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Kids and Allowance

Families differ on how they give their kids money. Kelly writes about how her family does it, and the many questions that go along with allowances.

* Should the allowance be given freely OR tied to chores?
* Should I only pay for extra chores?
* How much money should I give my kid?
* Should I let them spend it on what they want OR should I force them to save a portion of it?
* Coins, bills, or a savings account?
* How often should I give him/her allowance?

Personally, I give the kids a set amount every week, in order to teach them by trial and error how to handle money. The amount is less than their friends get, which forces them to think hard about how they spend it. Their allowance is not tied to performing family chores, but occasionally I give a bonus to someone who has been extra helpful (only as a surprise). How does your family handle children and their money, or how do you plan to do it? Link -via Consumerist

(image credit: Flickr user Pingu1963)

I was given a weekly dollar amount corresponding with my age. $5 when I was 5 for example, $12 at 12. If I didn't do my chores or was bad, my allowance could be withheld for that week or for multiple weeks as punishment.

I had a savings account and was encouraged, but not required, to save. My parents never monitored my money or looked at my account unless I asked them to, if I needed them to make a deposit for example.
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My little one was recently out with us, and had forgot her purse. She really wanted something, but had no cash. So I offered to buy it for her if she'd pay me back when we got home. This idea was alien to her, and had to be explained three times. Looks like her foray into the world of credit had a rough start.
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I got a small allowance as a little kid, but as a teen I was paid for major chores that they would have paid others do do such as yard work and helping my Dad in his shop. I was also lucky to score a couple more yards in my neighborhood that added to the bucks.
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Mine's much as yours, Miss Cellania, but with occasional stoppages for dread misdemeanours. At one point, when he was going through a particularly vile patch, I realised I'd stopped our son's money for the next three years or so.
That's a bit silly - a kid wouldn't learn from such a long stoppage, so we had a big hug and a long talk and got back on track.

He's learned now to leave his cash at home - a trick his little sister has yet to master.
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I never really had any pocket money til i was about 13. I'd occasionally be given a fiver or something for a special occasion, and had money at christmas and birthday, and my parents would give me money to buy things for them so i got used to making purchases - but always had to hand back the change!

Then my parents set up a bank account and deposited about £20 a month straight into it. I also got a weekend job at about 14 so that brought in money too. Unlike some of my friends, my parents kept my pocket money going even when I had a job, so I usually had more money than my friends through school.

By the time I was 16, I think I was getting £50 a month off my parents and about £30 a week from work, which isn't bad! Funded trips to the pub - uh.. I mean.. Youth Club..

I never had my money stopped, but then, I was pretty well behaved so never really did anything that deserved such a punishment. I also did a LOT of the household chores, because my mother was in a train accident when I was 13, so I pretty much did all the cooking, cleaning, laundry etc for the family from about then.

It actually shocked me when I found out some of my friends refused to help out round the house unless they were 'paid' for it. In my house the only question was who did WHICH chores - it became a bargaining point: "I'll do the laundry AND cook dinner tonight and tomorrow if you do the vacuuming and dusting." stuff like that.
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Seventh - I was pleasantly suprised the other day when our son, who's twelve, rang us while we were at the shops to tell us he'd used the last of the washing powder and to get some more. Off his own bat he'd decided to do the washing for the family. We'd only recently started leaving him alone in the house for short periods and I guess he was at a loose end with no little sister to fight.
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i plan on imposing this system upon my brood. each child of considerable age (12 or something) shall be given an amount of money above and beyond the national average...lets say 25.00 a week. (high i know)

the following pay period they shall be required to return 10.00 of those dollars. or they shall receive no money at all that week. essentially they shall be getting 15.00 a week but with an extra ten that they must hold onto and not spend or suffer the penalty of 5.00 lost.

this plan does not however forbid the child from spending all of the money in some sort of investment as long as that investment can earn them back enough money to fund their next allowance.

i feel as a child i was never taught how to hold money. every adult knows you can't spend your entire paycheck.
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My wife and I never really fully explored the reasoning behind an allowance. Some vague notion of teaching money management. My daughter (9) gets $5 a week. Allowance isn't attached to chores. We all have a duty to the household, none of us are paid to do it.
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I never had a steady allowance, & did chores out of love & respect for my parents. My mum would give us money now and then as a treat. I also did little odd jobs around the neighbourhood to earn pocket money.
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My brother and I were never given an allowance. Mainly b/c we were poor. We did get $$ for a good report card though and birthdays and such. And every once in a while (about once a month), my dad would collect aluminum cans from his work. We would seperate them all (along with whatever we saved from home.. we kept it in an outside storage closet), bag them up and take them to the recycling place. That would usually get us about $20 each :)
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I don't remember having an allowance at all. I delivered newspapers for money when I was younger and started washing dishes in a restaurant when I was 14. My parents couldn't afford to give me an allowance so I had to learn the value of money early. On the up side, I had lots of practice managing my money by the time I went to university.
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Well there is no one right way to do things, but my parents never gave me any allowance. Instead, you were simply expected to do certain chores and activities as part of your family obligation.

While it may not teach a child the value of a dollar, it does teach them that you shouldn't place a pricetag behind every deed you do.
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@Skipweasel

You honestly think that a 12 year old boy who is home alone is just going to do the laundry for no reason at all? You must be pretty naive...
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well we had kinda of the same set up you have Miss C,

by the time I was in 5th grade I was receiving 3 dollars a week. it would work out to be just enough to buy SOME of the things we wanted, but not all, so we had to constantly make trade offs.

though we were immediately cut off once we started working. then we had to pay INTO the house, so that we didn't have too much money in our hands to be wasteful with.

Worked out pretty well for me. Not so much for the siblings once they started managing their own money they went a little wild.
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I'm thirteen and I have no allowance :(

However, my mom told me that she used to get pocket money every week (she's from Pakistan). I've been trying to convince her that she should do the same with me, but my brother always ruins it by requesting $5 for washing the car (with me and my dad's assistance, I should add).
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I got a small allowance growing up & it was attached to my doing chores - simple stuff like keeping my room tidy & helping clear dished after dinner.
Until I was 15, half of my allowance went straight into the bank, which was great because then I had savings to buy myself a stereo etc.
I think I got 50c per week (total) when I was 5 and it went up in $1 increments per year.
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in my case when i was a child, i decided to never ask for money.
just let my parenst keep it. so when i want something i asked them so that i wouldn't ahve to go buy it myself, HAHAHA... thats some service
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My parents did not believe in allowances, because they were absolute control freaks, and didn't want us to be able to buy anything they didn't approve of.

When I got my first job, I was expected to start paying "rent" which was always the total amount of my paycheck (of course I learned to lie about what I was making and hide money.) I resorted to credit cards as an escape, and now I am $45,000 in debt. Thanks a lot, Mom and Dad!
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