How Much Benefit Does Your Child Have?
If you are like me, you may recall that as a child, you received a couple of dollars a week in allowance. You would use it for corner shop ice cream, or keep it until you have enough to buy a new book at the mall. Fast-forward to today, and it seems like our kids are getting a lot more than ice cream and money for books, averaging a whopping $ 30 a week.
A new study published by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants found that two-thirds of parents give their children an average of $ 30 a week. Four out of five parents giving the benefit said part of the deal is for children to do household chores – at least an hour a week, and on average about 5 hours of work time.
Does $ 30 seem incredibly high to someone? The New York Times reported that the average age of a child receiving benefits in the survey was 14, and some “children” were 25, so age may have changed that figure.
In contrast, the Rooster Money app, which surveyed 10,000 users in 2017, found that children between the ages of 4 and 14 earned an average of $ 8.74 per week. (Knowing that younger children usually earn less than older children, they also tracked the numbers by age; 14-year-olds earned more, roughly $ 12.26.)
I’ll tell you if you tell me
My son gets $ 5 a week. He does have several chores for which he is responsible, but we do not pay him specifically for this work – he must do them anyway. (However, I have been known for cutting his allowance by $ 1 at a time if he complains excessively about it. In particular, feeding the dog is not his favorite pastime.)
From time to time, if he is saving up for something special, he asks to do extra work to make money, and that suits me. He’s really good at folding towels, and two packs for a dollar is a good deal for both of us.
We don’t have any hard and fast rules about how he spends his money (or any extra money he gets on birthdays or holidays), but we’ve always encouraged him to spend a piece, save it, and give it away. The large sums he was given usually go straight into his savings account, which he considers to be his car fund. He splits smaller amounts for himself (usually Lego sets or Pokemon cards) and others (gifts for family members, toys for the holidays, etc.).
Although, maybe at $ 5, I’m wrong about the understated cost. John Lanza, author of The Art of Tolerance , told the New York Times that a good rule of thumb is a child’s age in dollars per week. According to this rule, my son will receive $ 9 instead of $ 5.
Your turn : If you give your children benefits, how much will they get? Is this allowance related to their household responsibilities? Do you have instructions on how you can spend your money? How do you decide when it’s time for them to “add”?