Allowance - Minneapolis, MN

Updated on September 27, 2011
A.H. asks from Minneapolis, MN
12 answers

I want to know what other parents give their kids for allowance. My 7 year old son takes out the garbage and keeps his room/bathroom clean and of course he picks up after himself around the house. I think an allowance is a good way to teach kids responsibility but I am not sure how much I should be giving him.

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answers from Minneapolis on


You beat me to the

I was going to ask the same question, except my daughter is 10yrs old. I can't wait to see what the responses are...

I think it depends on the parents ability and how much they can afford - the age of the child and what the responsibilities are....

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answers from Minneapolis on

I know a lot of parents are on the fence about whether to give an allowance or not. I personally think it is very important in teaching children how to be responsible savers and consumers in the years to come.

My In-laws would be less than happy about what I have to say, but I have teenaged nieces and nephews in HS that did not and do not get allowances nor have jobs. They just get money from their parents as they need it, and as a result none have any apparent concept of how hard it is to earn money, let alone do they know how to wisely spend it.

Their parents provide their cell phones, clothes, and more and they do nothing to earn what I consider "privileges" not necessesities as so many people come to think of cell phones, cares etc. for teens today. Unfortunately, these young people are turning into the kind that think all christmas presents should cost over $100, be electronic, or carry a label. They think credit cards are cash, and money grows on trees in abundance. They have no concerns about credit rating, and debt. Neither save money in accounts. I think their parents are doing them a great disservice! Especially since they will be on their own soon and are probably not prepared on how to handle their money.

My parents didn't give me an allowance either, and I think it greatly influenced how I "mishandled" my money when I went away to college. It was rough going, but eventually I learned how to manage money, but I sure would have appreciated learning BEFORE I left home.

I think the perfect age to start giving a child an allowance is between 7 and 8. Any younger, and they really don't have a full understanding of why we save etc. hence the feelings on the part of some that allowance is somehow bribary.

By the way, I don't think paying an older child to do chores is "bribary". Until a child can get a real job, there is no other way to teach them how things work in our very commercial world. If they have no concept of a work ethic, they will not appreciate money in a healthy way. If they work hard for that money, they will be less likely to spend it frivolously. They will at an early age learn to discern how, when, and what to spend their money on.

I think the pay should be scaled to their age. If they're still in the toy buying years (7-10), make their salary a range that could afford them to buy the type of toys they enjoy. (A bi-weekly salary of $5-$10 is reasonable).

For older children (10-14), I scale their salary to what you as a family spend on their basic needs such as food, clothes, and school supplies. This way you won't break the family buget, as this is what you'd normally spend on the child anyway. At this age, I'd encourage the children to start using their money to buy these necessities versus just things for themselves, and out of that money teach them to budget for the extras like a video game for example.

You could also encourage them to put aside money for church/charity, and even college. Remember, the amounts do not have to be huge. It's the principal that counts. If they dedicate $2 to charity and $2 to college, it can add up each week, and by years end. They'll learn real quick the value of money. I'd also at this age, consider getting a low limit debit/secured credit card where they/you secure the cash in the account, in addition to a savings(which hopefully they already have) and checking account. I'd help them manage these small but valuable accounts. Talk with them about budgeting etc. so they begin to start understanding how to use credit etc. in a safeway that won't hurt their credit rating!

Afterall, this is the time to start preparing them for reality. In high school they'll hopefully get a real job, where they'll earn real money, but wouldn't it be nice if they already established good habits on spending wisely and for what they really saving for college!

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answers from Sioux Falls on

Well, the first thought I had was, those aren't chores worth getting an allowence for. I think that children are thinking they HAVE to get something when ever they do things. Cleaning his room, making beds etc. are chores that should be done. Period. Now if you want to teach him responsibilty with money, then add some extra chores that he can do to earn money. You don't get paid to do the dishes when your a mom, you have to go out and choose to work somewhere to get money. Make him "work" to get the allowance. My parents did this and gave me 10 cents a week, but with the rate of inflation etc. ha ha ha!
Another idea that I have seen used is to take your child to the toy store and have him pick a toy that he would like to earn. Break the price down and give him a chart that has $ amount for a particular job and let him add it all up to get his toy.
Just some thoughts!



answers from Minneapolis on

I donot give my daughter allowance. I figure it's her responsibility as a part of our household/family and that if I were to pay her I'd be bribing her and she'd only want more and more.

Prehaps if she did something out of the ordinary or a big huge job there might be a reward but not for typical chores.

I've always tried to teach my daughter to be responsible and to help out because she wants to and for her to see the end result. Examp. If I help mom, it get's done 10x faster and we can have more fun time or whatever

I do take my daughter to the store occasionally let her pick something out if her behavior,grades, and chores have been going well.



answers from Santa Barbara on

I wrote a great book on allowances for kids and I think you'll find it refreshingly different...and it works! It's called The Ultimate Allowance.

You see, you don't give your children money to be part of the household. You take the money you're spending on their already and run it through them instead. You start small and gradually, as they get older, you increase what they are responsible for buying.

You also, at the same time, begin to talk to them about earning and making their own money and those two things are different. EARNING is trading your time and energy for money. MAKING is starting a business.

If you want to check it out, or download the first few chapters, you can go here:



answers from Norfolk on

I don't give my kid allowance! Instead if they have good grades, do there chores and as long as what they ask for is reasonable and nothing extreme, They may get what they ask for. This will probably change once my oldest is a little older (13 or 14)!



answers from Omaha on

I totally agree with earning an allowance. I do agree with the list of chores your child has and should be earning a couple of bucks for his committment to his tasks. I have a five year old and she earns $2 a week. She is to make her bed, collect the garbage, dust her room and helps sort and fold her laundry. Some may argue that these are tasks that she should have to do just to help the household and should not be paid for it. I disagree and feel that one of my tasks is to teach her that money is hard earned by constant commitment, and that a dollar does not go far. She is very loyal to her chores and will even go the extra step just to ease some of my load. I am confident that she understands how important her hard work is required to keep our chaos to a minimum. And even better, when summer comes she is eager to help out when it comes to yardwork.
For your son, I think $3 is a good starting point. One more pointer, make him earn all of the money he needs to purchase his desired wants. Do NOT give him a loan to cover the deficit. He will think that everyone will cover him for his short cash supply and that does NOT teach him anything. He needs to see that he has to save and keep earning to achieve the grand prize!



answers from Minneapolis on

I just posted an allowance question myself...we give our twelve year old five dollars a week, and she can earn extra bonus money for helping with special jobs sometimes. We make her save at least part of it, too.



answers from Minneapolis on

Hi A.
I think allowance depends on your family income and the age of your children. My son age8 gets 5 dollars a week for putting his laundry away, cleaning the cat boxes 3 times a week and unloading the dishwasher every day. He also does other odd jobs that need to be done. My daughter age 5 gets 3 dollars for putting clothes away, helping me do laundry, cleaning the toy room and being respectful of others. This is what we think is fair and it works well for us. Have a good day. :)T.



answers from Rochester on

When we were growing up my brother and I got a monthly allowance. Our allowance equaled our age and half of that allowance had to go into our savings account each month. That was a long time ago and $7 a month seemed like a lot. Now I would probably give more. I used to complain about having to put half in savings but once I reached college I was really glad my parents had enforced that. My savings was big enough for me to have "fun" spending money my first year of college without having to work more than occaisional babysitting.



answers from Sioux City on

Hi A.,
We actually decided to do our allowances in a different way. We bought a "commission worksheet" marker board online for each of our two kids. Each board lists their jobs and how much they earn for each. They also came with 3 different envelopes--one for saving, one for giving, and one for spending. We just received them in the mail, but once we put everything down and my husband and I decide on an amount, they will have to put a certain percentage of their "commissions" in each envelope. We decided, with the kids, that they will get paid on the same pay schedule as we do. They are so excited to get going on it, and for some reason it makes them think differently about it than when we say "chores." It's also great for the family because all decisions we make, we make together. I think they suggest a dollar for every year of their age, but that could obviously get expensive after a while! We are thinking we'll follow that rule, but put a cap at a certain dollar amount.

S. R



answers from Milwaukee on

I agree that the amount needs to be in line with your income. I've heard kids should get $1 per year of age, but my 10 yr old gets $5/week. At first he would spend it all at once, but now he does save for big items (heelies) and spending money on trips.

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