The decision to provide your child with a weekly allowance is one that deserves careful consideration and thought. Of course, many of us, in our periods of youth, were provided a small monetary stipend by our parents; and, as such, it seems only normal to extend the same privilege to our own little ones.
But even if you have chosen to offer your children a weekly allowance, there are still other questions to ask yourself before you begin. For example, how should the allowance system work? Should the allowance be considered a reward for performing weekly chores? Or should it simply be a constant payment regardless of the completion of any tasks? And how much should you give your kids?
Don’t worry if you don’t have any immediate answers to these questions. Read on to learn more about different types of children’s allowance systems and to help you decide how much to give.
Different Types of Children’s Allowance Systems
Have you decided to give your children a small amount of money every week, but you’re unsure of what allowance system to use to ensure your children understand the purpose and the responsibilities that come with earning an income? To begin, it helps to first uncover the different types of children’s allowance systems available to parents.
For one, many parents rely on a reward system for chores performed each week. For example, children are given five dollars each week for cleaning their rooms, putting away all of their toys, and helping out with dishes at night. In this system, if the tasks are completed, the kids are given the money; however, if any of the chores remain unfinished, the children are forced to go without money for the week.
Another scenario involves giving children an allowance each week regardless of their contributions around the house. Many parents opt for this selection because they believe it is healthy for their children to understand the importance of money, but don’t necessarily want to force them to perform menial tasks around the house.
Overall a hybrid system that combines certain aspects from a variety of different types of children’s allowance systems may be the best solution. Specifically, you may find it most beneficial to test out a system in which children are given a weekly allowance that is not tied to any chores performed around the house throughout the week. However, within this system, you should take efforts to ensure that the children are helping out around the home; for example, while you should not make washing the dishes a condition of receiving an allowance, you should simply make that a requirement as a member of the family. This helps children understand the importance of money in this scenario, without strictly resorting to a reward-based system.
In addition to this, consider complementing the allowance system by allowing your children to earn extra money periodically by performing season or other tasks. For example, you could offer an extra five dollars for helping mow the lawn during the summer, or for weeding the garden. This additional compensation helps reward children for taking extra steps to work hard and help the family.
How Much Allowance Should I Give My Children?
Of course, this brings us to the final question: how much allowance should I give my children? What’s a reasonable amount to ensure that children have enough to save or spend for something they truly want?
Naturally, there are many different opinions on this topic; you may find that one works best for your individual situation over the rest.
Some recommend giving your child a dollar for every year of age; here, your four-year-old would get four dollars a week, your five-year-old would get five dollars, and so on. This certainly is not an unreasonable amount of money, and allows a child to save enough over a few months for something he or she truly wants. You can also modify this up or down to suit your needs.
Or, you can provide allowance based on your own budget; this involves considering how much you spend on your child, and deciding an allowance amount accordingly.
However, whatever allowance system you choose as right for your family, you may also want to institute a policy whereby you earmark portions of the allowance for your child. Specifically, many parents find it useful to have three containers, one for saving, one for spending, and one for donations; doing so helps your little one learn about splurging, budgeting, and giving to those in need.
Learning About Allowance Systems for Kids
Now that you have decided to provide your little ones with an allowance each week, it’s time to decide how to put your plan into action. Keep these tips in mind when you take the first steps towards helping your little ones learn about the importance of money.