$15 a Week for Allowance is US Average? Seems High to Me

by Darwin on August 24, 2012

A recent survey at CNN highlighted that American kids are getting $15 a week for allowance. I thought that sounded a little high and was curious what you’re doing for your kids’ allowances.

My wife and I haven’t totally been on the ball with respect to allowance with our kids. Our oldest is 8, and while we reward him with a nice Lego set or new toy when he gets a good report card or finishes his piano recital or whatever, we haven’t had a consistent weekly cash allowance program in place. He does ask about money and we talk about money, saving, interest and stocks and such at a basic level, so he’s getting some education, but I think we could do more with a formal allowance for chores type arrangement.

Interested in your thoughts – How is Allowance Handled in Your Household?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie @ Freedom 48 August 25, 2012 at 9:41 pm

I think that is high! I like the rule of thumb of $1 per week per year of age. Therefore an 8 year old would get $8 each week.

I will say, however that as a child (20 years ago) I did receive $20 each week in allowance, but I was also responsible for a lot of things! I did all of the laundry for the entire family, washed all of the dishes (by hand), and kept the entire house clean from top to bottom. I think I earned that $20! Funny enough, my brother did nothing around the house… and as such, he didn’t receive any allowance whatsoever.


krantcents August 26, 2012 at 10:31 am

I agree it seems high out of context! If the child mows the lawn, cleans the house and takes out the garbage, it seems low. You have to put it in context depending what the child does for it. If the child does nothing for th eallowance, it is too high.


Tie the Money Knot August 26, 2012 at 8:45 pm

That seems like a lot, at least given the assumption that it’s an allowance that doesn’t need to be earned. For little kids, that’s out of control! For older kids, can’t they hustle to find some work?


Susan August 27, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Until our son started driving, we gave him $20 a week when he was in jr & sr high school. That was money for lunch (they eat off-campus every day), concert tickets, video games, whatever he wanted. He could bring a PB&J from home and save that money, or spend it all in one day – whatever. His choice. But there was no more money coming from us.

When he started driving, we also had to give him gas money in addition to the food/incidentals money and that brought it up to $100 a week.

He tried very hard to find a job – any type of job – but there just wasn’t anything available for kids in school. He was finally able to find a temporary part-time job this summer for 15 hours a week.

I think a lot of it depends on where you live. When gas is $4.20 a gallon and everything is a 15-20 minute drive away, and every neighbor has a cleaning service, landscaping service and professional dog walkers, the kids need more money to keep their car full and there aren’t any jobs in the neighborhood they can just pick up by helping out neighbors.


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