Dave Says: Allow Them to Earn It

Reader Question: Our daughter just turned 10 years old. Is now the right time to start giving her an allowance, and start teaching her about money?

I’m glad you’re going to teach your daughter about money. But in my mind, there’s never a time for an allowance. I believe that kind of thinking, and using words like “allowance,” are some of the best ways to instill an attitude of entitlement in a child. I don’t think you want your daughter growing up with the idea she deserves money simply because she’s alive.

My advice is to develop a method by which she can earn commissions. Write down a daily or weekly list of jobs around the house that are age-appropriate she will be responsible for doing. Then, at the end of the week, she gets paid for jobs she completed — and she doesn’t get paid for the ones she didn’t do. The idea is to teach her that work creates money, and teach a healthy work ethic at the same time.

Of course, there are some things a child should be expected to do without financial reward. Everyone needs to pitch in, and do certain things to help when they’re part of a family. And once you’ve taught her about the importance and rewards of work, make sure to also teach her about the three uses for money — saving, spending, and giving!

 

Dave Ramsey

Dave is the author of The New York Times best-selling book Financial Peace. He is also the host of the nationally syndicated The Dave Ramsey Show, and is a regular guest on television. All of his financial counseling is based on biblical truths. You can hear Dave from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., weekdays online at www.daveramsey.com. Send your questions toaskdave@daveramsey.com. He resides with his wife Sharon and their three children, Denise, Rachel, and Daniel, in Nashville, Tennessee.

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