Posted by Tim Stobbs on January 28, 2010
Recently we started our oldest son on an allowance and it has been amusing for him to near constantly hold his first tonnie in his hand for the last few days. He talks just about non stop about buying something with his money. His personal favorite obsession at the moment is lego, so we keep pointing out he will have to save up some more toonies prior to buying something.
So how did we come up with an allowance system? Well that was a bit of guess work and a few other common suggestions I’ve hear about.
First off, I’ve heard from a few different sources that a rule of thumb for allowance should be about $1/week/age of kid. So according to that we should be giving my son $5 a week, which to start out is just nuts for me. We decided on $2/week because we wanted him to learn about saving up for things. You can’t buy much at $2 and that is the point. He will have to learn to save if he wants anything bigger.
Also I feel pay should reflect what is done for it. Right now his responsibilities are minor. He just have to clear his dishes from the table after supper and lunch each day. Then once a week he is expected to help clean up the kid’s play area in the basement. As we add other duties I’ll be happy to raise up the level of pay.
We also had some prerequisites we were waiting for prior to introducing the allowance. First off he has to be able to count to ten and recognize numbers. After all it’s just about impossible to teach about money with out using numbers. Second he had to get the concept of money, at least the part of that is what we exchange to get things and then we exchange our time doing things to get more money. The last requirement was the fact his wants were exceeding what we where willing to pay for. I really do want my kids to get the idea that wants are unlimited, but money is limited so you have to choose what you want.
So that’s the current plan for allowance in our house. I suspect it will keep evolving for a while, but it’s already been useful to explain some concepts like we don’t replace money. If he loses the money it’s gone and we won’t replace it. So if you have kids on allowance, how much do you pay? What chores do you assign your kids?