The $100 Allowance


One day, my 13-year-old daughter had an idea. “You give me $100 and I’ll pay for everything for the whole school year.” She had gotten this idea from her cousin who is, shall we say, more of a money saver.

“What exactly does ‘everything’ include?” I asked.

My husband said, “Write a proposal.”

She quickly took pen to paper, visions of a $100 dollar bill dancing in her head.

I was resistant for one reason: I didn’t want to part with a lump sum of $100. But it didn’t take more than a minute to realize her idea was definitely going to work in my economic favor.

Thirteen-year-olds crave independence; mine certainly does. She doesn’t like me buttoning up her coat, brushing her hair, or telling her to clean her room. She wants to decide when she goes to bed, what she wears to school, what she packs for lunch – and beware if you suggest a haircut.

The path ahead points to high school, college, budgeting, and motherhood. One hundred dollars? I hoped this might be a positive segue to independence.

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Her $100 written proposal stretched far and wide: All clothing, shoes, movies, food, sporting events, and birthday presents for friends. I hesitated. There was no way $100 would cover all expenses.  But she insisted she’d be fine and handed me a pen. I signed on the dotted line.

September purchases:
• $20 worth of school supplies including a splurge of multi-
colored ball-point pens
• A $5 shirt from American Eagle
• Two lip glosses for $7
• A pair of wedge shoes from Old Navy for $30

I’d like to say I kept my mouth shut regarding the wedge shoes, but when I gasped, “30 dollars!” she was irritated, reminding me that she was spending her money and I was raining on her parade. So, I apologized and promised to be quiet. Within thirty minutes, after looking back and forth between her shoes and her wallet, buyer’s remorse set in and the shoes were returned.

I continued to remind myself: Keep mouth shut. This was my daughter’s experience, her lesson to learn.

September was the honeymoon stage, spent with a happy leisure. My daughter felt rich and free to spend her large amount of cash. She bought a few candy bars, a pair of jeans marked down, and offered generous rewards to siblings for fetching items from upstairs.

October 1st: A stylish, shiny blue, soft and furry coat for $40.

And thus, the dream ended.

October 2nd: Broke.

October 5th: “I think we should reevaluate my budget,” she said, eyebrows knit in worry. I smiled sweetly as words were unnecessary. The dotted line was signed; there was no wiggle room. That’s when she got busy. When I was dropping her younger siblings off somewhere, she’d call out, “Can you ask if I can babysit?”

When she did a chore around the house, she asked, “Can I get paid for that?”

She distributed a flyer around the neighborhood advertising her services. With Christmas looming, a weekend dance, and new shoes needed for Spring track, she was adding and subtracting in her head. She started to plan ahead.

She picked up dropped change. She practiced the piano more faithfully as she gets money from Grandma for every book passed off. She stopped turning down less-ideal babysitting jobs.

Who else has this been a good lesson for? Me. I like shopping for my kids, finding sales, picking up shirts here and there. But after the allowance was given, I had to put shirts back, knowing I’d ruin the money lesson if I swooped in to save the day. I did buy her a Chapstick one day. “Thank you, Mommy!” she squealed, throwing her arms around me.

The tale didn’t end there, but in one month I saw a girl manage her money better. We didn’t have any scenes with her begging me to buy her a single item of clothing – she was on her own because she wanted to be. Unexpectedly, but wonderful, there was far more gratitude for the things her parents bought her.

Another unexpected consequence? Her three younger siblings want a $100 allowance as well. Rather than grimace, I smile. I’m going to have a lot more spending money.

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Here’s a recommended plan:
• Make expectations clear: Who will pay for what (it can work well to have kids pay for all “extra” or “fun” things with their own money)
• Help your child make a list of wants and needs and discuss what goes on each list
• Help your child create a personal budget and write the plan down on paper
• Sign the agreement
• Keep a simple notebook ledger (or an spreadsheet on the computer): Money in, money spent
• Don’t buy stuff for them or bail them out!

My daughter has yet to take me up on my offer of payment for weeding the garden or shoveling out the chicken coop (that day may never come), but I’m keeping my mouth shut. I know that when she needs the money badly enough, she’ll ask me for a job.

My mother used to say she gave us chores to build our self-esteem, a connection I refused to make at age 14. But I know what she means now. There is a look of empowerment on my daughter’s face when she has worked hard to earn something she really wants. It’s equivalent to happiness.

Read part 2 of this post here.

About the writer

Amy Makechnie is a mother and writer from New Hampshire. She writes for many national on-line publications, east coast magazines, and is the author of the blog, Maisymak, where pet chickens, kale smoothies, and potty-training adventures collide.

From Around the Web


Nyanda Finley De Santos 8 months ago

Our 4 year-old is able to earn 30 minutes of TV for doing his daily chores and following family rules. After a designated period of time, he earns a Lego figure or other such “luxury” item. Work ethic has to start somewhere.

Roni Johnson 8 months ago

So many parents on here with the poisonous attitude of “I got mine, screw them” toward their own children. The baby boomer mentality strikes again….

Grace Cole 8 months ago

100 buvks every 2 weeks maybe.

Jessica Vaughn-Martin 8 months ago

We get paid paid to work, so will my daughter.

Itzel Alvarado 8 months ago

My kids don’t have an allowance, but get money regularly and they have to save for church and for their savings account. .. the rest they can spend it on what they want.

Sarah Bell 8 months ago

My mum used to give me $80 a week. I had to pay for every thing but school and essential clothing. So I paid for swim training, swim meets, water polo camps, petrol for my car, my licence, a pie from the shop in etc. I’m very good at budgeting now…doesn’t mean I stick to it though lol.

Rebecca Speer 8 months ago

Where’s a great place to go when you are broke? TO WORK! (Dave Ramsey)

Jane 8 months ago

That is an idea I can get behind! I’ve been really against the idea of giving my children money for doing chores – they do chores because they are part of a family, and when they grow up and are out on their own they are going to have to do those chores for themselves and not expect to be paid for them. They get a payout of gratitude and a happier mummy when they help out around the house (they are only four and two right now, so don’t know/care for money beyond the fact that it’s shiny and they like to count) – but the idea of having additional things they can do to earn money is great. I love it.

Lisa Jacobson 8 months ago

My parents did something similar in high school – we sat down and figured out how much $$ I needed for things such as school lunches, clothes, a trip to the movies once in a while…if I needed more, I needed to find a way to earn it. We renegotiated periodically as things chnged. It was a great way to learn about financial responsibility.

Marilyn Terriquez 8 months ago

I never got an allowance, I did chores because that’s just what you do. I started investing and working for the things I wanted at the age of 12 making and selling cheesecakes to neighbors lol.

Joelle Dube 8 months ago

When I was 11 I got 20$ a week, I made mine and my parents lunch, cleaned the bathroom, some laundry, the dishes every nigth abd sonetimes did some prep for the supper… My parents bougth me the bigger things like winter coat and boots but I paid for everything else

Charlotte Cathy 8 months ago

Great lesson for her!!!

Brittney Holland 8 months ago

When my kids are older, I would give them an allowance for the purpose of teaching them about money. I don’t think paying them to do chores is a bad thing because that can teach them that they have to work for money. Their work would be their chores. Then they can go out into the world and buy extra things they may want such as candy, stickers or whatever. Working typically comes with an award.

Jaime Lee Ezell 8 months ago

I had a $100 allowance in high school. I had to buy my own clothes, gas, and any extras I wanted like fast food. I also saved 10% for church, 10% for savings.

Ashley Terry 8 months ago

I receive $168 in child support for my daughter. It is loaded onto a debit card. When she turned 13, I gave her the card. She buys her own shampoo, deoderant, school supplies, and pays her $60 phone bill each month.

Morgan Buchanan 8 months ago

That’s what we’re working towards with our son! Right now he’s 6 yrs old and gets $6 a week. To use on whatever he WANTS – we cover anything he needs.

Now as he gets older a little wiser – I’ll up his allowance but tell him that there are a few needed expenses that he’ll be responsible for now!

For us, allowance is a way to teach money management skills. Chores are his contributions to the family and he gets no payment for them. He can do jobs around the house outside of his normal stuff to EARN money and when he is older he can do various jobs.

That’s how we do chores/allowance in our home and why! =)

Janet Kortright 8 months ago

My son didn’t get an allowance for any chores. He did what was expected of him as being part of a family. If he wanted to earn money he did chores or odd jobs for neighbors or aunts/uncles, etc.

Amy Lynn 8 months ago

This is an awesome article. I am so glad my parents never gave me and my sisters an allowance and made us work for everything. I have such a better outlook on life and finances than most of my age.

I have friends that are in their 30’s that their parents still support them, which is insane! I should send this article along there way…

Priscilla Girardot 8 months ago

I grew up the same exact way and also paid for it big time. I wish they would have shown me how to manage money, do laundry, pay bills.. I don’t think my mom purposely meant to leave out those crucial life lessons, I think she was just focused on being the best mom she could be. Giving our children whatever they want and waiting on them 24/7 isn’t what they need. I’m learning from that when it comes to my children and teaching them to be self sufficient while still taking care of them.

Sarah Damerow Stockton 8 months ago

Yeah I want to teach them to be responsible for themselves and their things, but also to work for money.

Megan Bankard Sullivan 8 months ago

I like your idea of regular chores that your kids need to do, and then extra chores to earn money. We never got allowances. We were expected to do chores just because we were members in our family. My parents would give us money to go to a movie or whatever, but we all babysat and had jobs in high school.

Brandi Ahrendt 8 months ago

Why is it labeled “big spending wants”? We do envelope things too…I’m confused on this one.

Daphne Rhyne Cousineau 8 months ago

My kids do not receive money for doing their normal chores as part of the family. But if they do one of my normal responsibilities I do pay. We have a list of jobs and corresponding money amounts. We also use the motivated moms chore planner, which is awesome.

April Sumner 8 months ago

it all depends. I was given a huge allowance in high school my senior year because the child support payments technically stopped. So my Dad told me to make a budget of what I needed fund wise each month and he would pay it and I had to manage it. It was often several hundred dollars to pay for toiletries, spending money, clothing, school fees, field trip money, etc and it taught me how to budget. It all depends on how it is handled. I pay my kids an allowance for good behavior and at 7 they already understand the value of money and they have to save up to buy what they want and manage their money which is a good lesson

Amanda Mirambell-Grice 8 months ago

Here is a blanket response for all comments beginning with, “I don’t believe in………..” That’s YOUR choice. You are free to believe whatever on earth you want to believe, just as the rest of the world is free to believe in what they want to believe in. I do agree with allowances and paying kids for chores. Paying them for chores gives them a better work ethic than just expecting them to do it.

Elizabeth Ballard-Spitzer 8 months ago

This is exactly what I was just about to type!

Mindy Swann Carlos 8 months ago

Agreed! She went to CC and her tuition and books are paid for — her dad pays her car and apartment. SHE can get a dang job and pay for her food and entertainment 😉

Cherina Avery 8 months ago

Lol, I’d say to mine: go to community college or a trade school locally. Get a rommate & definitely a j.o.b. I earned my MA in May 2014 with $130k in debt. It ISN’T worth it.

Sommer Sinclair 8 months ago

I don’t believe in allowances for chores. Chores are part of being a family and keeping our house clean and tidy. Kids are part of the family, and everyone must contribute and do their share. As adults they won’t be paid to do housework!

Tobie Davis Clancy 8 months ago

This is something to consider – might try it

Ashley 8 months ago

My mom gave me $100 a month from 6th grade onward for this same thing. It had to cover all food, activities, clothes, etc. for the month. (She says she was tired of us nickle and diming her asking to stop for fast food or go to the movies all the time.) Then, the summer before I began 11th grade, she gave me $4,000 into my checking account to cover the next two years until I went to college. Same thing, had to cover everything for the two years, including special events like prom dresses, gas money, etc. I did wind up getting a job to supplement the money but overall I spent and saved well. It was a wonderful lesson on budgeting and prepared me well when I went away to college. I definitely plan to find ways to do the same for my son.

Kelli Dosil 8 months ago

It was $100 for the entire school year

Jamie Hallsten 8 months ago

I love this! It helps kids realize that money doesn’t grow on trees and to be fiscally responsible.

Ashley Besser 8 months ago

It’s kind of a toss up… I agree money should be earned but why pay my kids to do household chores? No one pays me to take care of our home… It’s hard to find a good balance. I think this was more of a lesson in budgeting prompted by the child thinking she had it figured out. Nice way to see how much the world really costs. It was a one time “allowance”, not them just handing over money all the time. I like being flexible with things like this.

Marieand Levi Smith 8 months ago

I think this is a great idea. It might not work for some kids though.

Andrea Adam Rogoza 8 months ago

And her allowances are for her to learn to save some and spend some….not on “needs”, we pay for toothpaste and clothes…etc….but she’ll learn to save up for things she really wants…just like mom n dad

Andrea Adam Rogoza 8 months ago

Our daughter already has two accounts….college and personal….she loves saving her money….when it’s time for allowances….it won’t be for everyday household chores….those are just a part of being in a family, everyone pitches in….but we’ll have plenty of work for her, living on a farm and all….for that she’ll earn money. I don’t believe in paying my kid to help do dishes lol.

Lynda Bost-Schawo 8 months ago

Great idea!!!

Andi Piscatella 8 months ago

Oh – and summer camp. She loves it (she’s 15, and goes away for several weeks), so bad grades or attitude = no camp.

Andi Piscatella 8 months ago

I hate to say it, but it’s never really been much of an issue. I took away her electronics and that got her in line. My other ace in the holes are driving lessons/license and her guitar. My biggest issue with her is homework, so that’s why I tie it to grades. A friend of mine took her daughter’s bedroom door off (allowing her no privacy) to get her to fall in line.

Katie Ellis 8 months ago

My parents did this when I was a teen but with $45, a teen doesn’t need $100 a month. That $45 covered clothes, beauty supplies, hair cuts and any outings with friends. We were required to keep a budget and show where all the money went. It only lasted until I got a job at 16 and covered those expenses myself but it did teach me to budget. I plan to do something similar for my kids.

Maxine Quinnell 8 months ago

This is excellent! When i was 13 i made chocolates and sold them at school to save up to buy an art book i really really wanted! I still have the book, and i smile every time i look at it. I doubt it would have such good memories for me, if it had just been bought for me.

Barbara Starr 8 months ago


JohnandJenny Chain 8 months ago

I’ve thought about this in theory, but my kids are too young to put it into practice yet. I’m glad someone out there has tried it and it has worked. Our plan is to pay our children fairly generously for chores done around the house (NOT for just existing) and then not give them another dime after that. They have to use the money they earned to go to the movies, buy candy, extra clothing (beyond normal buying times like before school). If they spend it all by day 2, they have to find ways to earn more either from us or from somewhere else. Grandparents may spoil this a bit, but I think the plan has promise. The mom who wrote this article makes me more confident that it does! Thanks!

Marissa Bamberger 8 months ago

I saw your comment as lighthearted!

Sacha Munro 8 months ago

This is awesome! My parents did this with me when I was 12 or 13 and I learned a lot of financial lessons that I still carry with me. There were also a lot less arguments as when I wanted something I could purchase it and my parents didn’t have to make the judgement call as to if I could have it. Then if I ended up broke because of it then it was my own fault.

Cristina Sasser 8 months ago

I would prefer to give the $100 and then deduct money for things they need, as punishment for not doing chores, for snacks, tv time, etc. make them realize just because you have the money doesn’t mean it can go to whatever you want. There are “bills” that you will need to pay. I might just try this out

Sherry Siedenburg 8 months ago

I’d love to ask you a question about this.
If allowance isn’t tied to chores what do you do if chores are not done?
I have a child who nothing seems to phase him. Removal of video games, tv times, special trips, participation in sports or other extracurricular activities, groundings etc… Nothing. We’ve wanted to implement $$ for chores but then he half-asses them or tries to hide things to make it look like something’s been done.
Ready to rip out my hair

Samantha Arthur 8 months ago

I persnally do not give allowances. ..i pay towards RESPs and its their chores..and earn what they need..they have a choice between birthparty/christmas…or a bunch of little things threw the year…my kids get $200 for newschool stuff (this inclues their clothing as well..) if theres a friends birthday they get $20 to spend..other then that no weekly or monthly allowances

Kelsey Lee 8 months ago

You and your sister sound like my two sons! Haha may have to let my big spender read this one.

Lisa Wise 8 months ago

I got an allowance for doing chores–it wasn’t $100, though it was like $20/month so it was more than $100/year. My parents paid for clothes, basic school supplies (is the 99-cent binders, if I wanted the colorful ones that cost $3.99 that was on me). They paid for essentials, and sometimes for youth group trips and events, but often that was only half. The rest was paid out of our allowance. I was a big spender–candy, nail polish, a $10 shirt at the mall because I was at the mall and had $10. My sister was the saver. Wonder which one of us managed to save $40k for a down payment on her townhouse during the first few years of marriage and which one is still living in a rented apartment?
I can’t really blame my parents; I was the one not listening, and they budget, though the thing I think I might do differently is to give my kids a bigger allowance and make them responsible for more things. Maybe then the life lessons will stick a little earlier.

Eva Marie 8 months ago

I got the impression she got paid for chores and if she wanted more she did extra chores like babysitting. Not only did she do extra around the house but she put up flyers around the neighborhood to offer her services to make extra money as well. That shows that she gets the concept nothing is just given to you. I don’t think the article was to bring up an allowance debate but to show that a Lil girl learned an important lesson.

Taara Datta Donley 8 months ago

My dad gave me a small allowance to teach me how to save and invest. I don’t think allowances are bad if the parent actively works with the child and discusses how to spend and save it. I learned how to be a saver because of that allowance.

Noreen Muir 8 months ago


Sarah Carroll 8 months ago

It’s a cute blog and a good lesson. I found the title pretty misleading, though.

Taara Datta Donley 8 months ago

Love this article – great idea about making her create a budget! I would also add the concept of saving money and getting interest. Make her put away at least 10% of what she earns into the “Mom” bank and give her interest. Too many people spend everything that they earn and don’t know how to plan for long term.

Valerie Ann 8 months ago

And she could learn a lot!

Amanda Hendrix Kennedy 8 months ago

First of all I grew up in Toronto so add 15% tax on everything (at the time – I think it’s 13 or 14% now) you purchase in addition to higher prices to start with. Depends on what you are doing – movies with friends once a week and monthly bus pass and it’s almost gone – without touching any other expenses – school supplies, hygiene, clothes, etc. I didn’t have to go to the movies (for example) but all my friends were so of course I wanted to. I don’t think that’s unrealistic or bad. Yes I had more to start with than some (but certainly not all) but I still worked hard for it and had to learn how to budget, make choices and prioritize which is what the article is about.

It was meant to be a light-hearted comment and it apparently conjured a somewhat resentful response devaluing someone else’s experiences because they differed from what someone else holds as their own standard.

Neelie Sammon Koulouvaris 8 months ago

I feel so uncool here…we don’t really have any ‘plan’. We just kind of wing it when it comes to things like this. My boys are 10 & 13. They are of course required to do what we ask,when we ask them to do it as far as chores go & if they want something,they ask & we either say yes or no,depending on the request. But they honestly never really ask for all that much because we are on a very tight budget & they know that & are always very understanding when we have to say no because we just don’t have the money.

Colleen Andrawis 8 months ago

Right when I was old enough to get a job my parents were constantly breathing down my neck. It put so much pressure on me because I had to earn enough money to buy everything , even stuff like shampoo , toothpaste and deodorant, my own clothes and shoes. At 16. So I had to basically work full time and juggle high school and of course I got in trouble when my studies began to suffer. If my parents just acted cool and helped me out my grades wouldn’t have suffered and maybe I could have gotten into college. They wanted me to work so bad because they thought I was a failure because my grades were so low, but they were low because I worked 40 hours a week. I didn’t have time for anything a normal high schooler got to do. Boyfriends, friends and forget about sports. It wasn’t enough to just have part time. I even had to buy my own food sometimes. I think with my daughter, when she gets to that age, grades will be more important and she can have work p.t. on weekends. I want her to go to college because supporting her through those few years means she gets a degree and has a future. It does not mean I cant teach her about a budget and money. Because I will just not at such a high cost. No pun intended.

Christine Lynn Procure 8 months ago

I had chores and got $100 a month starting when I was 14 I think. I was in charge of getting myself new clothes, new school supplies, and any going out with friends. I learned A LOT about saving and will be doing this with my children when they are older.

Laura Freeman Myers 8 months ago

My son gets $25 a month. He has chores and does a good job with them. Straight A student. That money is for wants. His needs are in our budget. But we talk about what things cost. He’s 13. It’s a great way for him to learn how to manage his money.

Nicole Woods-Sisk 8 months ago

I wanted something I had to work for it… Had a paper route at 12, mowed lawns, babysat, worked once I turned 16 in retail, cashier at grocery store, etc. If i wanted a car, I got the hand me down… And had to pay my own insurance.

My parents learned from my older brother, who got a brand new car at high school graduation and didn’t do simple work like retail or something because he was too “good” for that. So he is still an entitled 43 year old!

Amanda Michelle Henson 8 months ago

Kinda love this

Marissa Bamberger 8 months ago

I also think it could be the wording. I refer to my kids working doing extra jobs that earn money as an allowance. Making your bed, putting away clothes & toys & dishes are not ways to earn money. Feeding & walking the dog, putting away the babies clothes, I pay them for things like that. So what she says as an ‘allowance’ could be her doing jobs for that money.

Rachel Reichley 8 months ago

Love this!! Worked out wonderfully I don’t think its for every child but when they are ready and responsible….great way to prepare them!!

Katie Tookie-Tookie 8 months ago


Susan Burns 8 months ago

I think this is great.

Sarah Damerow Stockton 8 months ago

Ha. When I was a teen, I did my own laundry, cooked and did dishes 4 nights a week, vacuuming, dusting and I got $20/wk plus gas money to drive my mom to work and go to school. My kids (10 and 8 in a couple weeks) have chores they do just because it’s their responsibility and if they want money, there’s paid chores they can do. Plus they always get money at birthdays and Christmas. They’re starting to learn. It’s a process but they’re still young. I know it took me a while too.

Brandi Ahrendt 8 months ago

Typos!! We DONT let her run us broke lol

Sarah Jane Maidens 8 months ago

Did you read the article? The contract included shoes and clothes, A 13 year old girl is growing very fast and I wouldn’t be surprised if she blew through 2 sizes in the year and needed bras for the first time.

I used to teach and plenty of kids came with shoes taped together because mum and dad put the lesson before the child’s needs.

I think this is a wonderful lesson and idea, but at the same time, I think mum could have said “You need sneakers for school. Target sneakers are $25. i will give you $25 extra, and if you want anything more fancy than Target, that’s on you.”

Amy Ricker 8 months ago

I think this is great! It was an allotment to cover expenditures that are usually covered by the parents. This way the child gets to learn that all the things they NEED over the school year cost more than $100. Its also a very good way to show them budgeting. The best part to me was that the girl learned that in order to really get what she wanted she needed to work hard and do things she didn’t really like doing.

Tracy M Hoadley 8 months ago

I would certainly save a lot of money

Amanda Roloson 8 months ago

Coming from an immigrant set of parents, we were taught that 1) you don’t get something for nothing and 2) money doesn’t grow on trees. I’m all for working (in babysitting or a paper route) to earn money for your “wants” when you are old enough. I think that chores when you are little could be paid things. I just personally think that teaching your kids from the get-go to be a hard worker and to work for the things you want is a valid and important lesson too. If this works for people than go for it by all means. It just wouldn’t work for me.

Brandi Ahrendt 8 months ago

What I meant by saying she is working it off with empty pockets I guess is my own assumption. I personally wouldn’t just hand off cash like that without earning it in the contract. So I envision her still having her regular chores and nothing left to show for it, which for my teenager, would be a better lesson in budgeting than waiting to pay her u too she earns it. The reason I say this is my teen is a workaholic full of energy, we run out of money before she runs out of chore ideas end drive to do them. (I’m exaggerating a point, we don’t let her just run us broke lol) But she is irresponsible with what she is allowed to earn. So for her personality type, I can see it being a benefit. Much like a commissioned job where people do get prepaid for their work. She would be really thinking about how she spends if she is mopping the floor to earn what she spent three months prior. But I do have a very princessy one, who i’d have to tweak this a bit with, because at this stage she would take the money and then accept any punishment in order to not work for it lol. But I love the basic principle of this, black and white issues aside.

Krista Milburn 8 months ago

I love this! What a great idea when my daughter is older. Lots of ways this can be used to teach responsibility and money management. :)

Karen LM 8 months ago

People learn in different ways. One system does not suit all.

Linda Moran McGuire 8 months ago

9 year old, $6.00 per week, 3 envelopes, $2 for spending as he pleases, $2 for the bank, $2 for big spending wants. This year we emptied the big spending wants at Christmas because we told him it was time for him to purchase presents for Mom, Dad, Step Dad and Step Mom. He had to budget his $31.00 and come up with a plan. He didn’t like it but he loved our reactions to his gifts Christmas morning!

Johann Zapien 8 months ago

When I was growing up, sports was not an option. It was an extra expense. The child is receiving everything she needs. $100 is coverings any extras and/or wants. That is more than enough for a 13 year old. Good for mom trying to teach the value of earning and spending money

Renee McFadden 8 months ago

Like!! What a good idea!

Andi Piscatella 8 months ago

I think because $100 a month seems like a lot – at least to me. It doesn’t justify anger, but I can see her point. You got $100 per month free and clear, and you held a job – so why was it hard? I’m really curious, not trying to be snarky or angry. It would seem to me that as a teen that should give you plenty of money.

Heather Bigham M 8 months ago

What she got with most of that money “given” to her was new school clothes and supplies. Things parents should be responsible for paying for. She learned a valuable lesson one she will appreciate way more than being made to do chores from the very beginning, because she came to the conclusion on her own.

Candace Cook 8 months ago

So wait, this kid thought she’d stretch a hundred bucks the whole year? Well that’s idiotic, as that’s less than $2 per week. However, the general concept is a fantastic idea. Larger allowance, more responsibilities.

Katie Lee 8 months ago

The kid made a bargain with mom and dad–all that money for school clothes and friend gifts that most parents just absorb, I’ll cover it with $100 for the whole year, sports included! She learned her lesson by the end of October. School activities, social life, general life wants are all expensive. She started working odd jobs and picking up every opportunity to make money. She offered to pick up extra chores for extra cash. It’s not free, it wasn’t designated work.

Nikki Sharpe 8 months ago

This is cool. My parents never made me have any kind of responsibility My mom stayed home, so she cleaned my room, did my laundry, and cooked all our meals. On top of that I was pretty much given free reign with spending (within reason). Then when I met my husband and we moved into a studio apartment and were broker than convicts it was a very rude awakening!! I feel like if they would have taught me about money management I would have been way more prepared for life as an adult.

Andi Piscatella 8 months ago

My daughter gets an allownance of $20 per month. That is to be used for any of her “desires” – not her needs. I buy food for her lunches, general clothing that is needed due to growth, and so on. If she wants to go out with her friends, she has to use her own money – movies, lunchat Wendy’s, TCBY treats, and so on. She has chores around the house, which she is NOT paid for, but if her grades fall below an acceptable level, the allowance goes away. It works for us. For me, her priority needs to be school. That’s where I am putting the value right now. She doesn’t get the option of not doing her chores, so I don’t tie the allowance to those things. This was a great lesson for the teenager – $100 does not go as far as kids think it will. My daughter is currently saving her allowances because she wants an XBOX, and I won’t buy one. She turns down opportunities to do things in order to save her cash for something she really wants. I think that is a good lesson.

Marissa Bamberger 8 months ago

Well, I think it’s great. You don’t. This is what makes the world go round!! For me, her lesson learned was worth it. The mom was planning on buying her those things anyway. Clothes, School supplies, right on! But, I do see where you are coming from, however I see both lessons learned in this scenario.

Katie Lee 8 months ago

Mom offered her money for chores that weren’t her own. The chicken coop and weeding the garden apparently aren’t the teen’s designated jobs. Nowhere does it say that her kids have no chores of their own.

Marissa Bamberger 8 months ago

I babysat at 12, had an after school job at 16, but had zero clue how to budget when I was first on my own. I’m totally adding this portion to my kids earning money for chores!! You can earn all the damn money you want, and still be broke if you don’t learn the concept of budgeting!

Amanda Roloson 8 months ago

Except she isn’t working it off with empty pockets. They are paying her to do the chores she should have done in the first place to earn that money. That’s my problem. If you want to pay your children to promote a strong work ethic that’s fine. But don’t give them the money outright- you don’t get a paycheck on your first day at work, so why would you do that to your kids?

Erin Lee Trinkle 8 months ago

Great lesson!

Marissa Bamberger 8 months ago

My small kids (6, 4, eventually the baby) have to do chores to earn money. My biggest take away was to allot clothing and school supplies and make them have a budget when the are 12 or so. My parents had me work for my money, started babysitting at 12, had a job when I was 16. But when I was first on my own I had zero clue about a budget. You can earn all the damn money you want and still be broke if you aren’t taught the concept of budgeting.

Tracy Huska 8 months ago

My kids get an allowance for being a part of the family (an amount equal to their age very two weeks). They also have to do chores because they are part of the family. My 13 and 8 year olds can do laundry, garbage, dishes, clean a bathroom, sweep, shovel snow etc but I don’t believe in paying for doing chores. They do the chores because it’s part of their job as a member of our family. If they run out of money by spending it on iTunes and then want to hit a movie with friends they have to to wait until they have the money in their own bank.

Sarah Lisonbee-Cappuccino 8 months ago

I think it is a good lesson on budgeting but I also agree with learning to earn the money. Maybe one school year she earns it, one school year she budgets. Doesn’t have to be just one way all the time. There are alot of school years to utilize.

Sarah Jane Maidens 8 months ago

I love this! I think from my perspective, I’d buy necessities though. I used to teach and I’ve seen lots of kids come to school with taped together school shoes because parents refuse to buy even the necessary items. In Australia, black leather school shoes are demanded by schools and rarely run below $20 and can hit $100 easily, and you most definitely get what you pay for. I was frequently disgusted in parents who would sacrifice their child’s growing bodies, comfort and school work to make a point as the kids would prefer to work a shift at McDonalds than study.

But I think it’d be fine to say “Old Navy jeans are $10. You need jeans. I’ll give you $10 extra dollars, you can buy Old Navy, or tip your own money in for designer.”

Maggie Lashinsky 8 months ago

I feel like she’d act the same way this girl did. Light up with excitement realizing she gets $100

Heather Scott Bordeaux 8 months ago

I could try it….she is horrible at managing $!

Amanda Hendrix Kennedy 8 months ago

Life lessons are frequently hard as is learning to budget. I also had to pay for everything on my own. I’m confused as to why you are so angry and condescending about my inability to budget as a teenager?

Alissa Gabriel 8 months ago

That is basically what my parents did with me at 14 years old. They got sick of having to take me shopping.

Joelda Aguilera 8 months ago

Love this and need to archive it somewhere.

Brandi Ahrendt 8 months ago

Maybe next year she’ll renegotiate the contract lol!

Carrie Fairbanks 8 months ago

I think the point of this is so much more than the allowance debate. I think it’s teaching the child about budgeting, making thoughtful purchases, and buying only what they truly need. Personally I think it’s fine that they gave the child $100 without expecting her to work for it. It was spent on items the parents would have already purchased for her- clothing, school supplies, etc, with the occasional luxury purchase thrown in. Way too many kids (myself as one of them) grow up to know nothing about budgeting, and it’s can be a tough lesson to learn as an adult. My husband and I do a similar thing where our kids get money in their bank accounts instead of a ton of toys at Christmas. Granted they are 19 months and 5 months now, but I’m excited to see how they budget their money later in life :)

Claire Leisring Buerk 8 months ago

Amanda, that’s the exact lesson that was taught. I think the experiential learning probably went a lot further than words alone.

Brandi Ahrendt 8 months ago

I thought the same thing when I first read it. But after some contemplation, I’m betting she learned a lot more by having to follow through with not getting anything more given to her. and she’s still working it off with empty pockets, while picking up odd jobs to fund life. Sounds fairly realistic actually lol!

Rissa MakingitVintage 8 months ago

Our kids must earn the money. we don’t just hand over allowances. After my husband deposits his paycheck he puts the change in a jar for the kids but that’s hardly enough to be called an allowance. It gets saved.

Sandra Newman-Walton 8 months ago

Exactly. She learned from her own mistake. No harm no foul. Good lesson.

Barb Vigorito 8 months ago

I think she was being sarcastic!

Lacey Ann Waits 8 months ago

No I understand that but its not fair to spend most of your money in one shot on school supplies and know she needs shoes for track or sports fees and not have any for anything else. I guess what I mean is maybe it should be a closer number to what is needed then if she can’t make it work THEN its a lesson, no so much under she could never get there even if she did make good decisions

Nadia Fernando 8 months ago

I like this…though I don’t believe my 7 and 5 year old would ever think $100 would ‘cover everything’… I’ve recently started showing them price tags when we go shopping and also allow them to bring a small amount of their own money to spend on what they like….they’ve learned pretty quickly already that they can’t always afford what they want, and have to either find something within their budget or save the money until they have enough for what they really want. Chores will be introduced soon, making things much more interesting! :)

Valerie Ann 8 months ago

I had chores on the farm daily – inside and out – and was never once given an allowance- I babysat and got a part time job and paid for everything on my own – this included razors, pads, and shampoo – so what exactly was hard for you? I’m confused

Amanda Roloson 8 months ago

They handed her the money without earning it though. That’s my problem. She should have done chores and then be paid for her work. You don’t get something for nothing in this world- that’s also a lesson to be taught.

Mindy Swann Carlos 8 months ago

This mirrors so many “life lessons” my 21 year old and I are facing right now. She’s wanting to change majors — AGAIN — and I’m freaking out. I’m refusing to pay for living expenses until she gets a job (don’t panic, she’s got 2K sitting in the bank she can live on). I could go on and on. Parenting never ends. — my own mother is helping me with some very unforseen expenses this year.

Valerie Ann 8 months ago

Amen! Lol – that’s how I feel too – live and learn!

Jennifer Capua 8 months ago

I like it because it teaches kids how to manage and budget money. But chores would have to be involved.

Brandi Ahrendt 8 months ago

I think that’s part of the point. If they don’t have enough, they learn to sacrifice and weigh those options.

Marissa Bamberger 8 months ago

In my own life, I rarely learned to do something because my parents told me. Ok, I never really listened. I’m an asshole like that, and I believe I am being handsomely rewarded with my own stubborn 3 kids! Any who, My biggest turning points/lessons were after a mistake. This article showed that beautifully. The girl made a budget, and failed. Instead of just handing her money, they told her to figure it out. She did. All on her own. The girl hustled and I love it!

Amanda Hendrix Kennedy 8 months ago

My mom used to give me $100/month, but only if I was employed (part time in high school) and there were always chores around the house. It was really hard. Lol

Mayce Smith 8 months ago

We do a form of this with our 15 year old. Quarterly though, not annually, as she does not have the same fix expenses an adult would have. It has taught we her well. Looking forward to do it with the 10 and 6 year old.

Marissa Bamberger 8 months ago

In my own life, I rarely learned because my parents told me. My biggest turning points/lessons were after a mistake. This article showed that beautifully. The girl made a budget, and failed. Instead of just handing her money, they told her to figure it out. She did. All on her own.

Brandi Ahrendt 8 months ago

The way it was written seemed like they just gave it to her, but I think they gave her the $100 up front in advance for all the chores over the school year. But I could be wrong. That part seemed a little grey.

Valerie Ann 8 months ago

I love love love this article and have read it every time I see it posted somewhere!!

Ashton Anthony 8 months ago

Love this! My brother and I always had an allowance, but we always had chores to do. It def taught us that we had to work for what we want. This sounds like a fantastic plan that may just work on my willful child (when she’s old enough of course)

Lacey Ann Waits 8 months ago

In this economy 100 is not enough honestly

Emily Hodges 8 months ago

Loved both sections of this! I was raised with the same idea in mind. You worked for what you wanted or you didn’t get it and that is how I am raising my boys too.

Charlene Lynn Thayer 8 months ago

I like this

Amanda Roloson 8 months ago

I don’t agree with allowances at all. You need to earn the money. Otherwise, what good is it? That child blew that 100 dollars in 2 months, then realized the problem. If you make them earn the he money from the get-go they are much more responsible.

Stacy Koch 8 months ago

I love this

Danae E Barnett 8 months ago

Fine if they earn it

gail 1 year ago

We did this for with our children 25 years ago. I believe it was just for clothes and I don’t remember the amount. It worked very well and as adults with children, they are better at handling money than we were.

mickey 1 year ago

Me too!!

forex diamond ea 1 year ago

It’s hard to come by educated people in this particular topic,
but you sound like you know what you’re talking about!

Alicia Adams 1 year ago

I love it!

lesbomom 1 year ago

That is pretty dang impressive. Is it $100 a month? I know we spend that much on the Munchkin, at least, in a month. And this would make it more worth her while to take care of her stuff.


Thank you for sharing this!!!

Samantha Nurbin Hedges 1 year ago

That is awesome! I wish I did this with my kids!

Elizabeth Moen-Urtz 1 year ago

Great article.

Lisa Bickford 1 year ago

Great article.

We’ve started using the Famzoo app to track chores and payment for chores – the sticker calendar on the fridge was too much work for us. Plus you can set up an interest bearing savings account, donation accounts, loan to them, and more.

Like most of the others here we pay for essentials, family activities and birthday gifts for their friends (up to $20) – they pay for the rest.

For our 14 year old who will be going to high school this year and will have her first year out of school uniforms, she gets 42 per month (=$500 per year) clothing budget. Winter coats, jeans, tennis shoes – everything has to come out of that. If she wants Uggs or some other expensive item it would be in her best interest to ask for them for Christmas. She hasn’t started shopping for school clothes yet, hoping she learns that jean from Good Will and consignment shops are the smart way to go.

Crystal Shepherd 1 year ago

I like the idea to a point b/c it’s important for kids to learn how much things really are and to value money.I try to teach my son to focus on making money instead of saving money. Yeah,he could do his little chore chart and get his little $10/wk and save all month for something he really wants…but I’d rather him set a goal of what he wants and figure out how to get there. The problem with saving money is that there’s only a set amount that can be saved. I want him to learn how to MAKE money on his own and naturally he will learn how to save money b/c he will realize what goes into making the money and not be as foolish with it.

Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes 1 year ago

My parents did the same when I was a teenager. But rather then giving a whole lot at once they would give me a monthly allowance for everything from clothes/going out to school supplies.
It was a very good lesson in budgeting and I plan on doing the same when my kids are old enough.

Ackerman Mikasa 1 year ago

I grew up in a house that did not offer allowance or work for pay of any kind. At 16 I wanted to get a job and was told no because I was still in school. Because of this I never learned how to manage money and learning to do so now has been really hard. Because of this, I think that following a plan like this for my daughter when she comes of age will be a huge help in preparing her for what I wasn’t prepared for at all. :)

Shaunacey 1 year ago

love this!!

Eve I ate your damn Apple 1 year ago

Unfortunately, if I gave my kid $100, he would lose at least half of it before it could be spent. I guess we have issues far beyond money management…

Amy Braden 1 year ago

Great article!

Sandi Ferguson 1 year ago

I have done this! It is amazing how all of the sudden fast food and other things are no longer wanted when it comes to dishing out money from their own pocket!!

H 1 year ago

We have been giving our 2 girls (now almost 12 & 14) a clothing allowance for 2 years… I got SO tired of buying clothes that sat unworn after they LOVED them in the store.

They now get $25 a month and they need to buy their own clothes and shoes… They have gotten bonuses along the way for good grades and we have a deal where we purchase needed clothing for sporting and one outfit for the start of the school year. they have learned SO MUCH about saving for something they really want, shopping sales and thinking and re-thinking purchases… BEST thing we have ever done

FamZoo 1 year ago

Absolutely brilliant. The way allowance should be done. This is the best post we’ve read about allowance in a LONG time (and we read them ALL). Bravo.

Marisa Rodriguez Byers 1 year ago

We do it, but the pay for EVERYTHING. They want mcdonalds? They pay. They want new shoes? They pay. They want special hot lunch at school? They pay! They really are starting to think before spending “their” money’

Bill at FamZoo 1 year ago

Bravo! This is the best allowance article I’ve read in a long time (and I’ve read them all for the last 8 years). Brilliant approach.

Kel Hofman 1 year ago

I like. All for natural consequences. This lesson doesn’t have to be with $100 if parents can’t afford that. Get creative and do what is reasonable for your family.

But think how much some people spend on their kids and I guarantee $100 is just scratching the surface.

Akasha Pearson 1 year ago

I can’t even get a 100$ allowance from my husband!

Kia 1 year ago

This is how my parents did it and how i do it. Allowance is given at the beginning of the month. I found out her $30 is lower than most of the other kids but she hasn’t really complained about it. We have a clear list of what mom will not under any circumstances pay for. So we’ve had months where money is gone on the 3rd. and we’ve had months where there was still some left when the new amount was given. She learned a lot of hard lessons and it took her a while to completely understand how to deal with no money left.

I don’t pay for chores. Chores are expected and have zero influence on allowance. There’s no way to work your way to more money.

Bren Kambouroff 1 year ago

It was a lesson for all and a great one: ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’, ‘how far can u stretch a dollar’ ‘needs vs wants’, how much 100 dollars actually bought …….
Awesome mom teaching her children well:)

Alaina Byrne 1 year ago

Love this!

Kisha 1 year ago

Stan, she may not be too young. We have a rewards/consequences charts, she earns rewards sometimes money, sometimes other items like surprise box ect for doing chores and behavior, her consequences (based upon behavior) vary from losing 1 reward to 20 mins early bedtime. My 7 year old knows any money she earns is hers, and every Saturday she can’t wait to count up any she has earned. Sometimes when we are shopping, she will want something but have forgotten her purse with her money, I’ll ask her if she wants it bad enough to re-pay me when she gets home. It took one purchase that just about wiped out her “savings” that now, 9 out of 10 times she will decide she doesn’t want it that bad.

Julia Violeta 1 year ago

Maybe if $100 went anywhere these days, but it seems like the girl realized quickly how easy it is to drop $100. I would rather give the number of dollars per week for how old they are (10 years old=$10/week) and let them learn about earned income (so they have to complete their responsibilities in order to receive their allowance) and saving up over time. Big things like school trips I wouldn’t mind paying for, but I feel no need to fund shopping trips or other unnecessary things.

Sandy Broda 1 year ago

I don’t have $200 dollars a month to maybe teach my two kids how easy it is to mismanage their money.

Jennifer 1 year ago

We like using for our boys charts – we have a list of chores, as well as behaviors that will earn a point – so if there is 50 points available to earn $5 and they only received 30 points then their commission that week is only $3. Active Allowance also allows us to set up spending accounts for them – like little envelope budgets – were we set aside for college fund, charity, gifts for others, long term savings, and fun money – as they get older (currently 7 & 9) we’ll add more categories and funds. We’ve also set ours up so that their money is funded from the bottom up – bills before fun – so if they only get the 30 pts ($3) there is only enough money to get through gifts – nothing for fun money.

Amanda Liebeck 1 year ago

Love it! Good for the mom for not giving in!!!

Lisa Ritchie 1 year ago


Victoria Greenslade 1 year ago

Bookmarking so I can refer back in several years lol

Aurora 1 year ago

Well of course you’re going to spend more for supplies for a kindergartener, that’s their first year. She probably already had most of the supplies she needed from the previous year. Once I got to about 4th grade, I rarely NEEDED supplies except maybe some notebooks and paper. I still have unused pencils from 3rd grade and I’m 26.. and apparently a hoarder lol.

Kelsey Michelle Fry 1 year ago

I don’t think that’s too bad, only $25 a week. I would consider it. But it would definitely be a teenager thing. I don’t think I’ll give allowance until then any way.

Jen 1 year ago

So Awesome! Thanks for sharing!

Kassie Varnson-Kvasager 1 year ago


Doni 1 year ago

I am 100% behind this. We’ve given our kids an allowance since they were 4. It’s a complex system based on their age and an incentive program for saving. When they hit junior high, we simplify it and give them $50/month and told them they were responsible for most everything. (We still pay for basic haircuts, school supplies, etc. but school lunches, clothes, entertainment, electronics, etc. are all theirs).

We expect them to do chores as asked. But they aren’t paid per chore. My personal feeling on paying per chore is that kids can decide whether they want to do something or not based on their pocketbook at the time. I didn’t want to pay my kids to be contributing members of the family.

With four kids, it’s really important that they have their own spending money vs. trying to make everything “fair.” We even give a small daily allowance on vacations for anything beyond the basics. One kid will use it on dessert and sodas, etc. Another will save it all up and buy a souvenir.

Anyway, we feel like an allowance (budget, or whatever you want to call it) has taught our kids the value of a dollar. It forces them to make choices and live with the consequences.

Felicia Hart 1 year ago

I got 25 a week in highschool IF I did all my chores. It worked well for me and taught me a lot about life.

Stacy Turkel Nicolau 1 year ago

I transfer $25 per week to my 13 yo paypal visa. That has to cover all mall expenses including food court, football games, movies and snacks. So far it’s worked out pretty well. She gets extra for babysitting for me and at birthdays and holidays. Only a couple of months of zero balance that were painful for her.

Lisa Penna Zobel 1 year ago

Danielle, a good one for next fall!

Karen 1 year ago

Back in middle school, my mother gave me a $100 clothing allowance for school clothes. I remember vividly holding the Gloria Vanderbilt jeans, wanting them desperately, but putting them back in favor of less expensive non-name-brand jeans. Taught me a valuable lesson. It may be time to teach that lesson to my son.

Kelley Garcia 1 year ago

Great lesson I learned long ago it is better to give your Kids a few dollars if you’re going to get them something at the store they will b more picky and You won’t end up spending as much

Judy Patterson Valenta 1 year ago

Great learning experience for both of you! When my daughter was much younger and grumbling about not being able to have something, the two of us sat down with Monopoly money. I gave her our monthly income and then I showed her our expenses and she had to pay it. It was a fun and informative lesson. When she was eleven, she wanted a paper route. She proposed a deal to go 50-50 on a bike and she would pay us back with her earnings–which she did in short order. She’s been doing just fine ever since!

Tina Katharina 1 year ago

I got $400/ mth for a while and it really made me appreciate all the money my parents where throwing at us- I no longer needed or wanted $130 jeans or shoes to start with…

Charity Ford 1 year ago

Wonderful! Too many young people exit highschool with no idea how to budget. This is really worth considering.

Lee 1 year ago

I like the idea– clearly this worked well for your daughter. But I do wonder: even though she insisted she would be fine before you guys signed away the deal– did you bother to sit down and explain to her what things cost- truly cost? Or did you just decide it would be a great learning lesson since she had the idea and she insisted?
I’m only wondering because we all know kids think they know everything when they want something (like $100). But I sort of laughed– the necessities (and necessities only) for my kindergartner’s school supplies last year was somewhere in the $50 ballpark. We didn’t buy anything extra, anything that wasn’t on the list. He does’t do to an expensive private school, either– he goes to public school. So while there’s no arguing that this worked well for your daughter- hands down- I would have felt guilty agreeing to this (including school supplies!) knowing how much they cost.

I know I might sound like the oddball parent….it’s just how I feel :)

Tina Katharina 1 year ago


Elsie Morais 1 year ago

When I was 13 yrs old I still played with barbie dolls and would’ve risked severe punishment if I’d have went outside wearing high heels and lip gloss. Sorry but 13 is no age to be provocative. And like it or not..those things were created to make you more attractive. Fully agree latoya!

Debbie Clark 1 year ago

I started that when my kids entered high school.. Worked great, they owed me 15-20 hours of chores or babysitting hours for younger siblings ..funny how they don’t really need something when they have to pay for it!

Kerri M. Toler 1 year ago

So is it 100 a month?

Nicole Feigl 1 year ago

I like that idea a lot.

Sarah Fritz-Maldonado 1 year ago

Hmm figuring my sons sneakers cost 250 each I’m not sure the high maintenance nagging child will go for it but he does have to currently earn his pay for certain unnecessary luxuries he wants that I’m not willing to provide (like those damn Jordan’s) but I’m pretty sure he is still terrible with his $ lol

Heather Davis Reineke 1 year ago

Love this idea as well as the comments/suggestions on starting the plan at an early age. What do you think, John A Reineke???

Brooke Becker Habecker 1 year ago

Great idea, if I thought my kids would work to make up for the things $100 doesn’t cover. $20 for school supplies.? LOL.

Eliana Daniel 1 year ago

Haha this is brilliant

Afton Flake Foltz 1 year ago

When they feel a need, they turn into good workers. Whenever my kids beg for something, I ask if they have “$40 for sushi”. The begging stops quickly. I kind of like this idea, especially for this kind of personality. My guess is that she’s 10 or 11. But some kids know what they want earlier in life, so they would get it like this girl did.

Valerie Ann 1 year ago

Love it. We worked our butts off growing up because we had to…no reward and although I learned the value of hard work I never really appreciated money until I moved off to college. Start them young!!

Christi 1 year ago

I’ve always hated the term “allowance.” Our job is to raise children who will be able to stand on their own as they reach adulthood. This includes having a strong work ethic, understanding of personal finance and understanding the difference between “need” and “want.” Kids have a lot of work, too, and if we don’t expect them to de-value their services after the magical age of 18, we should not teach them to do so when they are younger. There is nothing wrong with paying them for their hard work and letting them learn how to use said pay to meet their needs and wants… with us there as a safety net to make sure they don’t fall on their faces. My husband and I set out a plan for how we were going to teach work ethic and personal finance before we ever got pregnant… because we don’t want our children to fall into the deep money pits we did as young adults. The ones we’re STILL trying to dig out of. Better to teach them young so it is 2nd nature than to foster awarped reality of “you work because you owe it to society… and society will take care of you for it.”

Latoyah Lathifa Bash Chantraine 1 year ago

Hahahahaha if my 13 year old asks me for lipgloss and wedge shoes , i would just laught out loud … And then really think about where I messed up … That’s just sad !!!

Helen Russo 1 year ago

not a bad idea

David Borough 1 year ago

Hey, not bad.

Nicole Giordano Trella 1 year ago

I may have to try this

Heather 1 year ago

My father tried to help me learn to manage money when I was a teenager. He would give me $20 a week for gas and lunch, which should have been plenty (graduated in ’05 so filling the tank of my 1993 Mercury Tracer wagon was only $30, and that would last me 2 weeks, at least). Making lunch to bring was a “freebie” so if I wanted to drive more, I could make my lunches at home. If I wanted to eat hot lunch at school more, I’d have to drive less. It certainly helped, but I think I’m going to start the lessons earlier for my kids.

Melsioga 1 year ago

Me, too! We never got paid for anything- EVER. I learned that I *will* allow my children to earn money, and actively involve them in household budgeting.

Heather 1 year ago

I would say that if you get a bill, that comes out of the next months money!

Keesha Moore 1 year ago

I like the idea but I don’t know that I would give them a large sum of money up front. At 13 and maybe older they are exposed to all sorts of new things including drugs. Having $$$ makes it more accessible for them to buy. This may not be every kid BUT it’s definitely a possibility

Amanda Sheren 1 year ago

One of my friends growing up got a $300 allowance once a month. I was so jealous! But, her parents made her tithe out of it ($30), buy her own school lunches, clothing, gasoline for her car, spending money for going out, etc. so I guess it actually was a lot less than it sounded like at the time.

Sarah Radman 1 year ago

I love this!

Jessica Fillion 1 year ago

This is a good idea. But at what age would be appropriate to start this? My kids are 4 1/2yrs And 7months in utero lol

Geneva Robbins 1 year ago

How old was the kid & what did they do to earn it

Heather Bill 1 year ago

I wish my parents had done something like this! I got no allowance and wasn’t expected to do any chores because they said that my job was to study. It bought me some hard lessons when I moved out on my own! When I got to college, I knew how to be a good student, but everything else was a foreign concept to me! When my kids are old enough, they will most definitely have some lessons in money and household management!

Liesl Cronjé 1 year ago


Laura Fettig Johnson 1 year ago

My son has always gotten $1 per week per year old. We started when he was 3. He got $3 per week. He did chores, but that was unrelated to income. You help because you are part of the family and you get a spending allowance for the same reason. (My dh and I have an allowance too)

He was collecting Thomas trains and they cost $9.50. He would save for the first numbers we didn’t count change and tax for a few years. He is a saver. When he was 6, he saved up $125 from allowance and birthdays etc…

He is 15 and very responsible with money. He does so much around the house and the chores are still unrelated to allowance.

However we did a reward marble jar where if he does the chore asked without arguing and reminding, he gets marbles. When it is full, he gets a bonus. (We still do that.)

He has experienced being broke and didn’t like it. He keeps a balance if $100 at al times. He is already better than I was in my thirties.

Brandy P 1 year ago

I have tried this with my daughter, but if she runs out of cash the school will still give her lunch and then send me a bill : /

Christine Lynn Procure 1 year ago

When I was about 13 I started getting $100/month. I had to do lots of chores for it and had to buy all my own clothes. New school supplies and anytime I wanted to do anything with friends (movies ect) it was all on me. Now as an adult I am very responsible with money and budgeting. It was definitely a good thing and will be doing it for my kids when they are old enough!

Crystal Payne-Harmon 1 year ago

When I first saw the title, I was skeptical. Then I read the blog. Excellent idea and I think I may implement something similar with my own children. I would have loved to be taught about finances as a child. Would definitely have made my adult life easier.

Sian 1 year ago

Love it!! My 7 year old is perhaps too young for such independence at the moment but will certainly keep it in mind for her in the future….

Joanne Gauthier 1 year ago

This is why my job pays me every 2 weeks, instead of a lump sum at the end of the year. o.O

Amy Sickles Kneller 1 year ago

Great idea!! Parents also check out Dave Ramsey’s financial peace junior, we have started it with our almost 4 year old…it is a lifesaver!! He is earning money through chores and realizing “money doesn’t grow on trees!” Lol

Erin Koehler 1 year ago

My husbands parents made him pay rent when he got out of college and then gave it all back when he moved out and got married! He had no idea that they were saving this money! Good lesson on the real world. I had to learn things the hard way and make my mistakes, now time to teach my kids hard money lessons in life!

Kira Cłaudia Kimberling 1 year ago

That’s awesome

Jennifer Meyers-Heeter 1 year ago

That is a genius of an idea

Michelle Palmer 1 year ago

I might consider this for Izzy when she’s older…

Susan 1 year ago

Great idea! I did something similar with my son when he started high school (8th grade and up was allowed to go off-campus for lunch). I gave him $80 on the first of each month and it was his to do with as he pleased. It should have covered $4/day for lunch, but if he wanted to buy a loaf of bread, peanut butter and jelly and bring a sandwich every day, that was fine too. If he wanted to treat all his friends to lunch and then be broke all month, that was fine too. I just wasn’t giving him any more $. We never had a problem where he was asking us for extra money – he figured it out quickly. And I didn’t have to worry about having lunch money for him every day.

Kellie Schenk 1 year ago

I like this idea, as it teaches so much. When my husband turned 18 his parents charged him rent to live at home. I don’t remember how much, but it was reasonable. What he didn’t know was that they were saving all the money he paid them. When he moved out, they presented him with all the cash to help him get started on his own. It was a neat way to set expectations about paying regular bills while helping him (albeit unknowingly) save. We plan to do this with our own kids.

Sarah Owens 1 year ago

We did something similar for my sons 8th birthday last year — we gave him a $100 spending budget and let him go through Target. It really made him really THINK about he actually wanted, instead of the pipe-dream where he get’s EVERYTHING! It made him think about how much all this stuff he wants actually costs and realized why we can’t get him everything (he’s the oldest of 4). It put gift giving into perspective and now his requests are reasonable and he’s happy! He’s also more willing to use his allowance to get his younger siblings something, as he understands our budget only stretches so far =)

Samara Salvione 1 year ago

Yes. Absolutely. Right now my son gets $12 a week plus any bottle returns. If I have to remind him to do a chore or he has a missing school assignment, he has to pay ME back (goes into the “Trip Jar” AKA…Rainy Day Fund). I buy NEEDS…he has to save for wants…it is working out great. He is learning that buying a pack of gum every time he goes to the store “Just Because ” he has the money adds up!

Lorraine Shaw 1 year ago

Excellent. My mom did NOT do this for me – she wielded her money “power” over me, which didn’t teach me very much about money or the value of it. I still struggle with budgeting as a grown up…. sigh…

Beatrice Leavens Brown 1 year ago

Good idea.

Valerie Travers 1 year ago


Kaylyn LaFave 1 year ago

First I thought heck I never got an allowance from my parents. They said it was my job to help around the house cuz they pay for everything so there was no arguing with that. If my daughter asked for a year allowance I’d let her to teach her money budgeting but I never thought I’d give allowance cuz old school worked for me so it’ll work for her right???! Let’s hope lol

Katie Sue 1 year ago

I like it!

Krista Lueders 1 year ago

This kinda reminds me of the plan I have my kids (ages 7 and 9) on and the direction they are headed. They are on the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Jr plan. They have two kinds of chores in our house, the first is the kind you do because you are part of our family and the second is the kind you get paid commission on. If they don’t work, they don’t get paid. Simple as that. And when they get older (into the teen years) we will open them a checking account and everything that we would normally spend on them each month (things like clothing, lunches, etc) will go in the checking account, along with any money they earn from other jobs. The money will be up to them to spend, we won’t bail them out or give them extra if they don’t budget for the month. A really good book that details all of this is Smart Money, Smart Kids. Too many kids these days aren’t being taught how to handle money and more kids need a parent who will tell them no and let them figure out how money works while they are still safe at home.

Elizabeth Zembilis 1 year ago

Great idea!

Erin Shipp 1 year ago

I absolutely would. My wife and her sister got what I would have considered a generous allowance, but they also had to buy a lot of their own stuff (my wife tells of saving for three months to buy a rug and matching lamp for her bedroom at eight years old). But the end result is that my wife is way better about budgeting than I am, and with my ADD, the extra practice would have been very helpful. We plan to give our son a similar budget from a young age. He’s only three now, but learning to manage money is a priceless gift to give him.

Danielle ‘Kiene’ Weis 1 year ago

I love the idea!

Agora 1 year ago

* I meant none of their friends’ MOMS see the sense in it…

Agora 1 year ago

Love this article, I have always thought this is a much better way of handling kids and money than giving them an allowance. GenX has already become known for being helicopter-y, do-everything-for-them-y over-the-top parents who breed entitled children that don’t appreciate everything or know how to do for themselves. And I know this because I see it all the time. Gratitude is an important life skill, so is money management and work ethic. From the time my kids were old enough to walk and talk (they’re 7 & 9 now) there has been no allowance in our house. Rather, we have a schedule of chores that I pay them for- IF they are done correctly and on time. There has been a lot of whining since none of their friends see the sense in it/want to bother enforcing it, but I see them maturing faster than their classmates and developing a sense of personal responsibility that will serve them for life. And did I mention how much easier it makes things for me?!


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