Christmas and my son picks up some paid work here and there and will probably get a regular part time job sometime this year. My dd mows our lawn, which takes hours and I pay her $10 to do it, so that gives her some spending money (which she never uses for anything, lol!). They have both still also always done chores and things to help around the house even without the allowance.

 

I'm sure others get this to work out beautifully. If either of mine had ever really wanted an allowance as they got older, I probably would have attempted the whole thing again, but it's never come up.

 

ETA: Here's a link to the allowance system we used for anyone that's interested. http://www.moneysmartfamily.com/moneysmart-kids-financial-training-kit

Edited by OnMyOwn
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The 6th grader (11 y.o) has been getting a weekly allowance of $1/yr old since he was 5.  Chores are not a priority because of sports and 3 after school classes.  Money has only recently become important to him. His new school has a tradition of dismissing early on Fridays so the kids (in supervised groups) can go tho the adjacent mall-like shopping district..  He is having a blast deciding what to buy.  

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I never did an allowance with my older kids. It just wasn't necessary.

 

My youngest son has some special needs through, and his doctors at Mayo advised us to use a structured reward system with him to keep him motivated with treatments. His allowance is part of that. We don't tie it chores.

 

He gets up to $10 a week. Each weekday, $1 is tied to having a good attitude, and $1 is tied to completing schoolwork, so he can "earn" $2 a day. I have a little chart on the whiteboard over his desk with the weekdays listed, and columns for attitude and schoolwork. I put check marks in each column at the end of the day when he meets those goals. On Friday afternoon, we check the chart, then he logs into the bank with me and watches me transfer however much he's earned that week into his account. Some weeks, it's $6, and some weeks it's $10. Most weeks now, it's $10. :) He has a debit card that I carry in my wallet, but he rarely ever spends his money. He just likes watching it grow.

 

(The second part of his reward system is token based. We keep it very simple. He earns tokens for a set list of things and can spend them on a set list of rewards.)

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We only recently instituted allowance (because I waffled for years on how I wanted to do it!). But now they have some more expensive things they want (movies with friends, Spotify, etc.), so it seemed like a good time. Allowance isn't tied to chores here, because I look at it more as a budgeting investment. They are expected to help around the house because we all pitch in. However, they do have a couple of set chores, which they had before allowance started, because I just need some things to be off my plate where I don't constantly have to track someone down to do them. I do pay extra for some jobs, though, and if they want to earn more, there's always stuff that needs to be done around here!

 

That said, at the same time I instituted allowance, I also instituted the rule that 1/3 of all money that comes to them (allowance, gifts, etc.) needs to go into their savings accounts. DD14 already had a saver mindset, so within a few weeks, she was already giving me more than 1/3. DD11, however, will find a way to spend every penny she has, literally. It was harder for her to give up that money, but she LOVES seeing her brand new savings account grow.

 

My reason for making the 1/3 rule is that my parents practiced a kind of benevolent neglect in raising me, and thankfully, it worked pretty well. Except in the financial area. I've held a job, sometimes two, since I was 13, and I didn't save a single penny. Not only did I save no money, I managed, by the time I was 27, to get myself into massive (and I mean MASSIVE) debt because I had no realistic perspective on finances and consumer spending. They watched me blow all the money I earned and then keep going with credit cards, and they raised their eyebrows, but they never stepped in to change my view of money or set any expectations on how I was to spend the money I earned. IMO, it's the one area where I needed a lot more guidance, and while I eventually learned my lesson, it was one that took many years to rectify and impacted the rest of my and DH's lives (literally). So my goal is to help my kids develop a better relationship with money when there's much less at stake and sooner rather than when they're in so much debt that they could have bought a house in some states with the money they owe :crying:

 

ETA: We don't address charitable spending, because I'm comfortable with both my kids' decisions in that area so far. We'll probably go further into that as they get older. And as for someone getting more allowance, someone will always have more than you. It's probably a good time to start learning that lesson too! That said, though, assuming parents can afford it, I think kids need enough allowance that it makes a difference in their habits so that they can actually learn from handling the money.

 

 

 

I love love LOVE this :thumbup:

I love your idea about putting 1/3 into savings. I experienced something very similar to you growing up -- working seriously from a young age and spending it all and then winding up in debt in my early 20s. One of my friend's parents always made her save 20% of her income, and it became a life long habit for her. This is something I will definitely try with my own kids once they start working.

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I love your idea about putting 1/3 into savings. I experienced something very similar to you growing up -- working seriously from a young age and spending it all and then winding up in debt in my early 20s. One of my friend's parents always made her save 20% of her income, and it became a life long habit for her. This is something I will definitely try with my own kids once they start working.

 

 

Ugh, I'm sorry to hear that. I mean, it's definitely a lesson that will stick! :lol: But it's one I wish I (we!) hadn't had to learn. We'd be so much further ahead financially if I hadn't had all that debt to pay back. And I can't claim credit for that great idea. I actually encountered it here and loved it. It would never have occurred to me otherwise. I've actually learned so much about finances here, from all this collective wisdom. 

 

The funny thing is that my parents are very frugal and excellent savers. They're the classic millionaires next door! But they very rarely talked about money with me except to occasionally tell me I should save. So that's another thing we're changing: DH and I are very open about money with the kids, and we answer their questions truthfully when they ask. We talk about responsible use of credit cards, saving, investing, how much we make, when we have a bad year, when we have a good year, etc. It's really a 180 from how my parents handled it, which was basically to say that they would worry about the money and I shouldn't think about it. As you know, that method doesn't work so well!

 

Here's to improving that for our next generation  :cheers2:

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For those who require your kids to designate a set part of their allowance to savings and/or charity:  do you do the same with your money?

 

I am all in with teaching kids the value of these things, but I think donations should be 100% voluntary.  As for savings, I don't know.  I set up a sub-account in my savings for each of my kids dating back to their birth, and I put $1/day into that.  At some point I want that to be a rainy day fund for them, but I haven't decided exactly how it's going to work.  Other than that, I would rather let them decide on a project they want to save for and how much to save and watch it grow.  In the end, either they have what they need or not.  As they get older and have more earning power, I would expect them to save for more of their own needs, e.g., a car.

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We have basic "you are a part of our family and so need to contribute by helping" chores and then additional "for hire" chores. Things they need to do are mostly related to their own personal stuff-pick up things left out, mop up spills, clear their own dishes from the table, put their laundry in the hamper/dresser, ect. The extra chores are posted each Monday. I tape about 50 index cards with the chore and the amount I'm willing to pay for it up on the mantle. We each have a bunch of paoerclips in our own color. When a chore gets done, we clip that card. I included myself in the clips because I certainly don't want them to feel it's just on them. They have until Friday to pick what ever chore (or not!) they want, no obligation. On Saturday though, we all work as a family to do the remaining chores, and I don't pay on Saturday. That's voluntary work lol. So far, it's worked out wonderfully. My super motivated child was racking up the money the first few weeks, and now my not so motivated, doesn't notice things that need to be done child is realizing just how much has to happen to run this household. She is taking intiative because she wants to earn money. They've all three started just stepping in to help me when they see me working on something. They have always been willing to help, if I asked. They are sweet, just not always aware.

With Baby Bird coming home two months ago, I've been run ragged and extra tired. This has been an incredible help for me, one that I am more than willing to pay for.

 

Plus, they are really being careful with their hard earned money. Whereas before they would ask for things without understanding how much work goes into earning that $20, now, they carefully consider the value of the thing they want versus how much work it is to earn enough for it.

 

The biggest thing I love about doing it this way is that I don't nag. I don't even mentions chores. They can choose to do them of not. I don't care either way. So far, we've not had to work on Saturday. ðŸ˜

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For those who require your kids to designate a set part of their allowance to savings and/or charity:  do you do the same with your money?

 

I am all in with teaching kids the value of these things, but I think donations should be 100% voluntary.  As for savings, I don't know.  I set up a sub-account in my savings for each of my kids dating back to their birth, and I put $1/day into that.  At some point I want that to be a rainy day fund for them, but I haven't decided exactly how it's going to work.  Other than that, I would rather let them decide on a project they want to save for and how much to save and watch it grow.  In the end, either they have what they need or not.  As they get older and have more earning power, I would expect them to save for more of their own needs, e.g., a car.

 

For savings, we do. That was the whole point of my instituting the system I did. No one ever showed me the value of saving any part of my income, for special projects or rainy days or emergencies or otherwise. My parents told me I should save money, but I'm definitely a "have to see it for myself" kind of personality. Instead, they bailed me out of every emergency: broken down car, extra classes for college because I had to drop something, etc. They even offered to pay off my huge debt as a young adult. Fortunately, I had learned enough by that point to tell them no thank you, and I paid every penny off myself. I love them for what they did for me, but as I mentioned above, I definitely needed some real-life guidance and experience. 

 

We don't always manage to get 1/3 put away, but 10% goes right into DH's 401K, and I put a set amount into our savings account every month. Our income is variable, so in lean times, we can't always manage it, and in leaner times, sometimes we need to pull from savings, but that's why it's there. Also, I don't think it's a direct comparison: Our earnings pay to run the household and pay for necessities and recreation for all of us, while the kids' gifts/earnings go almost entirely to their own recreation and consumption. IMO, it's an ideal microeconomy for teaching financial management skills, since they're not usually learned by osmosis, and there's not a lot at stake.

 

As for giving, I'm more flexible with that. We do have a fund that we add to monthly for charitable giving. The kids have helped me select microloan recipients on Kiva.com and during the holidays they've helped me choose where to give and offered parts of their gift budgets to organizations like Heifer and World Vision. I do hope to instill altruistic tendencies in my kids, and as I mentioned above, I'm satisfied so far with what I'm seeing. As they get older, it may be something we emphasize more, both directly and through modeling what we do ourselves. For now, I don't see a reason to mandate it. I know others feel differently, though. 

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We have a 2 tiered system for $$$.

 

DD (13) gets $20 a week in allowance. It's not tied to anything, she doesn't have to do chores for it. It's just what she gets for her expenses each week. She is expected to do chores around the house (dishes, her room, vacuum the living room rug, etc), but we don't debit her allowance if she doesn't do them - they're completely separate.

 

There are, however, items around the house that she can EARN money for if she does them.

She can wash and vacuum my car and earn $10. 
She can mow the front lawn and earn $8 (normally her Dad does it)

 

Etc. There's a list of things she can do. And sometimes around the holidays there is an increased list of things that she can do to earn extra money that we post on the fridge for her. 

 

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For those who require your kids to designate a set part of their allowance to savings and/or charity:  do you do the same with your money?

 

I am all in with teaching kids the value of these things, but I think donations should be 100% voluntary.  As for savings, I don't know.  I set up a sub-account in my savings for each of my kids dating back to their birth, and I put $1/day into that.  At some point I want that to be a rainy day fund for them, but I haven't decided exactly how it's going to work.  Other than that, I would rather let them decide on a project they want to save for and how much to save and watch it grow.  In the end, either they have what they need or not.  As they get older and have more earning power, I would expect them to save for more of their own needs, e.g., a car.

 

Lots of things that are voluntary for adults aren't necessarily for kids, though.

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