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Pay Me Mom! How to Handle Your Child's Allowance

Pay Me Mom! How to Handle Your Child's Allowance

Pay Me Mom! How to Handle Your Child's Allowance

What’s the going rate for allowance these days? And should it be tied to chores? If you're curious about how other families handle allowance, you're not alone. Circle of Moms members have discussed the subject at length, and here we're share some of the most common points of view.

How Much?

"The going rate for allowance these days is $1 per age per week," Rhonda C. shares. Many moms agree with that rule of thumb, with the caveat that the family's financial situation also needs to be taken into consideration. As Michelle M. explains: “Allowance should also be proportional to your family income. If a dollar per year of age/wk is too much, I like the idea of doing that per month.”

When to Start?

Many moms recommend instituting an allowance around the start of grade school. Rachel F. relays: “I started paying my daughter $5 a week when she started kindergarten…She then saves her money and buys her own [Nintendo] DS games or other things she wants. It has been a good way for her to understand that things aren't free and has helped her learn to save!”

Allowance and Chores

Circle of Moms members also suggest several different ways of tying (or separating) allowance and chores.

1. Assign Each Chore a Dollar Amount: One option is to assign each chore a dollar amount, as Tammy R. does: “My son gets an allowance only when he does his chores. Each chore pays a certain amount of money for the week.” Brandi W. uses a similar system: "I only pay 50 cents a chore, but it adds up to a good amount by the end of the week... on average $5 per child."

2. Separate Paid Chores and "Family Chores": Other moms, including April H., suggest dividing chores into two groups. "Make a list of 2 types of chores--ones that they do as part of the family/household, and ones that they can do for $. Cleaning their rooms, clearing the table, feeding the pets and helping with dishes, those go in the first group. Extras would be like dusting furniture, washing windows, scooping poop in the yard/litterbox, weeding plants."

Kathleen C. agrees: "My kids are responsible for certain things like rooms and getting dressed and picking up after themselves. That's part of being a member of the family. They don't get 'paid' for that. Allowance is for extra chores."

3. Keep Allowance Entirely Separate From Chores: Another alternative is to keep chores separate from allowance entirely. Laura B. explains: “We don't attach allowance to work at this time because we feel that she needs to understand that successful families must work together, each doing their part to help each other out. That being said, we do on occasion give her a little extra reward when she goes above and beyond her tasks.”

What's your family's allowance system?

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