Two Sides to Allowance

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As soon as our kids are old enough to understand money (and they no longer put it in their mouth), the allowance conversation emerges. Like our own varying backgrounds and experiences, our decision around the topic of allowance will vary. Amber Strocel (Growing Kids, Growing Me) and Alina Adams (Kveller) share their different perspectives on the topic of allowance.

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Amber Strocel (except from Starting An Allowance)

Now that Hannah is 4 we’ve decided to start giving her an allowance. She still doesn’t really understand how money works. For instance, it doesn’t occur to her that certain types of money are more valuable than others, or that there is a finite supply of the stuff. Which is exactly why we’ve decided to implement an allowance. We can explain things until we’re blue in the face, but she probably won’t really get it until she has some experience under her belt. Few lessons in life are more valuable than those gleaned first-hand, after all. Not many of us have good stories about that time we took our mother’s advice and saved ourselves a lot of grief.

Continue reading Starting An Allowance to understand Amber’s position on paying her allowance.

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Alina Adams (excerpt from My Kids Do Plenty of Chores But Don’t Get An Allowance)

Not only are my children not paid for work they do inside our home, they don’t receive an allowance, either. I.e. not only do my three kids not get money for something, they don’t even get money for nothing! My stance on giving my children money is this: if they want something that I agree they need, I’m going to buy it for them anyway. And if they want something I don’t think they need, they can figure out how to get it themselves. While I don’t pay them a salary, I have no problem with it being earned elsewhere. My oldest son has babysat for other people’s toddlers. He worked as a Junior camp counselor over the summer, and he is an absolute whiz at tracking down programs all over the US that pay kids for reading. My 9-year-old even got the thrill of singing (in this case, dancing) for his supper last spring, when he spent a week performing in the American Ballet Theater’s production of “Giselle.” He’s also scarily good at finding loose change, and sometimes even twenty dollar bills, on the street.

Continue reading My Kids Do Plenty of Chores But Don’t Get An Allowance to understand Alina’s position of not paying her children an allowance.


Both Amber and Alina raise great points on the allowance discussion. Each of us has to make our own decisions but understanding an alternative perspective can sometimes clarify what direction you wish to follow.

We would like to know your thoughts on the topic of allowance. Do your children receive an allowance? Do you think the decision aaround allowance changes with a child’s age? What additional advice would you give to parents debating this issue in their own home?

Images and excerpts reprinted with permission from original authors.

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