Allowance. How Much?

Updated on June 10, 2010
K.I. asks from Beech Grove, IN
23 answers

How much allowance do you give your kids and what kind of tasks do you give them to earn it?

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answers from Los Angeles on

My kids are 5 and 13. They have never received an allowance as they are expected to do chores and keep their rooms clean. However, they do get money for birthdays and holidays. My daughter has saved every penny she received so she can eventually buy her own car and is now babysitting to make her own money. My daughter has "earned" everything since first grade by maintaining at least a 3.5 GPA and showing all the appropriate character traits like responsibility, integrity, kindness and so on. My 5 year old has his list of chores to do but again no allowance. He already appreciates the value of money as much as a 5 year old is capable, but he has the same rules as his big sister as far as character traits and "earning things".

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

We didn't get an allowance when I was a kid. We had chores that were expected of us and it was just part of being a family. Every now and then my parents might give us a dollar for raking the back yard, but it was mostly to get us out of the house on a summer afternoon and we played more than we raked.
If we babysat or helped someone else in the yard or watered flowers and the people paid us, we were able to spend that money how we wanted (within reason). We usually spent it on the ice cream truck, little stuff like that. I was pretty good at saving my money.
I got a trophy one time and my little sister's heart was crushed. She was such a little beast to me most of the time, but I could really tell she thought it meant I was somehow better than her. Without telling anyone, even my mom, I rode my bike to a trophy shop and spent the money I'd saved to get a trophy made for her. It said, "To the best little sister I know."
She went back to being a beast a few weeks later, but she still has that trophy.

I think it's good for kids to have their own money, but I personally don't think they should be paid for picking up their laundry or putting their clothes away...things like that should just be done because it's a responsibility.
It depends on the age of the kids too.
I've known too many kids who won't do anything unless they get paid for it and in that way, the allowance thing can backfire.

I hope you get some great responses.

4 moms found this helpful

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answers from New York on

My kids don't do anything to earn their allowance. Their chores are their chores, they are not paid to clean up after themselves and help maintain our home. That is simply expected. I don't get paid to make dinner, Dh doesn't get paid to unpack the groceries and the kids are expected to do work around here.
Spending money is something we consider them entitled to. It's to teach them how to budget and so that I am not constantly being nickled and dimed. How much depends on what you expect them to spend it on! My kids are 15 and 11 now. My 11 has for several years gotten more allowance than his sister did at his age because he carries around his own money and pays for things that I always gave my daughter money for. They do not get a big allowance, but they should have money to spend. Before deciding on a set amount with your child, determine with him or her what you expect this allowance will cover and what amount of money is needed.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

As a kid I got 20 a week, winter or summer. But I lived with my single father, so he was at work all day, and not the best at things like shopping and housework. I did a LOT. this was also lunch money, pool money, and money for anything else that came up and i could purchase at the grocery store a few blocks away. Once I was of an age to work, i paid half of everything from school clothing and supplies, to insurance, all of my gas and all my fun money, plus lunches and stuff, and the allowance stopped. My kids will, when i deem them of an age to go without me and buy things, be treated the same way. Right now since they are never away from home without me i don't give them an allowance, but i will give them 5 bucks if they are going to visit friends in case something comes up.

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answers from Austin on

we were always expected to help out, but in my family we got "Friday money" if we did extra chores all week... what we got depended on how much extra... if we really went above and beyond we would get up to $5, but if we only did one or two extras we would get less. we had chores like laundry, dishes, vacuuming, dusting, for inside chores... then there is mowing the lawn, pulling weeds in the garden, cleaning up after the dogs, feeding the animals (we had pigs, chickens, dogs, cats, and a goat. lol) etc. etc... although i would say the chores and the amount paid also depends on the age of the child...

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answers from College Station on

I wish I would have gotten an allowence lol! Ours are to young, but from my experience you did what (in my case) mom told you to or you couldnt do what you wanted. :)

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answers from New York on

No allowance. They have chores that they are expected to do as part of the family. They get money for birthdays and holidays so they learn about financial responsibility.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We give $20 a week and more if something is going on and daughter needs more. Our daughter is 15.

When we give more, it is in the event of a group of kids going out to movies, dinner, or if she is buying something like a bra. For the most part, she buys all of her clothes, we buy staples like the bras, etc. Our daughter is a saver and she shops for deals. She does not let go of her money for just anything. We cover ALL other expenses such as cell phone, internet usage, etc.

She is much like her dad and me....(numbers people) and quite the planner financially.

As for as what she does..... she is in all Honors/PreAP classes and maintains her grades (nothing below a B), she is co captian of the cheer squad and she is in a high level orchestra. She has a lot on her plate with school work, extracurricular private cheer trainer, violin teacher and daily workout and she manages to maintain everything quite well.

As long as she is contributing the way she is now, she'll probably get a raise for the fall because her expenses increase.

Cheer is very expensive, her violin was $3000 and she takes care of that violin like it is a piece of fine crystal. We don't tie jobs to spending money we give her. She is also rewarded for extra good grades such as getting commended on the state TAKS tests, etc.

Hope that helps.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I don't believe in giving kids an allowance. If my kids want money for something then they ask if there are any extra chores they can do to earn some money. We agree on the terms before the job starts. But it has to be a BIG job. Like I agreed to pay my son for scrubbing all of the baseboards a few weeks ago. He also gets paid for doing things like cleaning the garage and basement. He does NOT get paid for breathing. I feel that sends the wrong message.

He also has chores that he does all the time and doesn't get paid for because he's a part of this family, he helps make the messes and he can help clean them up. He empties the dishwasher, folds and puts away his own clothes, sorts and mates the socks, switches around the laundry (washer to dryer), picks up the toys, vacuums the stairs with the handheld, clears the dishes after dinner and sweeps the floor. He's also responsible for cleaning his ATV every so often, feeding his pet rat every night and changing her water and helping me clean her cage every two weeks. (he's 8yo BTW)

I don't give my kids an allowance because they have everything they need. If they want something then they can ask for the money for it and justify it to me. I think kids having their own money causes problems (I mean pocket money, not savings). If my kids have to talk to me about everything they buy, then I can keep a close eye on them. No drugs in this house, thank you!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Muncie on

A lot really depends on age. My 3 year old doesn't receive an allowance, but I do get her to help me with things. She folds wash cloths and dish clothes. She picks up her toys before bed. She also hand dries the plastic wear.

An older child who's actually interested in money, I would suggest a dollar for ever year of age, per day of chores. Doing dishes (wash/dry/put away), cleaning their room, keeping their bathroom clean, table setting, and table clearing.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

My son is 5 and gets 25 cents per chore. His chores include things like putting away his laundry/taking out the garbage/setting the table/helping with his little brother/etc. Cleaning his room and picking up his toys are things I just naturally would expect him to do, but these other things he is paid for. He averages about $5 to $7 per week. I think its important to compensate kids for chores. It teaches them to be responsible for their own $$ and the virtue of saving their allowance for larger purchases. My lil guy is currently saving his allowance to purchase a turtle and the supplies to house it. He initially wanted a snake (and we were willing to let him save for it) but he soon realized it would take him a looong time to get there. So he opted for a turtle so he could save up for one faster since they cost less. I think, as far as a 5 yr old goes, that's pretty amazing the thought that went in to that and credit that with the fact that he GETS an allowance and because of that understands the value of a dollar. Also, he initially used to blow his weekly allowance on ice cream from the ice cream truck or slurpees at 7-Eleven. Once he realized how quickly money flies out of your hands for silly stuff like that, he stop asking for those things. To be honest, we used to just buy differenct things for him (within reason, of course) and it made him not appreciate things as much as he does now that he has to earn the money himself. He has also finally realized that mommy and daddy don't have unlimited access to money 24/7. His money also stays in a jar marked allowance and he still needs to come to us to have access to it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

When I was growing up I was awarded with treats and special one time monetary award IF I did something outstanding, then I would be taught how to manage that money, but never received "allownance" on an ongoing basis. While it is nice to teach money management etc, I think once kids get older, they can manipulate the system and think that they can only help out if you pay them. That can get expensive after a while no matter the amount, because now it is a habit that cannot be broken easily. Furthermore it becomes expected.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Youngstown on

Our children (20,16 &7) are expectd to help out around the house as much as possible... yes, we let them be kids, too! lol

We SHOULD have given our oldest an allowance when she was younger and she might value the worth of a dollar!

Our 16 year old just got her $15 upped to $20 - she pays for everything (pretty much) for herself.. lunch a couple times a week... snacks when out... clothes (we chip in a little if the choices are good!), birthday gifts for friends... almost everything! She KNOWs the value of a dollar and watches pretty good.

Our 7 year old just got his Quarter doubled... we buy most everything for him still... when we go shopping and he wants something, we ask him if he brought "his" money? That usually drops his question. I think we need to work with him more... but he values money and figures out how much change we get in his head - surprises me!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

we give our kids $1 per grade level. so 1st grader $1 9th grader $9 per week. our kids have chores that are part of being in the family. we do not tie them into allowance but into privileges here are some of the chores

garbage out
clear table / set table
sort laundry
make beds
put clean laundry away

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Our whole idea with allowance is that it should (in our family, not should for other people) be gradually increased until by the age of 14.5 our kiddo is paying for everything he needs... from clothes to school supplies to his "share" of the bills to entertainment to sports & activities to savings. Right now the only bill he has to pay for is his cell phone ($10 a month plus any extra charges he incurs). If he was 14.5 right now, that would mean his allowance would be something approximating 1000 a month. 500 a month for rent (which would go in his college savings), about 250 in bills (which would actually go towards bills), and then 250 left over for savings & spending money. $1000 SOUNDS like a lot of money, but as soon as you're on your own, it's peanuts. We really want to be teaching real world money management... and so that means having real money to do so with.

Currently, our 7yo gets a max of $10 a week. $1 a day if all of his chores are checked off... and a $3 bonus for doing all of his chores with good attitude. His "chore list" also includes things like playing, and hygiene, and school... in part because he's adhd (so developing habits and patterns of behavior is HUGE), and in part because we're trying to teach balance.

Daily Chores

Breakfast - Cereal
Brush Teeth & Wash Face
Make Bed
Pick Up Toys (Except 2)
Help with Projects
Help with Dinner

Weekly Chores

Wash His Sheets & Remake Bed
Wash & Put Away His Clothes
Clean His Room
Pick a Chore x 1

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answers from Dallas on

I don't know about how much, but it wasn't much at all. But when I was a kid (starting pretty young), we had to do it all- allowance or not, sweep, dust, mop, wash windows, laundry, clean our rooms, dishes, help make dinner, vacuum, clean bathrooms, clean the little box, feed the animals, pull weeds, help plant flowers... there was a list every Saturday and we went off the list checking everything off. We were also expected to help do daily tasks such as make our beds, dishes and such as well.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I know parents who give anywhere from 25 cents to a dollar per year, starting somewhere between 5 years to 8 years old, depending on how the allowance is to be handled and also family means.

Some parents believe the allowance should be given just because children are a part of the family, and have the same feelings about assigning tasks; everybody contributes just because they are part of the team. They don't tie allowance/chores together. Other families essentially pay for chores. Or pay additional for special jobs. As far as I've been able to observe, all these variations work just fine.

One of the loveliest ways I've seen to teach financial responsibility is to allow some percentage of the allowance to be spent at will by the child, requiring an additional percentage to be saved or cleared by the parents for significant purchases, and a third percentage to be contributed to a worthy cause or tithed to a church. I did this with my daughter many decades ago, and she plans to do the same with her son.

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answers from Chicago on

We treat chores as responsibility to the family not the way to earn money, we never pay kids for chores. My 3 y/o has no alowance, he is too young. My 12 y/o gets money on as needed bases and needs to ask/negotiate before spending them. For example, I have no problem giving him money for food expences on trips, some souvenirs he wants to buy. The fact that he has to ask for money always leads to a discussion about him really needing the item, how can we get it cheaper, what he plans to do with it, etc. After he gets money he needs to write it down and give me an account of his spendings. Basicaly, we think that kids should not have any money that we have no controll over until they are responsible enough to handle the money. My kids do not have a problem with that, I have frequent talks with my 12 y/o a bout cash, spending, credit, borrowing, etc. I think when he is old enough to earn his income that is when I will be loosening some of my supervision (not completely, of course). That's our position on the topic.

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answers from Boston on

My daughter is 5 and we just started a chore chart and an allowance. She has one chore per day on a rotating schedule: wipe the table after dinner, clean the top of her dresser, put the books away from the coffee table and back onto the bookshelf, set the table for dinner, and "chore choice" which is basically whatever needs to be done within reason. She decided that 4 quarters/week is a good amount of money, and so that's what we agreed upon. It's mostly just to teach her to save it (the satisfaction of it jingling around is so good!), and we'll increase the allowance and the expectations as she gets older.

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answers from Cincinnati on

My dad paid my brother and I with a CHECK every friday of $2.50 each. We had to do the same chores every week. Mine was to vaccum the house and scrub the kitchen floor. On Fridays if our chores were NOT done...we did not get paid or is was prorated for doing half of them. My dad then took my brother and I to the bank to cash our checks (or depot them...he opened up acct for each of us...being underage, we couldnt do anything without him) This process taught us how to manage money which I REALLY believe is the reason why I am very good with my money (and math.:)
Our Fridays with my dad were so fun. It was just part of his week. He traveled all the time and fridays were HIS day with us. (gave mom a break too) He would write us a check, we go to the bank, after that he would ask us where we wanted to go to either spend the money or save it. At the end he would take us out to eat or for ice cream.
Thanks for posting this question. Made me realize how awesome my dad is and what a great teacher he has been for my brother and I.
Good luck.

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answers from Hartford on

My son is 7 and he gets $7 a week. He has basic chores like feeding the dog, clearing the table, taking out the garbage ect. Some of these are everyday stuff others just a couple times a week. All his allowance goes into a savings account (his idea). If he wants something we don't think is necessary he can take the money out and do as he pleases. So far he has only withdrawn $ to pay for his friend to join us on an outing and he paid for a new baseball glove, we covered the bat :) Whatever works for your family, but I think it is important for kids to learn about money and have their own choices on how to spend it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dayton on

my son is 4.5 and he gets $5 a month. he does the following: help put his dirty clothes in washer, help put wet clothes in dryer & take out dry ones, then help fold & put away his clean laundry. he helps set & clear the table at dinner. he helps 'cook' meals. he helps cutting coupons, shopping for items (we play math & spelling games while we shop). he helps clean with a floor & duster swiffer. he helps take care of 'his' dog. he helps outside with yard work, or snow shoveling. he picks up his toys every night before bed.



answers from Cleveland on

Some people I know and some experts say to separate chores from allowances. An allowance is to teach a child how to manage money. Chores are done with each family member contributing to a family unit. Extra chores like mowing the lawn or shoveling the driveway are paid because they are not a regular household job. The allowance is used to show the kids how to save, invest and or spend. My husband likes board games that teach about all three principles but then I add 10% for God.

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