I know Jethro got 50¢ a week back in the 60s from his Uncle Jed, but then again Jethro didn’t need much.
I didn’t get an allowance, I got $10.00 a week to buy my lunches, which considering that my lunch period was from 12:25pm to 12:55pm and my last class was from 1pm to 1:50pm, sometimes I’d just skip lunch then save the money and go home and eat an hour later But that was high school.
Anyway what is the going rate for allowances these days?
An amount large enough to be able to cover the little things through the week like, some lollies, an ice cream, some lunch, but small enough so they have to be disciplined and save for some of the bigger things like an Xbox game or a bicycle etc. Maybe $30/week? It would also depend on how much time they spend doing chores.
$30 a week? Wow! When I was an undergrad ('88-'92) living in the dorms, my “fun money” budget was $30/week, and that had to cover food on the weekends as well as beer/fun/gasoline.
When I was in high school I didn’t have an allowance; I had a paper route when I was under 16, and when I was over 16, I started working in fast food restaurants. Also mowed neighbors’ lawns during spring/summer/fall.
When I was in junior high, I just mowed lawns. Allowance was given by my parents during the off-season (winter), and IIRC was something like $5/week. For a sense of scale, this was at a time when movie admission was $4.
If a kid is old enough to earn money - and if there are opportunities available to do so - then welfare payments may hinder the development of any kind of work ethic and sense of fiscal responsibility. If work is not available (or is available only part of the year), then an allowance ought to be just enough to take the edge off of boredom, and should encourage the saving of money earned during more opportune times. No exact amount is “right,” but scaling up from my own experience, I’d suggest something on the order of $10-$15 a week.
My three younger kids get a dollar for every year old they are, per month. So the 7-year-old gets $7 and so on. Makes it easier to remember who gets what. They do chores, which are not negotiable, but can lose their allowances for not doing them.
The older boy is old enough to go get a job, but chooses not to, and also not to do his chores, so he doesn’t get a dime.
It’s not like they’re deprived; we spring for treats on a regular basis. Mostly they just save their allowances up with birthday money for bigger things.
10 or so years ago I was getting $10/week. I was discouraged from having a job. But I didn’t pay for groceries, gas, (cheap) clothing. I didn’t really have much to spend money on, actually. Movie theater. Billiards. The very occasional meal out with friends. Not much time to spend money either, between school, music lessons/practice, volunteer work, and symphony rehearsals.
I got a $1 a week until I turned 10 (when it was raised to $3). When I was 13 it was raised to the princely sum of $5 until I got a job right before I turned 16. A few of my friends got $10-$15 a week and I thought that was insane. This was in the early 90s.
Yeah well I might be out of touch, or maybe I was never in touch. I didn’t get an allowance as a kid, like you I had a paper run, and I had a very nice great aunt who would give me a significant sum of money for my birthday and Jesus’ birthday (normally 500 NZD for one and 1000 NZD for the other.) I used the paper run money for odds and ends and the real money for bigger things like ski trips, guitars, amplifiers etc. It was an odd situation because my single mother was poor but she got the same kind of presents from her aunt as I did and ultimately used it to turn her life around.
Anyway, now I find myself in a position where I’m able to give my kids things that I could never have, despite my twice yearly gifts, so I probably tend to being too generous. Fear not though, my kids are not yet old enough to get an allowance so this is all hypothetical from me.
Also I’m thinking $30 Australian which is a little less in USD.
You make a good argument. An amount that is enough to see a movie and grab an ice cream each week sounds reasonable. Like you say, they should be encouraged to find their own way in the world.
I based my son’s allowance on the price of a movie. So I was giving $10 a week while he was in high school. That is not nearly enough money for a high schooler to get by on and that was the point. He had to do some sort of work if he wanted to enough moeny to do anything other than buy gum and a little candy.
Throughout the 90’s I got $20 a week, but was in charge of buying my own school lunches (typically $2 a day). So it was enough that I could afford a new video game every-other months, or the occasional treat elsewhere.
Wow that was cheap, as I said I got $10.00 for lunch but our school lunches were around $1.50 a day. Plus you could get some cookies or snack for a bit more. We had no vending machines or pop machines, this was the 70s.
But then $2.00 a day would cover a meal at Taco Bell which was the only place that could be walked to in a half hour.
I remember watching a particular episode of Donahue in the mid-80s and the question he asked a guest was: “And how much of an allowance do you give your child?” The answer was “$5 a week.” This was met with audible collective gasp from the audience.
As a child (90s), I got twice my age in dollars once a month. At 6 I would receive $12, at 8 I’d get $16, and so on. This was mitigated by the fact that my father taxed my allowance- 30% to the “Family Goal” jar, which was spent on vacations, 30% to the “College Savings” jar, 10% to the charity of my choice, and 30% to my pocket. I really had no expenses, though, and I normally saved up my pocket money anyway.
As a teen (early 2000s) I had no set allowance; I could at any time request money from my parents, who might or might not give it to me. I could probably request $20 every three weeks or so without a debate about it. If I wanted more than that, I’d have to put up a good reason why I needed the money, and I rarely did so, because I understood that the rarer these occasions, the better my chances were of getting the money. I do recall asking for more money on one occasion where I’d spent most of what I had on a gift for a girlfriend, whom my parents liked very much.
I had a fairly well-paying job (minimum wage, plus overtime for weekends, hours worked after 11 p.m., and days over 8 hours) as a technician in my high school’s theatre for band concerts, assemblies, and community members who’d rented the place for one reason or another. That ended up earning me about a hundred dollars a month, which I was understood to be saving for college. I did deposit about 70% of that into a savings account each month.
I did pay for most or all of my own gas, and none or little of my own clothing, shoes, and school supplies. I also paid for movies, coffees, and meals out with friends.
Our oldest son just turned 5 and we started giving him $1 a week. At this age it is mostly just to give him the idea of what money is and can do (of course he has no expenses!) 10 cents goes to charity, 25 cents goes into savings, and the rest he can save or spend as he wishes. He is already learning that it takes two weeks to have enough to buy a Hot Wheels, and this is the kind of thing allowance is meant to teach, IMO.
He has to set or clear the table for dinner (his choice), keep his room reasonably tidy (to his 5 year old ability) and help water the houseplants in order to get his allowance. Not too much, but we want him to make a connection between doing work and earning money.
As he gets older his responsibilites and allowance will increase. I think I would rather give him a higher allowance and have him be responsible for paying more things himself than just give him ‘blow’ money and have us pay for everything. I hope it will teach him that when the money is gone, it is gone, instead of begging us for more, and also how long it takes to earn money for something.