Kids might think that we have access to an unending source of money, especially if they're little. For the first couple of years we shell out for everything that they need, but when it becomes a case of treating them, it can be tricky to figure out when to say no. Introducing allowance is a popular way to help children understand the value of money, but when should you do it, and how much should you give them?
According to Money Crashers, there are two general schools of thought when it comes to giving kids hard cash. Some believe that children should earn their allowance by contributing to the household chores, with others firmly believe that they shouldn't be rewarded for simply doing their fair share. Instead, they earn money by doing special tasks or are given money as needed when the situation arises. Let's take a look at the pros and cons for both.
Earning allowance helps kids to understand that nothing in this world comes for free. While it's miles away from the 9-5 most of us have in order to provide, it can teach a valuable lesson: Work equals money. No work equals no money. On the flip side, this can be difficult to manage when you have more than one child and not enough chores to go around, and consequences beyond the loss of money need to be put in place should the child decide not to do the chores.
If you opt for this way of doing things, then consider setting up a price for each job, like $2 for the dishes and $3 for cleaning the floors. It's also important to make sure kids understand that doing chores is about more than money, but about teamwork and pitching in for the greater good.
By giving your kids a regular allowance no matter what, you could still potentially help them with their money management skills. If they know they're getting X amount every Friday, then they're more likely to budget and spread their allowance over the course of the week. On the other hand, they're not working for their money so may take it for granted and not be as appreciative of where it comes from. So, how much allowance should a child get?
Like most things in life, there's no set rule for this one, but the general rule of thumb is to pay $1 for every year of age on a weekly basis. However, if $14 for your 14-year-old doesn't seem like it's going to stretch to their needs, do what feels right for you. The amount you allocate to them can also be dependent on how many children you have, and what your budget is for allowance.