Recently, my husband and I decided to start giving our boys a weekly allowance. They receive $5.00 a week, with the condition that they do their normal chores without us nagging and them complaining. For the most part, this has worked out well. Some extra “reminding” is still necessary on occasion, but it is a learning process for all of us. Our eldest has even managed to earn a little more by doing extra yard work without us asking. Here are three reasons we give our sons an allowance.
Money Does Not Grow on Trees.
I have heard the argument that an allowance should not be tied to chores since chores should be a family affair. On the flip side is the argument that we all work for money, and there are no handouts in life. And I agree – with both camps.
As a family, we have cleanup times that are not included on the list of “allowance chores”. My Snazzy Lads are responsible for keeping their toys picked up, getting ready for school in the morning, and taking care of their dogs. I am slowly working in dishes and simple tasks like vacuuming as part of their normal routine.
We also want to instill a work ethic in our children while they are young and eager to learn. We are not giving them a handout – we are letting them receive the fruits of their labors. And if either of the boys does extra work without being asked, they are rewarded accordingly (think of it as a bonus).
We are saving money.
You may be thinking that $5.00 is a lot of money for a 6 and 8 year old. But we are actually saving money this way. Before the allowance went into effect, we were spending that much on treats or cheap toys multiple times a week, depending on how often we had to go into a store. Yes, I admit I have resorted to bribing my kids with a treat to get them out of a store without too much hassle. Now with their allowance, if they want candy, they can buy it themselves. Or a hot wheels car. Or…you get the point.
It is a Beginner’s Course on Budgeting Their Income.
We are also hoping they gain a little money acumen. While I may suggest they save their money for a bigger purchase, if they want to spend it all on candy and gum, that is their choice. They are learning the pros – and cons – of immediate satisfaction versus an anticipated reward.
While I may try to steer their purchasing choices by pointing out pros and cons, I leave the ultimate decision up to them. Watching them cling to their money a little harder before letting it go reassures me they are actually learning some necessary life lessons.
This scenario works for us, but I imagine it would be harder to follow through with if we had more children. How about you? Do you have an allowance or reward system in place? I look forward to reading about it in the comments below.
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