The Pros + Cons of an Allowance

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A topic that comes up in our home quite often is the question of allowance.  While it does make sense for many kids to get an allowance from their parents, there are also negatives too. It helps children to learn the value of the things that they want, while teaching them to learn how to make financial decisions, budgeting and money management. We might not have learned these lessons as children and ended up in financial trouble by adulthood. Giving your children a small allowance from a young age can help them to potentially avoid this. But is it a good idea?

For some, they don’t believe in paying children for chores. After all, they live in the same house and are responsible for their own things. They should be doing their chores without the need for a financial incentive, right?

Whether or not you decide to give your child an allowance, using a software like Goalsetter to help your children learn to save their money is smart.

Let’s discuss the different types of allowances as well as their pros and cons.

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Regular Allowance

Giving your child a set amount on a weekly basis would be considered a regular allowance. There is some evidence to say that a regular allowance is the best thing that you can do for your child.

Pros

  • Your child can learn to plan ahead for the things that they want to purchase.
  • Your child can learn to manage their own money.
  • Parents can easily plan what allowances they pay, based on their own budgets.

Cons

  • Unconditional allowances that are given regularly can breed a sense of entitlement.

Allowance When Needed

Some parents don’t believe that a child needs their own money, so instead, they will give them an allowance when they need it for something special, like going out with their friends.

Pros

  • This offers the ability to negotiate and come to mutual arrangements, allowing your child to get what they want, when they need it.

Cons

  • A child can’t learn money management this way because they will always have money available to them, when they need it, without having to earn it on a regular basis.

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Allowances For Chores

This is likely the most popular way children can earn an allowance; jobs around the home in exchange for a monetary reward.

Pros

  • Earning money for doing something helpful, gives the child a sense that they are doing some good in the home.         
  • This creates a good connection between earning money for work and is setting them up for what it will be like in the future.
  • The lesson that you have to work hard to earn money and it’s not just handed to you.

Cons

  • There is an expectation when living in a home with family that you have responsibilities.  Paying for this undermines that expectation.
  • You may find yourself being asked for money when you ask your child for a job to be done.
  • If you’re short on cash, you could find your child refusing to do the jobs you’ve asked.

Allowance is a very personal thing and it’s something that you should decide together as a family. There is a fine line to being taken for a ride and coming to a fair arrangement, and ultimately you have the final say.

Do you pay your children an allowance for cleaning? Comment below and let us know!

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Some don’t believe in paying children an allowance while others find it's a great way to teach their child about money management. Here are the pros/cons.

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I'm so honored that you've found us! I'm Heather, a Mom of 3 who blogs about parenting, food, occasional travel and how I overcame my daily struggle with anxiety. I miss sleeping and rely on coffee and laughter to get me through the day. I hope you enjoy and visit often!

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  1. My oldest tries to pull the “when needed” chores on me. Sometimes I let it happen and other times I don’t.

  2. I must admit that I don’t give my child an allowance yet, but I do think it teaches the value of money.

  3. I had an allowance for tasks I completed in the house. I think it helped me become responsible as I knew I had to earn the money and to save it for things such as holidays etc. I would pass this on to my kids when the time is right.

  4. I never really thought about the cons of getting an allowance as I’ve always looked at it from the pro side of a child learning to budget and realise the value of money. I definitely don’t think that paying as and when is any good for a child as like you say what are they learning from that

  5. Savings is a must, and i thank my parents for teaching us it at early years. I always got excited to count our savings every after New Year! Ahh memories.

  6. These are some great point about whether the program is a good idea or not. You covered it in great detail! It will help make the decision for us easier.

  7. I never thought a lot about the cons of an allowance. These are all really good points to keep in mind when my son gets to that age. Thanks for sharing!

  8. OMG never speak asking an allowance from an Asian Mom! Hahaha My Mom is a serial about this. We can only ask for allowance during schooldays, and weekends are no-allowance days. Our house chores are mandatory, and asking for allowance is a looonng conversation with a broom on her hand. hahaha But it was a lovely childhood.

  9. I never had the opportunity to get allowances when I was younger, however, I think giving the kids some allowance is not a bad Idea after all. Thanks for this informative post, this is something I have to read again and think through.

  10. I had some pocket money when i was a kid. Not sure i could call it an allowance. Also, i had money incentives for good grades. but it did help to learn to manage money

  11. When I was a kid, my parents did not give me any allowance, but I was still expected to help out with house chores. I felt it was so unfair since all my friends would get allowances. But it was actually a blessing in disguise. I started to save the £10 birthday money I’d get from my grandparents every year and invest that into wholesaling small items like keyrings and phone charms to sell on eBay. Gradually growing that money to invest into bigger items to resell. This spurred me on to think out of the box and make money for myself without just putting my hand out to receive it from my parents. Nowadays I run 3 successful online businesses and I’m so glad I had the upbringing that I had!

  12. I had an allowance as a kid and thought is was wonderful! It really helped teach me saving and budgeting!

  13. Great article! This post also sparked a great discussion with my husband. On my end, I’d like to think that appreciating what he has and how it is acquired is more important than an allowance. He’s still young, but everyday chores are expected of him. To me that’s basic life skills, but I respect others ways of doing it. I feel that if I reward him for “making his bed” or doing the dishes, he’ll get used to thinking that he must be rewarded in the future to do what’s just basic living skills when he lives alone. Maybe not. We do reward him when he does extremely well– say at school with something he appreciates. On the other hands, he collects coins and has a piggy bank where he’s been saving for years. Thanks for sharing!

  14. I can see why there would be good an bad with an allowance. Honestly I haven’t given one to my daughter yet. But I am considering it as I want her to develop some responsibilities.

  15. That’s a very informative and helpful post for the parents for their kids. Thanks for sharing this information with us.

  16. I never could get into a routine that worked for my kids! I see the benefits of either way. There should be the expectation of pitching in to help without money, as part of being in a family.

  17. Previousy posted, but still feel this is a great way for kids to show initiative and learn the art of EARNING money?

  18. Such an interesting article! I showed this to my husband, and it sparked up a good discussion.

  19. I used to get an allowance when I was a kid, but with 6 kids and both of us self-employed, it definitely makes it tough. These are some definite pros and cons of having an allowance. Thanks for sharing.

  20. i have yet given any allowance to my daughter because she’s only 5 yo but im teaching her to save money in her coin bank

  21. What a wonderful post! I give my kids allowance, because I want them to know that work is worth something and to not feel like “we had you, so someone could clean up,” and that’s kinda how I felt growing up, for a little bit. Thanks for sharing!! 🙂

  22. It really depends on age and the child. Mine is 12 years old so he is currently on an allowance, and it works well with him.

  23. My kids have a lot so it’s important to me that they learn the value of money. They both earn their ‘pocket money’ doing chores around the house.

  24. Wow! This is such a nice post. I don’t have a problem with regards to allowances because my kids are too young for that. But I love the idea of teaching kids in earning money and I will definitely keep this in mind for my future reference.

  25. Wow, it’s really a great post. I know some of the pro’s but after reading this post I’ve learned a lot. Thanks for sharing this great post.

  26. My kids are definitely at an age where they want to earn spending money. It’s nice to be able to have tools for them to learn how to be responsible, earn, and save. Thanks for the tips!

  27. We didn’t give allowances to our kids. I expect them to help around the house because they live here and make messes. But I do feel it is important to help kids learn to manage money.

  28. I am always changing our system because it actually starts boring our son. With summer he gets to trade allowance earning for video game time

  29. some very good con points. allowances are always such a personal issue. what works for one doesn’t always work for another

  30. I have started giving my kids small pocket money just to give them some saving habit, at the moment I am using point system to get them to their chores. This is a great software to checkout.

    https://www.yeahlifestyle.com

  31. It is definitely an interesting and useful post for me. I have the same problem with my kids, and I never know what is the best way to act.

  32. I think that giving an allowance has more pros than cons. It teaches them that money doesn’t grow on trees which is a very important lesson

  33. In our home we have a set amount of chores for the week and we give her a set amount for doing those chores. This is a way for her to understand that you must work for your money. Then again she is only 6 so that will change as she gets older I’m sure

  34. This is an interesting topic but I am leaning more on no allowance, especially if doing something around the house.

  35. Great points! Our oldest is 5, so we’re just beginning to get into allowance territory, and I haven’t decided yet where I stand. Growing up, we received a very nominal allowance, but it was mostly used to buy “treats” – right now my strategy of just saying no to treats is working well! 🙂

  36. Such a tricky topic for parents- if you give an allowance, it’s bad if you don’t give an allowance, it’s also bad! I think it all needs a good balance!

  37. These are some great points! My girls are just at the point o contributing to chores regularly but we haven’t introduced an allowance yet.

  38. I like this. Whether you give your kids an allowance or not, I think it’s important to teach them financial responsibility and how to earn, keep and be responsible of their money.

  39. My son doesn’t get an exact allowance every week, but he does earn a “digital” allowance. Mostly to pay for his memberships and in-game items for the games he plays. There are pros and cons to every allowance system, like you mentioned. Our system works well for us, but may not for someone else.

  40. wow, this is a smart idea. teaching your children the value of earning and breaking down the pros and cons, thank you for sharing, i wish my parents would have done this to me when i was a child.
    it would be great being a kid, knowing that you earn money through actions

  41. thank you for stating the cons and pros of allowance, it is always good to be aware of this for the future

  42. I don’t have children so can’t relate to this subject. However, I think everything in moderation is ok. If you want to give a small allowance, it’s ok. As long as they don’t take it for granted, it’s not a bad thing.

  43. Those are some good points though I prefer kids doing household chores with the reward of other things like a snack but not with money always. But teaching them to save their earned money would be a good lesson.

  44. My younger sister is at the age where we are working an allowance into her life. There are definitely some pros and cons as you said but it’s helping her realize the worth of a dollar.

  45. We tried allowance all sorts of ways. They earned it growing up, but when they got in HS it was just too hard to have them do much. They were so busy with sports and homework. As long as they kept up their grades and behavior we gave them a little money. They helped out when they could.

  46. Such good points. My son is still pretty young but I think we will end up giving him a regular allowance as I think it would really good to teach him about responsibilities and so much more

  47. My boys do not get an allowance for doing chores, they are expected to be done as a part of being a family. They learn about money management when they are older and do odd jobs for neighbors.

  48. You definitely raised some good points here! Loved this blog post. My son is only 3 and I know it is probably way to soon and we don’t necessarily give him chores, but I’ll explain. We teach him good habits. If he listens and cleans up all his toys, he is rewarded with a dime or penny in his piggy bank (honestly whatever we have). Whenever he hears we are going to Target or Walmart he asks to cash out his money and bring it along incase he sees something he wants. I love the self checkouts cause he can put the coins in and actually pay his money towards something and he gets excited. Recently I just had my 28th birthday. My husband said my son had saved up $2.00 (remember we usually give him dimes and pennies). He asked my husband if he could buy me roses for my birthday. And he got to help and he was so proud. It was so sweet and I had never been so happy to receive roses in my entire life.

  49. We didn’t wait to give allowance for awhile. I totally agree that it can cause a sense of entitlement, especially if it’s given/rewarded at the wrong circumstance.

  50. I think this is a very comprehensive list of the different perspectives. I didn’t get an allowance as a child but some of my friends who did certainly turned out fine.

  51. No we don’t pay the kids for helping around the house. I tell them we are all a family and we have to work together when it comes to taking care of the house.

  52. You raise some really great points. I’m still on the fence about giving my boys the responsibility and privilege of an allowance.

  53. I used to love getting an allowance when I was younger, as I got older I would have to earn it of course and then as I got into my teens I got more but had to buy things like my clothes from it which made me feel really adult.

  54. My kids aren’t old enough for chores yet, but this is great for helping me look ahead!!! I think my parents gave me an allowance for like 1 month and then gave up haha

  55. Our daughter had “chores” that she was required to do without pay. Then there were a list of jobs that she could do to earn money. This seemed to work for us.

  56. I think allowances are important to teach kids the value of money. My kids will always have an allowance, but only if they do stuff. If not, no allowance! Like last week, they didn’t get paid because they didn’t clean.

  57. We never gave our kids a regular allowance but we did pay them for big chores. I do think an allowance is a good tool to help teach kids the basics of handling finances.

  58. I don’t give my kids an allowance, but do reward them by buying them things for their work around the house. They are fine with that.

  59. I love the idea of an allowance, however, we have never done one on a strict basis. I do want my children to learn about money but I feel like an allowance falls short in a lot of areas. Hopefully, I come up with a plan that’s helpful and can prepare them for the future as they grow.

  60. I give my daughter a small allowance to teach her about spending and saving. I really loved the article.

  61. Allowances can be good but can also be bad. As of now I haven’t given my son one but now that he is older I may give him one.

  62. Now that the kiddos are teens. I will pay them for larger tasks. However, I typically won’t give allowance for cleaning around the house.

  63. We never gave our children an allowance. We provide everything and they learned to work with us. When they got older they were taught how to make a budget with money they earned. All very successful today