Allowance never worked with my son. I could give it, take it away, and he never cared. If you look up expert advice, they'll tell you allowance should be given freely and not taken away for not doing chores. I never entirely agreed with that since we both know what happens if you don't do your job at work.
They'll also tell you to create four funds with it--a now, a save, a charity, and a long term fund or something like that. If they're getting $5 or $10 a week, it seems kind of silly and time consuming. I honestly think there are better ways to teach kids money management.
On the other hand, if your son regularly gets money from relatives for birthdays and holidays, start a savings account. And when he sees that really cool thing on TV, call his bluff and say, "Sure you can have that, but you're paying for it." I'll bet he quickly opts to go without, and if he really does want it, you'll know it's not just a passing thing.
When I was in school (late elementary and middle school), what really worked at my house is my mom gave me money for lunch, and when I decided to work in the cafeteria (getting free lunch from the school for it) I got to keep the money I would have gotten for lunch, so that became allowance. By high school I didn't work in the cafe, but so long as I ate lunch, I was able to save the rest. I often had a burrito and a milk to save money.
I think as kids get older, making them aware of what things cost, including activities, entertainment, etc., is very important. In elementary school, especially early elementary, I don't see it as essential.44839
This is one of those great debates for us too. We have finally instituted allowance with our kids now that our daughter is in kindergarten (our son is in 3rd grade and has a great grasp of money). The kids have a long list of chores from packing their own backpacks to sweeping under the table, dusting and windexing and brushing their hair and teeth. It has helped get them to do the things they should be doing in addition to taking some of the burden off of my husband and I.
The children regularly clear their plates without being asked, seems small, but for tired adults it's huge. We have also instituted the take it away rule, which means if they don't do a chore, they will do it the next day and they lose a portion of allowance anyway. We have also allowed them to earn allowance back by doing extra chores (a boon for us).
My son is a great saver and a careful buyer, we hope our daughter follows in his footsteps. Sure it would be nice if they helped out because it is the right thing to do and they are part of the family, but it required too much discussion/aggravation. For $6/week, we get a lot of help around the house and the children are learning about money. It is totally worth it!44840
My daughter, 8 gets four dollar bi-weekly allowance. I started the allowance on her eighth birthday. She receives the money when she remembers the the payday. The allowance is not attach to any chore.
She cleans my car ( interior) on Sundays for seventy five cents and my son 5, cleans the exterior for fifty cent. I do tip if they do a good job and deduct if the job is not well done. They use the money as they wish, which they rarely use.
I agree with MM, my daughter decreases her appetite for buying things when she has to use "her money" form her bank account. This works beyond my imagination.
My opinion is look for what works for you, your child, and family. It seems my son is likely to gets allowance when he turns six this August. Why! He understand money and exhibit respect for money. He knows some aspects of bank transactions. He knows work brings money and he wants to work to get money. His first job, cleaning of my car. He check calendar often for his sister's pay day, which he gets ten cents from her.44841
My son (6) is the same way, he can take allowance or leave it. He does have his regular chores that he will not now or ever get paid for. As a family member he is expected to contribute, as for being paid we have what we call special chores. If he wants to earn money has to do the chore to the best of his ability and weather or not it's light or heavy he will get paid between 50 cents and a $3.00's.
My son struggles with saving money, it burns a hole in his pocket the minute he gets it. We will go to the store and right away he wants to spend his money. We look at prices than count his money and there is a cap gun he's been after for a long time but he just can't bring himself to save his money for it. So he will buy whatever he can afford, which is a shame because I know how much he would like to have that toy.
There has been sometimes when he has asked for a special chore and did not want to finish. So, of course he did not get paid and he through a fit. I'm not sure if he's quite ready for allowance, but it's great to bounce off ideas from other people. I am hoping when he turns seven and is more mature we can start anew with allowances.44842
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