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We Asked #RealityMoms: What About Allowance?

Every family’s approach to teaching children about money management is different. Some people feel that supplying an “allowance” without clear-cut expectations leads to children who don’t understand the value of working for money. Others feel that if you set the system up properly, your children will not only learn how to earn money but also how to spend it wisely. We asked our #RealityMoms writers how they approach allowance in their houses—and not surprisingly, they each had a different answer.

Our philosophy is that every member of our family is part of the household and as such every one of us has a daily responsibility. My children are ages nine, eleven and thirteen. They are required to do a minimum of one responsibility each day unless we are too busy with other activities. We do not pay them a weekly allowance as we feel that as a member of the family we all should be pitching in to keep the house running smoothly—as we all benefit from it. But they do get money for any extra chores beyond their daily responsibility. Depending on the difficulty level and time they get anywhere from 25 cents to $20 for a chore. ~ Tonia Clark at Why Not Mom

I have two kids, ages three and almost eight. Neither get an allowance. I want to instill a sense of family duty into them. After all, mom isn’t the maid and cook. Taking care of our household is a team effort. ~ Jennifer Weedon Palazzo at Mom Cave TV

Our nine-year-old gets $20 a month, but the expectation is that he helps around the house and with the puppy. We made it his “job” to take the dog out when needed. With my disability, he actually helps out a lot, so I think $5 a week is reasonable. He primarily uses this to buy games and things he wants to save up for, which is teaching him some money management skills too. ~ Brandee Foster from The One Crazy Kid

No allowance yet for my nearly six and eight-year-olds. They sometimes earn money for doing particular chores but like everything I do the system is pretty random. That said, both are saving their pennies for large ticket toys. We have also been known to offer the cost of a treat they ask for to be contributed to their piggy banks—instead of a quarter for the gumball machine or a something from the dollar bins at Target, they can choose to save toward their goal. Sometimes they choose not to, which is fine. The lesson is still learned. ~ Serendipity from Mother of Serendipity

In our family, basic chores are detailed and expected. We do a Power Hour on the weekends when we all work, so it’s clear that we’re all in this together and to impart a sense of shared responsibility. It’s also clear that no one is paying us for being parents. Ron Lieber’s book The Opposite of Spoiled has some persuasive arguments as to why allowances aren’t ideal for learning financial responsibility. That said, we do occasionally monetarily reward additional chores or those that are done exceptionally well—like a performance bonus. ~ Shannan Ball Younger from Between Us Parents

No allowances in my house. No one wants to help with chores and I am tired of asking them!~ Sarah LaFountain from Cook with 5 Kids

We’re interested to know how you approach it in your household! Tell us what you do in the comments.

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