Dave Says: Commission, not allowance

Dear Dave,

What is the right age to begin giving children an allowance?


Dear Ben,

In my mind, there’s never a right time to give kids an allowance. Instead, work out a plan to pay them commissions, and assign them age-appropriate weekly chores.

This can be done with very simple tasks starting at an early age. When the work gets done, they get paid. If they don’t do the work, guess what? They don’t get paid. This helps teach them a healthy work ethic, and it introduces them to the idea that work creates money.

Simply giving kids money is a sure way to plant the seeds of entitlement in a young mind. You don’t want your kids growing up with the idea they deserve money simply because they’re alive. Of course, there are things kids should be expected to do without pay, too. When you’re part of a family, everyone needs to understand they have a responsibility to pitch in and help out sometimes!

— Dave