How to Teach Children Money Management? Allowance? ….

Exchange chores for pay or allowance to learn how to save and spend?

This is an ongoing debate. When I was growing up there was no debate. The old reward for work seemed to be the prevailing parenting and cultural norm. Twenty-seven years ago, when we were raising our sons this debate started to grow. Mark and I did our own hybrid version which meant we did associate some home chores with reimbursement of an allowance and we also gave our sons small amounts of money to manage. We wanted our sons to respect money management while also realizing that existence and living are not exclusively about money and material acquisitions, rather it is about relationship building and community. I don’t think we were the best at consistency in setting our reward programs. My only suggestion is whatever you decided to do be consistent.

Where are our boys today? Both are trying to manage funds amidst challenges in establishing themselves in their respective careers choices. Both work in hospitality which is an industry that typically pays its workers minimum wages and relies on employee goodwill and the desire to please. Both our sons respect money and yet they keep its importance in perspective and defer to maintaining relationships over hoarding the almighty dollar. Their hearts are their ultimate compass.

Choose how you introduce money management to your children based on your values. Remember there is no one size fits all.