My kiddo is five (technically five and a quarter). She's starting to do little chores. She has a piggy bank. And I'm thinking we are entering the Allowance Zone. But how much do we give? What does she buy with that and what do we still buy for her. I know, these questions seem much more pertinent for when she is, say, 12 and going to the movies with friends, but we need to start setting the groundwork now.
So, how much? I know we can't go by what we got as kids, as well, times have quite changed, as have prices for even the smallest plastic toy. Many experts say to give a dollar for each year, until they reach the teen years, when they may need more than $13. So, let's say I give her five bucks -- a good starting point, teaching her how to save that money and so on.
There are many thoughts on this allowance thing. Some experts suggest that an allowance is given, and then we should offer opportunities to earn more money by doing chores that are not on already expected to do. Like washing the dog or sorting the recycling for you or washing the windows. They earn money -- a great lesson for them, working for money and being rewarded for a job well done.
The main element I've read is to be very clear about money, especially when your kids are older. Make sure everyone knows what the allowance is for, what she is responsible for buying herself, the set amount she must save and donate, what you will pay for, and so on. Keep the conversation going. Ask her what she spent her allowance on, where she wants to donate a portion to, and all that good bak-and-forth.
The last thing many psychologists recommend: be careful with rewarding good behavior with money gifts. Instead, try to reward them with praise and an experience gift, like a special afternoon for just the two of you or she gets to "choose" everything (what to have for dinner or picking the music in the car for a whole weekend) or a little date with Dad.
Did you get an allowance growing up -- how much? How much allowance do you give your kids? When did you start giving it (or when do you think you will)? Share how you handle it in your home!