I mentioned in Teaching Teens About Debt that I've been asked about paying an allowance. I don't pay an allowance personally, I pay for working.
My son is 14 and has a few monthly financial obligations that have to do with gaming services. He makes some money with that and if he wants more I give him the option of working to earn it. I pay him an hourly wage according to his age. So he's presently making $14/hour; in December he'll increase to $15.
The work I have him do ranges from chores to assisting me with my businesses, which is the majority of how he earns. Cleaning his room and trash duties are excluded from payment because those are his required family contributions. This week he's checking and correcting the links in this blog because some of them were dead due to the change from zsolvesproblems.com to ZariBanks.com.
There are times when I'll have some cash and give him a couple dollars when he doesn't have any. He has a savings account and a prepaid debit card, but it's nice to have cold, hard cash when he wants to run to the convenience store for a soda or something. But that's an every now and then thing, not a habit.
That may seem radical to you, but it's my responsibility to teach him how to earn and use money. I've been to high school and college, taught high school and I can verify that financial wisdom isn't taught intentionally. I also taught financial literacy courses to adults for two years, and usually by the time adults seek help it's because they're in financial turmoil. I'm not willing to allow my son to wait until he's in trouble to get wisdom.
I hope you're not going through financial difficulty right now, but if you are I have strategies that can turn things around for you quickly. My Financial Breakthrough Session is just what you need.