Give Allowance as a Number: Forget Cash Allowances

Allowances as number teaches kids to manage money
Lynne Finch, author of “The No-Cash Allowance”

Imagine growing up in a home where you never received your allowance in cash? From the time our children were pre-schoolers, they received their allowance as a number in their written account, had total control of their money and had to pay their own bills.

It was all money we would spend on them anyway, we simply transferred responsibility and decision making to them.

Allowance as a number easy system to adopt

In my award-winning book, The No-Cash Allowance,  I offer parents a guideline to setting up a similar financial education in their home.

No financial expertise required

Parents don’t need to be financial gurus. They only need a willingness to get give their kids a have real hands-on experience managing their own money.


As a result getting allowance as a number helps kids learn to manage money as a number. That  is the world that your kids will live in as adults.

Develop money management skills early

You can help them develop the money management skill to help they prepare for the future. Paying allowance as a number focuses your kids on making decisions knowing each one changes the bottom line.

You can do this by setting up a system like the no-cash allowance and providing the resources they need (money), giving them control (while you bite your tongue), and assigning responsibility for appropriate child-related expenses.

Typical comments of a no-cash allowance kid

 “This is my money. I can write in my own allowance every week.”

“I have to pay my phone bill this week and remember that my school activity fees are due next week.”

 “If I don’t buy that CD today I will have enough next week to buy that jacket I want.”

Parents and kids can talk about money

 “You recorded your allowance. If you want more before next week, consider doing some of the chores for pay.”

“Yes, Suzy, you did get paid for mowing the lawn. It’s in your account.”

“It’s your money. If you spend that much on the movie you may not have enough for the field trip.”

These situations offer a great opportunity to discuss real-life costs and choices. Parents can help children understand that each money decision affects their total money resource.

As a result, allowance as a number helps kids see the bottom line. By setting up a system as explained in The No-Cash Allowance your kids will develop money management skills by making decisions and learning from the results.

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