Money, Money


Somebody please talk to me about kids & money, I’m begging you!

Scorch wants things. A lot of things.  He wants little plastic animal figurines when we stop at the pet store. He wants a Hot Wheels car when we go to the grocery store.  He wants Iron Man/Green Lateran/Bat Man/Whatever when we go to Target.  He just asks and asks and asks regardless of the fact that the answer is no- I’m not forking my money over for junk.

His typical response for that is “I’ll pay with my own money.”   Sometimes I’ll let him (with a $5 limit), but most of the time I don’t let him do that either.  The limited amount of money he has on hand is from birthday presents or generous family members, so it’s not like he’s got a huge supply of it.

But the thing is, I don’t know what to do.  I realize Scorch is only 5, so I don’t know what kind of concept of money he’s supposed to have. He knows things cost money and he knows that some things are more expensive then others- but he doesn’t truly know the different between $5 and $500.  Do we implement an allowance at this age? I’ve heard conflicting theories on whether allowances should be chore based or not.  Scorch has certain things he has to do daily now that I don’t feel he should be paid for- they are just part of being a functional family.  Do I give him more chores that he can do (or not) if wants to earn money?  How much money does a 5 year old get?

I’m lost- someone please school me please so I don’t have to listen to my 5 year old throw another fit about this!


About Heather

I adore my family, writing, books, cats, lazy mornings in bed, and chocolate. I'll never say no to breakfast for dinner, long talks with friends and lazy summer days at the pool with family. My life is often crazy, always awesome and one I'm so happy to be living! My side hustle is editing and proofing work. Find out more at

3 responses »

  1. Loving the post. My four year old is the same. All i hear when we go out is: Mum, i want this, i want that…. This was never taught. We don’t buy him a lot, we don’t buy ourselves a lot, and to be honest, i clean out his toys often so he doesn’t have too many that he gets used to having heaps of “stuff” just sitting around. But i think it’s just a part of what we want as people. We always want more.

    As an answer… i don’t really have one. I keep a fairly simple “no” answer prepared. Occasionally, if he’s good, i’ll buy him a new matchbox car for a few dollars. So it’s more of a reward than trying to teach him money. He learns that if he does well, he earns a matchbox car. Luckily he’s obsessed with them, and they’re cheap, so they’re a great simple reward. He has a little suitcase full of them.

    Perhaps the best suggestion is to pay him with cars or a peice of “special” chocolate for household chores in lieu of an allowance? It teaches him that if he works hard he can achieve something he wants – as opposed to money which has no “value” to a 5 year old. A toy has “value” as something they want. We only want money as we get older cos we want it to buy stuff. Just my thoughts.

    • Oh..good idea- I never thought about using something other then money as a reward. That may work best at this age. I’ve been googling and most of the sites I’ve found suggest starting allowances around 1st grade (we’re a year away from that). Thank you for the suggestion!

  2. Since I have no kids and no experience, I can only mention that when we took Dave Ramsey’s class, he mentioned about kids and money. He set up a system about chores and rewards, and encourage the kids to save / spend / give. Perhaps you can google some of his articles on this topic?

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