By Kelly Greene
It starts with the tooth fairy, right, moms? Your child loses that first tooth and you’re both so excited! The tooth fairy will be visiting! As your child is asleep you stress over how much the tooth fairy is paying these days for a tooth. Your friend maybe gave their kid a dollar or a quarter but what about that one mom who gave her kid a $20 bill?!? And so it begins…
Now flash forward a few years and your kids are older, they want money for things plus they live in your house and make their kid messes so they have chores. So, should you give an allowance? Should you pay them for doing chores? If you google this you will find so many varying opinions and methods, leaving you even more confused. Here are a few ideas:
1. Give them a weekly allowance along with a list of chores. The amount of this can be their age or an amount you feel comfortable with. Also, if you have more than one child the chore list may rotate. If you choose the amount to match their age be aware you will more than likely have to re-evaluate this as they move into their teens. A 10-year-old may feel like a king getting $10 a week to pick up dog poop but a 16-year-old isn’t having it.
2. Use the marble method. This is also helpful if you have a child that has trouble with discipline. You take 2 jars and marbles, one jar is what they have earned and the other is what they have lost. You then sit with your child and come up with the “cost” in marbles for particular items or outings or even technology time. You also make a list of how many marbles are earned for each chore. This works very well for younger children, who will often ask to do extra chores to earn more marbles to get a toy on your next trip to Target. This is a wonderful lesson for kids to see the benefit of saving money.
3. Kids just have chores and don’t need to be paid to keep their rooms clean. This is the other side of the allowance debate. Should you pay your kids to help in the house you provide them? Children should still be responsible for helping around the home but it’s also important to teach them about money. Depending on your financial situation, you may not be able to give your kids a weekly allowance. Give your kids a list of chores and let them know you’ll give them money for things as they need it and as you can afford it.
In the end, it’s really up to you as a family to determine what works best for you and your child. Whatever method you choose, it’s important to educate your children about earning, saving and spending money. The little things you do now can be very impactful on their relationship with money in the future.
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