How Much Allowance Should Your Child Get?
We went straight to the source (aka real moms)
Encouraging kids to have a good relationship with money should start at an early age. But how much should you give? And should there be strings attached? We polled a handful of moms around the country to find out their allowance strategy and how they handle dollars and cents.
City/State: Brooklyn, New York
Kid’s Name/Age: Mia, 7
Weekly Allowance: $1 a week
Expectations: "The allowance is technically not tied to any chores, but family expectations include: making the bed, feeding the cats, picking up clothes and putting away coats and shoes upon entering the apartment."
City/State: Los Angeles, California
Kids’ Names/Ages: Max, 9; Owen, 7
Weekly Allowance: Max ($6 a week); Owen ($4 a week)
Expectations: "We really try to keep the chores separate from the allowance. The chores are just part of being a good family member, whereas the allowance goes towards fun stuff they want. We’ve actually talked about upping their allowance and then making them cover the cost of more things that they need—so they can learn the value of a dollar."
City/State: Boston, Massachusetts
Kid’s Name/Age: Maggie, 7
Weekly Allowance: $0/week
Expectations: "We do chores around the house (feed the dog, set the table for dinner, clear the dishes), but we give tangible rewards instead of cash. Now that Maggie is getting old enough to manage a small amount of money, we are planning to transition to $5/week, but that $5 will be split between savings (via piggy bank), donation to charity (with a parental match) and spending."
City/State: Okemos, Michigan
Kids’ Name/Age: Twins Emma and Michael, 5
Weekly Allowance: $5/week
Expectations: "They’re expected to pick up toys, feed the cats, empty the silverware and plastic pieces from the dishwasher, make their beds, go to bed on time without any whining and receive good reports from school."
City/State: Macon, Georgia
Kids’ Name/Age: Landen, 8; Nate, 7
Weekly Allowance: $0/week
Expectations: "We don’t give them an allowance, but since we’re big into sports, my husband will sometimes tie goals to financial rewards. For example, he may say, 'if you hit a home run or catch a fly ball, you’ll get anywhere from $5 to $20.' My 8-year-old currently convinced us to fund his goal: If he hits the ball over the fence before the end of the year, he will get $200."
City/State: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Kid’s Name/Age: Sandro, 8
Weekly Allowance: Whatever is in Mom's pocket
Expectations: "$1 for taking out the trash and feeding the pets. For anything that takes longer than 30 seconds, like raking leaves, vacuuming and putting dishes away, he expects $5."