Should I Give My Kids an Allowance?

Question: What do you think about giving kids an allowance?

Answer: I suggest giving your teens a commission, not an allowance. When they get older, they will find out that life doesn’t make allowances. Life can be difficult sometimes, and waiting around for a handout or an “allowance” isn’t the best way to live.

So if life doesn’t make allowances, neither should parents! Kids need to make the connection between work and money: If they work, they’ll get paid. If they don’t work, they don’t get paid. If they’re sleeping in until noon every day during the summer, then no allowance! If they are out taking care of their chores and the things you asked them to do, then a commission makes perfect sense.

The amount you pay in commissions might vary based on your teen’s age and your income. Obviously, the older your teenager is, the more you might consider paying him or her. Keep the task in mind as well. Mowing the grass for two hours should be worth much more than pushing the trash to the street.

Regardless of what you pay them or what they are getting paid for, the most important thing is that they make the connection between work and money. Help them see that now, and they’ll thank you later in life.

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