Advice for Allowance

I’d like to request some advice on the topic of allowance.

My wife and I have nine children, with our tenth due this next month. Our oldest is going to be fourteen this year. We have seven sons, and two daughters.

My wife and I have never instituted a system for allowance. We’ve established the general ethos in our home that our children would understand themselves and their chore work as part of the family economy. But as my kids get older, it begins to weigh on me that I be deliberate in teaching financial stewardship. It also seems good to me to start to show my kids what it is to receive a tangible return on their work.

While we haven’t done allowance, we have tried to introduce some other ways to earn money. We’ve allowed our kids to do some odd “extra” jobs for a little money here and there. My older boys also took a job mowing the neighbor’s lawn last year, which has been a really great experience on receiving a wage. The boys also shovel the driveway for our elderly neighbors, and while we do it out of kindness with no expectation of reward, the neighbors have rewarded the boys with cash a few times. So the boys are starting to get a small taste of what it is to be enterprising. When my oldest turns 14 next year, we also aim to have him start working part time doing lawn care and snow removal under the authority and tutelage of some of the men of the church, who do that for a living.

Anyway, what are ya’lls thoughts on the topic of allowance? Do you give an allowance for your kids? If so, how do you do it? How do you do it differently across different child age ranges? Or what other types of things do you do in your household to introduce your children to work, money, and stewardship?


I can’t speak to using allowances with my own children as my son is not yet two. I can speak to getting an allowance from my parents a child. They, like your family, had also instilled that chores were an expected part of being in the family. When I became old enough to appreciate (to some degree at least), the value of money, my parents began giving me an allowance. It wasn’t much, probably around $10 a month. But they didn’t just give me the money, they also instituted an envelope system as well to give me an idea of what budgeting is. If you’re not familiar with an envelope system, it was literally several envelopes which were designated for difference expenditure categories with an assigned percentage of the money going into each envelope. I think mine was something like Tithes (10%), Savings (40%), Spending (50%). You can create more or less categories as you see fit. What was extremely helpful for me was that the first envelope I put money into, every month, was the Tithe. No matter how much I received, big or small (they made me put birthday and Christmas money in the envelopes as well as my allowance), I knew that not all of it was mine to do with as I pleased, but that some portion of it (10% in my case), belonged to God and His church. I also learned the importance of saving a portion of my money, which eventually went into a small savings account when I got older. I knew, from as soon as I could have my own money, that I couldn’t just spend it willy nilly but that some of it was for God, some should be saved, and the rest could be spent on expenses and wants. Those early years of training with money through a small allowance have paid great dividends (pun intended) to me as an adult as I now manage my household and much larger sums of money. I plan on doing something similar with my own children when they reach the appropriate age.


High five on the family size! Ten here as well, six girls, oldest is 14.

Overall, I wouldn’t say we’ve done a good job teaching them to manage money and give, save and budget from it. We pay for chores outside of the normal, like tearing up landscaping or organizing a closet. For our older kids that have social expenses come up, we are a little late starting this, but we’re switching to providing a small amount monthly that they have to save, tithe from and spend instead of irregularly giving them $10-20 as events warrant.

The youngest children don’t receive anything besides gift money. Part of it is logistical because they can’t keep it in their savings spot, and are too young for a bank account, so they carry it around the house and ownership of it quickly becomes confusing.

I prefer what my dad did, which was to set me up with three jars (give/save/spend) and pay me for mowing in singles and coins so I could do the division myself. We may still set something like that up but it won’t be for routine chores.


I’m looking forward to what others have to say about this also. One question that I find difficult is juggling paper vs digital money. Paper money makes a lot of sense with young children, and the idea of using physical envelopes sounds great! But I find paper money surprisingly difficult to deal with myself… and the kids seem to lose track of it pretty quickly.



If anyone knows of a clever system to manage prepaid cards for children with sufficient oversight/teachability and low cost, I’d also be interested.

I have no teenagers but this is what my parents did for us.

  1. They modeled generosity by giving to the church, opening their home to family and missionaries, and with us. We were required to tithe every gift we got growing up and to otherwise give regularly each week at church. (Dimes, quarters, pennies, etc.)

  2. They gave us a monthly allowance starting at 14. $50 per month. (This was in the 90s, circas 92-99 for all of us).

  3. We were required to get a job when our allowance started. I worked at McDonald’s. (I have heard it is nearly impossible to work at 14 these days.)

  4. They stopped paying for school lunch (about $10 per week) and regular clothing when the allowance started. We were expected to clothe and feed ourselves. We were mandated a tithe.

  5. When we turned 16 they “bought” us a car. We had to pay them back by the time we graduated high school.

  6. They did not get over scrupulous with their watching over. They checked in from time to time on our savings accounts and, of course, received regular payment for our cars.

My wife and I plan to do something similar for our children.


Whatever you do, make sure they tithe on what they receive. We’ve required that even of birthday gifts of cash our kids have received. Teaches them to understand what they receive is ultimately a gift from God and to honor the church and her work. It sets up a pattern for life.


In my family, the valued currency is video game time.


Hi people, while I don’t have any skin in this game, I am impressed by the commitment to teach your children to tithe which many of you are showing. Well-done!

1 Like

I really like what your parents did, Joe. There are some really hard things about the digital era we are living in. Envelopes and paper cash are a bit harder nowadays than they used to be, and when you have a lot of kids or they’re not incredibly responsible it really does get confusing quickly. I can’t tell you how often we find cash in our house and have to try to trace down whose it is. We’ve never done an allowance for our kids, probably because neither of us ever got one ourselves, and we felt like chores around the home should be expected. I like the idea of instituting a decent amount once your kids are teenagers and not having it tied to jobs, but expecting them to cover their own outings and clothing.

We told our kids that any money they saved we would match for them to buy themselves a car. That has worked very well for us in giving our kids a reason to save money all of childhood. We also have done our best to try to provide business or job opportunities for our kids, especially our boys, as young as possible.

I will confess that giving and tithing has been the hardest to require/teach because of money being online and not feeling very real. I Think probably what would be best would be regularly getting money out of the bank and having their giving be with physical money rather than looking over dad‘s shoulder as he transfers money to the church from a bank account.