How much allowance do your kids get

Discussion in 'Childhood and Beyond (4+)' started by Minette, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. Minette

    Minette Well-Known Member

    Sorry if this has been discussed before (well, I'm sure it has, but hopefully not too recently). If there's a recent thread that I'm not finding, feel free to point me to it!

    This topic came up on another board I'm on, and I was surprised at how much allowance some kids are getting. We give A&S each 50 cents a week. Of course we don't expect them to pay their own expenses with that, but it's just to introduce the concept of delayed gratification (and, as a side benefit, counting money). They haven't spent any of it so far (we just started when they turned 5), but they each have a toy in mind that they're going to buy when they have enough money.

    On this other board, $1 per year of age seemed common -- which means we'd be shelling out 10 bucks a week. I kind of feel like having that much money would just encourage them to WANT things they don't currently want, and that we don't need. Unless they're going to save up for something really expensive like a bike (which is something we would buy them anyway, if they needed one), I can't even imagine what they'd find to spend that much money on, besides more plastic toys or unhealthy food.

    Anyway, I was just curious if that was the going rate on this board too? And if it is, what do your kids actually spend it on?
  2. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    We are starting an allowance when school starts.

    We will do $1 a week (so $8 a month). We will have a Spend/Save/donate bank- they will be given 4 quarters (or other coins) and allowed to do what they will with it as long as they contribute to all categories.

    We also will have a chart of 'extra' chores that they can earn more (dust, organize stuff, etc). But standard chores are for just being part of the family (clear table, clean up, etc)

    Spend is for whatever they want with little parental input. If they want to use it all up on dollar trinkets (as long as they are age appropriate) or save a week or two for something else. It is to do what they will.

    The 'Save' is for special items (for a trips or bigger item) or to spend on others (gifts), naturally we will buy big gifts...but often my girls want to get dad , myself, or someone else something small (think Target dollar bin). I want to encourage this, but not have them use up their spending money. We also will take this to the bank periodically.

    The Donate is for giving away.We also think it is important to contribute to charities to make sure that no matter how much we are struggling (and we have with job losses), my kiddos know that someone else is amount is too small, esp when given by a kid. Around the holidays, the girls and I have had fun buying things to donate & selecting gifts for Angel Trees- we also donate to Goodwill all year. I want to keep that in their little minds. It is hard for 5 yr olds to think outside their world and I feel this helps.

    Starting in K- our local school has a bank. My kiddos will take their 'save' money there. It is run by a local credit union and allows kids to withdraw, save, and collect interest with accounts as small as $2 (only take out $2 at a time). It is great and a good tool when they get older too for interest, loans, etc. (older kids can take small loans for special school related projects- 3-5th graders run a market in the spring and create the merchandise themselves).


    We would have started at age 5-- but once we learned that they will have a bank at school, we decided to wait until then to start it all at once.
  3. rissakaye

    rissakaye Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Mine don't get an "allowance". Dh is totally against it. His parents ran a small business when he was little and if he wanted money, he had to work for it. I have pointed out that we don't happen to have a small business so that particular model doesn't work real well for us.

    We've settled on letting the kids do housework for money. Right now they get $1 for having their clothes in the dirty clothes baskets in their room and their laundry flipped the way it needs to be for washing. Recently they asked for more to do so they get $1 for folding, hanging, and putting all their clothes up properly. There is a list of "Dollar Chores" that can be done as needed if they feel the urge to earn more money.

    There is also just stuff they do because we ask them and they are part of the family. They don't get paid for it, but they are learning that mom's more fun if you help her get the work done.

    The kids go through spurts on spending. Sometimes they save up long and hard for something they want. Sometimes they want to buy cheap junk. I've let them do the cheap stuff a little and learned some lessons. They've learned that sometimes the cheap stuff breaks real easy so maybe it's not such a good idea to buy it just because. They often ask now to read reviews on toys when they're deciding if that's a good choice or not. To me, that was a very valuable lesson for them to get this young.

    I don't know if Timothy is saving for anything specific right now. Sarah says she's saving up for another American Girl doll. She wants Ivy or Kanani. Sarah's problem is that she doesn't like to spend all her money. Even if it's something she really wants, she just can't make herself spend all her money and not have any left. At one point, she had saved enough for an AG doll, but opted to buy something less expensive because she really didn't want to spend all of her money.

  4. Moodyzblu

    Moodyzblu Well-Known Member

    My kids don't get an allowance. Since they rarely ask for things .. if it's reasonable, I get it for them. Usually a new Lego set or video game.
    They also know that going on vacation every year is expensive and that a lot of our money goes into that alone.
  5. MarchI

    MarchI Well-Known Member

    For the oldest, he gets $2 a week and is then allowed to earn more money by doing extra chores. Some things he is willing to do for free (anything involving spray cleaner) and other we pay him (cleaning up the playroom after a rainy week). He has learned to save his money for larger things he wants.
  6. Mellizos

    Mellizos Well-Known Member

    We are one of those families that do $1/week/year of age. So right now, we're shelling out $14/week. However, this was a very conscience decision as we want to teach them to earn, save, give and spend. We found that at $1/week, they just weren't motivated to earn. It took way too long to save up enough to buy something.

    To earn, they have to complete their chores. Homework, feed/water the cats, pick up their toys, clean their bathroom, put their dirty laundry in the hamper, put away their clean clothes. They must save $2/week in their bank account. We stress long-term savings, so they know that they can't touch that money until they want to buy a car or go to college. They both have saved over $100. They must give away $1/week. Right now they give at church, but as they grow, they'll be allowed to choose who gets their giving money. The church plays along and has given them their own set of giving envelopes. That leaves them $4/week to spend. In reality, that $4 doesn't go very far. It takes a long time to save up for a Wii game or the newest Star Wars thingamabob. We don't subsidize their toy habit. They get gifts at Xmas and birthdays (plus the Easter Bunny brought something). In between, they have to spend their own money to buy a toy. The only exception is that we bought them new bikes a month ago.

    We've found it to be effective in the year or so we've been doing it. No work = no money = no new stuff. They are better about taking care of their things, because they know mom and dad won't buy a new one if it gets broken. The begging for toys or ice cream or whatever is greatly reduced because now they have to decide if they want it bad enough to spend their own money.
  7. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    Mine don't get an allowance either, but they do get paid for certain jobs. Dandelions are collected for a nickel apiece, this one started by DH's father and our abundance of dandelions. They get a few dollars for weeding, and DH pays $8 for mowing the front lawn and $12 for the backyard (DH is waiting for when he can just send them out to mow and not stay with them :) ). That said, they can't wait to start mowing! They tend to spend their money on subscriptions to games like Wizard 101, Beyblades, Gogo's, pokemon cards, and Legos.
  8. momotwinsmom

    momotwinsmom Well-Known Member

    Only the oldest 2 get an allowance. This started years ago, when DH would travel for work a few weeks at a time, and then would only be home for a day or 2 before returning to work. They get $1 a year here too. So it's $10 a week, for each of them. At first, they would want to go to the store for stupid things that they would waste their money on and it would break in 2 seconds. They haven't spent a dime of their allowance since Christmas, as they are saving up for an iPad. DH is very into teaching them about earning, saving, and investing. He reads a few pages every night with them of "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" (one of his favorites). It is very important for him to have them understand money and the proper way of earning/spending/investing. He believes if kids were taught this in school they would take better care of budgeting once out on their own. He has seen it too many times, how kids just fly through their money when left to their own devices.
  9. TD

    TD Well-Known Member

    My kids get $5 a week (10 and 7). They are expected to put $2 into their Savings Jar, that goes to the bank periodically for long term savings (post secondary school, trade school, etc), $1 goes into their Charity Jar. This money is used when their school is collecting for the Terry Fox Run, Haiti Earthquake, etc, or at Christmas time we do the Angel tree or Senior Tree, with what they have left in it. The remaining $2 a week can be spent how ever they want. It takes a while to save for things, and I will give special chores, if they are trying to earn more quickly (like my son helped me with some gardening last fall, when he was saving for a Rokenbok toy that was $80 and he only had $60)

    At this time, it works for us, and they do not seem to need more. We are trying to teach the Save, charity and spend concept, so that as they get older it is not a new concept.

  10. HRE

    HRE Well-Known Member

    I'm another no allowance person. To me, being part of a family means taking care of responsibilities for that family. Now, they can always do extra chores to earn money...but they don't get to earn much. My kids don't really lack for much...and we are not a family of lots of extra stuff.

    To be honest, I truly don't think they need it yet. My oldest is 10, and we are talking about it soon...but until then, if she ever "needs" things, we provide. Extra's can come from working (doing extra...not their regular) chores. I think they are ok with it...they know I don't get paid for being the mom and doing my regular chores. But, when I watch extra kids I get it all makes sense to them.
  11. Utopia122

    Utopia122 Well-Known Member

    We don't have a set amount, but they do get some money each day (usually $1, but may be less). They have an envelope right now with a picture of a toy they want on it and they also have a piggy bank. I give them their money in change and they put so much in their piggy bank and the rest in their envelope. I try to give them quarters so they will put one qtr in their PB and the rest in their envelope, or some sort of combination like that. Trying to teach them the importance of saving long-term and also saving for things they want.
  12. tinalb

    tinalb Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    This is exactly how I feel and how our family works for now.
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