Allowance. It seems so simple and yet, there are 101 different ways you can approach the parenting opportunity:
And the big one... Should allowance be tied to chores?
It makes my HEAD SPIN. And so I ask you...
How can we as parents come together to ensure our children are money savvy?
Let's chat about our personal experience and these questions TOGETHER in the comments below.
I'll go first. Below are two tried-and-true tips from my family for kick-starting allowance:
Put the ownership of allowance on your child. We have "Money Mondays" at our house. The girls have to ASK for their allowance to receive it. If they ask on Tuesday? Remember to be empathic. The alliteration is helpful and trust me, once they miss a week or two... THEY remember.
I also have a tendency to sing the phrase over the classic Mamas & Papa's tune Monday, Monday.
I explained to my girls that as a grown-up, when I do freelance work I have to invoice my clients and ask to be paid. This process has also become a game at our house. In the end, you don't want to fall into a situation where you owe your child back allowance. I continually found myself trying to remember if I did, or did not, give my child allowance the previous week. A friend suggested Money Mondays, and it has worked perfectly.
THE 3-WAY SPLIT
When our girls were young we set up a system where they received $3 allowance each week. We require a three-way split at our house: one dollar goes into a jar for savings, the second dollar goes into a jar for donation, and the third dollar is theirs to keep.
Find these gorgeous blue mason jars online.
We do our best to leave our girls in charge of their money. In small ways, like physically handing them the three dollars and letting them divvy it up among the jars. And in larger ways, like letting them decide where the donation money should go. Should it go to church, the humane society, the local shelter? Letting them decide is empowering and will lead to a rewarding family discussion.
We currently use three simple jars for allowance. You can make this project as simple or crafty as you wish! Below are a couple of adorable finds from Amazon to get you inspired...
A few additional guidelines for success:
- Let your child use their spending money on almost anything they wish, no matter how foolish. The theory is: if it breaks, lesson learned. Our family only has one rule about spending: you can't use allowance to buy candy. *Are your kids candy fiends, too? I swear. Candy, candy, candy.
- Do not lend your child money or give them an advance on their allowance. If they find a big ticket item, they need to SAVE for it.
- Use dollars instead of change. It feels more grown-up and empowering.
- Go to the bank and get a stack of fifty singles. Things can get tricky when you tell your child that you refuse to lend them money in advance, but then you are forced to "owe" them back allowance because you don't have cash handy.
- Be empathetic. When their cheap toy breaks, when they forget their cash at home, when they want that expensive toy and have to save... be sure to be compassionate and use these as teaching opportunities.
Should allowance be tied to chores?
***Check out what PARENTS are saying.***
What do YOU think? I am still up in the air on this decision and I'd love your feedback.
Dedications: Thank you to Kristin for the BRILLIANT Money Mondays idea. It has revolutionized how we do allowance. Thank you to Tiffany of Peanut Blossom for the gorgeous photos in this post.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”