Giving your children an allowance is a great way to introduce them to the concept of money and the value of a dollar. Rather than just handing money over to them however, there are several ways you can make it a rewarding learning experience.
One of the most common ways to get children involved and earn an allowance is by doing chores. Depending on the age of the child, you could have them do simple tasks around the home to earn some money. Each chore could be worth a certain amount or you could simply inform them that they only receive their allowance after all their assigned tasks have been completed for the week.
People with younger children could use a chart. On the chart there is a heading with the days of the week across the top and their assigned daily tasks down the left-hand side. As they complete their chores, the child could check it off on the chart. This will allow them to interact with the process and can see all the work they have completed.
The chores your child could do would depend on their age. Younger children could help with dishes, pick up their toys, clean their room, or help clear the dinner table. Older children could mow and rake the lawn, help prepare meals, or perhaps babysit their younger siblings so mom and dad can have a break, depending on their maturity and state laws.
According to a 2007 survey conducted by factmonster.com, the average weekly allowance for children between the ages of 5 and 7 was $3.15 to $4.10. For children between the ages of 8 and 10, the average was $4.32 to $7.10. Older children between the ages of 14 and 18 received between $13.47 and $40.10 per week for an allowance. Keep in mind however, these are just averages. What you give your child for an allowance will depend on your financial situation and what they are doing to earn that allowance. You are not competing with the federal wage limits, but at the same time you want to make it rewarding for your child.
Another option for giving your child an allowance is by putting it on a prepaid debit card. This option is more geared for older children but it teaches them the responsibility that comes with using such negotiable instruments. Perhaps you could start a savings account for them with their allowance. Most banking institutions will allow you to open a separate account for your dependents with little or no initial deposit. Since most savings accounts come with debit cards, this is probably a better option than a prepaid debit card. With this option, they are learning not only the responsibilities of having a debit card, but they are also learning about savings.