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When Should Kids Start Receiving an Allowance?

I want to reward my 7-year-old daughter for cleaning her room and putting her toys away at night. Is it too early to start giving her an allowance?
James

When parents start giving kids an allowance is a personal decision. Kids as young as 6 can be given an allowance to foster responsibility, independence, and money management skills.

You might try giving your child a small amount each week. If it works out, you can increase the value as she gets older and starts taking on more responsibility.

It might also help to write up a "contract" with your daughter where you both agree to the terms of the allowance — like what chores or duties are entailed, or if some of the money must be put aside for charity or savings.

Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: February 2010

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