Parents & Teachers: Allowance Advice
Should you give your child an allowance? If so, how much? There are so many opinions on this subject – you can find an expert to agree with whatever opinion you have. There is no one right answer, so you can decide for yourself what's right for your child.
To help you, we have compiled a list of some "dos" and "don'ts" when it comes to your teen and money.
- Don't tie chores to a regular allowance (pitching in is part of being a member of the house).
- Do offer to pay a small fee for extra chores, such as: shoveling snow or washing the car.
- Don't use an allowance to punish bad behavior (or reward good behavior).
- Do use an allowance to teach money-managing skills.
- Don't over-manage their money.
- Do let them learn from their own mistakes (next time, they might save for something bigger, rather than buying a comic book).
- Don't make them put their entire allowance into a savings account.
- Do ask them to put a small portion of each allowance in savings. As an incentive, match what they have put in savings each month.
- Don't give them an allowance plus extra spending money.
- Do figure out how much you give them on the weekly or monthly basis (lunch at school, movies on Friday, candy at the supermarket) and have them manage their own money.
- Don't start their allowance on their first birthday.
- Do give them an allowance when they express an interest and show an understanding of money.
- Don't try to keep up with your neighbors (every family is different).
- Do give an allowance that makes sense for your family's economic situation and budget.
- Don't forget to pay the allowance.
- Do teach your child to follow your example (keep your word and pay on time).
- Don't question the purchases they make.
- Do ask them to keep track of where they are spending their money so that can see how quickly it can be spent or saved.
- Don't tell them specifically what to buy.
- Do let them know generally what they should spend money on.
- Don't start off too big.
- Do give more money as they get older (teens need more money than younger children).
- Don't set rigid guidelines in the beginning.
- Do learn what works best for both you and your children (such as which payment schedule and/or amount).
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Reviewed by: Adolescent Interest Group
Last reviewed: August 2013