Allowance: Earning and Contributing their Share

Allowance: Earning and Contributing their Share



Every parent at some point probably debates an allowance and tries to determine what is appropriate for their children and their expectations for earning it. Of course, every household and every decision is different and unique. In our home, I don’t believe there should be an allowance just because the week has passed. I also do not think my kids should be earning an allowance based on typical chores like the dishwasher, vacuuming, and similar chores when they do help contribute to the mess. My kids are a bit older now, though. When they were smaller, helping with those chores and earning a small allowance would have been appropriate. I also utilized a chore chart when my kids were younger.  So, when debating an allowance, the age is a huge factor in figuring out what is appropriate.


Allowance Concepts:

  • No allowance
    • Appropriate chores for age
    • Focus on School
    • Parents Provide
    • Creates Entitlement
    • Receiving Money for nothing
  • Do Chores
    • Chore Chart
      • Rate based on Chore Difficulty
      • Allowance based on Chores completed
    • Assigned Chores
      • Allowance after chore completed
      • Amount based on chore
    • Kids can Bid on Chores
      • Chores have different levels of pay
        • Based on Difficulty
  • Set Allowance Amount
    • Week/Biweekly/Monthly
    • Allowance Rate based on Age
      • Chores based on Age
    • Same Allowance Rate for all kids
      •  Extra Jobs mean earning more


In our home, we utilize various versions of the potential suggestions listed. We don’t pay allowance for daily chores such as the dishwasher, laundry, sweeping, mopping and the like; rather, we will do a family outing for my kids doing a good job and completing their tasks. I find this to be a great way to teach my children responsibility of cleaning up after yourself, not always expecting money for household chores, and the bonus of spending some quality time together doing something enjoyable. Once in a while, I will reward my kids with something like a new Xbox or DS game for their help at home.

When my kids want to earn some money to buy something, we will discuss an extra job that needs completed. For instance, this summer, my son really wanted a new game and points to buy extra gaming additions. We had a big  job to tackle in the back yard which was moving a whole bunch of rocks to another location. We are working toward redoing our backyard. His job was to tackle a large part of the rock shoveling and moving, although, with extra help here and there. He spent every evening, when it was cool out, until those rocks were moved out. He work hard at earning his bonus money for the stuff he desired, a job that really needed done was completed, and he learned about some hard work that is necessary in life.


What ideas for allowance and chores do you include in your house?