Should you give your kids allowances? When should you start? How much is reasonable?
If your kids are asking you for money, should you give it to them? A better idea might be to give them allowances for helping out around the house.
It's typically appropriate to start giving your kids weekly allowances at about the ages of five or six. This is the age your kids can most effectively start helping out around the house, they're old enough to be able to start counting money, and they could probably learn a bit of discipline, if your children act anything like most kids their age.
Allowances help get your kids started on learning that there is a reward for hard work. If you assign them to certain tasks that they must complete each week or each day at set times, that teaches them that in order to reap a certain reward and a certain level of success, they must first complete the duties assigned to them. Paying allowances at a set time each week also allows you to have an opportunity to teach your children about money management. Once you start giving them allowances, why not start a bank account in their name? Get a checking account and teach them to manage their own money. Talk with them early about budgeting certain amounts for treats and soda, toys, and books. Teaching them to save and how to properly utilize the money they have now hopefully will teach them valuable lessons for when they're adults and are operating on much larger budgets.
How much should you pay your children in allowances? Generally a good rule of thumb is to start them out at about a dollar a week. That's probably appropriate for young children. You should sit down with them and tell them how they can earn that money. And that in order to collect their allowances each week, they need to complete a set list of tasks. If they don't complete the tasks, they don't get the money. The amount of money they get in their allowances should be determined by their age and how much work they have to do. (And if they get as much as $5 or $6 a week, you can tell them that they'll spend their own money on pizza with friends and on visiting the local theater.)