Allowance - Alexandria,VA

Updated on December 23, 2014
D.C. asks from Henrico, VA
11 answers

How much allowance should I give my children and should I make them earn it? They are ages 14 and 11.

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answers from Norfolk on

Zero is a good amount.
Everyone helps do chores because that's the price of living together and many hands make light work.
They get food, clothing and shelter from you - they don't need money too.
Privileges (tv,cellphone,games,recreational computer use,etc) are constantly earned by good behavior - polite, homework done, chores done, etc.
They earn money by doing work for neighbors - walking dogs, washing cars, babysitting, shoveling snow, raking leaves, mowing lawns, etc.
When they earn it from others doing real work, they'll KNOW how hard money is to earn.
They'll be much more inclined to save it or spend it wisely.
Just handing out money teaches them to spend without knowing how hard it is to earn.
In the worst case they come to expect a regular handout - which is just such a nasty entitlement attitude.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on

Depends on your goals I guess. I'm a big fan of Dave Ramsey ' s approach on this. Great book: Smart Money Smart Kids.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

We did not tie allowance into chores. They each got allowance and had to then spend it on things they wanted outside of stuff we would regularly buy. example I bought lunch stuff for lunch boxes if they choose to eat at cafateria then they could use that. if they wanted to go to a movie with friends then they use that. If they wanted special $100 sneakers that was on them. we tied chores into privileges "oh you want to stay up an extra half hour? is your laundry done and put away?" oh you want go spend the night at a buddy's house is your chores done for the week? etc.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

We give 50 cents per year of age. Yes, being older has perks, like more allowance and a later bedtime, but also more responsibilities and harder chores.

Assigned chores are a must. We call it "family work," because everyone in the family needs to contribute. They don't get paid for individual chores that are just what you are supposed to do like cleaning their rooms, doing their laundry, and self-care. Their family work is stuff that helps out the entire household system. Vacuuming, cleaning a bathroom, washing and drying dishes, caring for pets, raking leaves and mowing the grass, sweeping and mopping a floor, general cleaning of clutter and putting things away, taking out all the trash in the whole house, bringing the cans to the street on the night before trash day, et cetera.

Money is earned. And to earn it, work must be done. That's a necessary lesson for kids.

I know you'll likely get suggestions for charts and such to track chores. We don't use these. They're cumbersome and generally worthless. We have daily chores (clean up after dinner, dishes, general straightening, individual chores), and then we have weekly chores which are done on Saturday and must be complete before any access to games, screens or play. Each of the kids and adults has specific duties that, when all added up, result in a clean house. Don't be afraid to give over some of the stuff you've been doing to the kids. They need to know how to do that stuff too. :-)

ETA: We certainly do not just hand out money, nor do we allow anyone to shirk on helping. The money is both earned, and a tool to teach them how to handle money responsibly. There is often more work than just their regular chores to be done, and I agree with B, that work is not being paid-for. The boys also go mow lawns in the neighborhood and shovel drives and walkways when it snows. They earn good money that way, but we don't pay them to shovel our own (very long) drive. That's just a part of being family. We help one another.

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answers from Chicago on

My kids get a $1 per grade per week. So my 6th Grader gets $6/week. They get their allowance once a month, so 6x4=$24/ month. I round up or down depending on the math, so she gets $25/month.

My kids have chores they do on a daily and weekly basis, but I don't withhold their allowance if they didn't do them on time.



answers from Columbia on

I have a 14 year old (daughter). She gets $14 per week. This money is not tied to chores.
She has an envelope system that she *has* to divide the money up when she gets it (I make sure she has the correct denominations to do so). It's basically divided (not equally) into
1. savings
2. giving
3. clothing
4. entertainment
(But she decided to further subdivide a couple of the larger categories for specific things).

I pay for things we do as a "family". If we all go out to dinner, I pay. If she has a friend spend the night and we all go out to dinner, I pay. If she and her friend want to get ice cream afterwards and then walk home.... she pays for her own ice cream. If she and a group of friends go to the movies, she pays.... (even if I have driven them and I decide I want to go see whatever while they are seeing a different movie).

We provide a "basic" wardrobe and "basic" personal care items. These are items that *I say* she has to have and they have to be in good repair at all times (for example a dress appropriate outfit), so I will replace her khaki pants if they get frayed or whatever so that I can at any time say "put on your khaki pants, white oxford, black cardigan and black flats for this event". If she wants a batman tee.... she buys it.

If she wants the fancy shampoo, she buys it. If she wants Abercrombie jeans.... well, $14 a week divided up will NEVER get you Abercrombie jeans and she is aware of that. :-) But you get the idea.

She is already aware that once she gets a license she will pay the 'bump' in insurance and gas money.

I see the allowance as a way to teach her how to handle money. To make decisions regarding what is important to her. When I didn't give her an allowance and she wanted to go to dinner and movie ($30) with her friends on Friday, Fear Fest ($25) and ice cream ($5) on Saturday and the mall on Sunday ($5 food court / $10 Claire's), I had a harder time talking her through why that wasn't realistic. Now that it's her own money she has to prioritize what she can afford and what is most important to her to attend.

She knows that she has to keep money in savings that she never touches. She knows that she has to keep a certain amount in savings for replacement of specific things (for example her iphone if it breaks - she has to have one and she has to cover the warranty out of pocket $50 cost). I pay for her phone because I want her to have one, but if she goes over the plan she pays the extra.

She also has ways to "earn" extra money, but not by doing regular "chores". She has to pick up after herself and help with dinner / dishes / cleaning and *whatever I say* - and that's just so she gets to exist on the planet. She's aware of the price of citizenship. She has only come to me once and asked to earn extra money (they wanted to go to fancy restaurant for a school dance instead of eating at the dance) - I paid her hourly to help me haul boxes out of the basement that I wouldn't have had her help me with otherwise.


answers from Grand Forks on

It depends on how much you expect them to pay for things themselves. I now give my 12 year old $20 a week. He spends $5 a week buying a lunch in the cafeteria one day a week instead of bringing lunch from home. He gives $2 a week to church or other charity. He puts $5 in the bank. The other $8 he can use for entertainment (if he goes to the movies etc. he pays his own way) or he can save it to buy something big.


answers from Dallas on

We handled it like B. Our boys never got an allowance, but we live on a farm and there is always an opportunity to earn money if you want to. Now our oldest is 17 and he has a job. He is very good at managing his money. We have always discussed how we manage our finances, so he didn't go into it blind. Also, both boys have a strong work ethic, so they have always chosen to take the opportunities to earn money and have learned to manage their own money through the years.

We did not pay them to help with ordinary chores in the house (making beds, vacuuming, laundry, etc) because it takes everyone working together in the family for things to run smoothly, and we wanted them to learn that value. We also understand, though, that different things work for different families and for different kids.



answers from Los Angeles on

Yes, as it teaches them to work towards a goal & save money.
Also, teaches them the value of a dollar.
Once they have $40 in their hot hands & they fork it over for those cool
shoes & jeans they wanted or a coveted big item, seeing that hard
earned money leave their hands hurts. It gets them where you want it to
land.....that money is hard earned & shouldn't fly through your hands like
sands of an hourglass.

Some chores are just a given to contribute to the household like clear the
dinner table, put your toys away, take out the trash & dump into big
garbage can, clean up after yourself etc.

But then you can incorporate other household chores that help you out a
bit yet teaches them the value of a work ethic & saving. Washing cars,
mowing the lawn etc.

As a kid, we got a moderate weekly allowance then we got a little extra
money at report card time ($1 for every "A" & 50 cents for every "B".
Nothing for "C's".

At some point, open a savings account for them so they can learn to "put
it away" & watch it grow (interest).

Also open at kids college fund for them.



answers from Denver on

At 14 and 11 they are very close to being able to have a job. So I figure it was a good time with my children to teach them to be good workers. So I did pay them for chores outsided of the normal chores they do to contribute to the family. I offered them 10.00 per week to take care of the things I have to do on my weekend or evenings. I was paying them to do my work, hence I could spend more time with them in fun things. So every week there was 10.00 on the table. If they chose to clean the front room, they earned 2.00. If they did a load of towels 2.00. At the end of each week I awarded their money.

Also I did give them money, I game them a "check". When they were excited about something they wanted they could cash the check. I found out very quickly that if they got cash weekly, they bought candy, chips anything to get the money out of the pocket so it would not weigh them down. And I was still forking over money for things like school flower grams and the like. So this also helped them learn to save.

I'll be honest. Of my 5 all grown. Only 2 are savers and 3 are spenders. So not really sure it worked, but they did learn to work hard once they got real jobs, and then knew about checks and spending and saving (even if they didnt always make the choices I would).

Oh and now that two are still living at home...they occasionaly clean a room, run the vaccuum or prepare dinner for me, and I dont even have to pay them :)



answers from Oklahoma City on

If you are going to make them earn it by having a list of chores and how much each one pays then do make them earn it.

If you want to give them money they don't have to tell you where it went, it's totally blow money then give them some money and be done with it.

I hate when kids have to earn money because they don't think they have to do anything unless you're willing to pay them to do it. That's not productive for the family cohesiveness. You all live there and have chores that are required. There should be a list and it should rotate so everyone gets to have multiple experiences caring for the family.

I will say that my hubby does a fine job with the laundry. However....he washes and dries everything like I do but then he hangs stuff in the wrong closets and just randomly puts stuff away where ever there's a hole, even in the wrong room.

So I don't let anyone else do the laundry.

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