Parents also seem big on the theme of linking chores with an allowance. "I am both a financial planner and parent of four kids between the ages of nine and 18," says Steven A. Boorstein, a certified financial planner at RockCrest Financial LLC, in Franklinville, N.J. "My thinking is that if your child does something for the family that you would otherwise pay for, then pay them. For example, if my sons didn't cut the lawn, I'd have to pay for it. Landscapers in the area charge $35 per cut, so each time my kids cut the lawn, I pay them $30."
"But if your child does something that is expected of each family member, then don't pay them," Boorstein adds. "My kids don't get paid for helping to clear up the table after dinner or keeping their rooms neat. That's expected of all family members."
Parents and experts alike seem to have myriad ways of handling allowances. No matter what, though, kids who get an allowance can use the experience to learn about money, and that makes them better financial consumers, in the short- and long-term.