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Allowances for Kids: Yes or No? At What Age? How Much?

This week's Mom's Talk question is about allowances for kids. Two out of three moms say they don't do allowances, although one says she's starting this week after answering the question.

Hamilton-Wenham Patch invites you and your circle of friends to help build a community of support for mothers and their families right here in Hamilton and Wenham.

Each week in , local mothers take your questions, give advice and share solutions.

Grab a cup of coffee and settle in to read this week's question. Below is how local Mom's Council members answered, but we want to hear from you. Leave a comment in the comment box below and share your thoughts.

Question: Do you give your children an allowance? Why or why not?
What are some good jobs for children to start earning an allowance? At
what age?

: We don't give an allowance to our 9 and 7-year-old, because frankly we just haven't done it. My kids have asked for it and I think they are old enough. I earned an allowance starting when I was about 10 years old.

Allowance is a great tool for teaching values. What role do you want money to play in your child's life? Allowances help teach lessons about earning, saving and generosity.

That's it, the kids are getting an allowance starting this week!

What's the right amount? Maybe $5 for the 9-year-old and $4 for the 7-year-old. I guess we'll also need to go to the Salem 5 for a savings account too.

The Love and Logic parenting strategy recommends starting allowance as early as 5-years-old with a child earning 50 cents to $1 per age per week. A ten year old earns $5-10 a week. But they counter it with the children must pay you to do extra ordinary things for them. Missed the bus - that's a $2 ride to school. Didn't put your laundry in the basket - that's a $2 clean-up charge.

If you're doing these things for them frequently, that's going to be a small allowance. It teaches them the value of your time and their money. Great idea, but probably too much accounting for me.

: I am not sure when I began this, but I asked the children to make their beds. In return, they would earn money. Today, the children earn $1 per day. If they make their beds every day, they will earn a bonus and receive $10 per week. I kept this very simple so that the children can see an immediate result. The children always help out when I ask.

Beginning at an early age, it is a good idea to give them the concept of helping out. They do it at school as well.

: Our kids are expected to do chores (clear table, put away laundry, clean room, etc.) These are expected as members of our household. If one of our kids wants to earn money to buy something then we give them jobs where they can earn it (clean out the garage, rake the yard).
So, we do not do allowance in our house.
I think offering allowance can be a great opportunity to teach the value of a dollar if presented well and the family is consistent with how it works. I have also heard about kids receiving allowance and 20 percent goes to savings, 20 percent goes to a charity and 60 percent for spending. I like this concept.

Lori Cacciatore April 07, 2011 at 06:47 PM
At one point in our lives (I think our boys were 10 & 12) we realized that they would ask for money to go to the snack bar at little league games, go to the roller palace on Friday nights and other fun stuff. I decided to give them $20.00 a week. This was for thier entertainment and outside food. This way they would learn how to budget thier money. After a few months I realized they were great at budgeting. They both saved about $100.00 with the money I gave them. They were saving for something really special. They are 17 and 19 now and have been very responsible with thier money..

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