Allowance for Teen and Preteen

Updated on November 07, 2009
J.S. asks from Sunland, CA
14 answers

Dear Moms, My son is 13 and my daughter is 12. I often feel "nickled and dimed" to death asa they ask for money for this and that. I know that if we had a set amount for an allowance it would teach my children more financial responsibility. They are good kids, do well in school and already have set chores. How much weekly would you give kids this age and how would you set it up? Thanks so much!

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

Dave Ramsey has a good way to handle money with kids. It starts younger but it's never to late to learn. Go to daveramsey.com and maybe pick up some of his books.

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

I think how my grandparents did it was a great way and I will also do it the same way. ( I was raised by them as a side note) I got $50 a week, but I also had the bulk of the responsibilities around the house... granny had had a stroke and my grandfather worked nights and slept days and would not even be able to figure out how to turn the vacuum on so it was up to me. That is too much responsibility for one child, but it did teach me a lot. So maybe your child's allowance is $20 a week... I had to put $30 in the bank every week so I really only had $20 to spend. Out of that money I had to purchase any school supplies I needed, extra clothes I wanted, entertainment, etc. It was all on me and I had to learn to budget... I'm great at it now, but more importantly I value everything that i have and have learned to save up for things that I want to purchase. :)

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Dear J.,

I am on the back end of this question now. My two are 17 and 19, a senior in high school and a freshman at NYU. It is a good question, one I asked when I was in your shoes. I had a plan for allowances, but abandoned it pretty early on. It became clear to me that it was not really beneficial to make good, responsible kids stress about the type of artifical economy that a strict allowance imposes.

So, for the nickel and diming stuff, I handed my kids a 10 or a 20 each week. If they needed more, they asked, and if they needed a bunch of money, they had to give me a good reason. It was always more about the reasonableness of the request than the dollar amount. If it was a good reason and we could afford it: yes. Not a good reason, out of our price range: no.

Also, holding the purse strings like this is another way to stay involved in what is important to your teen. Get ready: teens stop talking to you. At least if they want money for a new outfit for a special occasion, you might get them to tell you a little about it.

J., I think that the teen years are tough enough. If the kids are responsible in school and responsible about staying safe, they do not need the added responsibility of stretching their little pennies. They have the whole of their adult lives to worry about real money.

My best to you and yours,
Annette

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.J.

answers from San Diego on

We give our 7yo $10 a week, currently, plus any spare change he finds (literally metal change).

He can save it or spend it. He put $300 down for us to get our puppy two years ago (1/2 the cost)... took him a little over a year and a half to save up for him... and is currently working on saving up for a macbook and the money to adopt a cat from the shelter. (has $200 in the bank, needs a little over $500 for the macbook and $100-200 for the cat.. We match, dollar for dollar for any approved "big" ticket items like the pets & computer).
He also donated $60 to a feeding kids over the summer program, because the concept of kids who only got to eat when school was in session was horrifying to him)

He's only 7 though, so we aren't shelling out for movies, food, gas, or clothes (or rather, we are... but as family stuff... not stuff he's doing on his own or with friends).

I have friends who give as much as $100 a week with no strings attached to their teenagers (but the kids are required to buy their own clothes, movie tickets, food out, car maintenance, gas, sports, etc.), and friends who give as little as $20 a week (but buy their kid's clothes & other necessities, as well as paying for sports & other extracurricular activities). In general, amongst my friends, the ones who give out more, the kids are responsible for a lot more

<Laughing> I have one friend who has "charged" her 15 yo rent since they turned 13. (200 a month for the room... goes straight into a PoD account that can be used for school or living expenses when they graduate) The 15yo gets a max of $400 a month (paid biweekly for school work & house work), and then has to turn $200 right back over. She does it (aside from the obvious savings benefit) so that her 15yo can get used to having a bunch of money they CAN'T spend. They decided on the $200 a month figure by looking at was renting a room in the University district cost, and it was a joint effort.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

J.,
I have several friends who give their children allowance according to their age. They get a dollar for how old they are. So in your case $12. and $13. With some of the families they do this monthly or biweekly. If you can afford weekly then okay, but biweekly or monthly really helps them to save and spend frugally. I hope this is helpful.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.S.

answers from Honolulu on

My sister has 7 children and she has always given them a dollar per year of age once a month. Your 13 year old would get $13 on the 1st of each month. Once the money was gone, they'd have to wait until the next month. This system has worked great for her.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.H.

answers from Honolulu on

I also have a 12, a 14 and a 15 year olds. I went through the same thing so we came up with a game plan now that they are Teens and Preteen, to open and set up their own accounts and deposit their allowance in them. It depends. If one slacks his chores, their deposit won't be much (say $40) but if he does so well with chores then it's $100. Two out of three love to spend money so this way, if they want to spend and they keep withdrawing their own money out till there's none coming out of the machine, they don't get nothing. We have family time where we go out to dinner once in a while, my husband and our boys have this routinely weekend outing of going to the movie, etc., but the boys will pay for their own fun. So this helped the youngest one to start controlling his spending and spend ONLY if its something important or something he really wants. The 15 year old just don't like spending at all and he is not an outdoor person either so his account continues to increase. Not that he refuse to spend, he is just not the shopping type unless he really needs it such as buying a new video game to hang out in his room and play. We got this idea from another Mom and it sure worked for us rather than giving them cash on hand. We make deposit every two weeks. But if they continue to do well on their school grades, that's another $20 in their accounts but we keep it at $100 every two weeks unless one start slacking on his chores or them so it keeps them up to speed on taking responsibilities with duties around the house and their rooms, schools and grades. Their birthdays, we deposit either $100 or $200 depending on their grades, no bad report from their teachers of late turn ins with their homeworks, etc. Since they all stay very busy with football practices and games on the weekends, so their Dad tries to balance their agendas by marking weekends to being boys going to movies or bowling. It depends but hopefully it will give you some idea. Trust me, we don't just let them have their bank cards. The Dad will let them have their bank cards only when we are all going somewhere together. Other than that, he keeps them because he worries incase one loses it or someone takes it from them or figure out their pin number. But if they want to buy something, he will give it to them right at the cash register so they can use their cards and give them right back to the Dad to put them away.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

I would first start off with how much your family can afford to give because then it becomes a bill and have to fit within your budget. I do not have any teenagers in my house, not yet, but I do give my 11 year old an allowance of $5.00 per week, I know that is nothing in a teenagers eyes.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

There seem to be many options, but I was raised with the option that you had to earn your spending money. There was no "allowance." I did the dishes, vacuumed, watched my younger sibs, etc. Each set of chores had a value. If I did extra when needed, I got extra. I also learned to shop for bargains and sewed many of my own clothes in high school. I could make exactly what I wanted. My kids also did chores for $$. I don't think that children should be taught that they should be given "welfare" which what I think an allowance without sweat really is. I learned to work for what I wanted. My parents provided what I NEEDED, but if I wanted something else, I earned it. So did my kids. I think it gave all of them a good work ethic. Why don't you ask current employers about the current work ethics of some of their younger employees? Arrive on time? Ha! Were appropriate attire? Actually work???? As to the amounts? With inflation, it's hard to say. Most of the other mothers seem to agree within a range. Try that, but make them do something to earn it. Allowances should not be handouts. That's just my opinion.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

W.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Dear J.,
I struggled with this same problem. It took some trial and error, but we settled on $10.00 a week,(for my soon to be 15 year old). She does chores, but only gets paid when her work is complete. ALSO, the stipulation is that I pay for things that are needed, but she pays for things that are wanted...you can't imagine the change in spending habits since we began this "contract". If there is anything fancy, games, music, accessories, etc. it comes out of her own pocket. If she goes over on the cell bill, she has to pay! It seems to be keeping her spending in check...So whatever you do..or how ever much you give them...let them know that they are responsible for their own "EXTRAS"...the spending sprees stop when it is their own money.
W.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

$1 per year of age each week - so $13 and $12 each week.
Make it clear what they are responsible for and what you will stay pay for.
I was in a similar situation, as my preteen daughter was constantly at the mall buying clothes, going to the movies, buying food, etc. I gave her her allowance PLUS her clothing budget and told her I was no longer responsible for buying shoes and clothes. It only lasted a few months, but she quickly got the idea! LOL ;)

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

J.,

This is one of my favourite subjects!!!

I am married and I have a 13 year old and a 10 year old (both girls) and here is what I teach other families.

In our family we have “responsibilities” we don’t have chores. As a family it is our “responsibility” to ensure our home is clean and safe. That means EVERYONE does everything. We prepare meals together, we do dishes together, we clean house together. DAILY we do a 10 minute tidy every day – we put on 3 - 4 really fun fast songs, we set the time and we each pick a space to “clean” – cupboards, walls, floors, sweeping, dusting, clean out the fridge – whatever – then we just do it – but only for 10 mins. It is fun, fast and every day we get 40 mins of house work in just 10 mins (I have a family of 4). No more struggling to keep the house clean.

On the first of the month the 13 year old receives $200 and the 10 year old gets $100. CASH
50% NECESSITIES 25% goes to rent, yes, they both pay rent and 25% is kept in cash for necessities – toothpaste, deodorant, clothing, stuff they “need” – I pay for their food (unless they are going out with a group of friends – that comes from them)
10% GIVE goes to pay me for their sponsored sister (through World Vision)
10% EDUCATION – books, school trips etc.
10% for EDUCATION – for example my older daughter was saving for a trip with her Teen Group – she saved $800!
10% for Financial Freedom – every month they give me 10% of their income to invest.
10% PLAY – they can spend it on whatever they want – I can say NOTHING about it.

This teaches them responsibility for their actions and their own money. My 10 year old came home from “hanging at the mall” with her friend and her mom with a bag of new socks. I gave her a funny look and she said, “mom, they were in the clearance bin, they were only $5. 2 months ago when I bought this same pack it was $9! I am going to put them in my closet for school”

I could go on, but really I have already taken up too much space. I would love to talk to you about the simple things you can do, [email protected]____.com. I have written some ebooks about some of my advice/ideas ($23 for 3 books) if you want, contact me and I will tell you how to get them.

Know that “afluenza” is VERY common. But it is curable. I can help.

B.
Family Wellness Coach

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

Here is a great resource for teaching teens about money http://beta.daveramsey.com/gc/home/

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions