Do Allowances Work?

Do Allowances Work? Should you ask kids to do chores in return for getting a fixed amount of money? I don’t recall getting an allowance as a child. I understood that there were certain chores that we all did to maintain the house and keep it tidy. It was expected and part of our responsibilities. I did not have a problem with it since it was taught early on that this was what I had to do, and I honestly didn’t know any differently.


I can understand that a reward might be offered if there is something completely out of the ordinary, for example, asking a child to watch a younger sibling is something that is not normally the child’s responsibility.

I know there must be an effective way to do it, but I would almost rather withhold the money, give praise, and then provide them with money for needed purchases. My parents always provided money if we needed it, and we were not spoiled as a result, we truly appreciated it. My parents helped pay for my cars, gas, insurance, etc. even when I held a part time job in high school. They taught me to use my money only if I needed it, and to save up as much as possible for bigger plans.

Do Allowances Work? Tips for an allowance

I have read that if a family does decide to go the allowance route, here are some tips that may help:
If your main goal is to teach your kids to manage money, give them a basic allowance that isn’t linked to chores but is tied to certain spending responsibilities.

To make the bookkeeping easier — and to make the connection between work and pay more direct — consider paying your kids as soon as a job is done to your satisfaction instead of waiting for a designated payday. Or put your children in charge of keeping track of chores completed. If they fall down on the job, their pocketbook takes a direct hit.

Attach a value to each household chore and post a list. Then let your kids select the ones they want to do.

Don’t start handing out money until your children are old enough to manage it, which means at least first grade. Second, keep the system simple so that you can manage it. Do allowances work for your family?

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