The Pros and Cons of Giving your Kids an Allowance

The topic of allowance for kids is hotly debated. Should you? Shouldn’t you? Experts and parents weigh in on the topic.

Parents have long debated the merits of paying children an allowance. Some believe that it is a good way to help children learn about money and how to save it. Others feel that children should only be paid for chores they do around the house. Still others think that children should not be paid at all, but should instead be given spending money as needed.

So, what is the right answer? Should children be paid an allowance? The answer, as with most parenting questions, is it depends.

Pros & Cons of Paying Allowance to your Child

There are several pros to giving your child an allowance. First, it can help children learn about money and how to save it and manage it. Second, it can help children learn about responsibility, as they will need to make sure they have enough money to cover their expenses. Finally, it can help children develop a sense of independence, as they will be able to buy things they want with their own money.

There are also some cons to giving your child an allowance. First, it can teach children to expect money for nothing. Second, it can create a sense of entitlement in children. Paying allowance can sometimes lead to children arguing with their parents over money. And in some families, there’s just not enough money left after paying the bills to give the child an allowance.

How Much Allowance Should You Give Your Child?

When deciding how much allowance to give your child, there are several things to consider. First, you need to decide how much money you can afford to give them. Second, you need to decide what you want the allowance to be for – it can be for chores they do around the house, or it can be a fixed amount of money each week.

The money experts at T. Rowe Price surveyed American parents. They found 75% choose to pay their child an allowance. They also asked how much allowance they paid their children.

$5 or less per week—14%

$6 to $10 per week—22%

$11 to $20 per week—35%

$21 to $50 per week—22%

$51 per week—7%

A popular way to pay allowance is to tie the amount to the child’s age. For instance, many parents choose to pay their children $2 for every year of their age. In this instance, a 5-year-old would get $10 a week and a 15-year-old would get $30. Just make sure to pick an amount that’s affordable for your family.

Should Allowance be Tied to Chores

Many parents debate whether or not children should be paid an allowance, and one of the main points of contention is whether or not children should only be paid for chores they do around the house.

There are pros and cons to both sides of this argument. On one hand, paying children for chores can help teach them about responsibility and how to work hard. On the other hand, it can also lead to children arguing with their parents over money.

In his best-selling book “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us,” author Daniel Pink says tying allowance to chores sends the wrong message. Pink argues that tying allowance to chores simply converts family obligations, like setting the table or taking out the garbage, into just another commercial transaction, and teaches that the only reason to do these chores for your family is to make money, instead of contributing to the operating of the household.

Should Parents Restrict What Kids Spend their Allowance On

If you do decide to pay your child an allowance, the next question you might have is “who gets to control what that money is spent on?”

Some parents prefer to give their children a set amount of money each week that they can spend however they want, while others prefer to give children money for specific purposes, such as groceries or clothing.

Others require that children separate their allowance into giving, saving, and spending and put a specific amount towards each of those goals each week.

Moms Share their Advice on Kids & Allowances

I don’t believe in allowance. If they want to do extra work for money ok. But I am not giving my child money for participating in maintaining the home they live in. I don’t get paid to clean my room. I also believe as a parent I need to give my child everything he needs to be successful.

-M. Jeannette

I believe the same. They should have chores and responsibilities that are part of living in your home, just as an adult has those same responsibilities and does not get rewarded for them. However, I do believe that if there are things they do in addition, with a prior agreement to be paid for them, they should be rewarded, so they can learn the responsibility of getting paid for a job well done.

-S. Kenneda

Yes because it teaches them responsibility and how to handle money. Granted, to me chores are “extra” like lawn mowing and stuff like that. Not your every day things they SHOULD already be doing.

-D. Mae

Yes. We give an allowance so our kids understand money. We’d rather them blow $5 on candy at 10yrs old than rack up credit cards worth of “emergency pizza” in college.

-C. McNelis