What’s a appropriate kid’s allowance for 2021?
We gave ours $15 a week a decade ago. That’s just pocket money. We bought all the essentials.
They got extra on birthdays and holidays. Their Grandparents always sent cards with $30.
Household chores were part of the deal. Washing cars or helping me with diy projects brought in extra green.
Seemed like a lot. My allowance in the 1970’s was $5 a week. But stuff was cheaper. A Coke was 35 cents.
Doesn’t that depend on what chores they’re doing?
I doesn’t have to. We were expected to do chores because we were part of the household and stuff needed to get done. It was never tied to our allowance in any way. Our allowance, although modest, was to give us some spending money I suppose.
ETA: I don’t think I gave my own kids any allowance. I’d give them money when they needed it. And probably threw a 10 or 20 their way now and then. I’ll have to ask them, because I really don’t remember.
Basic household chores were expected at our house. Folding clothes, loading the dishwasher, putting up clean dishs, etc.
Make your own bed. Change your own sheets on Sat mornings. Keep your room neat. Don’t be a slob.
Cleaning the house is a shared family responsibility. Everyone pitched in.
Nothing particularly difficult.
Does it depend? I would say it should be bigger if it includes chores, increase with age, not be high enough to encourage sloth or deter employment, be economically acceptable to the parents and be big enough to motivate if withheld due to misbehaviour. Isn’t the goal to teach money management skills?
In other words, payment should not be in legal tender but in inflating “Daddy Dollars”. I can’t quickly find a YouTube version of this great comedy routine. Some father of a Latino family would pay his kid in ersatz currency - photocopies of USD with the father’s picture substituted for the president, given for chores and rewards. But it took hundreds of Daddy Dollars to buy a chocolate bar and years worth to decide where the family was going out to eat. The currency was devalued when the daughter complained “this system is bulls***.”, though Daddy agreed.
Allowance is just the start. So the kids can have a little spending money. Learn budgeting.
The amount changes over time. A kid in elementary school needs less pocket money than middle school.
There’s always extras for school or special occasions. I tried to avoid becoming an ATM but requests for funds are part of parenting.
I usually ran my car through a automated car wash. I’d let the kids wash it to earn money for something they wanted to buy. It was quicker and easier for me to use the local car wash. It’s more important to teach kids responsibility. Let them learn how to work for what they want.
Put me in the “allowance is not connected to chores” camp. Kids should help out with the house because they live there. Kids should get some spending money because as part of the household they have some claim to its assets (filtered through parents, of course)
My $10 old gets $40 a month. He mostly uses it to buy video games. It forces him to really consider which ones he wants.
Another vote for allowance and chores are unconnected.
My 16 year old gets $30 a week, my 13 year old gets $25. We pay for transit passes, required clothing, and provide packed lunches every day. Allowance money is for leisure or luxuries.
What is the goal of an allowance? For me, it was to learn to use money, budget, make trade-offs, save for something, take buddies out for pizza occaisonally or somesuch. I mainly pay for activities, hobbies, essentials, etc such as rock climbing passes, cooking/sewing projects, etc.
I expect volunteer hours for standard chores. Slip extra money for help on non-standard stuff.
So, enough money for “stuff” they decide on but not so much they don’t have to make choices between doing one thing and another. And not enough for hookers and blow. (I kid, this kidlet thinks vaping tobacco is serious drugs and wants nothing to do with them)
Growing up (1964), my father gave me $1.00 per week and my chores were cutting the grass, taking out the garbage cans twice a week and putting up with my father’s begrudging attitude when he handed me the dollar bill. After calculating inflation, today’s allowance would be $9.10 per week.
On the bright side, it encouraged me to seek employment as a golf caddy adding $3.00 a week to my wealth and that was enough for a Saturday night date but only at the drive-in. It also instilled in me a sense of frugality.
Small hijack to tell a story about how I taught my kids how to spend their money wisely.
When they were old enough to understand money, but too young to get their own allowance, and they’d accompany me to the supermarket, I would let them make some of the snack food choices. For example, if cookies was on the shopping list, I would let them pick out some cookies. And then I would find some other cookies for a similar price, and the kids would respond with “That’s such a small box!” or “But these are so much better!”. And I would respond, “Yes, you’re absolutely correct. For same amount of money, we can get this giant box of okay cookies, or this smaller box of really delicious ones. It’s up to you.” And they really thought about it! Sometimes they went for the big box of cheap crap, and sometimes they chose the good stuff. And now, 30 years later, they are still using their money carefully.
@Keeve What a wonderful budget lesson for kids. Learning to handle money and make the right decisions has life long benefits.
I consider a kids allowance a valuable teaching tool. It goes along with opening their first bank account and learning to prioritize spending and save for larger purchases. Maybe babysit or rake a neighbor’s yard to earn extra money.
I think the amount strongly depends on the kid and their needs. I’ve given my kid $5 per week for roughly the last 8 years, and he’s been able to save it for a new PC and the occasional investment in video games–and nothing else.
He just doesn’t currently have that great a need for money. Now, if he were actually driving a car and going out with friends, he’d need a lot more than $5 per week. When he steps up to a more expensive lifestyle we’ll raise the allowance level.
This is really helpful to follow. Our kids earned an allowance for several years when they were in elementary & middle. My daughter is now in middle and son in high school. We stopped giving them allowance when they stopped remembering to do chores AND complained when we reminded them. They’ve since become more responsible, so we’ll probably start up with allowance again.
For my son in elementary it was $5/week; my daughter is 3.5 years younger, so she requested hers in change and got about $3/week. I imagine they’re up to about $10/week at this point, though overlyboy will be driving soon, so if he puts in more time, he gets more cash. I used to get $80 at the start of each month when I was in high school. It would pay for gas, food out with friends on weekends and occasional candy at the gas station.
My ex-wife monitored the allowance, more for Sophia to keep face with the kids at her private schools who bought things out of the in-school convenience stores and vending machines. Sophia started earning her own money around 11, 12, so after that it was just hitting up Dad for spot needs, and no more allowance.