Benefits of Active Allowance

Find out more about Active Allowance

What is the youngest/oldest age that you recommend using this program?
We generally recommend Active Allowance for families with children age 6 to 15 - from “learning to read” through to “making their own money”. However, we do have members with both older as well as younger children. They recognize this is not just about the money - it's also about teaching values, and that's appropriate at any age.

Younger children are usually more focused on the Responsibilities part rather than the Allowance. They often love to know they have an important role in making the household run well, and also love to check things off lists. And even though younger children may not be too interested in the allowance just yet, they are interested in "having" things. Once they write and sign checks from their very own online "Family Bank" accounts (where they save their allowance), they'll learn important lessons about making choices (and you may find the “gimmees” dramatically reduced too).

As they grow, their attention shifts more to the Allowance side and the sense of empowerment it brings. At older ages, the Active Allowance process helps them to understand they DO have responsibilities as part of the family. And very importantly, you'll have regular opportunities to teach them about making choices as part of everyday life.

Notice we said “usually” and “often”. Every child’s different and will be motivated by different things. And just to add to the complexity, whatever works today may not work tomorrow. That’s why Active Allowance has been built with easy-to-use, really flexible tools, so you can tailor it to your children as they grow.
Is it "fun" for kids?
Active Allowance is "good" for kids. Younger kids often love to help Mom and Dad around the house and they take great pride in shouldering important responsibilities....but unfortunately, they usually grow out of that wonderful phase too quickly. Older kids love to have the empowerment of having money in their family bank and autonomy in writing checks and making spending decisions. But they usually prefer to have the money without any responsibilities (now there's a surprise!).

So the answer is Yes and No. But this is about teaching kids your values. While we try to add some fun, like enabling kids to spruce up and personalize their Responsibility Checklists, and Parents can easily come up with fun rewards, you don't want the process to depend on being a fun game for kids. No matter how much fun a game is, they will eventually tire of it. And if fun were critical to its continuation, your process would then be dead in its tracks.

This learning is too important for that to happen. It needs to be integrated thoughtfully into everyday life and provide an ongoing opportunity for teaching/learning. That's our number one goal.
How much does it cost?
BASIC membership is free. FULL membership is your choice of:
  • $2.95 per month
  • $19.95 per year
  • $49.95 per 3 years
Does this cover one child or all my children?
This covers the entire family, no matter how many children you have.
If I try your FULL membership, am I under any obligation?
None whatsoever. You get 4 full weeks to try it out before having to decide. We don't even ask for your credit card information before then.
Do I need to pay now and then get a rebate later if I decide not to proceed?
No. We don't ask for payment until after your 4 week trial. We want you to be completely satisfied before making any commitment.
How much time does it take?
It variesÂ… Setting up your responsibilities and rewards normally takes about 30 minutes. After that, parents will spend around 5 minutes per week on the site, and perhaps a minute each day reviewing with your kids how they've done on their responsibilities.
Do I need to install software?
No. Because Active Allowance is entirely web-based, you don't have to install anything. You need to be able to browse the web for a few minutes each week, and have access to a printer to print checklists and family bank checks.
Can't I easily do this myself in Excel?
It depends on what you want to do. If all you’re looking for is a simple Checklist, it can be done in many programs. And if you’re a good designer, you can even dress it up to make it look interesting. Or, even easier, you could use our free Checklists.

You could also keep track of allowance earned and a virtual bank account in a spreadsheet. However, as you add even minor complexity, like remembering to do it each week (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg), you’ll find the process hard to sustain over a long period of time. Yet this is a process you want to sustain over time - making it part of everyday life for many years and taking advantage of the many “teaching moments” it will provide.

Try our no risk Full Membership for four weeks. If you still feel you can do it in Excel, you’ll have lost nothing while gaining a lot. You’ll have learned an expert-approved framework, read about what other parents do, and let us help you accelerate your thinking.
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We created a new approach. When you send us a message via our "Contact Us" page, we do send you an email in response, but we also send the response to a personalized web page. Just return to our "Contact Us" page and you'll see your question and our response.

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