There seems to be a ongoing debate on this subject of allowances for kids, and even when the answer is “yes” there are still decisions to be made about doing it right. Some parents and experts believe:
- An allowance teaches money management: These proponents do not tie the allowance to chores or other activities; it is simply a tool to help children learn how to manage money. These lessons are expanded when children receive gifts of money and can include plans for savings, charitable giving and the concepts of lending & borrowing.
- An allowance is given for household chores: A danger in offering money in exchange for chores comes when the child is no longer motivated by the money (I don’t need money for anything right now, therefore I’m not going to take out the garbage…), or when the amount offered is not perceived as “worth it” for the chore (Spending a whole day cleaning out the garage for $5.00 may not appeal to your child…). Conversely, there are those who believe that all members of the household should have chores, not for compensation, but because they are contributing members of the household.
- How much is too much (or too little)? If you do decide to give an allowance (tied to chores or not), there are differing schools of thought as to how much to give at each age, and whether the allowance should be used to cover necessities. Some parents provide a more generous allowance to be used for clothes, field trips, school lunches and other necessary expenses; others provide a smaller allowance that is only used for extras like video games & apps, entertainment, food outside of meals at home or school, etc.
Whether you decide on an allowance to teach financial lessons or one that is tied to chores, an allowance is probably not the most effective motivator.
Just as tangible incentives have worked in the corporate world for decades, they also work at home and in school. In a business application, incentives are offered for going above and beyond what’s expected as part of the employee’s job description. Similarly, even if you are offering an allowance, non-cash rewards can be motivating for reaching additional goals or objectives.
In the corporate world, studies consistently prove that employees perform at higher levels for non-cash rewards. Setting specific goals with your children and letting them choose the reward they’ll receive when the goal is accomplished will set them on track for achievement for life.
Have you ever made a plan to treat yourself when a project is completed? That’s an example of a self-imposed incentive. You determined that the goal was worth accomplishing and then decided how to celebrate when the goal was reached. That is the premise of our online platform: GoalUP.com.
Of course, the objective is to raise responsible, self-motivated kids. Goal setting helps to teach responsibility, accountability and will be a valuable life-long skill for your child to develop. GoalUP.com helps kids get in the habit of setting worthwhile goals, tracking progress and earning rewards once they’re accomplished.
Ready to get started? Download our free Goal Chart!