The subject of allowance comes up often when I am discussing family budgeting. Parents tend to be against giving their child an allowance. It can be due to the principle of giving an allowance. But mostly it’s a variety of reasons. These reasons include: frequency, lack of consistency, chore driven or not, how much. This article will discuss why every parent should consider giving their child an allowance.
Why Give Your Child an Allowance?
Part of a parent’s job is to prepare their children for adulthood. As an adult, everyone (except, perhaps, a person who is mentally challenged), will have to know how to manage their financial lives. No one should ever completely delegate that responsibility to anyone include spouses, siblings, or parents. This is your opportunity to teach your child a life skill. Teaching them how to manage money while they are young with uncomplicated lives is the ideal time. Remember they are still living in your home and can fail without losing anything important (such as their home).
I believe having an allowance can offer a wonderful way to introduce budgeting, spending, and saving. Children as young as three years old start to learn counting. By age five or six, they understand the concept of exchange. An ideal time to start giving them an allowance.
Should Allowance Be Tied to Chores?
Chores and allowance should not be tied together. Chores are separate. As a member of a family, children and adults are required to help the family as a unit. Chores such as setting the table, washing the dishes, or helping with the laundry should not be enforced by withholding money. These chores are requirements.
As a child, I clearly remember not wanting to do my chores. I was told it was not an option, but a requirement. Tying an allowance to chores will complicate matters. Some children would forgo the money to avoid doing chores. While other children, might ask to do more, to make more money. Remember, an allowance is to teach financial capabilities. Chores and allowance are different teaching moments.
Another reason is that it is not reality. Housewives, and now, househusbands, do not get paid to clean, cook, and grocery store shop, so why would a parent pay a child to set the table for dinner? Many parents that I have spoken to seem to get caught up in this dilemma. Parents need to have another type of punishment when the child refuses to participate in their chores.
With that said, I am fine with parents offering money for extra chores or projects around the house. This can be particularly helpful when a child is young and cannot get a job outside of the home.
Giving your child an allowance is way for parents to introduce budgeting, spending, and saving. Skills that will be extremely valuable at all ages.
Do you give your child an allowance? If so, why? If not, why not? Did you receive an allowance as a child?