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Allowance Magic: Turn Your Kids Into Money Wizards by David McCurrach


Allowance Xtra/Parents' Pieces

Parents share their tips and experiences with allowances. Titles indicate the age and sex of their children.

No Allowance, Just Jobs
8 & 5
5, 3 & 2
Six Kids
16F, 14M, 9F - No Allowance
Not Tied To Chores
Allowance Kit
Savings, Extra Chores
3 Under 7
Tips From A 12 Year Old
Savings Tips
Earning Money, Keeping Track, and Saving
How Do You Come Up With The Allowance Amount?
Long and Short Term Savings, Taxes, Charities and Quick Cash
14F, 16F
5M, 7.5F
3M, 5M, 7M
1M, 4.5F
7.5F, 16F
7M, 16M
7, 10, 13
7F, 8M
7, 9
9F, 13M
11, 13
11M, 13M
Job Want Ads
Sort Of Tied To Chores
Too Late
6M and 3F
9M, 7M, and 2M
16M, 14F, 11F

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Parents' Allowance Pieces

Other parents would like to know how you handle your kids' allowances. Send us a description of your system and we'll try to include it in this section. Please list the ages and sex for each of your children, how your system works and what you like and don't like about it. Thank you.


I have a 7 year old son. He started getting allowance when he was 6. I give him $1.00 for every year old he is so now it's $7.00/week. He puts 1/3 into a "Saving for something Big" jar and the rest is do what he pleases with. I do not buy him anything that is not a "need" (clothes, shoes, food, school supplies etc). All his wants are financed by his own money! Gum, candy, toys, trendy clothes etc...) He has saved sometimes up to $70.00 for stuff he wants. It took him a while to learn the value of money, how not to spend it all at once, how it's wasted on things he buys on impulse. He is a joy to take into any store because when he asks for something I just say "Sure, you have your money!" and you'd be surprised how often he decides he doesn't really want it after all! He also takes better care of what he spends his money on. I do not tie allowance to chores because someday he'll decide he doesn't want to do chores or get money and then what do you do? He is expected to keep his room clean, make his bed, put clothes in laundry basket and help set the table at meals. He can do extra jobs to earn more money like mow the lawn, wash the car etc...

This has worked wonderfully for my family. It actually saves me money too!

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No Allowance, Just Jobs

I agree with you whole heartedly concerning kids and money managing. I do disagree with the "allowance" concept. I prefer to provide jobs for my children. When they need money they ask for work. I make up a job. Wash my car, paint a fence, I take them to my office and give them jobs they can handle. I also will finance their financial endeavors such as lemonade stands etc. The other day my 4 year old worked non-stop for four hours cleaning my office, stamping envelopes, sharpening pencils, etc. He wouldn't stop because he wanted to buy a Shamu doll. I gave both my children the opportunity for allowance. I offered them a meager allowance or the opportunity to work at jobs. Both chose the work. I also pay them money for report cards or scholastic accomplishments as that is their current full time job.

I'm wondering what your opinion is regarding my "child labor".

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8 & 5

I give my kids allowance every time I get paid (every other week). My 8 yr old gets $5, my 5 yr old gets $2. Every time I get a raise (every 6 months), I deposit 1/2 of the raise amount into a savings account for each child. Since my raises average .50/hr, it translates into $20/month, per child into savings. That way, they can focus on long-term savings of their allowance for purchases. By having the "savings" for each child taken out as a direct deposit, I don't miss the money, and by the same token, by paying myself half of the raise, I feel as if I am profiting as well.....It works well, and because I don't miss the payroll deduction, I am secure in the fact that they will have decent college funds set up. If you think about it, their savings deposits go up $20/month EVERY time I get a raise....It makes sound economical sense, and I don't miss a penny!!

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5, 3 & 2

I have 3 children 5, 3 & 2. We are just now starting our oldest on his allowance. I have been looking for information and advice on how to institute on allowance. I feel strongly that allowance should not be tied to chores and that children should have responsibilities in the home as a member of the family. It seems from most of what I have read here, that seems to be the consensus of the experts. I find it interesting that the majority of parents in your survey do tie the allowances to chores. Society today has a real problem with responsibility. It is interesting to see that so many parents are paying their children for what I believe should be expected of them as a contributing members of the family. Responsibility in children also leads to self esteem. My son is so proud of himself as he completes the chores on his "chore board" and gets to check the items off. I also believe that paying children to do chores sets kids up to start thinking in terms of doing only what they will be paid to do. My husband and I own a small business and we have seen many an employee with that attitude.

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Six Kids

Our six children are not paid for regular house-hold chores. As a member of the family, they are each expected to help our home stay clean. They are usually the reason the house becomes messy! My husband and I consider their rooms to be their own territory; governed mostly by their own rules. We will pay them half their age each week if their room passes a thorough "inspection". If they choose not to do this, they are paid nothing. We do check their rooms every 2 to 3 weeks for a health inspection. All this is based on the fact that we taught them how to realy clean (not just straighten) before they ever started school. They have job responsibilties as early as two years old (empty the bathroom trash into the kitchen trash can; help me put the clothes away; etc...).

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16F, 14M, 9F - No Allowance

We don't give our kids allowance. They are 16, 14, & 9. Instead we have helped them earn money. When they were very small they collected cans and bottles. We showed them how to rinse them and sort them and drove them to the place where they traded them in for cash. In a sense perhaps that was the allowance: our contribution to their efforts.

Later they graduated, at ages 6 & 8, to a flyer route. Initially the route was a little too big for them, so I did half of it while they were still at school, pulling the baby in the sled or wagon. They finished the last half when they got home. Later they managed the whole route by themselves, when they were 7 & 9. The 7 year old took the 2 year old along "for company" and convinced her to pull the sled with the flyers while he ran up and down the walks putting the flyers in the mailboxes!

Once they could read and recognize house numbers, they "graduated" to delivering the daily paper, including collection. Now the city that we live in has a very early morning delivery and only hires adults with vehicles. So for the last 4 years they have operated a yard care business. They mow lawns, rake leaves, and shovel snow. Our "contribution" is to help them with their work when there is a big snowfall or an unusual amount of school homework. They have up to 8 snow customers on a contract basis, usually about 4 or 5 lawns to do in the summer. All 3 children are involved, as the "baby" is now 9! She can now pull her weight on the tasks, so gets her full one third of the profits. Previously she just received a small portion as her "help" was often more of a hindrance!

In case you think they have taken on too much, since they are still in school, they are on the honour roll at school and are also very accomplished classical pianists. They have won scholarships with their piano competitions, helping to pay the tuition fees. Our 16 year old daughter is now teaching piano on Saturdays at the rate of $20.00 an hour. She also has all of her swimming instructor qualifications and teaches swimming all summer. She has played baseball and been part of the track team, plays clarinet in her school's Symphonic band and vibraphone in the Jazz band. Our 14 year old boy plays on all the school sports teams and also plays classical piano at the Gr. 9 level He plays the oboe in the school Concert band and keyboard in the Jazz band. The 9 year old also studies piano, plays baseball, and runs track. It is not "all work and no play".

We expect them to work but we support them in those efforts by joining them in their tasks when it really piles up. Such as in that great blizzard that we had here in Winnipeg in April of 1997!

We also expect them to invest a percentage of their earnings in long term savings for their post-secondary education. Up until the end of Grade 9 that percentage is 50%, in grade 10 it is 66% and after that we expect them to put away 75% towards their education. The older 2 kids have enough for their first year of University already, the older one part of second year. She is also quite likely to get scholarships for some of it. Even the 9 year old has term deposits!

So no, we don't give them allowances. We give them our time in helping them to set up ways to earn money and continue to earn money. They do household chores to their ability because it is their home.

Their time spent earning money can also be great "family together time". It can also lead to some heated discussions as to who is or is not doing their fair share!

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Not Tied To Chores

I finished the survey, but wanted to give my views on tying to chores. I noticed many people tie allowance to chores. I do not believe in this. My son is expected to do reasonable chores (keep his room clean, do his own laundry, pick up after himself, dishes, trash, yardwork etc) because he is part of the family and everyone pitches in to keep our home nice. Other work (clean garage, wash cars etc) is expected to be done on request without complaining (excessive complaining). If it is a job that would normally be hired out (clean gutters, paint etc) then I pay by the job. we agree on amount (sometimes money, sometimes merchandise) before the job.

I pay all his expenses such as food, shelter, clothing and anything related with school. His allowance money is to teach him how to manage money. Sometimes he must save to buy a CD or whatever he wants. He generally always has more cash on him than me :) I have had to borrow 5 bucks on occasion.

I started when he was in first grade $1.00/week and just gradually increased it. By the time he was a freshman in high school, he was up to $5.00/wk so now I give him $.50 raise each quarter that he makes honor roll. He is up to $7.00/wk.

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My child is 2 yrs old. We save for him, and he has a bank acct. We are hoping, in the future, he will also pick up the saving game. We also hope that as he is older if give him 10.00 / 20.00 dollars he will put half to his savings.

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I give a portion of her child tax credit. I put it into a savings account. She is still too young (2) to be able to grasp what money is all about.

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Allowance Kit

We purchased an Allowance Kit. The bank has three sections in it. One section is "invest". They put 1/3 of their money in this section each week and at the end of the month we take the kids to the bank to make a deposit and watch this saved money grow. The other two, are used to save for expensive things they want, skate boards, toys, etc. That bank also gets 1/3 of the money. And the last section is used for the weekly splurges they want like ice cream from the ice cream man when he comes down our street or a pack of gum or candy bar when we are at a store.

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Savings, Extra Chores

I give $5 a week regardless of chores done / not done, behavior. She has to put a portion of her allowance into a savings account set up for her. She is allowed to earn more allowance by doing "extra chores" that her father and I offer that she would not normally do.

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3 Under 7

I have three children under the age of seven. If they keep their rooms clean, toys picked up, and bathroom in order, they receive two dollars per week. They are required to save 25%, give 10% to church, the rest they get to spend.

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Tips From A 12 Year Old

I am a 12 year old and think you should simply let your kid do what ever he wants with his money. That is the only way you can learn. I learned mostly because my Grandma gave me money that I could do whatever I wanted with. I had saved up to 100 and gone broke a few times. Then, I learned. I saved up to 200 and never let my money bins cash level go below 100. I also made investments and put checks over $30 in the bank. When I had 1,000, my parents matched it for a mutual fund. Now I never go broke and the only disadvantage is that, although it is nicer and more accessible to have money at home, YOU LOSE IN THE LONG RUN, FROM INFLATION.

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Savings Tips

50% of birthday money, cash gifts and allowance money should be put in the bank to draw interest on it. Make it a fun learning experience when they take their money to the bank and they can see it accumulate. We have told our child that however much money she has by the time she is 16, we will double it to put it down on a car. This is a good incentive.

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On the assumption that a child can learn to manage money only by HAVING money to manage, we give our daughter $1 for each year of her age, every week. Now that she's 8, she gets $8 a week, and that is divided into 4 categories: long-term savings, short-term savings (for a specific item she wants); allowance (to be spent as she pleases) and charity. The first 3 categories are divided equally; this year, she puts $2.40 into both long and short-term savings, and gets $2.40 for allowance, and then puts the remainder -- 80 cents -- into charity. She can select the charity she wishes (she contributes to Beagle Rescue). Long term savings is deposited into her bank account; short term savings focuses on an item she wants, such as a video, a watch, etc. This works out beautifully. Each year on her birthday, another dollar is added to her weekly total. The only hard part is remembering to give it to her!

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As the parent, my daughter of nine receives two and a half dollars every Sunday. Her chores are completely separate. She immediately saves half for college and the other half becomes spending of her choice, however, she is reminded that there are millions of things to spend her money on other than candy and toys. Charity, Save the Whales, Clothes, Holidays, Gifts for others, Family Vacations and such. She is often reminded, not made to, to save and put much thought into a very good, long-lasting item and often does so.

She is paid to do extra jobs around the house, and must do her daily chores around the house, regardless. If ever grounded, her allowance is not given, chores may increase or something that is a favorite is taken away for a week or a period of time, depending.

Also, her allowance is increased every birthday. This is fun because, she expects and deserves it, but the surprise is the amount of increase. A lot of her friends have mentioned that they, same age, receive more or less, and my daughter is not allowed to discuss financial matters, esp. with friends.

All this works very well. It teaches her to save, spend wisely, choose how to spend, not be greedy, not be show-offs, or jealous. If I work hard for my money, she understands that, and appreciates where her money comes from and how she got it. She has a lot of respect for her money. She takes care of it, and I think this attitude will help her when she is a responsible adult.

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Earning Money, Paper Checks, and Savings

I believe that they need to learn that money is to be earned not granted just because they're alive. (I've seen too many people who believe that their company "owes" them a job since they work there, and don't feel an obligation to do their best on the job.) The children are expected to do regular household "chores" as a member of the family, but dollar amounts are set for chores we'd like them to do, but are not required, such as mowing the lawn, laundry, window washing, and so forth. The amounts are set as to what a reasonable going rate would be if we had to pay someone to do those jobs.

We did have the problem of when they earned money and put it in their banks, that they would also deposit "found" money which was often found in front of younger sibling's bookshelf or on mom and dad's floor, or the lunch money. We started a "paper check" system and book to deal with it. As they earn money, we credit their account with the proper amount and and as they want to buy something we debit their account for the amount and give them the money. This helps to curb the found money syndrome and it also helps them learn how to use a checkbook.

We encourage the kids to put some of their earned money into savings for college. The checking system encourages regular savings, since we credit their account with interest at the going industry standard on a regular basis.

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How do you come up with the allowance amount?

Here's how hundreds of parents have responded (updated June 28, 1998):
  • Setting up a chore chart and "staring" the completed items or chores as they are done on a daily basis, as well as, a weekly basis.
  • Decided on amount, by figuring how mature they are.
  • With their age. They get half of their age. Example: 10 years old, $5.00, 9 years old, $4.50, and so on (daily).
  • 50 cents/year of child (weekly).
  • I look at the size of the job and how well they do it.
  • Just enough money to last the month. About $5 a week or extra if she is doing extra activities.
  • Arbitrary.
  • I have it handy in my purse.
  • $1 per year of age per week.
  • Just seemed like an even good amount.
  • By allowing her to do her housework.
  • It's what we could afford from our budget.
  • That was the least amount I would give.
  • $1 for every year of age (weekly).
  • They get $1 per year of their age (weekly).
  • Based on need and ages.
  • By the child's age. We started when they were young. Each year, they receive a raise (cost of living).
  • Good question. Not sure how to answer. It's very important to note that the allowance we give seems high (compared to the other answers in the survey) but we tie the allowance not to chores, but to responsibility for purchase of some key items, such as clothes and presents for birthday parties, etc.
  • I started when they were 4 and added .50 or $1.00 each year (weekly).
  • What we can afford right now, split into three sections, one to save, one to save for bigger purchases, one for instant use.
  • Lunch money for school.
  • My child keeps her room clean for a week and she gets10.00.
  • They have a list of chores. If they complete them, they receive 10c (Aust) a chore. If they do not complete them, 10 cents is deducted.
  • Generally considered a fair amount.
  • No real formula...just based on reasonable amount and needs.
  • Whim.
  • An amount which the children could have with half to do with as they please and half that they must save or donate to a worthy cause of their choice. With this, a dollar seemed fair.
  • One dollar per year of age per month.
  • By giving him $3/wk, my son believes he's receiving a lot of money but realizes he needs to save it to purchase things. I'd heard about $1 per year of age but then he'd have enough to buy all those little, useless things 6 yr olds love and he'd never understand the idea of short-term savings.
  • Amount of work they do.
  • It used to be one quarter for each year of age (starting with 4 yrs), but $1.50 is easy (weekly).
  • Fixed amount.
  • I work.
  • Age of child equals dollar amount of allowance per week. Child responsible for buying his own hobbies, entertainment.
  • By grade level. In kindergarten they get .50, then each year it goes up 1 dollar (weekly).
  • One dollar per year of age (weekly).
  • They receive one-half their age, i.e. my son is ten, he receives $5.00 a week.
  • $1 for each year (weekly).
  • Whatever I can afford.
  • Chores.
  • Near survey in Kid's Zillions magazine.
  • By how much work is done.
  • By age & with chores.
  • .20 for each "star" on the chart. The stars are obtained if she completes the chore without being told. If she argues, she gets and unhappy face and .20 is deducted. We add up the stars, multiply by .20 and then put 50% in her savings and give her the other 50% to do with what she wants.
  • $1.00 per week per year of child's age.
  • Started out giving $1.00 dollar value for 1/2 of age. For example, 11 years old received $5.50, 8 yr old $4.00. Now all 3 kids receive same- $5.50 because they all have the same chores to do so are paid accordingly.
  • Just came up with it.
  • Pocket spare change formula.
  • A dollar per age/per week.
  • By how much work the kid does around the house.
  • Based on child's age.
  • I figure that a 5 year old doesn't need much ($1/wk). I was tired of always paying for coin operated rides at EVERY mall, so now if my son wants a ride, he uses his own money.
  • Depending on the chore.
  • From an article I read that suggested $1.00 for each year of the child's age (weekly).
  • Give what I can.
  • Read it in a book.
  • Approximately based on age - $1 for every year (biweekly).
  • Work.
  • How many chores he does.
  • My child use to receive 2$ but she asked for a raise and it's now 5$.
  • I give one dollar for every year of age, every two weeks.
  • Allowance is based on age. 10 year old daughter receives $10 each week, 6 year old son receives $6 each week.
  • Work.
  • One dollar per year old (weekly).
  • The amount of chores completed and the attitude of the child.
  • Half the children's ages (weekly).
  • I just give them twenty dollars. There is no way I come up with how much allowance.
  • I go by 10 things.
  • One dollar for each year she is. This year, as she's too young, we will deposit it for her in her bank account next year. We will give her $1 and put the other in the bank.
  • Age divided by 2 = weekly allowance in dollars.
  • Depends on the prices at the moment...I give them enough for one movie a week and some for music...
  • I give my 18 yr old $600 a month. This covers all over her costs ranging from bus money to food money...she lives on her own and I support her, so I thought that $600 would cover everything. I want her to have a comfortable life style.
  • What different chores are worth.
  • By how much he does.
  • Pay check.
  • With that age of the child and what he would do with it.
  • It depends on how much chores they've done, and if they complain about doing it. They get 10 hours of TV time a week. If they have any tickets left over at the end of the week they get a quarter for every ticket they have left over. Sometimes if we don't have the money to pay them we will write and I owe you and pay them the next week.
  • I work what do u think!
  • Age of child and amount of responsibilities.
  • Our current allowance system reflects our belief in saving for short and long term goals and giving to church and charity.
  • Based on age and what they would want to spend it on at that age; each child differs according to interests.
  • Arbitrary. We give each of our kids, 10 and 7, $2 per week to clean up their dishes, and put their clothes away.
  • My son is 9 years old. He gets $9.00 a week. With that he is responsible for purchasing game rentals, comics, special lunch days (approx. 1 in 6 wks) and Cub dues.
  • My kids wanted money, they begged and begged so I gave them 20 dollars a week.
  • I think the minimum the child can get by on (in this neighborhood) is $10. Any amount over that must be earned by doing chores. The $ amt. each chore is worth is specified ahead of time.
  • 7 dollars a week if all chores are done. 1 dollar for every day chores are done.
  • $2/week guaranteed, but ear-marked for savings until he's 18. An additional $2/week if all chores completed, half of which must be saved in a 6-month account where it's not usable until after 6-months have passed. The other half is spending money he can use any way he likes. He usually saves that half too!
  • Kids weekly expenses for non-essential items.
  • It depends on how soon I need the job done and how soon they want the money. It also depends on how good they are about getting weekly chores done. We keep a record in a book and when they need money they have to sign it out with a reason.
  • Each week $5 is at steak it equals $20 a month total.
  • Assigned dollar value to each chore and figured it all chores were done the total would be a whopping $8.50 a week, but our kids aren't that ambitious, yet...
  • It increases every birthday. The weekly amount varies sometimes when we are busy running around and he doesn't have a chance to do jobs.
  • The kids make from like chores.
  • Just took into account the total amount per month, what it could be spent on, and what I provide already for spending/entertainment.
  • When I give them their $15 each per week for school lunch money, I occasionally give my 14 year old son $20 and allow him to keep the change. Although I buy all his extras and frequently dole out what ever he asks for when going with friends. Both kids have particular chores they must be responsible for for a month at a time before changing tasks. That way they build a habit of doing their chore (ideally :).
  • By what we can afford.
  • Talked it over with my wife.
  • By age, allowance is not tied to chores. We all live together and we all have to help out with the chores. If I cook and you eat you can help with the dishes. An allowance is so they can get the feel of money, cost of items and what you have to do to achieve that item.
  • I come up with it by the age of my child so it's fair and when they get older they will get more money.
  • $1 for each year of age (weekly) - 50% goes for "my future/college," 25% for "something special" (large purchase or goal), 10% to donate to a charity, and 15% to "blow" (candy, movies, etc.).
  • Depends on how many times they did what I asked, when I asked, or how good they were.
  • My child thought of one and I accepted it. She now has a $5 allowance per week.
  • 14 & 12 year old get $20 ($10 for lunch money & $10 for doing chores every 2 weeks). Chores include garbage collection, setting & clearing the table, some laundry & vacuuming and occasional snow shoveling. They may pack a lunch to school and save their allowance for "extras" if they choose (CD's, Video games, toys, make-up). 8 year old get $4 (no lunch expense and fewer chores). He just keeps his room clean and clears away his own dishes.
  • Half of the child's age per week. Our 8 year old get $4.00 weekly, our 5 year old gets $2.50 weekly.
  • Since I started working full time, my kids have been doing a little more around the house. I decided they are a tremendous help and deserve an allowance. They feel like they are respected and it gives them a sense of independence. At the same time, I don't want to give them too much so they begin to take it for granted.
  • One dollar for each age (weekly) beginning when they're six or seven years old.
  • Dollar a day.
  • $15.
  • 50 cents for each year old per week.
  • Age.
  • By grades. Like in 10th grade you will get 10 dollars. When you get to eleventh you get $11, etc.
  • 1.00 per year of each kid (weekly). Half is earned by doing chores. They never get the full amount... We have only been trying this system for a few weeks.
  • I give my son an allowance based on his age per week.
  • It goes up by 50c every birthday.
  • I have a job.
  • $1 per year of life starting at four.
  • She gets so much $ for every different chore. At the end of every month, she totals it up & I pay her.
  • Depends on how much the children help around the house and their school grades.
  • Age appropriate. 5 year = $1.00 per week $.50 increase every year till age 10.
  • Based on the age of the child and observed spending habits.
  • Based on age and responsibilities.
  • The age and work they do.
  • For every year my child is I give him that amount (monthly).
  • A random figure.
  • How well they did their chores, if they did them at all.
  • $20.
  • Based on age. 10 dollars for 15 yr old, 4 dollars for 12 yr old.
  • Based on behavior and cleanliness of her room and if she remembers to take care of her pets and put the dishes in the dishwasher without being told to do so. If she does all of the preceding, she will receive 10.00 a week.
  • My children receive an allowance based on a sticker system we devised. For example, if the children wear the same outfit all day it is worth a sticker at the end of the day. The same holds true for going to bed on time with no "encouragement" etc. as well as doing some daily and weekly chores. At the end of the week, we count the stickers and for every seven stickers the children receive a dollar.
  • My husband selected it.
  • By the amount the kids want to receive.
  • We talk about what is needed for lunch and other items and what we feel is a fair and just amount needed for fun money and other things and age does come into it.
  • I use the strategy of how much I got as a child.
  • Depends on what they do...
  • Factor in age and current financial opportunities available and deduct for wear and tear on appliances.
  • By how they act.
  • $1.00 for each year of age (weekly).
  • $1 per year (weekly).
  • It just increased as they kids got older.
  • By my work.
  • We came to an agreement at $5.
  • My kids grade.
  • I give $1 per each year of age (weekly).
  • However much they ask for.
  • Whatever they do nice and their grades.
  • Allow certain amount for daily purchase at school. Enough to buy one item, or save two days to buy more costly item, or spend more in one day and have less for other days.
  • Well it depends on how much my kid works and how hard. We just ask them to pick up after themselves. They do get paid for that. But any extra they do they get extra.
  • By the amount of work he does.
  • By how much they actually need without going overboard and by age.
  • Common sense plus some input from other parents as to what my children's friends are getting.
  • Age, contemporaries. $2, then $3 elementary school, $5 middle school (6th-8th), $7 high school. This is personal money only: I pay school lunches daily and most reasonable activity costs (Scouts). Individual entertainment they pay for. Fines for litter (dirty socks in the living room!) and for driving to school because of missed bus ($3). The older ones supplement with in-house baby-sitting: I pay them Saturdays and Sundays after 2:00 PM.
  • School, chores.
  • I just give them a reasonable amount. $5 a week for chores they have to do every day.
  • Depends what kind of grades my children bring home.
  • She gets money for dishes, laundry, keeping her room clean, and cleaning the kitchen. She gets $7.00 a week and .25 extra for anything else.
  • Felt that the amount was adequate for a child his age - also felt it was a number which would allow him to learn the "math" of money, i.e. 4 X $.25 = $1.
  • $1 per age of child (biweekly).
  • Age + $2 (per chore) = allowance.
  • Whatever the age, this is how much they receive (e.g., 7 year old receives $7 per week).
  • Compromise.
  • My son and I try to reason.
  • I give my children 5 dollars an hour.
  • I give them the same amount as their age i.e. age 12...gets $12 (weekly).
  • By the number of chores assigned as normal weekly chores.
  • Estimation of children's spending needs and to make sure there are funds to bank.
  • We give $5.
  • Saved up.
  • We saw an article that suggested amounts.
  • I give my child a raise every year.
  • We determined the amount of money we were spending on a weekly basis for "treats," small toys, etc., then allocated that amount as allowance. Our five year old receives $4/week--$3 for "fun stuff," $1 for long term savings.
  • Based on work.
  • Depending on the age of the child/more for the older kids.
  • Chores.
  • It is just a straight five bucks a week because my child does a lot of chores, has a good attitude, and she makes good school grades.
  • I take how many tests my kid has had and add up the total points. I divide by the number of tests he gets and that's the allowance.
  • Thumb-suck and decide by age.
  • Half of child's age (weekly).
  • Amount of my income, age of children.
  • My son is only 5 years old. I give a quarter a day, payable on Sunday night. We, my son and myself, talk about how well he has done his chores for the week and if he deserves the entire amount. He is required to save one-third of the money.
  • Some for fun, some for charity, some for school snacks, some to savings.
  • By noting our kids needs, and purchases they make and what fits in with our income.
  • Age, items expected to pay for.
  • I read that some give the child's age. I like that idea, but not right away. We are currently at the $5 level for a 9- and 11-year-old. If things go well until the new year, we will up the ante, probably to $7. By this time in '98, I hope to have them each at their age level (weekly).
  • By how many chores she does. I only go up to 5.00 dollars a week!
  • Each child gets the same number of dollars per month as their age.
  • $5.50/week is half my 11 year old son's age. He can use the money to buy lunch that week or he can choose to take a lunch that I've already purchased supplies (i.e. bread, peanut butter, fruit, chips) for. Ditto for my 9 year old daughter. She gets $4.50/week.
  • Weekly jobs.
  • Approximately ten dollars/week.
  • Annual increase based on needs.
  • We decided on an amount that we thought was necessary for what our kids are required to pay for. Then we worked out a system that after basic start-up increases 25 cents each year through 5th grade and then 50 cents per year after that (weekly).
  • My son rarely requests too many toys over $5.00; however, we chose to have him receive $2.00 every two weeks. If he does his chores without complaint and has nothing put in what I call the "MOM" box, he gets all of his allowance. The choice for $4.00 means that he has the potential for buying at least one toy a month that he earned the money for.
  • Based on age of child, needs and amount of chores done.
  • I give him .25 for each chore done each day.
  • $5.00 a week with making bed daily.
  • Chores, personal responsibility.
  • Every two weeks they get $10.00, no strings. However, if they want to buy something that is a large ticket item, they are told to save. They can earn more by doing other chores.
  • My kids get money for each chore they do.
  • I go by their age.
  • Every birthday, the child gets an additional $1 per week.
  • Half is because she exists, the other half is because she does her chores. The amount is arbitrary.
  • I just give ten dollars (weekly) because she is thirteen. My older daughter get 15 because she is sixteen.
  • We give what we feel is comparable to what their friends are getting and what we feel they might need money for.
  • Checked out their "expenses" i.e. school events (concessions), movies, CDs, etc. and came to an amount we all agreed was fair.
  • We based our daughter's allowance on her needs ($10 paid bi-monthly - same as we are paid). This was her pocket money for church giving, treats, vacation souvenirs, and school book club. Now that she is a teenager (this year), we are re-evaluating and will probably give her an amount to include a clothing allowance and gift giving.
  • $1 for grade in school - 7 year old and 2nd grade = $2/week.
  • Every week, I give them $10.00. It doesn't change, unless maybe they get punished.
  • She gets her allowance based on her age and her chores. She is 11 and she gets 10.00 weekly.
  • I ask my child and then I negotiate with him.
  • Based on how many chores child completes.
  • Age.
  • Compromise.
  • I came up with it by how much my kids work around the house.
  • One dollar per year of age, given not weekly, but semi-monthly.
  • $5 per week seemed like a reasonable amount for pre-teens to use or save.
  • Started with $21 per month 10 years ago. Now is $42 per month. Tied with increases both parents received in income.
  • We just decided it would be a good way.
  • What I've heard other parents give.
  • I don't know.
  • It is the amount I had paid a cleaning lady.
  • Amount of chores they do without being reminded of.
  • My wife suggested giving an allowance equal to the child's age (weekly).
  • The kids are 5 & 6 so they get a flat rate of $1.50 per week. If they don't complete all chores I'll knock off 25 or 50 cents.
  • We picked $2.50 because it was enough to save for something but not enough to satisfy immediate desires.
  • Initially, it was just enough for him to buy a small item and receive change back. We wanted to teach him how to count money. Now, I look at all the things I would buy for him on a regular basis (snack & treats, video games, small toys) and give him enough to cover these items plus an extra dollar for mad money.
  • Increases with age. Because our purpose is to teach them how to handle money, we are not giving enough to pay for what we consider responsibilities as family members. We give the following: 10 yr old - $4.00, 8 yr old - $3.00, 6 yr old $2.00 (weekly). They are taught to tithe 10%, save 10% and use the rest at their discretion (under God's leading).
  • Take 1/2 of their age and that's how much they get (weekly).
  • I picked 4.00/wk based on an article I read.
  • We just give what we think is fair.
  • He's only five so we give him all of our leftover pennies.
  • Allowance is equal to the age of the child (monthly).
  • By the age of the child.
  • We started giving our 5 yr old son $0.50 a week. Then, over the years, add $0.25 per week every time he started doing a new chore. Now, at 9 yrs old, he gets $2.00 a week and $1.25/hour for major on-time jobs around the house, like cutting the grass, pulling weeds, hauling mulch, etc.
  • Discuss with other parents.
  • You sure. $10 week.
  • X amount each week for good behavior, good school work and one for improved grades and for chores.
  • Each chore has a money value, and they get that amount of money at the end of the week for all the chores they completed.
  • My kids get a set amount and they get extra money for doing extra chores round the house and even when we go out.
  • I base it on what she has accomplished in the prior week regarding chores.
  • Off the top of my head.
  • Give what I think my child deserves.
  • He receives points for doing certain chores. We have a chart set up so he knows how many points = how much allowance, and which chores = how many points.
  • Age times $1 (weekly).
  • I give one and a half times the kids age (monthly) to the younger kids, then when they start junior high (7th grade) I start to give them money for clothes and food at school, as well.
  • I thought about giving my nine year old fifteen but now they both have a credit card so I might as well give them a high amount.
  • How much kids need, not too much.
  • Tried to give enough so that they can save some and still be able to treat themselves to something once in a while.
  • They receive a dollar equivalent to the grade level they are currently in, i.e., first grader receives $1, 2nd grader receives $2, etc. However, school is their work, therefore, if the report card reflects their best effort, i.e., all A & Bs they may receive an additional dollar per week. For example, a first grader who receives an acceptable report card gets $2 per week until the next report card. If the next report card is acceptable they remain at $2 per week; if it is unacceptable they are reduced to $1 per week.
  • What Grade my Child was in!
  • I give younger children $1 per year of age per month, then after about grade 5 (age 10), I give $1 per year of age per week - but give allowances on a monthly basis because that's how I get paid.
  • A set amount per chore completed (extra if it was not asked to be completed buy needed to be done).
  • The amount is small, but it helps the child to better understand saving and spending. It also helps them to understand that they can't have everything.
  • By the amount of chores that are done.
  • Make a budget of what I think are reasonable expenses.
  • .50 for every year age of child.
  • Age.
  • Movies twice a month plus pizza at school once a week (4th grade). Then starting in 6th grade I just increase it by a couple of dollars a month until high school. In high school I increase it 20% a year.
  • Ask other parents $10.00 per week...
  • By the tasks completed each week.
  • Doing Chores.
  • $1 per year of age (every 2 weeks).
  • All that I had in my purse.
  • One dollar per year of age of each child and divide that sum by the number of children to get an equal amount for each child (weekly). (Only works for siblings in close range age brackets)
  • Certain dollar amounts tied to individual chores.
  • Give both children $10.00 to start (weekly) and reduce if they do not complete a chore.
  • Picked a number out of the air...
  • My fourteen year old get $40 bi-weekly. It is based on chore completion and how well done the job is. Extras mean a bonus and jobs not well done cause a penalty (deduction).
  • Depending on the child's age.
  • 50 cents per year of age (weekly). I read somewhere to use $1 per year of age, but that seemed high, relative to their needs. The kids think it's fair and it seems to work. I contribute directly to their college fund instead.
  • Parent/child agree on set amount to do specific chores. Example, mow front and back yard, $10.00.
  • Amount determined by age. $1/year of age (weekly).
  • Together with children we make a price list of suitable chores. The children price them according to how easy they are to do and whether they are fun or boring tasks. I put a special price on chores I prioritize, such as picking snails in the garden. The allowance is totally based on which chores the children chose to do. If they chose not to do any chores, there is no allowance.
  • I told my daughter that if she did the bathroom, the kitchen, the living room and keep her room clean that she would get a $10.00 (weekly) allowance.
  • Just a dollar or two (weekly) for a six year old.
  • $1.00 for every year old paid weekly.
  • Go by your age.
  • How old they are.
  • Just picked a reasonable number...$4 a week.
  • I sat down and decided on an amount of money that was age appropriate and that would satisfy her spending needs.
  • What I can afford and what I think is not too cheap for a 3 year old.
  • My daughter said, Mom, will you give me five dollars a week if I do the chores that you want me to do?
  • Dart board, it sometimes seems. Actually, started years ago (11?), gradually increasing. Try to keep oldest ahead of siblings. Oldest just turned 15, so he is now trying to make sense of our system of increases.
  • The amount is calculated on a daily basis. Money can be taken away if chore are not accomplished.
  • I have tied their allowance to amount of chores done. Small chores are worth a quarter and larger chores are worth a dollar.
  • Estimate value and worth of chores and age of the child.
  • They have specific jobs they need to accomplish.
  • It's 5 dollars if they have more than 5 demotions and 10 dollars if they have 5 or less.
  • By how many chores they do.
  • Discussing with my child, or sometimes being plead with .
  • 5 dollars every week to my 12 year old boy and 1 dollar a week to my 6 year old daughter.
  • Chores.
  • We calculated what we spent on our 12 year old, in terms of clothing, casual spending, sports, etc. We took this amount and divided by 12. We pay him this amount monthly and stay out of his finances. He buys his own clothes, treats and entertainment. He cannot dip in future months. So far, so good.
  • The age of the child is the amount they get, for example, my 13 year old gets $13 per week.
  • Based on age, chores, & cost of living.
  • 3 x 22 + 66 lunch plus $10 per week for other expenses (monthly).
  • One dollar a day, regardless of the amount of work that day.
  • Do not remember, I guess I just picked it.
  • My husband and I decided these were good amounts.
  • What seemed fair and not too expensive. The amount can accumulate if allowed.
  • Chores that are done.
  • Clothing allowance for older two is $100 per month, other is dictated by their activities. Younger child get clothing allowance of $30 every 2 weeks plus $15 spending money.
  • One dollar for each year of child's age (weekly).
  • Chores are assigned and a star is given for each chore completed. At the end of the week if she has completed a specific chore (like Cleaning Room) each day for the entire week she receives a bonus star for that accomplishment. At the end of the week each star earned is worth .25. Stars can also be taken away for misbehaving. The maximum amount she can earn each week (including bonus stars) is about $9.00 and Chores increase with age, allowing her to earn more money. During the summer months we add things like Reading and Math to keep her skills sharp, therefore, increasing her spending money of the summer months. At a younger age we did similar things for her to earn TV time!! Works Great.
  • Each chore has a money value.
  • Just an amount we decided upon.
  • We decided on a minimal amount to start, with a meager raise as the children got older. We also give money rewards for good grades in school.
  • $5/wk seemed adequate for the oldest - she helps out with the younger kids a lot - gets them dressed, helps them get their breakfast, helps them in the shower, etc. The younger kids are required to do simple chores and are compensated for what they do.
  • Top of my head.
  • My kids get 1/2 of their allowance on things that they might want. They also use it for school lunches. Since my older one is in High School and his lunches are more expense he gets more money.
  • I had to develop a chore system.
  • Amount equals age (for example: $8/week for 8 year old).
  • $1/week for each year of age.
  • Discussed needs.
  • Base amount plus extra for certain chores.
  • Cash, if I have it. I do not always have cash, therefore the lack of consistency for giving them allowance on a weekly basis. I also place about $10.00 per month in their savings account which I transfer from my account.
  • ???
  • One dollar per year of age (weekly). At their birthday, they get another dollar per week.
  • I came up with the base amount by pricing things they like to buy - mostly books. I wanted them to have to save for a couple of weeks to obtain the desired object. Since my girls are only 18 months apart, I decided to give them both the same amount - $4/week and increase it by one dollar every year.
  • Based on how much they need to cover the things they are expected to pay for.
  • I use a fixed $5 per week. If they are exceptionally helpful, I give them a bonus. They earn most of their money by making good grades in school.
  • An arbitrary decision on my part.
  • $0.50 per year of age - will increase if expect them to pay for more things.
  • General community standards.
  • Random amount that seems reasonable for a child of this age.
  • One dollar per day for a max of five days for every day that she does chores (wash, dinner, dishes).
  • You work : You Make : NO Work::::NO MAKE.
  • Just 20 dollars every two weeks. It's pre-set.
  • However much they need.
  • It seemed like a fair amount.
  • I used to give 5 cents per completed chore. I think I will revise with a basic allowance which includes an expectation of basic chores plus a bonus for extra chores.
  • Depends on their chores as to how many they did and whether they were good or bad.
  • Total of money for school lunch, church donation and discretionary money.
  • I just say I will give you money if you do this for me!! Or I say I will give you an allowance if you clean your room!!
  • Just started - $1.00 per week per year of age.
  • $1 per day if chores are done.
  • We give him the amount of dollars equal to his age. He is currently nine, six dollars goes to a college and car fund that he is not allowed to access, three dollars goes to a toy account that he can spend however he would like.
  • Goes according to Dad's paycheck.
  • Just started at $1 to see how it went.
  • Mutually agreed upon by parent and child.
  • Talked to friends.
  • ?
  • The $2.00 a week allowance we just felt was adequate for their age and the amount of work that they are capable of doing. Starting this summer, they both will receive $10.00 a week for helping with my in-home day care. This will be adjusted, though, if they do not continue to help. They will be allowed to keep $3.00 a week and the other $7.00 will be put into savings. Their chores will vary daily depending on the routine of the day care for that day (number of children, time of arrival, weather, etc.). We do exclude cleaning of their bedrooms and feeding the cats and dog from their list of chores. In other words, this expected of them and not part of the chore list.
  • Raised $0.50 a year until $5.00.
  • Age.
  • 50 cents per year to a total of 5 dollars.
  • Just gave an amount. Currently, looking at a minimum wage type of reimbursement for work beyond chores.
  • If they do their chores.
  • Just figured what I could do at this time.
  • Seemed like a reasonable amount.
  • One dollar per week per year of age.
  • Enough to buy a little something or save.
  • Job function and family budget.
  • Set amount.
  • Child's age.
  • Grade in school.
  • For 14 yr old, started at age 13 to give weekly allowance to meet age. But he has to pay for all his activities. 9 yr old follows amount given to first child. He doesn't have to be responsible to pay everything, but pays for all toys, etc.
  • Conferred with another parent.
  • Asked how much other parents were giving. She receives $2.00 a week and for every chore she does she receives .25.
  • Some to spend, some to save.
  • Each chore equals a certain dollar amount. He has to pay me every time I have to remind him to do that particular chore.
  • SWAG.
  • Lunch money plus some fun money if they take their lunch from home.
  • 1/2 the kids age, every two weeks, until they're 12, then they must work for the $.
  • No method.
  • However old they are, they are required to do that number of chores weekly. Every day they receive 25 cents for each chore they completed the day before. That way, over a months time (4 weeks) they receive their age in dollars.
  • We tried to come up with amounts that would allow our children to have sufficient to buy the things they want. For instance, it did not seem reasonable to us to make them save for six weeks in order to buy a book.
  • They must do their basic chores (i.e. clean their rooms, etc) for nothing. Extra chores get paid by the job.
  • No particular system.
  • It seemed to be an amount that was realistic for this current time.
  • By child's listening and attention span at home and at school.
  • Compromised.
  • If she brings home an A on her behavior report, she gets $1.00. If she brings home a B on her behavior, she gets $.50. If she brings home anything less, she gets nothing.
  • His needs - scout dues, church activities, etc.
  • Multi-millionaire.
  • Consumer Reports and fellow parents of this area.
  • They earn .50 for everything they do. If they do nothing, they get nothing.
  • For some reason, I made it as low as I could get away with based on how much money I carry in my wallet. Seems hard to come up with more than 10-12 dollars in cash at one time since I live mostly on my electronic cards.
  • Child's age.
  • Arbitrary. We wanted to have an amount to give weekly and then we have other work we hope our son will ask to do to earn "extra money."
  • It's only a dollar, but if I don't have a dollar on hand I give it to them later.
  • Age/needs/chores.
  • Half of the kids' age.
  • $10.00 monthly is not too much or too little to teach a child how to budget.
  • Buck a year.
  • They get paid every time they make their bed. If they don't make their bed, they lose 2 days of making the bed. They also have to keep their rooms clean. The more work they do around the house the more money they get.
  • $.25 per year of age (biweekly).
  • He gets $3.00 a week and has to keep track of his chores. Any chores that did not get done, he is docked 25 cents.
  • How well she behaves and her maturity and the chores she does.
  • We figured out what we would like to have accomplished on a weekly, daily basis and then split them up equally between the two 14 year olds. The initial dollar amount as based on what it would take to get the work done. But it soon became minor as soon as side jobs became available.
  • Twice the age of the child (bimonthly).
  • Dunno, just thought "OK, he can have 12 to spend each month and 8 to save."
  • N/A.
  • Based on hourly work. Same as minimum wage.
  • We matched the allowance with their age. Our 5 year-old gets $5.00. Of that $5.00, he keeps $2.50 and we put $2.50 in a piggy bank. The same applies to our 8 year-old.
  • We just decided that if our oldest completed each task he would end up with $5.00, so then we assigned each task a value and he gets the total of his completed tasks.
  • $1.00 for every year old he is and for bonus points for additional chores.
  • I take into consideration the amount of chores and what they consist of, and go from 50 cents a chore to 25 cents for any extra chore done and if chores are done without being told to do them.
  • Chores done.
  • Seemed appropriate to her age.
  • It's elaborate! Sort of. I made a chart of about 8 parts of "a clean kitchen." For each thing, wipe counter or sweep, pay is .10 or .20 per day. I have two kids so there's another chart for the one who does not have kitchen duty. That child straightens up living, dining and guest bath, following the steps to a complete job, hopefully. They can each earn 1.00 per day.
  • No particular methodology, $1.00 for a 5 or 6 year old seemed right.
  • Half of his age (weekly).
  • Based on the needs/wants of the child and what it takes to meet those needs/wants and if they continue to perform in all areas satisfactorily.
  • Guess.
  • We just got together and decided $.50 a day was a good amount.
  • Monthly amount = Age * 4.
  • I did start out giving my oldest 5.00 a week but he really wasn't doing anything to deserve that much. So I decided we would do it per chore, that way he gets paid only for what he does not for what he doesn't do.
  • Older son has responsibilities that save me money (i.e. yard work so I share the savings...) Weekly amount allows a portion to be for tithing, half of balance to savings/college fund, remainder (45%) can be spent any way they want.
  • Set amount per week...depends on age...7 year old - $7 a week.
  • By the effort and time put in--doing chores and listening to instructions.
  • My husband and I just took a stab in the dark with the amount but we knew that all of the allowance was not to be spent. We also knew that it was to be divided three ways and that at the age we started there wasn't much that the girls were going to buy.
  • We did base allowances on completion of responsibilities (i.e. chores). Now we base it on $.50 per year of age. This is enough money to allow them to learn how to manage money but not enough to meet all their needs. Part of financial management is learning how to make money and for this we encourage them to work for us, grandparents, friends or neighbors.
  • When I started giving allowance, I wanted it to be symbolic. At that point, $1 was enough. Now that he's 5, $2/week will help him reach his goals a little easier.
  • Started at about .50. Now we add .50 per birthday. Will have to increase that when he begins to use some of allowance money for his regular expenses.
  • From the top of our head and what we can afford.
  • Age.
  • $1 per day.
  • Age of child.
  • They get a dollar a day. They have two chore lists. It changes every other day. After they do their chores, they are to ask for inspection. If they pass inspection, then they can sign their initials on the calendar. If they don't pass inspection, there's no second chances. If they don't sign their time card, then they don't get paid. Cheating constitutes loss of benefits (fired without pay). They can do odd jobs, called going beyond the call of duty, for extra pay. They are to tithe 10%, put half of the remaining amount into savings and then use the other half wisely.
  • I come up with the monthly allowance amount by the age they are.
  • Standard...an amount I think is enough for them.
  • It was an arbitrary figure.
  • Their age times the number of days in a week subtracted from the number of days in a year.
  • Multiply their age by ten and subtract ten (biweekly).
  • We determined approximately how much money we spent on necessities and extras for our children per year and divided the amount by 12. Each child is responsible for budgeting their allowance to pay for their needs and wants each month. They are also responsible for tithing 10% of the allowance, and saving a portion for both long-term and short-term savings.
  • Based on age.
  • Set amount based on the needs of the child.
  • Manageable limit.
  • Dollar amount = years of age.
  • My kids and I came up with the amount based on chores and needs.
  • AGE
  • It depends on how many chores they do and if they help me out with things - cooking meals, laundry, etc. The more helpful they are, the better their allowance. As they get older, the amount of allowance will increase. Right now, they get 1-2 dollars every two weeks.
  • They asked me and I gave it to them.
  • Financial situation.
  • Child's needs.
  • She receives the amount of her age per month.
  • Just thought it was suitable.
  • 10 dollars a week (biweekly).
  • For the older son - approximately $1/year of age each week - rounded to $50/month. For the younger son - $.50/year of age each week.
  • 50 cents for each year of age (weekly).
  • For the younger children, we just give them what we think won't hurt them to spend on candy and gum - which has been the only place they spend it! For the older child (junior high and up), we give enough for school lunches and some recreation.
  • Depends on their age and what kinds of commitments they have. I figure in their lunches, clothes, personal care items - above what I want to shop for them. Then I pad this so they can have some pocket money. If they need more money, I always have extra jobs that they can do for me that I don't really want to do. Or we talk about ways they could tighten up their spending such as taking a sack lunch 2 or 3 days a week and using that money for what they want. This gives them some decision making opportunities as well as trying to make their budgets work.
  • Some chores are done for the allowance.
  • Review with the entire family. Develop the amount and chores.
  • Based on grades at each semester end, lasting until next semester. Sliding scale 4.0=$25/wk down to 2.0=$5.00/wk. Chores are not linked. Chores are required regardless of allowance as a part of daily routine.
  • By age.
  • Every dollar for every year (every other week).
  • We give the going rate among our circle of friends.
  • Pay.
  • It's an amount we can currently afford.
  • Our 10 and 8 year olds automatically get $1.00/wk. If they do all that is asked of them, make beds, brush teeth, turn off lights in bedroom, etc. it goes to $2.00/wk. They usually get the $2.00, but once in awhile they forget to do what is expected as just being a part of a family. Our 7 year old gets $1.00 and she will go to the same formula as above in about 6 months.
  • My children have a base amount of 5.00. If they do chores without being asked or extra chores they get a bonus. Bonuses range from 1.00 to 5.00 extra.
  • My house keeper used to clean the house once a week for 30 dollars so now my child cleans the house for me for the same amount.
  • Age=amount/week.
  • My kids told me how much they wanted, except for the eight year old.
  • Age of child.
  • It's a Small Quantity of Money.
  • Started with $2 and raised it to $4 as an incentive to stay in their own beds.
  • Baby-sit sister - 1.00 an hour; mow lawn - 10.00; clean house - 10.00.
  • According to our income and the amount of chores that have been assigned for the child to do and how well they are done.
  • Tried following by sister's example.
  • Just a guess that $10 - 20 a week would be a figure that would be enough to be meaningful over a period of time, but not enough to encourage wanton spending.
  • I just set the amount at $20.00 a week.
  • All money is placed in a savings account at this time. We then give additional money as needed and if it is warranted.
  • I want to teach my child to tithe (give ten percent) as much as anything so $10 was an easy way to figure that. We give $1 to the church, three to investments, three to savings, and three for weekly expenses.
  • Chores.
  • $1 per week.
  • I go by the grade my child is in, until high school.

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Long and Short Term Savings, Taxes, Charities and Quick Cash

Each child is given the amount of their age (weekly). From there, each child puts 25% in a fund that we call long term savings. This fund can go for college, etc. Once they have enough in the long term savings to open a bank account, we take them to the bank once a week so they can keep track of their own books.

15% goes into a family tax fund. When we became tax payers from our jobs in the real world, we did not count on paying taxes at first. So, this is why they pay taxes to the fund. Since the family is largely their community, they pay taxes to the family. From there, we as a family decide together what to do with this money (go to movies together, out to eat, plan a trip somewhere, etc.). The point of the family tax fund is that we as a family community get to vote on the use of this money.

10% goes to charity. They get to decide themselves what this money is used for as long as it goes back into the real community of our lives (my children usually give it to a school function, or the library, etc.).

Now that 50% is gone to other places, we then take the remaining amount and give it to them. But, with that 50% they have what is called short term savings. This is a savings program that they get to decide what they would like to buy with their money. But the catch is, when they pick something special out to buy, they put a picture of it on their jar, bank, whatever they use to save it in. They take part of that 50% that's left, and put an amount that they decide in that savings. Depending on how bad they want it decides how much they put in. Once they have enough money for it, they buy it. We do not hold them to the object they first have decided on. It is their money and they can spend it the way they see fit. This enables the child to feel like he/she has power over their own money.

The rest is used for what we call quick cash. This is money that they get to spend now. We as parents also take part in this. We have told our kids that they will get allowances up until they are 18. So to make this fair, in their eyes, we as parents take part. How we do this is we match their long term savings. (Now remember the most you will ever receive is $18.00, so we as parents top out at $18.00.) We as parents take 15% out of our $18.00 and also put it into the family tax fund. Then the family unit as a whole, is taking part in this whole program. This allows our children to be responsible for many things. It allows them largely to make choices they would face as an adult. When we first started, we only gave half of their age, but we ran it the same way, only with each child getting less. They also have to do their own math in their books and account for interest earned. This is a great program and has worked very well for our family.

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14F, 16F

We have 2 daughters, ages 14 and 16. Neither has ever been given an allowance. They have been giving riding lessons on their horses and ponies since they were 10 years old. They clean stalls for other horse owners, clean tack and baby-sit. Both daughters also buy, sell and train horses and ponies. They have way more money than we parents and have a great work ethic. Both have mutual funds nearing $10K. They have also run a rubber stamp distributorship. Cool kids having fun.

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5M, 7.5F

I have a 5 year old boy who loves collecting money but has no concept of its value.

He doesn't get a regular allowance, but often times he will ask if he can have the change in my pocket or at the register. He loves collecting things. He also doesn't have regular chores. This year we will start our son on regular chores and we will begin the $1.00 per week.

I also have a 7.5 year old daughter who loves to have money and earn it, but rarely spends.

In first grade (ages 6-7), my daughter learned the denominations of the coins, and the class had a store where the kids could buy toys that other kids had donated, a toy recycling store. The kids earned pennies for doing the classroom chores and then saved up to buy store items. They learned how to earn, save, and spend. The first grade teacher recommended allowances be given, she suggested $1.60 per week.

We now give my daughter an allowance of $1.00 per week with the understanding that she keep her room neat. She can also earn extra money for other chores around the house. For example, when she chooses to water the vegetable garden, flower bed, succulent strip, and strawberry patch we give her $1.00. If she dresses herself in the morning without our pestering her, that's $.25. The money we give her, she puts directly into her bank container. She has about $20 in it now, after we opened a savings account with her first $100.

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3M, 5M, 7M

We just recently started giving allowance to our children. They receive a more symbolic amount of 25 Cents each Sunday and we make no difference between the ages concerning the amount. Our kids are 3, 5 and 7 and they usually save their money in their piggy bank. We have no certain restrictions on how they spend their money, except for war toys, guns and "power ranger" like things. The boys prefer to spend their money in tools at ACE hardware.

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1M, 4.5F

My 4.5 year old gets $1 per week. (Her 15 month old brother gets nothing.) She is starting to have chores, but they are not connected to allowance. With a different child I would consider requiring that some fraction of it be saved, but with her we have to keep reminding her that she won't get any pleasure from the money unless she spends it on something. So far, she's used it to buy candy and small toys that she has really wanted but that I didn't like enough to buy for her. She has only been getting an allowance for a few months. Over the course of the next year I plan to increase her allowance to about $3 per week so that she can reasonably be expected to pay for things like birthday and holiday presents for friends and family, Scholastic Book orders, toys, etc.

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I started my five-year old when she was 5-1/2, at a dollar a week. It's neat because she is getting used to saving up, and we use her money if there's something small and special that she wants, like gum or stickers, just so she doesn't get stuck on the idea that Mother or Father is an undepletable source of money! She uses it for milk money at school if I'm out of quarters that day, and it's so sweet to see her actually counting and neatly folding the new bill into her folded stash every week.

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We give our 6 yr old son $3.00/week. He has to put one dollar into a savings "bank" for long term savings. We had been giving him 25 cents every time he helped us around the house with chores. After reading on this list some of the allowance "philosophies", we switched to the allowance system and like it much more. He rarely asks us to buy toys anymore as our response is "use your own money" which he is reluctant to do (this happened after I advanced him money to buy a toy and he had to repay me for the next two weeks). He still does chores around the house since we all live in it and therefore share in the responsibilities of maintaining it. BTW we still buy him toys but this system seems to have stopped the asking/begging for toys so typical of young kids.

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7.5F, 16F

The 7-1/2-year-old gets $3 per week, and this is tied to chores. She sweeps the outside walkways once a week, feeds the cat every other day or so, makes the bed once or twice a week, is required to clean up any mess she makes herself, clear her own dishes from the table, and a few other things I can't remember now. We don't monitor it closely or check things off a list as we did with the older one when she was the same age. As long as we have the basic feeling that she's contributing and not balking when reminded to do things, we feel she's keeping up with what she needs to accomplish in exchange for the allowance. She started her allowance at age 5 -- it was $1/week.

My 16-year-old receives $10 per week. This is strictly "extra" money because we pay separately for her bus pass, car pool to school, meals, clothing, etc. In addition, she has two very part-time jobs (clerical and regular baby-sitting), with which she supports her own telephone, pager and AOL time. She does regular chores which are expected in spite of, or regardless of, the allowance. Before she was ten years old, we expected chores to be done for allowance, but during the teen years, it seemed more realistic to simply expect her to do "family work" unconnected to money. She does the dishes every night, cleans the bathroom every weekend, makes dinner two-three times per week, etc. When asked, as in the instance of upcoming Columbus Day, she'll be taking care of her 7-1/2 year-old sister all day (the little one's school is closed for a teacher in-service) -- for this we take $3.50/hour -- we compensate her because we feel it's fair since she's losing an entire day off with her friends and we would probably pay for daycare or trade with another parent anyway.

Both children are good savers, and manage to accumulate $20-$30 for a CD or stuffed animal on a regular basis. They both have bank accounts and are expected to deposit 1/2 of whatever they receive in checks from relatives, etc.

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7M, 16M

I have 2 boys, one who will be 16 next week (yikes!) and the other who's 7 and a half. I just started giving the younger one an allowance this school year, because I wanted to wait until he could read well enough and calculate well enough to deal with money. He gets $4/month (his choice, rather than weekly), and so far (2 months' worth) he is saving it. I haven't tied his allowance to chores or behavior. I expect everyone to do basic chores as part of being a family. I will pay them to do special jobs. Both boys have savings accts.

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7, 10, 13

How much $$ and how often you pay allowance?

$2 for the 7-year old, $4 for the 10-year old, $6 for the 13-year old, but all are due for raises.

Age(s) of your child(ren)?

7, 10, 13

Terms & conditions?

Paid the start of every other weekend when they are with me, but they get a similar amount from their mom on their weekends with her. No explicit connection to chores, but basic chores are expected such as cleaning their rooms & any mess they make elsewhere, clearing the table, sweeping & vacuuming throughout the house, and anything else they are asked. Extra work such as cleaning the bathroom, mowing the lawn, washing the car, etc. is an opportunity to make extra money.

Any constraints on what they can spend it on?

No, but blowing it on nothing is discouraged with varying degrees of success. The younger two save well for specific large things they want, the eldest never did.

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7F, 8M

Our "allowance-aged kids" are 8 and 7. We don't pay an allowance. The 8-yr old boy is SED and is not ready, and the 7-yr old girl is simply not interested yet...

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We started giving our 7 yr old daughter an allowance when she started asking for it, i.e. about 5.5 or 6 yrs old. I do not believe that it is wise to make it conditional: she has regular chores she is responsible for (making bed, helping make her lunch in the morning, helping clean her room and desk, putting her dirty clothes in the laundry basket.....chores pretty commiserate with her age). the allowance is independent of that: it allows her to have some money to spend on what she wants (usually some kind of toy or stickers at Mr. Mopps, or books that she really wants and doesn't just want to check them out at the library). The allowance is helping her understand what stuff costs, and makes her really think about what she wants. oh, she gets $1.00 a week now. hope this helps.

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My son is 6 and a half and I have been giving him $1 a week for the last few months. Actually, he hardly ever gets a whole $1, because I subtract for what I consider critically bad behavior (like making us late in the morning). Still, it has been a good experience and he is starting to learn the value of things in terms of how much money you have to spend. Now when he says he wants a particular toy, which I am not particularly willing to buy, I can just say, "Well, save up your allowance and you can buy it." Recently we went to an A's game and he wanted one of the very nice woolen baseball caps they were selling for $10. I was willing to spend up to $5 for a cap (it was kind of a special occasion, after all), but not $10. But he has brought his savings of $5, so we pooled our money and bought him the cap.

He has also gotten into the habit of buying gum or candy or a soda from the vending machines when we do the laundry once a week. I allow this as long as it doesn't interfere with dinner or lunch. I think he is starting to get the idea, however, that if he uses up all his money this way he won't have any left for special, bigger purchases.

All in all I'm pretty happy with this system. He does get the idea sometimes that he should be paid for everything he does around the house. I strongly discourage this however. The chores I require are pretty simple: he has to clear his place after breakfast and dinner, make sure he is ready (clothed, teeth brushed, etc.) to walk out the door on time on weekday mornings, and he has to take a bath when it's time to do so without whining incessantly.

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7, 9

I give my kids 10 cents per year of age per week, so the 7-year-old gets $.70 and the 9-year-old gets $.90. They also get money gifts for special occasions from relatives. We don't go shopping as a family much, so they don't need heavy-duty shopping money.

My kids splurge with small amounts of their money, but they also tend to save substantial amounts. Then if there's something really special that they want that I won't buy, they get it with their own money. Sometimes I kick in half the cost and they pay the other half.

I don't set rules for what they can spend it on, but non-money rules sometimes apply to what they buy. For instance, we have rules against eating sweets without permission, so they need permission to buy sweets. I think it's important to let them choose for themselves what they want to buy, even if it's junky, just so long as their purchases meet the family's health and safety rules. I find that over time, my children are giving a lot of thought to their purchases, and are exercising increasingly good judgment about the things they choose to buy.

About chores versus allowance: the books say that chores and allowances should be kept separate and not linked, and I agree.

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9F, 13M

My 9 year-old gets $3. The $3 went up from $1 this year and I don't buy hot-dog lunches--that's up to her.

Chores are expected, but not tied to allowances. They're docked only to replace something lost or broken through extreme carelessness. Actually, I increased the 13-year old's allowance in order to fine him for infractions, but we've found other consequences as things have come up.

They don't HAVE to save some in the bank, though the 9 year-old does. Otherwise, they just save it up to buy something bigger.

I don't think they need more because extra jobs are available to earn money and they don't too often take advantage of it.

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11, 13

When my 5th grader's class was surveyed about allowances, fully 1/3 of them said they get NO allowance at all. Another 40% get less than 5 dollars a week, with the remaining 30% getting something more than that. This class is at Head-Royce school, a private school in Oakland, with some very heads-up parents.

As for us, we don't give allowances. The kids' job is getting good grades in school, and we pay them on report card day. A "C" is not rewarded. B's are rewarded with a specific dollar amount each and A's are worth twice that.

The K-3 grades of public schools are often graded S,G,E (satisfactory, good, and excellent) or some equivalent, which we rewarded 0, x and 2x.

Our kids spend so much time on school work, music lessons, gymnastics, scouts and church that they rarely have any use for money. They use their own money for church offerings and buying presents for friends' birthday parties, and Christmas. Mostly we encourage saving and have just started introducing our 13 year old to stock market investing.

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The amount needs to be large enough to be of value. I have a 10 year old girl and I asked her what she thought she should receive. She decided on $15/month. I was actually prepared to pay her more. I do not attach chores to the allowance - a certain amount of chores are to be expected by any member of the family (I certainly don't get paid for all of my labor at home!).

She uses the money for buying books or music typically. She doesn't have free range at the candy counter - not because I restrict it but because 1) minimal access and 2) she knows the value of her money. I don't make her use her allowance for shoes or clothing or other daily needs - those are my responsibility. That attitude may change in time.

A few years ago I also started a savings account for her at the USE Credit Union. $20 per month goes directly into that account. I consider that the savings part of her allowance. She knows that she can access that money for a special purchase should she desire - but at present she just enjoys watching the balance grow!

I pay her by the month - like a payday. It is easier for me to remember and it gives her a sense of a larger sum of money to manage. She did negotiate once to get a month's advance because of vacation plans and I gave her $30 and noted not to pay her the next month.

This has been working just fine for us.

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We have given our daughter, who just became eight years old, one dollar a week for the past couple of years and do not link it to her chores. She is probably due for a raise. She generally gets to spend her allowance for anything she wants (even though I cringe sometimes). Together we keep a running total of the money she has available to spend.

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We started giving our eleven year old an allowance, ($10/mo) after his grandparents starting doing so in exchange for chores he performed while visiting them on the East Coast. I had my doubts about what he did for them, (Smiles) but he loved "getting paid". He started itemizing what various chores were worth some time ago, as a means of earning money; but that never evolved into a real allowance until he asked for such last Spring.

At our house he gathers the trash on pick up day, puts papers in for recycling (I have to stack them), "supposedly" vacuums once a week, and brings big trash container in after pick up. These are extra chores and beyond making the his bed, keeping his room and tub clean, and doing his homework, which are his "responsibilities". I recently started him unloading the dishwasher to which he quickly asked for a "raise" of $1.00.

We're trying to work on a budget; without much luck. He buys little odds and ends and treats for himself. I tell him when his money is gone there will be no more. I stress getting the most for his money and shopping thrift stores, garage sale and discount. Sometimes he gets the message, sometimes not. I hope it all sinks in one day. He will save or work extra for special ($$$) items.

Any ideas on helping a preteen understand the need for a budget would be a big help or maybe someone knows of some software that is age appropriate; that will get him started.

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We pay $5/week to our 11 (almost 12) year old daughter.

The allowance is not tied to chores, but can be revoked as a consequence of certain undesirable behaviors (such as lying about whether or not she did her homework).

Out of this allowance are supposed to come things like movie admissions (when she goes with friends, not with the family), CD's, doll-clothes, toys. Also coming out of the allowance are things like long-distance phone charges for calls made during the peak hours when she wasn't supposed to...

In theory, she's saving to spend it on a sky-chair (about $80). While she's saving for something, she's supposed to consider that first, but we often have to remind her, or enforce the savings by not actually handing the money over. Otherwise, it gets frittered away (so easy to do, even for adults!).

We've also considered a rule about snacks (such as no more than one per week, or something), but her adolescent concern about her weight took care of that before we had to make the rule about the allowance. We did have her save all her junk food packages for a month last year, and total up how much that cost, just to illustrate what she COULD have bought if she'd saved it! But just saving the packages caused her to cut back from her previous level. So the result was what we wanted (less junk food purchased), although the lesson was not as clear.

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11M, 13M

My kids (11 and 13) get $5 a week. There are no chores tied to the allowance, although they are expected to help around the house (pick up their stuff, set and clear, help with garbage, laundry, cooking, which they do with a pretty large nag factor). They can earn extra money for big jobs like cutting the grass ($5), washing the car ($5), washing windows (50 cents per). The older son also makes money baby-sitting. I sometimes make $1 deductions from allowance for cursing or hitting/kicking each other, which they say isn't fair. They use allowance for comic books, toys, junk food, CDs, etc. They are both big enough to walk down to the candy/toy store with friends so this is where they spend most of their cash. Also, I have a maximum that I will spend on clothing so if they want an expensive pair of shoes that are popular, they have to pay the difference and they both seem to be able to save for things like this.

BTW: a couple of years ago they complained they didn't get enough, so I had them survey their friends. This was very enlightening for them and for me and I highly recommend it!

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Job Want Ads

We do not hand out money readily, but instead we put up "Job Want Ads" on the fridge and how much they pay. If the children want to apply, the early bird gets the worm. We recommend at least 30% be put into the savings. It works!

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We have 1 five year old and we do not give an allowance really, but we have the "Penny Store". This started with a unit study on money we did for math. What we do is instead of giving stickers or other behavior rewards we give pennies every day or once a week and we have some games to play with pennies as the counters on the board. We also have a game based on marbles that we play. We have chosen several inexpensive things such as M&Ms, small stickers, gumballs, gum, praislets etc. and when she gets pennies she can spend them. We have 4 M&Ms for a penny or 1 sticker for 3 pennies etc. She enjoys deciding whether she wants 1 gum and 4 M&Ms or 1 sticker and 4 M&Ms or whatever she loves it and we do too.

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Sort Of Tied To Chores

However old they are, they are required to do that number of chores weekly. Every day they receive 25 cents for each chore that they completed the day before. That way, over a months time (4 weeks) they receive their age in dollars. Not completing the chores is not an option. But if they are not home, or they are sick, they don't have to do the chores but are paid anyway. I tell them that they do the chores because they live here and get an allowance because they breathe. I just wanted a way to spread their allowance over the whole month, because they tend to spend their money if it's given to them in one hunk and save it if it's given to them in small amounts. So the chores aren't really part of the allowance system. But they sort of are.

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Too Late

I think you survey is appropriate. I filled out your survey even though our children get no allowance. Looking back now I wish we had done something like this when my wifes children were much younger. Now they are just too smart for their own good. They simply ask for whatever they want and their mother gives it to them. It's a dog eat dog world out there and it starts at home.

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6M and 3F

I gave my son (6.5) an allowance for helping with chores around the house. He empties small trash cans and sets the table. My middle child (girl, 3.5) will often beat him to the chores so she can have an allowance too. I have now started giving both an allowance of $1.00 per week. They save the money until they have enough to pay for half of what they want (like Star Wars). If they have had a good week in school or at home (done chores, gone to bed on time, done homework, etc.) I will match the amount they have. This seems to work well for us, at least for now.

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9M, 7M, and 2M

We just recently (December) increased the kids' allowances to $0.50 per year of age (not the 2 year old yet). We jointly agreed on an amount to save each week and an amount to give each week. They have to save up to $20 before withdrawing to buy something special. Allowance is not tied to chores, they are expected to do that as a member of the family. They can earn extra money for special jobs around the house, though. We use Quicken to automatically deposit their allowance every Friday, and every time they want to "withdraw" their allowance, they fill out a paper with the date, amount, and what account (spending, savings, or giving). We don't give them money until they fill out the paper. I enter their spending along with my other checks and receipts. They are expected to buy gifts with their allowance and any toys, special food. Later we'll probably increase their allowance to cover clothes and not sure what else! It's been a great system so far. They are very excited to be able to save to buy a special item. The only hassle is to be sure to get a receipt from them when you give them money!

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Our children have received allowances since they were about 2. As far as chores, their allowances require them to maintain their rooms, fold their laundry and clean the table after themselves. The kids can also have deductions taken from their allowances for work not done or as a fine for lack of cooperation.

The oldest at 13 receives a clothes allowance of $50 a month. We supply the basics but if she just has to have that special sweater, the money comes from the clothes allowance which she can accumulate and hold over.

The base for the weekly allowance is .25 per year based on the child's age (a 10 year old receives $2.50 a week). Purchase of Christmas and birthday presents for other family members comes from this stash but otherwise the money is spent or saved at the child's discretion and when Mom can tolerate another mall visit. Opportunities to earn extra are ample as well.

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I am an Indian brought up mostly in the U.S. but with a value system probably a lot different from others who might read or respond to this. As I understand it, Indian culture emphasizes the importance of family and families are an important of survival in India. Therefore, you pretty much take families for granted and they take you for granted. There is no question of negotiation between parents and children.

I received allowance only in High School and only because there was the very practical justification of lunch money and things like that. I have a three-year-old and my wife is not Indian, so we discuss these issues regularly. I think allowance seems like a good idea in that it teaches money management and related skills including much arithmetic.

But I wonder what kind of message it sends the child on a subconscious level. If, as the expert suggests, we tie allowance to chores, does that make us the kids' employers? If they offer to do extra chores, can they have more money? If they are distracted or stressed out about school or some new aggressive kid in class or any of the hundreds of conflicting cultural messages they must try to make sense of and assimilate, must we punish them? Is it right to allow money to enter the parent-child relationship when it is perhaps the only relationship left in this country which cannot be defined in contractual terms? In this era of the huge political emphasis on the 'family', is it not time to start re-evaluating the kinds of relationships within the family that possibly led to its dissolution? I don't know the answers to these questions but they trouble me just the same.

For now I choose to continue to be the 'Dad' who can dispense generously or not depending on the fairness of the request, the attitude and the overall consideration that is reflected in my daughter's actions as a whole. I believe children want naturally to help their parents and a generally positive and loving atmosphere at home and open discussions on issues such as money have a positive impact. But I do worry about other kids and that they might be receiving allowance and whether my daughter will begin to measure my love with the $ she gets.

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16M, 14F, 11F

Initially, allowances were sort of a hit and miss thing for us. More often than not, we would forget to pay them and, later, forget that we forgot. The amount was basically pocket change and was intended to provide the same for our kids. There was no discussion on what the money was to cover and, as a result there were frequent disagreements as to what we should pay for. Eventually, we realized we could do much better.

About two years ago, we started a journal system. We called it "The Book." Each child had one. Every Sunday afternoon, we would record their allowances in "The Book." Most cash and checks they received would also go into "The Book." Whenever the kids wanted to buy something, we would pay for it and they would deduct the amount from "The Book" that evening. We could hardly believe the difference.

As often happens, a little success really fueled the fire for more. We decided we would divide the book into three sections - one for savings, one for sharing and one for spending. A list of expenditures the kids were responsible for was added. They budgeted their allowance between the needs they saw in each of the three categories.

Well, the results have been great. Allowances were raised immediately. Our son almost has enough money for that first car. Our oldest daughter has enough spending money for her upcoming trip to Washington, D. C. and our youngest daughter gets more excited than anyone when it's time to buy and give gifts. What a difference a plan makes!

Other parents would like to know how you handle your kids' allowances. Send us a description of your allowance system and we'll try to include it in this section. Please list the ages and sex for each of your children, how your system works and what you like and don't like about it. Thank you.

Please note: After you have submitted your information, simply select "Back" on your Web browser to return to Allowance Magic.

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© Copyright 2004 by David McCurrach. All rights reserved. Revised 4/3/04.