The allowances post

We’re taking the plunge.  We’re giving DC an allowance.

DC was really excited about Halloween this year.  Then we got to talking about Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We talked about gift giving and Christmas and what to give DH.  DC suggested candy, and named off a couple of DH’s favorite treats (“the ones that are like the ones with the m’s but have the s’s instead”).  That got us talking about buying gifts (or making them) and that got us talking about money and allowances.  DC wants one.  I asked what (s)he’d do with it and (s)he said, “buy candy?”  Halloween has really made a big impression.

Anyhow, so we’re thinking to do 60 cents a week until hir birthday and then we’ll up it to 80 cents.  (The idea is that it’ll be less than a full size candy bar each week because (s)he does not need a full size candy bar each week until (s)he’s a bit bigger.)  We’re going to get a clear plastic container and cut a hole in the top for hir to put coins in.  (S)He gets to keep all the money with no constraints and spend it (or save or give) on whatever (s)he wants.  It will not be tied to chores.  DC, I mean spiderman, helps out with chores no matter what.

Back in the day, I got 10 cents per year of age.  That wasn’t a whole lot of money.  But it did teach me to save up, and it forced me to budget.  I knew very well the local tax rate and exactly how many packs of lemonheads and now-and-laters I could get.  Of course, back in the day, we kids could go to the local drug store and spend hours trying to decide which pieces of candy to get, but poor DC is stuck with places we drive hir to.

DH had to do chores for his allowance.  I tend to go with this post from GRS on the allowance philosophy– let them make their own decisions and mistakes now.  But I don’t think it probably makes too much of a difference.  But who knows.  That would be an interesting research paper… but I kind of doubt it would get into a top journal.

How are allowances working out with your kids?  How did they work out for you growing up?

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28 Responses to “The allowances post”

  1. First Gen American Says:

    I can’t believe my 5 year old was asking for candy at the store the other day when he still has a huge bowl of it at home. “But I don’t have that kind” Kids and candy. I remember walking up to the corner store to get it too.

    No allowance for ours yet. He has a piggy bank that we sometimes make him withdraw money out of but that’s it. I really don’t know what the right age is.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I’m sure there’s not a right age. DC is still working on how much each coin is worth. So 60 cents a week is helping out.

    • moneyreasons Says:

      My daughter asked for a hershey’s chocolate bar… I brought up the fact she said that she had plenty at home from trick-or-treat, but she said she didn’t have a “big” chocolate bar though (lol, needless to say, I didn’t get her one that day).

  2. Jacq @ Single Mom Rich Mom Says:

    Umm.. I always feel like a bad mom when I say I don’t give an allowance. One reason I don’t is because I do live very close to a convenience store and it’s just way too convenient for a kid to resist. I do pay pretty hefty for some chores though for the 10 y.o. In my own little statistical sample size of one (the 22 y.o. didn’t get an allowance either though, but I don’t think he asked), I’ve noticed that big amounts received seem to result in bigger amounts saved. It’s also seemed to be the last year or so that I’ve noticed that he’s trying to save towards some threshold that represents “The Number” for him. But then he’s kinda money oriented – no idea where he gets that from.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      That’s funny because we were just bemoaning that we don’t live near a convenience store for hir to be able to buy things on hir own. (Of course, (s)he’s still in preschool so that would still be a few years off.)

      For us I think the allowance represents a way to assuage my guilt that we don’t have any junk food at home (you know how some moms get that you’re destroying your child because (s)he’ll just go crazy with junk food once (s)he leaves the nest). Though DH and DC were talking last night about buying model airplanes with it. Apparently Michael’s has some planes for $1 plus tax. DC right now has $1.20 saved up.

      I think paying for chores is just an alternate way to give an allowance. It’s still teaching money management.

  3. Everyday Tips Says:

    I have given my kid’s an allowance for a long time now, and it is interesting how each child handles it. My daughter hoards cash like none other and doesn’t spend a dime. My youngest wants to go to Target whenever he has a dime. My oldest son wants to spend on Itunes.

    I both spent and saved my allowance. As a youngster, I ran to the corner store and bought all kinds of treats. As I got older, I used it to buy clothes and such.

  4. MutantSupermodel Says:

    I have three kids but only two are on allowances. The oldest, 7, tends to save the money when I give it to him. From what I can understand, their father doesn’t actually give them allowance, instead he lets him buy things on their trips to the supermarket. I don’t agree with that idea but I can’t do much about it. He gets $4 a week. My daughter, years old, started asking for one when she realized her brother was getting one and could use it to buy things. She gets $1 a week and puts it in her piggy bank. As they get older, amounts will change. I like the idea that they have to pay for everything they use– cell phones, lunches, etc.

  5. Roshawn @ Watson Inc Says:

    I’m not sure how I feel about an allowance. I was on commission like your DH. I think that worked well for me.

  6. Linda Says:

    I must have gotten some sort of allowance because I remember buying candy at the local convenience store as a child, and have one particularly vivid memory of being one cent short of the amount I’d need to buy a 45 single (yeah, that long ago) and my mother refusing to give me the penny because I had to use my own money for things like that. Boy, was I upset!

    I also recall having to do chores, but can’t remember if the allowance was tied to performance.

    A few months before I turned 16, I got a work permit and a job. That’s when I remember really having moeny to spend on things for myself, like books, clothing, etc.

  7. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    #2 here. I remember getting an allowance but it wasn’t tied to chores. I had to do chores anyway. I don’t remember how much it was! I do remember getting in trouble when I had some overdue fines at the library and didn’t have the allowance to cover it. My parents covered it and made me work it off.

  8. frugalscholar Says:

    Bad Parent here. I always meant to give an allowance, but never remembered, had the money, blahblahblah. Both my kids are intentional spenders, so all turned out well, in spite of my slacker-mom tendencies.

  9. moneyreasons Says:

    I started giving an allowance at 5 for both of my kids. $1 per 1 year of age, so $6 for my 6 year old, etc…

    After 10 years old, I give $2 per year of age. so at 12, they get $14

    At 18 I bump it up to $50 a week.

    I think that’s fair…

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      That beats 10 cents/year of age.

    • bogart Says:

      Can I sign up for a position as one of your kids? I’m over 18, just so you know …

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Ha! That’s a really good point. I think DH’s weekly allowance is something like $30 or $35. Though he’s also on the at-home meal plan, so to speak.

        My parents didn’t give me an allowance in college, but they paid for my books, room, and board directly. Also clothing (lucky for them I hate to shop). I had to work for anything else.

      • Money Reasons Says:

        lol, we’re not taking applications at this time ;)

        Once they are in college and out of the house, the allowances stop (at least that’s what I’m thinking for now). Perhaps graduating from college would be a better stopping point?

        I know I don’t want to give an allowance forever!

  10. Rumpus Says:

    An allowance wasn’t a big deal for me until I was probably in 4th grade. I remember saving money to rent video games, but don’t know what else I did with it. I didn’t use it for candy.

  11. Molly On Money Says:

    My kids get allowance and do chores but they are not tied. They HAVE to do the chores!
    Two years ago I started giving them a clothing allowance to manage. This was the amount of money I had in my budget to spend on their clothing. It was the most freeing thing I’ve ever done. Now when we go to the mall and they say, “Can I get this or that” I respond, “I don’t know? Can you?”

  12. Carnival of Personal Finance #284: Thanksgiving Preparation Edition | Sweating The Big Stuff Says:

    […] from Nicole and Maggie: Grumpy Rumblings presents The Allowances Post. Shopping – Budgeting and Saving – Nobody drives to the mall without a plan. […]

  13. Kids and money and class and ramblings about allowances « Grumpy rumblings of the half-tenured Says:

    […] on how to teach kids about money.  We can, of course, point you to our version of, “The Allowance Post,” from a couple of years ago.  DC mainly uses hir allowance to buy Christmas or Birthday […]


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