What about Allowances?
While some experts debate the pros and cons of giving and allowance, as recently covered in USA Today, generally the idea behind giving an allowance is to use it as a teaching opportunity. Many parents want to teach their children the value of money, and an allowance can start that education.
Children get their money each week if they clean up their toys, make their bed, help with dinner clean up and assist with doing laundry. This way every time you go to the store, instead of asking you to buy them something, they should have the money to buy it themselves.
That takes care of the everyday wishes, but what about learning to save for bigger items, like a bike or a new computer game? Teaching older children about delayed gratification, and the patience to save up money over time is a very adult thing to do. It starts with a conversation and some planning.
Talk with your children about the cost of the item on their wish list. Do some simple math together to figure out how many weekly allowances it will take to save up that amount. Maybe even share some bonus opportunities for your child to earn extra bucks toward that big purchase with extra chores. Opening a checking account can help them save while teaching them a life skill about banking.
Soon you’ll learn if your child is a spender or a saver. Either way, the opportunity to earn an allowance and reap the satisfaction of making their own purchases is an invaluable life skill.
Here are some additional tips from Babycenter.com on how, when and how much allowance you should consider.