Tuesday, 3 January 2012


Last year my husband and I started giving the children an allowance. My goal was to begin teaching my children a little about finances. I have read many books and websites giving advice on how to successfully manage allowance in your home. After much discussions and a few fail starts we have come up with a system that works for us and while there still needs to be a few more tweaks I am please with the results so far.

I am going to describe our family's approach to allowance by no means is this the only way to do this. Nor do I admit to being an expert on this matter.:) Take from it what you will:)

For now we decided that we would give each child .50 cent per year, in other words they would not be receiving the same amount. Currently Little Man (age 7) receives $3.50 per week while my Princess (age 9) $4.50 per week. I should also mention we pay the children in US currency.

We first tried giving the kids a weekly allowance but that failed almost immediately because I never seem to have the exact amount of money to pay the kids on Saturday. Since most of the time I have British Pounds Sterling in my wallet. After a rough couple of months I switched the payment schedule to monthly, which is much more manageable for us to keep. I simply call my husband at work to remind him to stop by the bank on base before coming home and then we can pay out the allowance on or very near the end of the month. Since we have started this system we haven't missed a month (although we have been late a few times but only by a couple of days:))

I purchased for each child a Moonjar Money box. This bank allows the children to separate a portion of their allowance into spend, share and save. Each month the children put a portion of their monthly allowance into each section of the bank. We decided at the beginning of the year 2011 the children would pick a charity to donate to. It is the end of 2011 and the children pulled out their money and chose a charity of their choice to make a donation too.

They gave their share (donate) money back to Dad who went on the web to donate the allotted money to the sites of the children's choice. Little Man decided to donate his $25 to Wood Green Animal shelter. The money he sent in was able to feed the rabbits at the shelter for a month. Princess decided to donate her $33 to Panthera an organization to help endangered big cats. The Children were there and watched Daddy make the donation in their names:) to their charity of choice via the computer.

This year we are doing the children's charitable donation a little different as I want the children to see first hand what their money is doing in helping others, so my husband and I had Little Man and Princess each sponsor a child from Save the Children foundation. We let the children pick the area, age and the child they wanted to sponsor from the website and each month the children will be putting their share money towards this endeavor (Mom and Dad will be making up the money difference:)) I am hoping that my children will be able to correspond with their sponsored child and thus getting a better understanding of how their money is helping others.

The other goal that I made for the children last year was they were each responsible for purchasing their sibling's gifts for Christmas and birthday. I was please to see the children really took an active interest in picking out the right gift based on their siblings current interest. While they did keep an eye on the price it wasn't the deciding factor in their gift choice.

My goal for the upcoming year is even more responsibility with money management. Since both kids seem to be a bit of a hoarder with their spending money, Mom and Dad are still buying too much of their stuff. I will begin devising new goals for the upcoming year that will have the children even more responsible to purchase their own things throughout the year using their own spending money:).

So tell me do you have a system in your house for allowance and how does it work?


  1. I really appreciate this post and all the ideas...this is an ongoing issue that we try to figure out at our place. Right now we're doing something similar to what you have going on...I love those boxes that you found for them! Going to check those out!

  2. Arghh! I just had a long, well-written comment and then Google said I don't have access to this page and deleted my comment. I guess it was Blogger's way of reminding me that this is my place to comment, not write posts! :-) I just have to ask, why do you give them their allowance in US dollars?

  3. What an interesting post...i loved reading about your children donating to charity...such wonderful life lessons you are teaching!

  4. Your allowance system sounds similar to ours. One question I struggle with is do kids just get this money as an allowance...or do they do specific chores to earn it? We currently fall somewhere between the two. We also do the three boxes where they split their money. My kids donate their weekly share 10% to our church offering. How much do you require them to save every week? Thanks for the post.

  5. @ Jennifer-anne
    That was a question my husband and I struggled with when we started our system. I have read both pros and cons for making allowance count for chores but in the end we decided that allowance and chores were different. I didn’t want my children to think they were only doing their chores to get money. I feel strongly that they are a part of the family and every one has to do chores in order to make the house run smoothly (hope that makes sense) However I have been know to have the children pay me if they haven’t done their chores but a set time. It has only happened a few times as my kids hate parting with their money. We have them put about 10% into their save and donate jars and the rest is their to spend:)

  6. This is a great post! I saw a great idea on pinterest I plan on using when my kids get older. If they are saving for a specific item (like a movie, or a game, etc.) use a shadow box and place a picture of that item in it. Then cut a hole in the top to slide the money in. That way they can visually see a goal for their savings! Thought that was great! Also I love reading everyone's opinions on allowance since it's one of those "iffy" things for me!

  7. We tried varies ways to do allowances through the years. The last time we did not pay them for assigned chores; but they could earn money for extra work done within the home. We too had the money devided out in a plan similiar to yours. This plan worked very well when they had a need for something. I think you are doing a great job teaching them to be responsible with their money.
    Blessings to you for a great post!

  8. @ 3 little arrows that does sound like a great idea, I may have to give that a try:)

  9. We tried the weekly allowance thing and I never had money on hand either. I have done it on and off, never consistent though. Sounds like it works great for you guys!

  10. What a tremendous gift for your kids to learn wise money management from such a young age! We tried all sorts of methods when our girls were young, and were never really satisfied with any.

    Since I have taken and facilitate Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace, I have learned about his Financial Peace Jr kits for kids. They have books and a special bank, similar to Moonjar, but it also includes a system for family chores kids do because they are a contributing member of the family, and then there are chores done for "commission". I think it looks like a combination that would work, but since my girls are in their mid-twenties, they are a little old for it. :-)

    I am a huge fan of Financial Peace, as it turned our lives around, and we see it do the same for others now that we facilitate the classes, so I would recommend it for the adults and kids.

  11. Thanks Kim I will be looking into it:)

  12. Thanks for linking up this post. :) Luckily I have a few years until I have to start thinking about this with Abby. I like the idea of giving different amounts for different ages. And I think letting them choose where to send their saved money makes it so much more personal. Thanks for sharing what your family does!