Experts say allowance should not be tied to chores

- With some time off from school coming up, parents, you might be thinking about how to fill the time.  How about having "the talk?"  Not that one.  The other one - about money.  

Let's start with the little ones. Did you know you can start money talks with kids as young as three? No, not about savings and earnings, but about things like delayed gratification.

Parent Magazine says at the age of three you can offer one treat now, or if they wait, they can get two.  It'll take some practice but delayed gratification is a useful life skill down the road.

By four work on counting coins. Five pennies is one nickel.  Two nickels are a dime.  They can learn that, no, it's not just a dime.  Ten of them make a dollar. And of course, there's a math lesson in there.  

By the age of five. It's time to say, 'No, you can't have everything you want.'  You can have one thing, so choose. Is it this or that?

Finance experts say it's about six when an allowance kicks in. Now I'd be interested to know what you think about this. They say it's a dollar for every year. Six dollars a week for a six-year-old and it shouldn't be tied to chores because they have a responsibility to contribute to how the household runs.  The goal is to teach them to save.  So, I'm torn about just giving them six bucks for nothing.  But, there's a lot of research that indicates this is the way to go.

But, I'm definitely on board here. We do this.  The three jars. Spend. Save. Give. Every time your child gets money whether it's from grandma or a lemonade stand, it gets divided equally amongst these jars.  They know how to spend. But savings isn't touched. Ever.  Give is for those times she wants to get a friend or relative something special.

Also here's something else I just read that is an interesting take on materialism. You know, that thing that takes so much of our money. A recent in-depth study into materialism indicates that when you reward children with things, you’re setting them up for rewarding themselves later in life with more things.  Also, don’t punish them by taking their things. The argument is that you don’t want children to be defined by material things – good or bad.  

So what do you do?

Well rather than taking away Legos for a week for bad behavior, you punish by highlighting consequences. Homework not done? Don't squabble over taking away things, but instead let them go to school homework not done.  It connects cause with effect.

Jump over to my Facebook page and let's chat about this one.

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