5 Tips on How to Give Your Kids an Allowance
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Here are five tips on how to give your children
(1) Don’t tie an allowance to doing chores! That’s right, your parenting fears are well founded. This instantly turns allowance into a power struggle--something parents have enough of already. An allowance should be an independent stream of income, used as its own learning experience, not a facilitator for others.
(2) Start at the right age, with the right amount of money. Most experts suggest one dollar for every year of a child’s age. So a five year old would get five dollars a week. Five and six year olds can start to grasp the concept of saving and spending money. Seven to 12 year olds are really in the sweet spot for starting healthy financial habits, they want to buy things and are becoming increasingly good at math.
(3) Have some short term goals - toys, candy, games, etc. But suggest some long term spending goals that you know will come up - electronic gear, a bike, expensive clothing.
(4) Use an allowance as a real teaching opportunity. Let your child pick a charity and donate to it every few months. Start a college or private school savings account that they can contribute to. Even if it’s only a small portion of the real money you’ll need, let them feel what it’s like to save for these important life goals. Money guru Warren Buffett says he bought his first stock at age 11, so you can never think too big.
(5) Develop a system and stick with it. Some people use a three jar method for saving, spending and donations. Others have bank accounts. The goal center at Kidworth.com offers tools to help families manage their financial habits online.
The most important thing to do is be active about your children and their money. When approached correctly, “allowance” doesn’t have to be a dirty word, it can be a positive partnership between parents and their kids that will last a lifetime.
Michael Weiss is the Content Developer at Kidworth.com.