There are many factors to consider when you are making a decision regarding how much allowance to give to your teens. As you very well know, there is no universal standard amount of allowance that is pre-determined to be perfect for your child. Instead you must evaluate your own personal circumstances to be able to determine an allowance that is right for your family. Below you will find some of the top factors that parents consider as they determine the right allowance amount for their children.
Age is one of the main considerations when it comes to giving a teen an allowance. Generally, teens that are of the legal age to be able to go out and get a job, should no longer be given an allowance but should instead be encouraged to go out and find a job. For those teens who are not yet old enough to work, it is a generally believed that the older the child is the higher their allowance should be. A good rule of thumb would be that they get one dollar for every year old that he is. This simple way of determining how much allowance to give your teens may not be the best option if used without the consideration of other factors.
Surely it does not make sense to distribute an allowance to your children that as parents you are jealous of. An allowance is not a right; it is a privilege and an important learning opportunity. Allowances should not put you in the poor house. If an allowance creates too much strain on family finances it is completely appropriate to eliminate them all together. If family finances allow for an allocation of allowance money carefully consider how much “play money” you want your child to have. Your teen will watch your spending habits and formulate opinions of whether or not their allowance is generous based on family spending habits.
One’s teenage years are a great time to start giving an allowance because this is when they begin to truly have more of a need for money. Entertainment costs rise dramatically during one’s teenage years and creating stipulations and expectations associated with allowance money is a great way for your children to earn their fun time. Allowances provide great teaching opportunities for teens regarding how to handle money. A teen must learn that in order to be able to afford a personal item they must work and save their allowance money in order to get that thing that they want. Instant gratification becomes a thing of the past and teens learn how to make and save their own money instead of turning to mom or dad for cash whenever it is needed.
Competing with the Jones’
Teens will see their allowance amount as fair or unfair based on the allowance of their friends. For parents, it is important to decide on an allowance amount not based on what the other kids are getting but on what is realistic considering the work that is expected and the income of the family. Such decisions should then be explained to the teen so that he is aware of why his allowance really should not be compared to the allowance of someone else.
The Value of an Allowance
Allowances really should be used as tools for rewarding a job well done. When allowances are simply expected it is almost the same as having no allowance at all but just buying whatever your teen needs for them. An allowance should provide your teen with an incentive to work hard. The amount of that allowance should be reflected in the amount of effort required to earn it. Therefore, feel free to have allowance amounts change from week to week as efforts change. Just as we receive bonuses in the real world, teens should have higher allowance amounts when they truly go above and beyond their normal work load to earn such a reward.