How Much Allowance is Fair for My Kids?

Giving your children allowance is a great way to teach them about financial responsibility. Among many lessons, they will learn that if they want to purchase something – whether it’s a movie ticket or a new toy for their manufactured home – they will have to save enough money to buy it themselves. While this teaching process costs parents a few bucks every week, the lessons are priceless.

The question is: how much allowance is fair?

There are a number of factors to consider when determining how much money you should give your children for allowance. This includes:

  • Age of child
  • Behavior of child
  • Your financial situation

Take an extra hard look at that second bullet point. The behavior of your child should definitely be weighed into the formula. Allowance should be a privilege; not a right. If your child is behaving poorly, the allowance should reflect that. This will give your child extra motivation to behave properly.

Back to the question: how much money should I give my child? Here are 3 tips for determining a fair amount:

Set by Age: Give your children 50 cents for each year of age. So when they are 10 years old, they get $5 per week. The amount goes up each year as your children become more socially independent.

Let Your Kids Choose: Have your children tell you how much money they want, along with a detailed explanation for why they need or want that much. This will help you determine if your child has a good sense of how much money things cost.

Make Them Work: Make your children work for their allowance. This way their weekly allowance depends on how much they contribute around your home. Give them $1 for cleaning dishes, $1 for taking out the trash, $0.50 for making their beds, etc. This will encourage them to work harder for their money – a life lesson that will help immensely when they are older.

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