Allowance Wars: Is It About The Chores or Not?
Help me resolve a dispute between my husband and I. It's about money.
Specifically, the kids' money. (If you want to resolve our money disputes I think we might need a weekly one-hour appointment.)
I believe that allowance should not be tied to chores but should be used as a teaching tool on how to save and budget. I also think that as members of the family the kids get a small share in the family's money. (A lesson in sharing that will serve them later in life, in case one of them earns substantially less than the other. If you get my drift...)
My husband believes that allowance is doled out according to whether or not they have done their chores. Which means they don't usually get their allowance. I think that is a little bit arbitrary since he gets to be the ruler on high deciding who gets paid or not.
His argument is that since they don't do their chores, they are not acting as members of the family and therefore need a cash incentive. I don't totally disagree with him, but I still think that it contradicts the spirit of allowance.
There are some other rules that have to do with allowance around here. Since mom and dad forget on a weekly basis, it is the kids' job to remind us, and if they forget too they can't ask for more than two weeks in a row.
They are supposed to be paying for their extra candy, hockey cards and the like, and online memberships (to kids' game sites) from their allowance. We also encourage the kids to use their allowances for bake sale and donation drives at schools. The problem is that son number one always has lots of money to do that, and son number two never seems to have any money. How does this happen? I'm not sure. (My husband worries that son number two is following in his mother's footsteps.)
As for the actual amount, we go with the amount of money per year. Parenting expert Alyson Schafer told me to always veer on the side of generous as it allows more opportunities for learning about money and budgeting.
But as it stands now, my kids aren't getting much money because they are not doing their chores without reminders. So I'm asking: how do you handle allowance in your house?
If you are wondering about allowance too, check out this article from Today's Parent.
Want more chaos? Last year, I wrote about letting your kids have some freedom and enjoying Halloween isn't so scary.