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Should Kids Get an Allowance?

Rachel Cruze

Money, Jobs, & College

Q: What do you think about giving kids an allowance?

Rachel’s Answer: I suggest giving your teens a commission, not an allowance. When they get older, they will find out that life doesn’t make allowances. Life can be difficult sometimes, and waiting around for a handout or an “allowance” isn’t the best way to live.

So if life doesn’t make allowances, neither should parents! Kids need to make the connection between work and money: If they work, they’ll get paid. If they don’t work, they don’t get paid. If they’re sleeping in until noon every day during the summer, then no commission! If they are out taking care of their chores and the things you asked them to do, then a commission makes perfect sense.

The amount you pay in commissions might vary based on your teen’s age and your income. Obviously, the older your teenager is, the more you might consider paying him or her. Keep the task in mind as well. Mowing the grass for two hours should be worth much more than pushing the trash to the street.

Regardless of what you pay them or what they are getting paid for, the most important thing is that they make the connection between work and money. Help them see that now, and they’ll thank you later in life.

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Rachel Cruze

Growing up as Dave Ramsey's kid, Rachel Cruze learned the basic principles of money at an early age. She travels across the country teaching those same principles, in a personal and passionate message of money and hope, to teens and young adults. To find out more about Rachel, visit or follow her on Twitter at @RachelCruze.