RE: The original post...
ITA. I felt the same way
and was so unsure how to give them "allowance" so they would learn how to handle money. it was a problem for a long time here!
For Xmas I got the Spintastik for families
which allows you to add your own custom "jobs" or "chores" as well as rewards.
In our house, the kids are expected to help our family and life run smoothly which includes basic responsibilities such as dishwasher, taking your own laundry down stairs, cleaning up after yourself, taking out trash on pick up day etc. But once a week they spin for their job for the week and then they can choose a reward, also. Every week they were choosing the monetary reward so we just decided to go with that permanently. So, now they get a few bucks a week as an incentive and reward for helping out above and beyond what I normally expect.
This money is theirs to do what they want. If they want to save up for a video game, if they want candy when we go to the store, if they ask me to stop and get them a milkshake while we're out, if they see a cd they want at the mall....that's what their own money is for. I still give them money when they need it to go to movies/bowling with friends, anything school related, buy their clothes, etc. The "allowance" is pocket money.
Birthday and holiday money they split in half: Half goes into savings and half is put away to keep/spend/save.
we don't call it "allowance" because then they compare it to their friends but we call it reward money.
Wwe never ever tie money to grades, behavior or school becuase they can always up the ante. It has been made VERY CLEAR that this reward is just a "thank you" for helping out with more than the expected jobs and they stil have to do the jobs no matter waht. It is not negotiable.
I did not read any of the responses so perhaps Im repeating things and Im sorry! But I hope this helps you some. We did have hte very same problem in this house until we fell into this routine which works well for us!