Kid’s Weekly Allowance Cash or Digital?

Should parents give kids a digital allowance? Rock, Paper, Phone!

Dear Ms. Smartphone: My children, ages 5 and 10 each get a weekly allowance for doing chores. The ten year old got a phone this year and asked me to put his amount, $10.00 per week, on a Venmo account. What do you think? Jaycee, Quincy

Dear Jaycee: That’s an interesting question. For readers who don’t know, Venmo is a popular app, one of many, that securely transfers digital payments between people, in lieu of paper money.

Your children will grow up in a world where digital payments will become the standard. But for now, I have two reservations about the digital allowance.

Buyers display less fiscal management and spend more when they use digital payments/ credit cards. Parents need to show their children how to save money, as well as spend it. Second, giving your child money to spend online will encourage him to be online more often. Since your child is only ten, it’s vital to monitor both his time and spending online.

3 thoughts on “Kid’s Weekly Allowance Cash or Digital?”

  1. Dear MS — I don’t think you’ve answered the question. Is it a yes or a no? Also, can’t you better track spending with Venmo and its built in ledger than with cash?

    1. You are right- it’s not a yes or no. Concerned – it’s a documented finding that people, kids who pay electronically spend up to 20%+ more when they do not use cash for the transaction. Yes, they can track electronically but tend to not.

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