Do You Get an Allowance?

Do You Get an Allowance?

Find all our Student Opinion questions here.

Do you get an allowance? Do you have to do household chores in exchange for the money? In general, how much do your parents or caregivers talk to you about money and how to manage it?

In “Average Weekly Allowance? It’s $30, a New Survey Finds,” Ann Carrns writes:

If you think an allowance is a dollar bill or two handed to your child each week, think again.

Two-thirds of parents give their child an allowance, and the average weekly amount is $30, according to a survey published this week by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. That’s up from $17 in 2016, the group said.

Many children aren’t simply getting a handout, though. Four in five parents who give an allowance said they expected their offspring to work for the money — about five hours a week of household chores, on average.

Children whose allowance is based on their completion of chores earn an average of about $6 an hour, an increase of 38 percent from three years ago. Over the same period, the average hourly pay rate for all Americans rose 10.5 percent, the institute said, using federal labor statistics. (The group said it could not explain why the amount had increased, because the survey didn’t ask parents about that.)

Three-quarters of adults surveyed said the main reason for giving an allowance was to teach the value of money and financial responsibility. But just 3 percent said their child mainly put the money aside for savings, a proportion the institute deemed “alarmingly” low. Most said their children spent the money on things like outings with friends, digital devices and entertainment, or toys.

Students, read the entire article, then tell us:

  • If you get an allowance, is it close to $30 a week? What, if anything, are you expected to do in exchange for the money you get?

  • What do you tend to spend your money on? Do you save any of it? Do you donate any? How do you decide?

  • To what extent have your parents or caregivers tried to teach you the value of money and financial responsibility? What lessons have you learned from them or from your own experiences with earning, spending and saving that have been especially memorable? Why?

  • Do you think giving children an allowance is a good idea? How do you think you might handle allowances for your own children if you have them someday? Why?

Students 13 and older are invited to comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff, but please keep in mind that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public.