Alternative Allowances For Kids That Aren’t Money

Posted on in Family/ Kids/ Parenting

Allowances! My kids love spending money and they have one specific chore each (all kids 7+) yet they always ask if they can do things to help me out or dad out around the house to earn some extra money! I’ll admit — I’m a sucker for my kids. When they want something I always try to make sure they get it, within reason. So if they ask to do extra things to help earn money to buy things themselves I’m all for it however my kids tend to buy the silliest things.

  • Slime ingredients
  • Tennis balls
  • Pokémon cards
  • Gum.

No, no, no! Let’s try something new.

So I decided to try giving alternatives to money. Giving experiences and exposure to things they may not think about but will feel proud and good about saving and spending their money on that they earned!

Five Alternative Allowances That AREN’T Money:

  • Let’s see a show: We don’t live too far from Toronto so if there is show playing, like Grease like I took both Ava and Kyla to separately – it’s something they will always remember.
  • Let’s take a trip to the movies: Let’s go see a flick of your choice! Spending a quality afternoon at the movies is a great experience and a great place to just be.
  • Let’s Pick a Charity: Donate. Time or items to a charity. My kids often pick food drives for those less fortunate or animal shelters.
  • Let’s GO: Hopping on the GO train we can explore other towns and cities around us. Letting them choose the destination makes them feel older, independent and like we are giving them a bit of choice. Mom or dad buys the tickets of course!
  • Theme Parks: This one is a big one right now. All the kids want to earn so they can head to Canada’s Wonderland this summer. Ride all the rides, eat all the delicious food and hit up the water park!

Of course none of these they can do themselves which is how I planned it. Having so many kids we do group things as a family but we also take kids out on one-on-one time and sometimes two-on-one times as well.

We always want all of our kids to feel equal and make sure they all have special time. So, not only are they learning the value of a dollar by doing this, they also get special quality time or family time – and an experience! They also get to learn how it feels to make their own money and be proud of that accomplishment while also helping out around the house doing something other than their regular chore.


  • Reply robin rue June 20, 2018 at 8:39 am

    These are all great alternative ideas. I don’t give my kids allowance, but do buy them stuff when they want it (like new video games, etc).

  • Reply candy June 20, 2018 at 8:48 am

    For those parents who give an allowance this is wonderful ideas. We showed our kids that they had to put so much into savings, paid tithing and some was kept for them. They had to have something specific in mind just not junk.

  • Reply Brit Strawbridge June 20, 2018 at 9:05 am

    These are some great ideas! We like the idea of money, though I am only giving my 4 year old dimes and quarters for each chore at the moment haha – but these are great alternatives!

  • Reply Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh June 20, 2018 at 9:08 am

    These are all really great alternatives to money. My daughter never really asks for money for an allowance, she sort of just asks for little things here and there, like that you have on your list.

  • Reply Jeanette June 20, 2018 at 9:32 am

    These are some great ideas! I’m always trying to find different ways to “pay my kiddo “without actually using money. I will definitely be using a few of these.

  • Reply Tasheena @ June 20, 2018 at 11:44 am

    These are all wonderful alternatives. Can’t wait to use some of them. I know the kiddos would love the slime.

  • Reply Jenn@Engineermommy June 20, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    A reward system is so important to instill life lessons in kids. I love the idea of not limiting their rewards to just cash.

  • Reply Ashley June 20, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    These are some nice alternatives to money. We don’t give ours allowances, but they can earn treats or fun experiences.

  • Reply wendy June 20, 2018 at 8:09 pm

    Fun ideas to reward them without using cash. Motivating for sure!

  • Reply Terri Steffes June 20, 2018 at 9:38 pm

    We used to put a list of chores on the refrigerator with a list of activities she could do when she was done. They included going to a friend’s house, seeing a movie, doing a home manicure, doing an updo hairdo, making a craft and other fun things. I love your ideas!

  • Reply valmg @ Mom Knows It All June 20, 2018 at 10:09 pm

    We have never given an allowance. Certain things around the house are done because they need to be done, those things aren’t rewarded. I bought my son his Pokemon cards when he was younger, we enjoyed watching together.

  • Reply Chubskulit Rose June 21, 2018 at 9:02 am

    Those are great ideas! I haven’t tried giving my kids allowances yet but when I do, I will try these.

  • Reply Pam Wattenbarger June 21, 2018 at 9:17 am

    I agree. One of my kids always spent her money on the dumbest things. She remembers all the experiences we did, but not the silly stuff she bought over the years.

  • Reply Carol Cassara June 21, 2018 at 9:45 am

    I think this is a brilliant idea for families especially since it means spending time together as well. This can definitely motivate kids to do more and experience new things!

  • Reply Glamamom June 21, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    I do the same thing. It helps direct their spending and gives them motivation to work towards something. Contributing to a household as a family member isn’t always about money!

  • Reply Heather June 21, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    This is great! My oldest daughter is nine and just started using a debit card instead of cash because we’ve lost a few (a lot more than a few) dollars when she was responsible for handling her own money. She whips that card out for everything and I have to remind her that when it’s gone, it’s gone until she earns more. It’s a tough concept when they’re young and I cringe every time she happily offers to buy her own pack of gum or slime ingredients!

  • Reply Ricci June 21, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    These seem like great ways to reward kids that aren’t just money. My Mom used to do “surprises” instead of allowances and I loved those so much more because it was usually spending one-on-one time with her doing something (there were 5 of us kids) fun!!

  • Reply Peter June 21, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    Oh wow this fabulous. what great ideas you have, you are so smart!

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