Why I Pay My Kids An Allowance To Do Chores

Why I Pay My Kids An Allowance To Do Chores
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponPrint this pageEmail to someone

 

Whether or not to pay kids an allowance is one of those parenting things that generally puts people on one side of a fence or the other. And trust me, I’ve seen both sides of the fence. I mean, it wasn’t so long ago that I was not going to regularly pay my kids to do something that I could do faster (and for free). Because of that, we didn’t pay our kids an allowance. Occasionally there were extra jobs around home and the farm they could do for extra cash, but there was never a steady, dependable way for them to make money.

Recently, however, my husband and I decided it was time for this no allowance set-up to change—for a few reasons.

  1. Our kids are older.

Our sons have entered teenagerhood. They’re at that in-between age of not being old enough to get a job, but having interests that require money.

2. We live in the country.

When my sons want to earn money, they can’t just wander from house to house asking to shovel driveways or do yard work. Houses in our area are quite spread out. Living in a rural area also means—since our sons don’t yet drive—if someone does have work for them, I have to get them there. They can’t just walk. I’m happy to rearrange my schedule to provide transportation if possible—but sometimes it isn’t possible.

3. I am busier now and need their help.

Recently I’ve really bumped up my hours in my home office. In order for the house and farm to run efficiently with me working at the same time, I really need the boys to shoulder part of that load. Could they just help out because they live here? Yeah. They could. (And oftentimes, they do.) But my husband and I kept following up point #3 (me needing help) with points #1 (teens wanting money) and #2 (living rurally) and made the decision that a chore based allowance was the right choice for our household.

Giving our sons a weekly allowance has shown us a lot of things. There are five huge benefits we’ve seen.

By having a weekly allowance, they’re learning about real life money.

You don’t learn everything about how to spend and save money from a curriculum. I want them to have experience having real money buying real things. How else are they supposed to learn what happens when you blow all your money? How do they safely learn to deal with paying for things that “come up”? Why deny them the satisfaction that comes with saving for something expensive and finally getting to buy it?

We never used to pay our kids an allowance, but recently we changed our mind. Learn about the reasons for it and the things we have learned... Why I Pay My Kids An Allowance - The Hmmmschooling Mom

By having a weekly allowance, they are learning budgeting.

When they know they get x amount of dollars a week, and the thing they are drooling over in the store is x+y amount of dollars, they can make an informed decision.

We never used to pay our kids an allowance, but recently we changed our mind. Learn about the reasons for it and the things we have learned... Why I Pay My Kids An Allowance - The Hmmmschooling Mom

My sons now have a real financial reference point. Because of this, I’ve actually seen one of my sons stand in front of something he thought he wanted to buy and say, “That is not worth four weeks of allowance.”

By having a weekly allowance, they have motivation.

One of the main concerns I hear from parents about paying their kids an allowance is, if I pay them to do some work around the house, I’m afraid they will expect to be paid for everything they do around the house.

Well, I suppose that could be a thing. It hasn’t been an issue here. It might be because we started this when the kids were older. It might be the personalities of the kids involved. Or it might be because when one particular son was asked to assist with something above and beyond his regular jobs and joked, are you gonna pay me to help, I put into effect the mom look and nothing was ever mentioned of it again.

Honestly—since the ground rules were laid, my kids have been motivated to do the work. They have daily responsibilities which, in turn, allow them to make money to pay for the things they want. Money is quite motivating. Let’s be honest—it’s why a great majority of adults go to their jobs.

Want to read more about motivation for kids to do chores? You may enjoy…6 Smart Strategies To Take Charge of Household Chores from Homeschool Your Boys

By having a weekly allowance, they have power.

We never used to pay our kids an allowance, but recently we changed our mind. Learn about the reasons for it and the things we have learned... Why I Pay My Kids An Allowance - The Hmmmschooling Mom

Being able to walk into the grocery store and buy your own sushi is pretty empowering. Finding that super awesome shirt at the thrift store and still being able to buy it even though mom said she was totally not buying that shirt? Yeah. There’s some power there. How will someone ever learn to properly use their spending muscle if they never get a chance to flex it?

Looking for a different chore/allowance idea? You may also enjoy…Extra Chores, Extra Cash

By having a weekly allowance, I’m off the hook.

Paying my kids an allowance works out well for me, too, because I don’t have to buy them everything anymore. (Okay, maybe in a roundabout way I still do—if you consider I’m the one paying them the allowance—but hear me out.)

If someone is getting an allowance, it means they potentially have money. So if we are grocery shopping and my sons want a treat, it’s coming out of their pocket. If they want a bag of almonds at the store or an ice cream cone at the fair, it doesn’t need to come from my wallet. If their earbuds break, it’s not necessarily my job to replace them. I’m buying what I’m buying at the store, if my sons want something different, well…reach deep, son. Reach d-e-e-p.

That’s not to say that I never buy them treats. That’s just to say that now if I buy them a little something while we’re out and about, it actually is a treat.

We didn't used to pay our kids an allowance for doing chores. Find out what changed our mind, and what we've learned in the process. -- Why I Pay My Kids an Allowance - The Hmmmschooling Mom

Watching kids learn more about money is an interesting journey as a parent. We’re glad our sons are able to have the experience of spending and saving while still at home so they can work out the kinks before they’re out on their own. For us, paying our kids an allowance is the best way we can help make that happen.

Do you pay your kids an allowance? Why or why not?

Tired of the sugarcoated version of homeschooling? Read my book The Homeschool Highway: How to Navigate Your Way Without Getting Carsick.

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
Want to keep up with what's happening in my homeschooling life? Sign up and I'll help to make your inbox fantabulous. *
* Without spam. Because spam is horrible. And totally derp.
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponPrint this pageEmail to someone


2 thoughts on “Why I Pay My Kids An Allowance To Do Chores”

  • We pay our kids what we call commission and have done so since they were 3-4 years old. They are paid a set amount for about 5 chores a week. Around 11 years old, we switch to an hourly amount. It’s never been a issue for us that they expect to be paid for everything because they know that there are a lot of chores that they just do because they are a part of the family. My 11-year-old who is currently on hourly pay, is learning to buy her own clothes from that money. We are still buying her jackets and shoes, but teaching her to buy the rest. We have also taught them how to split up their money from the beginning. We have three categories, save, give, and spend. So each week, we help them split up their money. We require them to give 10% but recently my oldest has chosen to give more.

  • We pay our children weekly for chores. Half the amount goes into their savings account for college/ trade school. We also have a board with work tickets, things like gutter clean out, outside light bulb change….and I put the cash money with the work ticket. We can’t afford a lot, but they do love the freedom to buy what they want. They have become quite thrifty, waiting for sales, shopping around, consignment shopping.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *