Sunday, January 29, 2006


“Allowance? What allowance?” Julius said to his 13-year old son Chris. “I allow you to eat my food. I allow you to watch TV. I allow you to use my electricity and use my water.”

I thought that was funny. It was a scene from an episode of Everybody Hates Chris.

It was 1983 and Chris spotted this leather jacket on a display window. Almost everybody at school was wearing leather jackets and he wanted one, too. But he didn’t have any money and he couldn’t really save up for it because he didn’t get allowance.

I don’t give my kids allowance, either. There is no canteen or cafeteria at school and they bring bagged lunches. School is also walking distance from home so there’s really no need for an allowance. I give them money for book orders, hot lunch orders or any other school supplies and fees. I buy them toys and games occasionally.

When Reggie started Junior High, I gave him $5.00 a week just in case he wanted cold drinks from the vending machine instead of his juice box, or when he and his friends wanted to have lunch at A&W. But he barely touched the $5.00 I gave him that first week. I would tell him that if he needed money, just ask me. He never had any need for it. If he wanted a CD, I gave him money for it.

So my kids never really needed an allowance and they never asked for it.

How about you, do you give your kids allowance?


myepinoy said...

Yes. I do give my children their allowances. But here is the tricky part. Their allowances are not given without justifications.

My style is like in a corporate world. They present and defend their budgets plus their justifications. Unreasonable ones are stricken off. No advances or adjustments unless necessary. Every year is the budget presentation and negotiations.

So far, this is effective because they learn to live within their means/budget and has become responsible kids in handling their finances.

Sidney said...

Yes, I do give my son a small weekly allowance. I think it is good that children learn to save money and at the same time learn to spend their money wisely.
Since it is his money he seems to think twice before spending it.

Hsin said...

I'm obviously not in a position to comment firsthand, but this is my parents' philosophy. They gave us an allowance once we started elementary school, which we mostly did nothing with. They thought it would be good if we learnt to handle money early. In fact, we've all turned out to be savers. I do plan to do the same thing when my child/children are old enough, although I do think a lot of guidance is in order.

Abaniko said...

I give my high school siblings allowance for emergency expenses. They bring packed food to school and snacks are served when they get home in the afternoon. It's good that they also know how to manage their finances and control spending. They're learning.

earthember said...

Since we're homeschooling, I've never thought of giving allowances, until my 11-year-old asked for it last month. Her reason was to buy presents for special occasion and she wants it coming from her pocket money.

We started giving allowances, and so far, they simply save the money. Yup, it does help them to handle money better.

Dee said...

I think my kids were in grade school but they had to work for it. They had to do certain chores like walk the dog and feed him. Then feed the cats and empty the litter box. Whichever one took care of the cats did not take care of the dog that day. I had schedule up on a calendar.

They also had to pick up their room every Saturday before going out to play and as they grew older they were expected to help with the dusting and such. Just small things but I felt it was teaching them that nothing comes free in life. Good work ethics.

Harvey said...

I look at allowances as a way of teaching my four kids many things, including earning, saving, setting goals and making choices (like Sidney said - "Since it is his money he seems to think twice before spending it."

I did and continue to do a lot of searching on this subject (that's how I found your blog) but couldn't find any decent online or software tools to help me create a really good AND really easy process.

So I ended up creating one; it's been in test for the past 9 months, with great reviews from members.

In case you're interested, it's at Active Allowance. I'd appreciate any feedback you might have.

niceheart said...

Hi Harvey, thanks for dropping by.

I still don't give allowances to my kids. They haven't really asked for it. I buy them stuff anyway. And they understand that we don't have a lot so they don't ask for much.

They each have their own savings account and that's where I put money they get for presents.

I have a follow up on this post where other parents have also shared their experiences in giving their kids allowances. You can click on this link.

I have also moved this entire blog to