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5 Questions Answered About Your Child's Allowance


The sooner your kids can stick to a budget the sooner you can stop playing ATM every time they walk out the door.


If you're a parent, you've wrestled with the allowance beast. How much should we give? What age should we start? What expenses should it cover? These issues are worth tackling as early as you can. Kids learn valuable life skills from making money decisions, starting as soon as they can identify coins and count change.

There's something in it for you too as a parent, beyond serving up mere lessons in personal finance. The sooner your kids can stick to a budget the sooner you can stop playing ATM every time they walk out the door. This is especially irksome in the teen years, when their list of "needs" grows exponentially and includes things you'd rather not know about-like underwear from Victoria's Secret and dozens of on-demand viewings of Jackass: The Movie.

In my column for the April issue of Money, now on newsstands, I explore some ideas for dealing with teens and allowance. I've got three of my own. So it's a subject close to my heart. But in reporting that piece I heard lots of wisdom from family financial advisers on setting allowance from the pre-school years through college.


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