I Stopped Giving My Kids an Allowance

When I was growing up, my parents gave us an allowance equal to our age. If you were ten, you got $10 a month. When you were 12, you got $12 a month. This continued until we were old enough to work. I thought this was a great system, so when my kids entered elementary school, my husband and I gave them the same age-based allowance. The only rule was that they had to hold back 10%. They could save the rest of their money or spend it as they wished. We intended for our children to learn how to handle money. Instead of them begging and whining for a toy each time we went to the store, we encouraged them to save up their money.I Stopped Giving My Kids an Allowance

I didn’t anticipate that my children would see this system as patently unfair. Every month, we had the same argument– why should their older sister get more than they did? If it wasn’t the same amount each month, then they didn’t think it was fair.

I also didn’t expect that when one child purchased something at the store, the others would buy random junk just so they could have something too. They didn’t usually even want that specific thing–they just didn’t want to go home empty-handed.  

My children weren’t learning anything about money management at all. So, we stopped giving them money.

We don’t pay them for regular chores. We don’t give them an allowance. They don’t get birthday money (from us, anyway).

Instead, they get gifts on their birthday and Christmas, as most children do.  We provide them with their clothes, school supplies, and other necessities. We let them pick out a souvenir on trips. And occasionally, we are nice and give them some money here and there to buy something while we’re at their favorite store, or when we want to support things like the school book fair or a neighborhood fundraiser.

Are they learning how to manage money? No, not really. Are they learning to appreciate the things we buy for them? Most definitely. Have we rid the house of all that worthless junk? Thank goodness, yes!

This might not work for your kids. You might have no interest in “cutting them off” from the money pipeline. But if your kids are being wasteful or acting entitled, it just might be the solution you need.  

We realized that our kids aren’t responsible or mature enough to handle their money appropriately yet. Now we can use this time to really teach them about money management before handing them handfuls of cash to spend. As they get older and earn their own money, we will sit each one down, set up a budget with him or her, and help each one manage his or her money along the way.

Now when we go to Target, no one begs for a toy. No one whines about what the other person got. My children are more grateful for the things we buy for them, and they treat their belongings with more care. 

My children might not be learning much about money management right now, but the life lessons they are learning might just be more important!

Make sure you never miss out on a parenting or community-related blog postsign up to receive CRMB posts in your inbox.  While you’re at it, join our VIP List to ensure you’re one of the first to know about upcoming Cedar Rapids Moms Blog events and promotions!!


Free Family-Friendly Activities | In & Around Cedar Rapids

Looking for some budget-friendly fun to keep the kiddos entertained? From exploring parks to markets, and cultural spots, Cedar Rapids has a ton of free family-friendly activities for you and your little ones to...

Where to See Fireworks | In & Around Cedar Rapids in 2024

Fireworks are quintessential to ring in America's birthday celebration! You have bought your family red, white and blue outfits, sparklers are ready to light up the evening, the grill is ready to go with...

Parenting a Child with ADHD: A Mom’s Journey + Tips

Parenting is an adventure filled with unexpected twists and turns. When my child was diagnosed with ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), it added a new dimension to this journey. It’s a path filled with challenges, discoveries,...

Father’s Day Events | In & Around Cedar Rapids

Father's Day is Sunday, June 16th. And while we don't need a single day to honor Dads and father figures (we should celebrate them every day!), make Sunday meaningful, special, and fun as you...

2024 Summer Fairs & Festivals | In & Around Cedar Rapids

Cedar Rapids is buzzing with summer fun! Think cotton candy, Ferris wheels, and games galore! From the Freedom Festival to local fairs, there's something for everyone. This list of events will be growing all...
Join our community.
Be the first to know about new resources, can't-miss happenings, and new blog articles! 
Yay, we're so glad you're here! Keep an eye on your inbox