My oldest two kids earn an allowance every week. We use a Melissa and Doug Chore Chart and each day they both have a chance to earn three circles a day. Each circle stands for a quarter that they can earn. We have two chores and one behavior responsibility on the chart right now. Alex has to clean his room, help with chores and not tease. Destiny has to clear dishes from the table (usually her own and her little sister only), clean her room and not whine. This system has worked really well for the kids so far. We give them their allowance in change and let them put it in their banks. Once and a while I give them dollar bills but they like getting change more.
I did not know that giving kids an allowance was such a heated topic with other parents until I saw some posts on Facebook. Someone has posted that they were having problems getting their young child to help with chores and cleaning their own room. I mentioned what we did and how it worked for us. The conversation only went downhill from there. People got on and said that rewarding kids with money for something they are expected to do only teaches then they get something for doing what they need to do and others agreed that teaching them responsibility while rewarding them was a good thing. Eventually the original poster got upset with people arguing and removed the whole post.
My husband and I both earned an allowance when we were kids. My parents used it to teach me and my siblings how to save money, be giving and the value of earning. We had to use our own money to buy gifts for family around Christmas and when I was old enough to want my own computer they made me pay for half of it. I really think that my parents taught me well using these methods.
Chris’ parents gave him a set amount of chores and a set allowance. If he went above and beyond he had the chance of earning more money. He was allowed to use his money in anyway they he pleased. He has admitted that having no boundaries on his spending taught him nothing.
We are going the same route my parents did and using the allowance as a teaching tool. We help them save, spend wisely and have them use their own money to be giving.