I’m just going to put this out there…
we do not give our children allowances.
Whew. I am glad that’s out in the open.
Several years ago my husband and I decided not to do the allowance thing with our children. Before you tell us how awful we are, let me tell you our reasons:
1. Household chores teach the children skills they’re eventually going to have to use on their own. How many people leave the nest and have no idea how to cook, sort laundry or properly load a dishwasher?
2. Some of the least favorite chores (cleaning up after the pets!) are directly related to something the children asked for and is something they promised they would do.
3. We don’t pay our children simply because they exist.
4. Here’s the kicker: we expect our children to help out around the house. We expect it. The kids know that and if they hate it they are free to raise their children differently.
This doesn’t mean that we don’t give our children money, however, because we do (boy, do we ever). We don’t give money away freely though, the children know they have to work for it.
We do provide our children with everything they NEED and more, we’re not unreasonable. Here are some real life examples of how we work:
1. Child #1 wants $30 to buy a concert ticket but only has $10. We will give her the extra $20 (and some money for food) but in return she must commit to babysitting her younger siblings for a total of 4 hours.
2. Child #3 wants to purchase a $5 book. This child doesn’t ask for stuff very often so I ordered the book for her without expecting anything in return.
3. Child #2 wanted some shorts to wear to her musical rehearsals. She has some shorts she could wear but she wanted a specific type that cost $18 at the store. I told her that I would buy her the shorts but that I wasn’t paying $18 for them. I told her we would look at Goodwill first, where we happened to find an almost identical pair for less than $2. If we hadn’t found the shorts at Goodwill we would have looked at other discount stores or asked for hand-me-downs.
4. Child #4 wants money to spend on souvenirs when we go on vacation. We told him that we would purchase one $5 souvenir for him but that he could earn more money by helping us with extra chores.
While some may argue that by not being an ATM for our children they will never learn money management skills. I argue that by not providing them with free money they are more aware of what they spend their money on, and more likely to save it.
What are your feelings on giving children an allowance?