The Importance Of Allowance

By: Shannon Wakeland

Do you give your kids an allowance?

If you do, then you have begun your child's journey with appropriate money managing skills. If not, perhaps it's time you started. Giving a child an allowance has many benefits, and it teaches responsibility in your child.

Deciding what to tell your child about money and finance will depend on his or her age and the ability to understand what money is, as well as where it comes from and what it is used for. What are the advantages of getting an allowance? It educates children on the importance of saving money today, and for purposes later in life. Giving children allowance guides them in the right direction towards making spending decisions and it also educates them on the importance of savings.

When should parents begin giving an allowance?

As soon as your child is old enough to understand how money is used in exchange for things that are needed or wanted.

How much should a parent give? Be reasonable about the amount you are giving to your children. What are they doing around the house to earn the money? Is it a daily or weekly basis chore? For instance, most kids begin an easy, delegated chore around the house, such as emptying wastebaskets once a week. For a preschooler, $1 - $2 a week is a fair amount. The older your child gets, appoint more chores on a daily schedule, or give them the option of what they consider reasonable. Sitting down together as a family, and making choices on household chores and finances, can aid in helping your child grow as an individual and into a responsible young adult. Below are a few guidelines parents may want to follow:

One of the most important aspects of giving an allowance is that children develop their own independent thoughts, and learn to become responsible. Though allowance is good, children should also learn that chores are a team effort. There should be tasks that your child does, without payment, simply because they are a part of the family. This may be something as minimal as cleaning their own room, emptying the cat box, or even feeding their own pets. Discussions concerning money can begin as early as pre-school and continue on into their young adult years. Below are some helpful ground rules in educating your child about the responsibility of controlling money

Keep in mind the reason you are giving your child an allowance; to teach them the value of money and to set the foundations that will nourish them through their adult years. Instead of giving him or her money for something they really want, show them the proper way to earn and to save. Show them patience. Teach your child that there are joys in working, and though it is not always fun, the advantages they reap will be rewarding. Discipline them on becoming responsible and even though there are many wants, there are also needs which are sometimes of more importance. This will teach them discipline, respect, and money management that will last them a lifetime.

Shannon Wakeland, author of several print and online publications, resides in Charleston,†SC with her husband and seven year-old son.

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