Allowance Schedule for Kids

How Often Should an Allowance be Paid?

Setting the allowance schedule for kids is an important part of any allowance program. So how often should you pay your child an allowance?

Weekly Allowances vs. Monthly Allowances

A weekly allowance is the standard. Going much longer than that, especially for the younger kids, makes it harder for them to understand what they are getting and what it should cover.

Weekly allowances also have other advantages:

  • Shorter pay periods make it easier to budget since fewer days need to be covered before the child's next installment
  • It tends to promote saving since a child knows he or she only has to wait another 7 days before receiving additional funds
  • More frequent allowance schedules allows your child more opportunities to make financial decisions

But there is a case for a monthly allowance, too.

First, it encourages, and even requires, greater budgeting discipline and responsibility. When your child reaches adulthood and enters the world for real, he or she will find that commerce functions on a monthly schedule. The earlier you can prepare your child for that, the better.

The second reason is a little more subtle. In Keith Cameron Smith's The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class, he maintains that the well off think much longer term than those who struggling at the bottom of the economic food chain.

In a nutshell, he argues that the poor live week to week, the middle class live month to month, and the rich live year to year.

Encouraging your child to think longer term by providing a monthly allowance over a weekly one might very well be worth considering.

Consistent Allowances

Whichever route you choose, you should strive to maintain some degree of consistency.

This doesn't need to be more specific than a day of the week (or a day of the month), but do try to make it the same day each time.

To further promote a sense of consistency, you might also consider a specific time to pay the allowance. You might choose after breakfast on Saturday, for example. Be sure to pick a time that can be adhered to without much fluctuation.

Weekdays can sometimes be harder to adhere because there tends to be more stuff going on - getting everyone out the door in the morning, games or practices at night, etc.

A little planning ahead will make sure the allowance gets paid on time - and prevent it from being paid more than once (not that your child would ever collect twice without correcting you, of course).