Monday, August 10, 2009

Allowances and Kids

Missy over at It's Almost Naptime!, one of my favorite blogs, asked the question about how families handle allowances.

Now this is not to say that we have it all figured out, but I mostly wanted to write about the banks that we use with our kids. It is called My Giving Bank and was developed by Larry Burkett. The bank is divided into three different parts with pictures of a bank, a church, and a store, making it easy for small children to see which bank they are putting their money into.

We pay our children an allowance because they are part of our family. They have chores to do for being part of our family, but they aren't tied to the allowance. The children can earn extra money for projects and chores outside of their normal chores, but only if it is spelled out beforehand. We don't pay them for all help with projects, either. My husband and I talk about what things we need done, and sometimes the kids just help with projects because they are part of our family and sometimes they have opportunities to earn extra money with projects.

We have found that if we pay them for chores, if we ask them to do anything extra, they will ask what they get paid to do it. We wanted our kids to help around the house simply because they were asked, not because we were paying them to help.

We start out using the Giving Banks when they are around 2 years old. They give 10% to the Lord first thing, save 25%, and the rest goes in their bank. We have also found that if you pay them too little, it takes them too long to have any money to learn to manage. And if you pay them too much, they have no desire to work extra and learn the value of earning something that they worked for. Every family will have to work out the amount for their individual circumstances.

We want to help our children to learn to give joyfully to the Lord, save for the future, and manage their money within their budget. And let them make mistakes, which can be hard on the parents. One of our teenage sons used to plow through his money as soon as he got it and was always broke. He has learned some hard lessons and is now our best at saving. He is saving for an expensive item that will take him almost 2 years to achieve, and he is forgoing all immediate purchases for the desired one in the future. This is not something we thought he would ever be able to do, but he has learned a little about the value of money and how he wants to spend his.

Larry Burkett also has some books that we have used. Money Matters for Teens and Money Matters for kids. These are great resources written by a very Godly man who is now in heaven. Crown Financial Ministries also has some great resources by Howard Dayton.


  1. Hi Miss Amy,
    I'm Kat's daughter, Nana. Mom said you would like an invite to see my blog. Well, on blogger (one thing I don't like) you need to send invites via e-mail. You can e-mail me @ Have a great day!
    ♥ Nana

  2. I've been missing in action since my mom had back surgery so I just read a few of your posts.

    Thank you for stopping by to give me encouragement over the past week. My mom is doing quite well now. We're anxious to get her home, but not too soon. Just when she's ready.

    We do a similar thing with allowance and everyting you mentioned is our desire and hope too. My kids are good about doing chores and helping out without getting paid. Sometimes they won't, but they'll learn all about helping and being in need.

    Have a great rest of the week,

  3. That is a neat bank! Right from the get-go they “get it”. Giving and saving in a good habit to learn early in life.
    And I feel the same as you do. It is all right to allow the children to have money, however, we do not want them to think the should be paid for everything they are asked to do.

  4. Hi, Amy.

    We don't have the bank but this is about what we do. We do not give the kids an allowance for doing chores. As part of the family it is their responsibility. However, we do have extra and special jobs, like ironing or painting or other things they can do to earn money. Their first 10% goes to tithe and then they divide it 3 ways...long term savings, short term savings and what we call spend it now. If you abbreviate that it is S.I.N. which we laugh at all the time. Especially because the girls usually spend theirs on lip gloss and nail polish.

    So their long term savings goes into the bank for say college or a car or whatever. They each have their own account. To encourage them in that area and help us save for college and weddings my husband matches whatever they put in their account penny for penny.

    The short term they can put aside for whatever they are saving for. Brianna is saving for a suitcase she has her sights on. Last year it was roller skates everyone wanted. Many times they put it into the family vacation jar. Whatever they want to save for, and sometimes they don't know what that is until later.

    And out of their sin money they pay their pledge to missions and then can do with as they please.

    It works very well for us.

    It is funny that I popped over here to see this because I just started a post this afternoon on allowances and chores.

    Happy Friday,


  5. Great post! I am such an allowance slacker, I try to start it up and then I forget about it!
    I really need to get a system in place so my kids can learn how to handle money!

  6. I had forgotten about this! I had it stored away in a "one day I'll do this" compartment in my mind... and then I forgot... I think I'll get some jars and make my own little banks! I do the same things with extra jobs too. Thanks!

  7. Love the bank! I am just now contemplating starting allowances and that bank is just perfect!


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