Allowance day. It's a ritual that kids all over the country eagerly anticipate every week.
But beyond giving your child a few bucks, the payment can also serve as a valuable lesson in financial responsibility, the American Institute of CPAs found.
Almost 70 percent of parents are providing an allowance these days. To earn the money, their kids are required to work an average of six hours a week, according to the recent survey of 1,000 adults aged 18 and over. They're getting an hourly wage of about $4.43, up roughly 16 percent from 2012. Total inflation in the U.S. was roughly 3.7 percent during the same period.
Moreover, 90 percent of the adults who said they got an allowance when they were young said they had to complete some kind of chore to earn the stipend.
This strategy of work for cash was cited by both those surveyed and financial experts as a way to teach young people about saving, spending and budgeting.
"Parents sometimes are not necessarily comfortable about talking to children about their finances," said Michael Eisenberg, a member of the AICPA's National CPA Financial Literacy Commission.
"They don't want to impart wrong information. By giving allowances to kids, it's an easy teaching moment for parents. They don't have to be worried with complex financial analysis."
For example, Eisenberg's grandchildren, ages 3 and 9, were introduced to financial planning through things like piggy banks.
"When they get older and start working, that message of saving money will resonate over to their job with their 401(k) plan," he said.
Getting kids to think about saving and allocating their money also makes purchases more meaningful, he said.
On the other hand, an allowance with no strings attached isn't always a good thing — it can turn into an expectation of entitlement, said Clark Randall, a Dallas-based certified financial planner.
"You need to understand the value of money," said Randall, founder and owner of Financial Enlightenment. "I always wanted to make sure [my kids] understood that the things in their life that weren't necessities, they had to earn."
For instance, if his kids wanted a bike, they'd have to work hard and pay for half, he said. Randall said he believes in earning something with old-fashioned work, a system of motivation over expectation.
"You want something, here's what you need to go get it," he said.
More important, Randall said, these lessons only become more complex with age. "You have to save for retirement and an emergency fund. ... It's a lifelong education," he said.
Eisenberg said an allowance offers one other lesson in finances and the working world.
"You're instilling at a young age that nothing is free," he said. "A quid pro quo if you will."