fbpx

5 Tips for Turning Kids’ Allowance into a Summer Learning Experience

allowance-tips-585I was unloading the dishwasher recently when my daughter started grabbing all of the silverware. She headed over to the silverware drawer to put it away, and for the first time, I had a helper. Even if quality control isn’t quite as strict and even if the small forks intermingle with the bigger forks, it doesn’t matter because I have a helper. It took all of 10 seconds for me to start fantasizing about the day when she can do more than the silverware, when I can delegate the entire dishwasher to her and my son.

I’m obviously not going to be a slave driver, but I think it’s important for kids to have responsibilities and chores. I always busted my butt in the summer to help clean the house. My brothers “helped”…but my mom knew who really did the dirty work. And while I didn’t have a weekly allowance, I was rewarded frequently with a little cash flow. It helped me learn that hard work earns you a bit of money. That’s why I love these tips today from Steve Siebold, author of the book How Rich People Think.

As kids have free time in the summer—and want money for summer activities—Siebold says it’s the perfect time to teach kids important money lessons. And one of the best ways to do it is to tie a child’s allowance to chores. Here are a few of his tips for teaching your kids to value hard work and the dough they earn!

Kids’ Allowance: 5 Tips

1. Chat cha-ching. Sit down with your kids and set a price on all chores that go beyond the basics like making their bed and cleaning their rooms. Keep the amounts small and do your research. For example, if a chore is mowing the lawn, find out what the going rate is in your neighborhood and don’t exceed it.

2. Chore schedules. You should have a combination of tasks that have to be done daily or weekly (taking out garbage or general yard work) to provide the basis for a weekly allowance, and extra chores that happen periodically, like cleaning the car or shoveling snow, that kids get paid extra for. If they want money for a toy, you want them to look around the house and think, “How can I help? What can I do to solve a problem and earn money for the toy?”

3. Consistent enforcer. Parents must be consistent about enforcing that chores are completed. If your child’s base allowance is $10, but two chores aren’t done, the allowance should be less. If there is something going on that kids really want money for, tell them it’s an advance.

4. Earn to build. When you tie an allowance to chores, you’re teaching kids important lessons about earning money. Saving money is important, but the fastest way to building wealth is by finding ways to earn it.

5. Big picture. Remember you’re tying money to value and teaching children to think, “How can I create value in exchange for money?” It teaches kids to look for problems to be solved and to be entrepreneurial. They associate money with solving problems and not with entitlement.

Thanks to Steve for the tips! When did you start giving your kids an allowance? —Erin

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!

Comments

Add a comment
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 Comments
  1. Vivienne says:

    Great post! and I fully agree. When I was a kid, our allowance was tied to chores we had to do – mostly rather loosely, but we certainly learned about the value of money, that it was something to work for, and to save up for something you wanted. When my son was young, I had a dilemma when his father (separated) would give him loads of money that I didn’t feel right putting restrictions on… I compromised & set a limit on what he could spend on junk food. There are so many different issues, and lessons, tied up in this!

  2. Ivori Rose says:

    I do not give my son an allowance for picking up after himself. I do not agree that giving your child an allowance for chores teaches them how to earn money; it only teaches them that if you do this, you get money and money gets you the things you want. Where is the internal sense of accomplishment, and how does this help them to build a good work ethic ? Also, why would you want to punish your child with money ?