Kids, Allowances & Online Spending ~ Key Points from Dr. Rene's Parenting Workshop

Maura Schauss |

We welcomed Dr. Rene Hackney of Parenting Playgroups as our guest speaker this month to tackle the important family topics of chores, allowances and online spending.  For those who were unable to join us, here are some key takeaways from Dr. Rene's workshop along with several resources to support you in teaching your children about money.

Dr. Rene's workshop supports every parent's goal of teaching their children about money from a very early age. With an informed, flexible and balanced parental approach, children will gain a strong foundation from which to manage their finances over a lifetime.

It is never too soon for our children to contribute to household responsibilities and to establish good habits for spending, saving and sharing.

Key Points from Dr. Rene

  • Spend some time thinking about your own beliefs and budget, so you know what you want to teach your children about saving, sending and sharing.
  • Have children contribute to the household chores because the child is a part of the family unit.  Get kids involved in the process at an early age. 
  • Start with easy, small, daily jobs and add larger responsibilities as children get older. 
  • Consider an allowance for children ($1 per week per age of child) around the age of 5 or 6, so they can learn how to spend, save and share.  If they don’t have money, they won’t know how to manage it.
  • Agree to spending guidelines up front.  Then, let children spend what they have set aside to spend and save for that longer-term item.  They’ll learn budgeting and weighing options when shopping.
  • Investigate charities that children want to support and find ways to participate.
  • 10 to 12-year-olds can add small jobs outside of the home and volunteer efforts.
  • 16 to 18-year-olds can get a paying job outside of the home as available.
  • Do not pay for hygiene, grades or academic effort, musical instruments or other practice as this undermines intrinsic motivation and ownership. 
  • When young, use real money when paying allowances and paying for items at the store.  Money becomes less tangible with use of credit and online payment systems. 
  • Take elementary school children to the bank to set up savings accounts and add checking accounts when children are in high school. 
  • Discuss clear limits and establish ways to track online spending.
  • Lots of monitoring and use app parental controls when children are young and less as they show their responsibility. 
  • For older children, use fixed debit cards for app purchases on devices using their spending money. 
  • Resources that can support your teaching children about money. (Please note that this is not an exhaustive list nor an endorsement by Parenting Playgroups or Washington Wealth Advisors.)
    • Books: Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees, The First National Bank of Dad, The Sink or Swim Money Program
    • Board Games: The Allowance Game, Monopoly Jr., PayDay, Life, Money Bags, Easy Money, Cashflow for Kids
    • Online Games: Piggy Bank, Change Maker, Counting Coins, Money Flash Cards, Minecraft and Dungeons & Dragons teach bartering
    • Online Apps for family money management and learning: Famzoo, Family Mint, The Mint, Bankaroo, Virtual Piggy, ThreeJars, Tykoon

For more information about Dr. Rene Hackney, visit her website at or follow her on Facebook @ParentingbyDrRene