14 answers

How Much Allowance Do You Give?

We give our 10-year-old son $5/week. I'm wondering how that compares to what others give. It seems low to me, but I also don't want to overindulge him. A friend gives her child a dollar a week for every year of his age. That would be $10/week, which seems like a lot for a fifth grader!

What can I do next?

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I think the amount probably depends on what he's using it for. At that age, my parents really bought everything for me still, so $5/week seems fine to learn money management. Once I started middle school, they gave me $20/week for lunch money/allowance. At that point, it was up to me to choose to make my lunch and keep the money or buy lunch at school. And that's when I started doing things that they didn't want to pay for all the time like going to movies with friends.

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We do not give an allowance for basic life skills & responsibilities. We make occasional purchases for our children, but really limit our involvement in consumerism. By following this method, we have taught our sons to learn how to wait & not indulge in impulse purchases. Our son's bd was in July & his fun $$ lasted almost 4 months! He thought long & hard on how to spend his money, & we were very proud of him.

Our sons know that they have the option to tackle extra chores for spending money. It is their choice. They also know that if I require extra assistance with my own chores.....then they have to help without complaint & without expecting payment. We are a family & we all have to help each other.

As for teaching money-handling skills, it is thru those extra chores that they can work toward their own goals. & both of our sons know the importance of resale & bartering. Both utitlize GameStop's trade-in program for gaming supplies. Both have sold their unused/discarded possessions at yard sales & pawn shops to work toward their goals. Both assist in our efforts to, not only recycle as much as possible, but they also use the process of "retooling".

With our older son, we did try the allowance system. We found that it was not important to him - I mean, seriously, where was he going to spend it? We had already instilled in him the need to avoid the habit of "just spending money".....so it was a moot point for our family! Both boys have savings accounts from childhood, both boys have bonds from grandparents, & both boys have another savings account from my mother.....she places $25 in each grandchild's account for bd, Christmas, & special events. All of the kids consider this their "car fund"! ....& it did buy my older son's 1st car!

We live in a small town. We use a wood stove insert for 80% of our heating. Our sons chores are extensive: they have to help restock the fireplace, stack wood, some yard work, total responsibility for their rooms, trash detail, pet care (feeding, baths, & poo pickup), an occasional round of dishes or vacuuming. When we are gearing up for a party, the list increases .....dramatically! They both are great grocery shoppers - to the point that I can just send them in with the list while I run errands. They both are great at helping with home maintenance & repairs. Their father & I have worked hard to instill a good work ethic in them......& they've thrived on these lessons. We are proud that both of our sons are capable of tackling issues, projects, & chores......without feeling like they have to be paid!

1 mom found this helpful

I give my 8-year-old daughter $5 a month (and all she has to do is help with her baby brother very occasionally...as in "watch him while I go to the bathroom"). She earns more via chores--last month she ended up with over $25 via raking leaves, helping with laundry, unloading the dishwasher, helping with dinner, etc. As a child I was never just given money. I had to work for it...so that's what she does, and she really seems to enjoy it.

My husband and I never received allowances growing up. We don't give our son an allowance, either. No one pays you to clean your own toilet. The reward for cleaning your toilet is - you have the privilege of using a clean toilet. Everyone contributes to making the home a nice place to live. No one gets paid to do this.
My son takes the trash from the house to the can, and takes the can to the curb on collection days, and brings it back. He helps carry in groceries and puts them away. He put dirty dishes in the dishwasher and put them away once they are cleaned. He helps me weed the garden, and carries yard tools for me (and puts them away). He also keeps his grades up (straight A's) and has first chair in band (clarinet) and is a black belt in taekwondo and has the highest AR points score on his team at school. For being such a good kid, I never say 'no' to him in the book store and he knows this is his reward. If he wants more money than comes his way already, he's going to have to walk dogs, mow lawns, wash cars and/or shovel out horse stalls for the neighbors. Teaching about spending before teaching about how hard it is to earn money is irresponsible and just trains up little consumers in a spending habit before they have real jobs.

When I was that age, my mother made a list of all the chores to be done around the house, and put how much she thought we should get paid if we did that chore next to it. Like if we folded a load of laundry we would get $2 so on, and so on. So us kids got to choose which chores we wanted to do if we wanted to get paid. The more we did around the house, the more money we recieved for being helpful.

I agree w/the $1 per yr as well. I think that it's just more fair that way and you can always add to it if there is something that they have been saving for and they have gone that extra mile or deduct for missed chores.

I give my 16 year old son $1 per year of his age which at this time is $16 per week. That works out to about $64 per month which for someone who doesn't have to buy food, clothes, etc. a nice amount of "free" money. I do equate allowance to chores and therefore if he does no chores, he gets no money which is the same as if I don't go to work then I don't get a paycheck.

I think the amount probably depends on what he's using it for. At that age, my parents really bought everything for me still, so $5/week seems fine to learn money management. Once I started middle school, they gave me $20/week for lunch money/allowance. At that point, it was up to me to choose to make my lunch and keep the money or buy lunch at school. And that's when I started doing things that they didn't want to pay for all the time like going to movies with friends.

I think the important thing about an allowance is that kids learn how to manage their money. Adults have incomes that vary greatly and there are people in each financial bracket that can save and others that go through whatever amount of cash they earn. Understanding the value (and rewards) of saving, learning how to weigh the cost vs the amount of use, being able to delay gratification -- these type of things are the important part.

My suggestion is to give enough so he has money to save, donate to charity, buy some type of essential thing and a little fun money. Also depending on your area's cost of living, $5 may be enough, too much or too little. It's not about the money, but more learning what to do with it.

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