My son has been earning allowance since before he was ten years old. His payrate has been $1 per week for each year of age. Every year on his birthday he recieved a $1 a week raise, but he also has responsibilities added to his list. With the exception of extra payments for mowing our lawn during the summer, his allowance has been his only source of income.
A few months ago his income increased significantly as he got his first part-time job. He’s still expected to perform his responsibilities around the house, and in turn he has continued to earn allowance. But as I see his rather significant paychecks deposited in his checking account every other Friday, I’ve been asking myself a question.
Should a teenager with a part-time job continue to earn allowance?
Allowance was meant to have two purposes:
- Reward for Work : We wanted to teach our son that if he works hard, he gets rewarded in the form of money. If he doesn’t work, he loses his income. We also wanted to teach the concept that compensation is proportional to the work performed. If we had an extra task for him to do, we would give him additional money.
- Responsibility of Saving And Spending : My wife and I also wanted him to get experience with saving, and then spending his money on things he wanted. Not only does he get the satisfaction of exchanging hard earned money for something he desires, but he also is forced to think about the value of what he’s buying.
My son continues to learn the same lessons, only on a bigger scale, with his part-time job.
While he continues learning and practicing these lessons with his paychecks, the thought occurred to me that it’s time for him to learn a new lesson at home. Perhaps it’s time to learn that sometimes you do things because it has to be done. Maybe it’s time for him to learn that maintaining a household is a full fledged family activity that we do simply because that’s part of life.
The hard part is telling him he’s no longer going to be paid for work that he’s received compensation for doing for years. But at the age of 16 he should be able to understand and accept the transition.
What do you think Clever Friends? When should teens stop earning allowance?
Brought to you courtesy of Brock
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