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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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69 Comments
  • Jess
    July 11, 2018

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

  • fashionmommy
    July 9, 2018

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

  • Scott Gilliland
    July 9, 2018

    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.

  • Tanya
    July 8, 2018

    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

  • Blair villanueva
    July 6, 2018

    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.

  • Lydia Samson
    July 6, 2018

    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.

  • Nicole
    July 6, 2018

    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!

  • Blair Villanueva
    July 6, 2018

    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.

  • Adaezeboltbethel
    July 6, 2018

    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.

  • What Corinne Did
    July 6, 2018

    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

  • ohmummymia
    July 6, 2018

    I know that my son will have allowance I want to teach him the value of money

  • Jojo Hua
    July 5, 2018

    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!

  • Nina Kasper
    July 5, 2018

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

  • Astrid
    July 5, 2018

    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!

  • David Allen Elliott
    July 5, 2018

    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.

  • Khushboo
    July 5, 2018

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

  • Novel Blondes
    July 5, 2018

    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.

  • AC
    July 5, 2018

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

  • Aleese Hughes
    July 5, 2018

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

  • Shannon Gurnee
    July 5, 2018

    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.

  • Cat Uy
    July 5, 2018

    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

  • LavandaMichelle
    July 5, 2018

    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!! 🙂

  • evelyn
    July 5, 2018

    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.

  • Jan F
    July 5, 2018

    I see very good con points. Allowances are always such a personal thing. THanks for sharing!

  • Phill Slater
    July 5, 2018

    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.

  • FlySoulmates
    July 5, 2018

    In my opinion is more pros, than cons! But everyone has own choice 🙂

  • Emma Riley
    July 5, 2018

    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.

  • Harish Joshi
    July 5, 2018

    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.

  • Marysa
    July 4, 2018

    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!

  • Maysz
    July 4, 2018

    This is a good way to teach the kids on how they budget their allowances thanks for sharing!

  • Kate | Life of a Ginger
    July 4, 2018

    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.

  • Erin Sluka
    July 4, 2018

    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

  • peter
    July 4, 2018

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

  • Yeah Lifestyle
    July 4, 2018

    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

  • Catalina
    July 4, 2018

    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.

  • Cristina - Memories of the Pacific
    July 4, 2018

    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

  • Jessica Courtney
    July 4, 2018

    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

  • Garf
    July 4, 2018

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

  • Laura
    July 4, 2018

    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! 🙂

  • Pearl
    July 4, 2018

    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!

  • Patricia
    July 4, 2018

    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.

  • Heather
    July 4, 2018

    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.

  • Nikki
    July 4, 2018

    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.

  • Marcel Joshua kannampuzha
    July 4, 2018

    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

  • Isaac
    July 4, 2018

    Some good points on a very important subject. Thanks for the post.

  • Nina
    July 4, 2018

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

  • Followingtherivera
    July 4, 2018

    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.

  • Angela Ricardo Bethea
    July 4, 2018

    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.

  • Ada
    July 4, 2018

    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.

  • Julie Plagens
    July 4, 2018

    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.

  • Chanell
    July 4, 2018

    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

  • tara pittman
    July 3, 2018

    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.

  • Alannah Delgado
    July 3, 2018

    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.

  • Kelly Reci
    July 3, 2018

    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.

  • Madison Scholl
    July 3, 2018

    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.

  • Ashley
    July 3, 2018

    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.

  • Amanda
    July 3, 2018

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

  • Sarah Bailey
    July 3, 2018

    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.

  • Julie Hood
    July 3, 2018

    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

  • Terri Steffes
    July 3, 2018

    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.

  • Amber Myers
    July 3, 2018

    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.

  • Alli Smith
    July 3, 2018

    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.

  • Juli
    July 3, 2018

    Your post is on point, but which child wouldn’t appreciate getting an allowance?

  • robin rue
    July 3, 2018

    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.

  • Jeanette El
    July 3, 2018

    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.

  • Lyric Simone
    July 3, 2018

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

  • Glenda Cates
    July 3, 2018

    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.

  • Tasheena
    July 3, 2018

    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.

  • Candy
    July 3, 2018

    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

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