Is Tying Allowance to Behavior Really Such a Bad Idea?

Children between the ages of five and six are good candidates for an allowance. Some experts believe that the primary value of an allowance is to teach children how to manage money; many do not believe that you should withhold allowance as a consequence for undesirable behavior. The further advice is that allowance should not be tied to behavior or the completion of chores.

The argument is that children can only learn how to live within their means if they can count on a set amount of money at a set time. They believe that parents should use chores as an expectation of being a member of the family and that you should consider withholding privileges such as television, using the phone, etc., as a consequence for not completing chores. However, there are a few benefits to tying allowance to behavior.

  • It reflects real life in that you need to meet certain standards to earn money.
  • It teaches them how to live with varying amounts of disposable income.
  • It is a good illustration of how money can add up over time.
  • It helps with organization (see below).

Plus, the majority of what kids learn about money is not from spending a few dollars a week on toys, but from what they see parents do. Even adults are subjected to financial rewards to certain behavior through raises and bonuses. Rewarding children for certain behavior helps teach them early financial lessons.