Sarah Deveau: Money Matters


Time to Talk Allowances

Advice on Introducing Allowances

My daughter is turning six soon. We’ve been paying her an allowance and she’s been saving it in little jars, but I’m pretty sure she’s been just shuffling the money around whenever the mood arises. She really hasn’t understood the concept until the past few months, when she switched from watching Treehouse to Family, and now sees a lot more commercials. Now she has a little list of items she wants to buy, and has figured out that the one or two items she gets for her birthday and Christmas won’t cover her wants. So she is trying to understand how her allowance will get her those items.

My husband and I have been debating allowances. We know we’re not supposed to tie regular chores (part of being a member of the household) to her receiving an allowance, but then what is it for, exactly?

Then I stumbled across this video about raising your kids to be entrepreneurs. While much of what he recommends is specifically for kids in whom you’ve identified entrepreneurial traits, the concept of not giving allowances at all really resonated with me.

We’ve decided to implement this idea in our house. Except instead of everything being random, we’ll do what this family does, creating a spreadsheet of chores (above and beyond basics like hanging up their jackets and school bags, making their bed, clearing the table) that pay set amounts. Here’s a great blog with a spreadsheet you can download

Then, I’ll encourage my daughter to look for other chores or tasks she can do to earn additional money, and we can negotiate the pay for those tasks.

I’m not sure if this is the perfect solution for our family, but I really like the message it sends that money is tied to work and creativity, not an entitlement issue.