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Your Two Cents: When Should Kids Stop Getting Allowance?

If you watched Gossip Girl this season you probably noticed the characters' drool-worthy clothes, gadgets, limos and upper-crusty lifestyles don't come cheap. Even though it's pure fiction, the show's depiction of a pack of wealthy New York City teenagers raises some questions about our culture's financial ideals and expectations. Namely, how much money should children and teenagers be given and what kind of monthly allowance are these teenagers getting? Giving children a weekly allowance can be a useful way to begin teaching them about the cost of living, but when should you stop giving your children allowance?

Photo courtesy of the CW

i-am-awesomeness i-am-awesomeness 9 years
I never got an allowance and I never did chores. I would just ask for money to buy friends birthday gifts or if I saw a toy or clothing item that I wanted. I usually didn't ask that often so on the few times that I did ask, I got what I wanted. This past year was my first year of college and my parents gave me around $60-ish every month for non-cafeteria food, going out, shopping, etc. I have been trying to get a job for the longest and that has been totally uneventful, so my parents kinda had to do this. But in high school, grades were important than working.
hellomodupe hellomodupe 9 years
gosh, even though i'm 20 i have no clue what i'd do without monthly help from my parents. college is tough on the wallet!
em113 em113 9 years
Even though I babysat starting at 14 and then got summer jobs, my parents have always been more concerned with me saving it so they have always gave me money as I needed it. (I've had my own bank account since I was 7). When I began college I started to have a set allowance to cover my expenses at school because I'm a full time student and it would be impossible for me to find a job on campus that covered all my costs. I'm sure it will cease when I graduate, although my parents will help me from time to time if necessary. I don't buy into the notion that because my parents have always helped to support me I don't value money or know how to manage it. I manage it better than any of my more financially independent peers because my dad has always taught me about finances and set a good example with his own spending habits. My parents are investing in my future while I'm in school and working unpaid/low paying internships and I will do the same for my kids.
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 9 years
I never had an allowance - I just got whatever I wanted!
bluepuppybites bluepuppybites 9 years
We never had an allowance, our parents just bought us the things we needed and if we wanted extra stuff we had to do odd jobs to get it. I'll probably do things differently with my kids since my parents never taught us about finances in the real world. So I think a small weekly or monthly allowance would be a good start to teach our kids about the value of saving, and about prioritizing your wants and needs. Our generation is in big financial trouble and we need to teach our kids not to do the same mistakes that our generation has made.
mjane79 mjane79 9 years
I got an allowance until I got a job outside the house at 16. I had to buy my own cds, some of my clothes and saved to buy a cd player using my allowance. I didn't get a lot of money from my parents. I added to it by taking care of our neighbor's house and mowing her grass when she went on her long vacations out of the country. :) She was a very comfortably off widow who would travel the world for weeks at a time. Once I started working, I think I ended up buying all my own clothes and things like that. My parents still paid for the gas and insurance on the car (no car payment since it was their old car) through most of college. When that car died, I paid for the next car on my own, loan, gas, isurance, etc. I think their way was pretty good. Support me until I can pay for things and gradually let me pay for more and more...
gigill gigill 9 years
Wow, I had no idea there were so many different ways of doling out the dough. I guess there really is no "right" answer for parenting! My parents were pretty laissez faire with giving me an allowance. At point I had to clean the upstairs bathroom sink in order to get any money. Later it was just money here or there for when I went to the movies or whatever with my friends, but I would have to give the change back or whatever. I didn't start working until I was 18 in college (I did have one summer job when I was 17). My parents were very adamant that school was first priority, so I got good grades and made them happy...and I was happy I didn't have a job! It worked well.
sh0pah0lic56 sh0pah0lic56 9 years
I started getting like $0.50 for candy when I was really young; when I got to high school it turned into $20 + $7 for lunch in the city when I'm at saturday school. I go to a competitive high school, and a competitive music school, and run a few clubs, so my parents don't want me to get a job. I do tutor once a wk and earn an extra $20. My sister's in college. Besides a few loans, my parents pay for her tuition, food, and her apartment. And provide allowance. But then, she takes double courseloads, is in the honors program, has an internship, does lab work, and volunteers at the pediatrics unit at a hospital- she deserves it. I think it differs for every family and every child within that family.
Lilavati Lilavati 9 years
I'm almost 23 and love my allowance! I'm in a hardocore college and have no time for work - don't I deserve something in return? (But I'm looking for a job this summer.)
shanimalcracker shanimalcracker 9 years
Also, however, I will probably have to go back to more parental support. I'm going to law school this August and definitely won't be able to have any sort of job in order to pay for expenses. It also might become the time that I have to start taking out loans.
shanimalcracker shanimalcracker 9 years
My parents paid for my college education, but after I left home for school, I definitely became self-sufficient in terms of any types of other expenses. I always had a job for at least a few hours a week so that I could save up my money and have some to spend as well.
pennylela pennylela 9 years
normally i'd say sixteen, but i think if you drive- the allowance money should go to helping pay for car insurance and maybe some gas. i guess that's allowance? but once your 18, well....
mayara mayara 9 years
By the time I was about 16, my allowance and any money I got (from babysitting or any other work) went mostly towards clothes -- and not whatever was the new fashion I had to get, but just things like basic underwear and jeans on sale because otherwise I wouldn't have enough clothes to get through a week -- and gas for my parents' gas guzzler for driving my brother to his job (he didn't get his license until I was about to go off to college) or to school and so on. And my parents wouldn't have allowed me to work a job during the week during the school year, so my job options were quite limited. With my supposed $2 allowance, I did all that and loaned money to my father on many occasions. I'm against making kids work jobs during the school year if not necessary; school comes first. However, I'm also for them buying their own clothes and such, learning how to budget. Combining those requires some amount of an allowance.
emalove emalove 9 years
I think I had an allowance until I got my first job at age 16. It was only a set weekly amount ($5 or $10) when I was a kid. When I got to be a teenager, it wasn't necessarily a set amount that I'd get each week, but if I needed money for something, my parents would usually give it to me (reasonable amount of course!). But I know that each family is different and parents have different ideas/opinions about this kind of thing. To each their own. My parents were of the mindset that whatever they could afford to give us and do for us, they would, since they grew up with pretty much nothing and wanted my sister and I to have a different experience. People would say we were spoiled growing up, but whatever. I know a lot of comments like that were made out of resentment and jealousy, so I never took them to heart. And my parents did make us get jobs when we were old enough and made sure we learned responsibility. But they're very generous people and still help us out when we need it. I'm very grateful and appreciative for EVERYTHING they've given and done for us...and I have never taken any of it for granted.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
I really don't think there is only *one* right way to any facet of parenting. I got an allowance from the time I was little. Later, I got one during the school year and then worked during the summers from 14 on through college. My parents didn't want me to work in college, but I did anyway and they cut my allowance down but still sent a little something each month. Granted, that was supposed to help pay rent, groceries, etc... I think an allowance for regular chores is fine. Some have said that will make children want a reward for anything they do, but I think you can look at it from another angle and say it teaches them that they need to work to earn the things they want. I was never just given money to go to the mall or to hang out with friends. I had to use my allowance for anything like that. I had to think about how and where I was going to spend it because it wasn't unlimited. And it wasn't arbitrary, I learned that if I worked I would earn the things I wanted - it wasn't just based on whether or not my parents felt like giving me money that time or not.
cubadog cubadog 9 years
I started babysitting when I was about 11 or 12. Before there were migrant workers in Oregon you could pick strawberries during the when you were 12 so I did that as well. I had my first summer job when I was 15 and started working part time when I was 16. I am so glad I did it made me more prepared for the work place when I got out of college. I actually had work experience. I think school is important and is your first priority but I do think it is important for kids to start at least working during the summers. I never had an allowance and never thought to ask for one.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
bella I know some people like that too. I find it amusing. I know of someone who is 34 I believe and gets pretty much everything paid for by her parents. Still...sort of sad in my mind. It's especially amusing since she teases me about being frugal. But hey, not everyone has parents who will buy us a house and/or pay or other bills. :oy:
faerymagick15 faerymagick15 9 years
and...I don't believe in giving an allowance for doing regular chores...she got money based on extra stuff she did like babysitting for us and doing extra stuff around the house.
faerymagick15 faerymagick15 9 years
I got an allowance until I got my first regular job when I was 16. I stopped giving my daughter an allowance when she graduated from high school and got a part time job. As long as she is going to college (which we do pay for) and working part time I agreed to pay her car insurance and her cell phone. She pays her credit cards and her own gas and fun money. Once she graduates she is on her own. She also lives at home so I guess I pay for most of her food too. Her school is only 3 miles away so its convenient for her. I don't want her to have to worry about rent and bills while going to school. I want her to concentrate on school.
brittanyk brittanyk 9 years
I never got an allowance as a kid, but my parents pay for most of my expenses now while I'm in college. I mean, I have a part time job, so I pay for all my clothes, entertainment, food, and cell bill. My parents pay for my apartment, my utilities, and my car insurance. After I graduate I'm cut off. I've been told since day one that my parents would pay for school for me, which included housing. I'm really grateful. I realize that this can't work for everyone, but I'm lucky and realize that my parents don't have to do what they're doing for me.
MindayH MindayH 9 years
While I was in high school and did competitive sports, my mom said that was my job, and everytime I wanted to quit, she told me I was going to have to get a definitely got me through the tough times. Being busy with school and sports meant that I hardly had time to do things that would require an allowance anyway.
citizenkane citizenkane 9 years
One more thing and then I'm done on this one: I believe parents paying their kids for doing everyday chores or making good grades is a crock of S*$@. All the parent is doing is teaching their child that they should expect a reward for doing something they should be doing anyway. AND they will do stuff not because the parent said so, but because they expect something in return.
Geisha-Runner Geisha-Runner 9 years
I never got an allowance. I don't believe that you should earn an allowance because of chores. You do chores because mom and dad told you to. If you want money, you have to do something extra!
citizenkane citizenkane 9 years
Sweetpeabrina - no offense, but I am 28 and if my mother tried to give me a dime I would roll over and die before I took it.
citizenkane citizenkane 9 years
I got $10 every Monday to last me the whole week. Our lunch at school was $1.50. The left over was mine to keep. So I basically got a $2.50 allowance a week until I turned 15 and got a job. Does that count? ;) On a side note: NOTHING gets me so worked up as people whose parents just fork over money to them. My roommate is 26 (!!) and her parents still pay her car insurance and cell phone bill. She's a freakin' school teacher!! makes me so mad.
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