So, how much do you pay your kids for allowance?

budget allowance

When I was eight or nine years old the going rate for scrubbing down my mom’s old Dodge Caravan was $5. The task took me around an hour and a half and was my summertime chore of choice. This of course was all inclusive – you better believe the inside windows, dash, and crevices were wiped down with a multipurpose solution. Yeah, you better believe I pulled out all those floor mats and vacuumed up every single last hardened, petrified french fry.

I always had money making opportunities around the house and for a while had a consistent allowance. My allowance was awarded to me at the end of a week and was based upon a weekly set of expectations. If expectations were not met, allowance was docked. Bonus allowance was awarded for being in bed early and reading until bedtime (genius) and bonus chores she created throughout the week. I think I got my total up to $12 one week. Those $12 went a long way at the bowling alley arcade.

But $12 does not go as far as it once did. I heard on the radio today that in 1963 a cup of coffee was 10 cents – whereas now, the average is around $1.35 for a twelve ounce serving.

An article from KUSA written by Mallory Davis, titled, “A typical kids’ allowance is how much?” reports, “A new survey by the American Express Spending and Saving Tracker shows some kids are being paid $35 a week in allowance.”


This seems pretty high to me, but the article made mention of age and grades also being a factor into that total.

The majority of articles I read offer a few answers for the age old questions of “What should I pay my child for allowance.” Long story short? It’s up to you (duh), but here’s an example of how my best friend handles her kids’ allowance and chores.

The Age Method:

I saw one article from WebMd and one from Forbes both praising the age method. You can find those here: WebMDForbes

WebMD (I think) low balls kids with a fifty cent per year of age allowance – ie. if a child is 10 years old, they receive a weekly allowance of $5. Forbes bumps that up and suggests one dollar per year per age – ie. a 10 year old gets $10 a week (a much more reasonable dollar amount in my mind).

My best friend has twin ten year olds who pull in $10 a week, BUT ONLY if they complete their daily tasks with to guff and to her expected quality. Otherwise it’s no allowance. I’ve definitely seen her pull the plug much to the dismay of K and P (the 10 year old brother and sister). These two also have opportunities to make additional money. Just recently P saved up for her very own laptop and I’ve heard talk of K working towards a dirt bike. Family members were quick to provide those bonus chores. My best tells me that the kids are apart of the family and need to help; to contribute to the function of the household. If they don’t help, they don’t get their allowance.

Seeing as how she’s kind of the parenting expert in my eyes (as I am not a parent, nor an expert, but am able to identify that she’s pretty much the best mom I’ve ever met) I checked in to see what the “going rate” was for some other tasks.

K and P can complete these tasks as they become available to them. Piggybank has a feature called “Open Chores” that allows parents to create chores that are not necessarily assigned to anyone, but have an assigned dollar amount. When our Instant Pay feature rolls out (pay your kids instantly on their very own Piggybank MasterCard) Amee won’t have to worry about what cash she’s got on hand to get the job done. Though, it sounds like that might be to K and P’s advantage…

I lastly wanted to know what my deluxe car wash would run my mom now a days.

Well there you have it. I wonder if Amee needs her car washed…

Check out other awesome features like Open Chores, Recurring Chores, and how to instantly pay your kids for allowance: visit!