Q: I want to give our son an allowance with no strings attached. My husband wants it to be based on doing chores. Whose approach is better?
—The Kid’s All Right, Regina
A: Get ready to gloat: yours is. It’s easy to understand why your husband believes in the chores-for-money approach, though. No one wants to teach kids they’re entitled to something for nothing. But parents must keep in mind that allowance is supposed to be a tool that teaches saving, budgeting and deferring gratification. It shouldn’t be doled out for rewards or punishment. Put another way, you don’t get paid to take out the trash, so why should your son? Besides, do you really want to teach a child that making money is tied to drudgery? If you do decide on the no-strings-attached tactic, just be sure you dole out a little financial guidance to go along with that money.
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