How To Decide What To Pay Your Kids

If you’re a parent, you’re a CEO of a small business who bosses around an underage household workforce. But how to handle payroll?

Kelly Whalen, a mother of four who runs a personal finance blog called The Centsible Life, offers this advice:

In my family of 6, we pay our kids bi-weekly an amount equal to their age. We used to take them shopping on payday, but quickly learned by doing so we were teaching them to spend every dime. The kids use wallets to hold their cash, and take them along when we go out. They have been saving more this way, and all 4 of the kids are now interested in opening up savings accounts.

They use their money as they see fit. I do not ask that they donate a certain amount, or save a certain amount. My oldest daughter decided she likes buying lunch at school, so she invested $10 in her lunch account so she can choose when she wants to buy.

We do not pay our kids based on chores. Chores are an expected part of life, and since mom and dad don’t get paid for chores neither do they. I will pay extra for chores that are outside the norm. A quarter for picking up a bucket of pinecones, $1/bag for the older kids to rack up leaves and put them in a bag, and $5/week for cleaning the cat litter (so far no one has taken me up on that one!).

What do you think is best — to pay kids based on chores or a standard rate based on seniority? And how much control do you think a perent should you exert over their kids’ money?

Kids and Allowance [The Centsible Life]
(Photo: foundphotoslj)