Should kids get an allowance? Some parents say yes, kids should get an allowance, and some say no. I started thinking about this topic after writing an article for Social Moms, 8 Things Every Parent Should Teach Their Children About Money. While each family has to make the best decision that works for them, in our house we’ve decided to give our kids an allowance.
Allowance for my kids started in an unexpected way. I’ve had a thyroid problem for close to 6 years and for most of those years it went undiagnosed. There were many days when my body was so exhausted I found it difficult to sit up and eat (that sounds really pitiful, but it was my reality). During that time I had to rely more and more on my kids to help out with things around the house that I considered my job. Partly out of guilt, and partly out of gratitude, I started giving them an allowance. I’ve since had thyroid surgery and am so happy to have my life back. Even though things are getting back to normal, we’ve continued to give our kids allowance and here’s why:
6 Reasons that answer the question, “Should kids get an allowance?”
Kids learn how to manage money
Yes, our kids can learn to manage their money from watching us or by us explaining it to them. But I believe the best way for kids to learn to manage money is hands on. There will come a day when our kids don’t live at home anymore. They will be on their own and have no choice but to manage their own money. I would much rather teach them at home using their money while I can still oversee their spending and help them make good decisions.
Kids learn that in order to have money, you must work
I don’t want to raise lazy kids who think they deserve money even if they didn’t work for it. Instead, the kids should have a good work ethic – they should be willing to work hard, work without complaining, and work regularly. I don’t believe in paying kids for doing daily household chores because that’s just part of being a functioning member of the family. No one pays me for unloading the dishwasher or sweeping the floors, so why should my kids get paid? I do think that kids could be paid for doing extra jobs around the house on a regular basis.
Kids become independent
When kids have their own money, they can assert their independence. They can make decisions about how and where they’d like to spend their money, and the money can help support their hobbies. My 8 year old son is really into coin collecting. He loves to research the value of coins and shop for coins on eBay. One day I thought he was on the computer just looking through eBay auctions. Come to find out, he had bid on a coin without asking. Thankfully it wasn’t the $800.00 three-legged buffalo nickel he had been eyeing. Needless to say, we had a long talk with him about bidding on eBay, and we now remember to sign out of eBay when we leave the site!
Kids learn the value of money
Funny thing, my kids are really great at spending my money, but when they are spending their own money they are a bit more frugal. When they are using their own money, they think through their purchases more carefully. They learn how to budget their money, and they learn how to save up for things they want to buy.
Kids learn to give
It is one thing for your kids to watch you give, it is quite another when they are the ones doing the giving. Giving not only blesses the person or organization that is receiving the gift, but it blesses the giver. I recommend teaching your children to donate 10% of their money to your church or favorite charity.
Kids learn to save
If you start this early with your kids, they are more likely to grow up making saving money a regular part of their life. Younger kids can be taught this using a piggy bank and short term goals. It will be hard for them to understand saving for college, but they will understand saving money to buy a favorite toy. Older children will benefit from a savings account, and you can use this opportunity to teach them about investments and letting their money earn more money. I also recommend teaching kids to set aside 10% of their money towards savings.
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