Anonymous asks:

What's the going rate for a pre-teen's allowance?

Our daughter is increasingly asking for money (for ice cream at school on Fridays, to buy toys she wants, for spending money at play dates, etc.), and I'd like her to earn it. When I was a kid, I received a weekly allowance, and had a list of chores that had to be completed to receive it (or else my parents subtracted funds for those chores not done; we also received 10-25 cent subtractions for any lights we left on).

What is the current going rate for a weekly allowance for a pre-teen child? $5/week? Less or more? Pay-per-chore? Other?

Our daughter's chores will include...

>Keeping her room and book library clean (or cleaning both at least once a week)

>Taking out the recycling as it fills (usually every 2-3 days)

>Folding laundry

>Family pet care (cleaning the cage weekly; daily feeding; bi-weekly bathing, etc.)

>Cleaning up toys in the backyard (weekly)

Thanks in advance for your suggestions on how much you think we should pay her for her allowance. We also welcome input on the chore list.
In Topics: Chores, allowance, and money management, Parenting / Our Family
> 60 days ago



Apr 21, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

I'm going to begin by not responding directly to your question--sorry! There are two schools of thought about allowance: one is to give your child an allowance for chores and the other is to give allowance without chores.

I am from the camp that recommends allowance WITHOUT chores--here's why: You don't get paid to do the laundry, make dinner, vacuum, food-shop, take out the garbage etc. Being a member of a family includes doing chores and contributing to the running of the house. This should be expected of every child at a reasonable level that they are capable and depending upon how many other school and extracurricular commitments they have. If you pay them for this, you are teaching them for doing chores, the lesson they learn is not to be part of your family, but that they are entitled to money for every little thing they do--believe me this is a very slippery slope. If your child doesn't do chores, institute consequences--but not allowance related. If make chores dependent on allowance, it will become complicated and you will find yourself in a negative downward spiral--for example, what happens when you've taken all the allowance away? Now your child has no money and nothing to spend and is back to nagging you again!

The point of allowance is to teach your child how to manage money and to not constantly be nagging you for a handout for ice-cream and toys. You will do this very, very effectively by following steps:

1. Set an allowance that actually allows your child to purchase the items you decide she will need to spend her own money on (calculate how much ice-cream, saving for toys, money for play-dates etc actually will cost her), then make that her weekly allowance, plus maybe a bit more for saving for something long term.

2. DO NOT give her extra money in addition to that, no matter how much she asks if/when she runs out. This is how she will learn to budget, save and understand the value of money.

3. Don't forward next week's allowance to her if she runs out--stand firm and stick with it--she will learn about money and you will find that the nagging will miraculously stop.

Good Wishes and Great Parenting,
Dr Susan Bartell
JustAsk Expert
Twitter @drsusanbartell
NEW book "The Top 50 Questions Kids Ask"

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Additional Answers (1)

dgraab , Parent writes:
Here's an article from the University of Florida IFAS Extension that provides guidance on allowance for pre-teen children:
It also includes 'going rates' based on a Nickelodeon/ Yankelovich Youth Monitor survey. also offers a resource center on this topic, with more expert insights here:

I'm looking forward to hearing from other parents as well about their experiences and suggestions.
> 60 days ago

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