Do You Give Your Kids an Allowance?

We're thinking about starting this for 2012. We don't want it tied to responsibilities or chores, but just as a way to help give them more responsibility with money. Overall, they are good with the basic principles of money -- they know they need to allocate for Giving / Saving / Spending, but we think they could use more regular "practice."

I'd love to know what you do (or, if you don't do anything at all). You don't need to tell me how much (but you could).

Does it depend on the age of the kids, or do they all get the same? Do you increase each year? What have you taught them to do with the money (as I said, we do Give / Save / Spend, but another friend of ours does God / Others / Self).

Please leave a comment, or email me your thoughts.


(Edit: You can read the follow-up post, More on Allowances and Responsibilities, and also check out a blog post from Art of Manliness, Giving Kids and Allowance.)


  1. We don't give an allowance, but we do have a token system we use. They can trade tokens in for money, among other things. The kids earn tokens by doing "commission" items, things that don't have to be done to make our family function. These are not chores, but are extras they can do to earn money.

    I wrote more about it on the blog:

  2. We have given allowances to our kids. The amount depended on their chores, but they really had no choice about whether to do their chores or not. Between 2 and 3 they started with some small chores and then around 6 they joined the big list. David also has a mental list of things that can earn them extra money. Those things pay much better than allowance money. We've also found that if we give them a lump sum for their clothes, for instance, and tell them it is up to them to buy what they want/need, they make it stretch much further than if we pay as we go. Does that make sense?

  3. We have four kids and started allowance when each one started school. They get a small weekly allowance, certain expected chores and optional bigger jobs to earn more money. Keeping up with the allowances and IOUs became tricky with four kids so we developed a system to organize these transactions. You can find this free system at I also write a blog about kids and financial literacy that can be found at Good luck in with your kids and money system in 2012!

  4. yes. 8 year old gets "allowance", $2/week. $1 to spend, 50cents to save, 50 to give. 4.5 year old straight up gets $4 a month, "fun" money (read: GUM). allowance is separate from chores (we call chores "doing your part"), their part is the daily things we expect them to do to take care of themselves, their things, and help our family. there are opportunities to pull extra "chores" from a job jar to earn tickets for extra DS time, more GUM, or trade for coins, but these chores are not requirements. sometimes they end up choosing to do the chore from the jar for 2 reasons: 1. they know that if they don't help do it, mom and dad will, which means mom and dad will be busy and not have time to play with them so they help so we can play together, or 2. they know if it goes too long without getting done, the "chore" will become their "part" and there will be no reward besides someone saying "thank you".

    allowance is a tool to teach money management.

  5. Nope...but we do allow them opportunities to earn money. However, that's over and above their family "responsibilities" (ie, chores). What we've seen (and appreciate....and we think they do too) is that it has led them to be much more conservative with their spending when it's theirs, but also have seen them learn to ( and sometimes struggle with) share what they have with others.

  6. We do allowance and we let them spend their own $ for all those little extras that pop up. I know what broke feels like so I choose to do allowance. I have seen big payoffs already from Katlyn. Of course, we do diff. amts. depending on their level of responsibility.

  7. Why not have it connected to responsibilities or chores? Do you just get money for no reason? That would be nice wouldn't it?

    You may have some chores that are just things they do because they are part of the family. However, I think it is important that allowance is tied to responsibility of some kind.

    We have a tendency to build pseudo-worlds for children, this gives them false expectations when they get to the real world. We are seeing this a lot today with 20 somethings who have false expectations of what the world "owes" them.

    In our curriculum this is one of the reasons we have set up Bucks/Banking So kids learn to tithe (and do everything else) with currency they have worked for, earned, and will feel the loss as they spend it or tithe it.

    Think if you give kids $2 a week and have them give 50 cents as a tithe - that doesn't really hurt much. They are just getting $1.50 a week and mom and dad are giving the church .50. It doesn't cost the kids any thing in blood, sweat or tears.

    Great discussion.

  8. Thanks, everyone, for the great thoughts. We definitely have a lot of options to think through!

  9. our system is a spend, save, give. basically, monies earned monday-friday are spend. saturday is save and sunday is give. they have three sections in a shoebox for this. in theory, if they are earning the same amount each day for chores, they will be "giving" and "saving" an honorable percentage. our kids dont start earning til 5ish??? this money is often spent in ways we might spend it anyway (treat at a store, in their school store etc) there may also be opportunities to earn "extra" for more challenging jobs.

  10. We give our children an allowance (half their age per week so our 8 year old gets 4 dollars) and allow other opportunities to earn more for bigger chores. They are expected to complete routine tasks - laundry, dishes, cleaning bathrooms, etc. as part of household duties. They are required to budget into 4 categories - 10% each for tithing, giving and saving with 70% left for spending. We got the idea to separate tithing & giving from the book "Your Kids Can Master Their Money" published by Focus on the Family. This allows for giving to causes above & beyond their tithe to our church. They keep track of their money on a white board with the categories & have to do the math themselves. This has worked for several years for us.

  11. I think you are using token system for that right.? now a days it needed for that type of program. I have much knowledge about that. i recently use token system for my store. Thank you.

    Token Management System India