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 am the lucky mom to two kids. Scorch is my baseball obsessed 9 year old son and Bean is my crazy, loving 7 year old little girl. I'm happily married to the Hubs. We live in the middle of nowhere with two cats and one certifiably crazy dog.

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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