Bringing Home the Bacon

My husband and I have dreams of our daughter becoming a financially responsible adult one day.

She's 2 now, and while she doesn't yet understand the concept of money, we want to give her as much guidance as possible as soon as possible. So we bought her a piggy bank, this little fella who sits atop her dresser holding every cent she has -- which as of this writing amounts to 75 cents.

I've read varying opinions on how allowances should be given. Several say never link pay to chores because children should learn to be contributing members of the household without monetary compensation -- just like the adults in the home. Others say to pay the kids for their work, because that's how the real world is -- adults get money for the work they do.

We see each side's point. But my husband and I have no personal experience to guide our decision. Both of us grew up with parents who had to be very strict with their budgets, so weekly allowances weren't possible. After much discussion, we decided to follow the advice of the latter because we want her to learn the value of work as early as possible. Not tying an allowance to any responsibilities seems to go against that.

Only time will tell if we made the right choice. Her allowance is a quarter a week, given only if she participates in cleaning her room a couple of days a week. Her attention span right now is way too short for us to expect that simply telling her to clean her room is enough. As she becomes capable of shouldering more responsibility, her allowance will increase.

In the meantime, though, she loves feeding her pig and her room looks good on a daily basis. 

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