Giving An Allowance

Dear Sara,

My twelve-year-old son Dallas has asked me to give him an allowance. I have three older children and didn’t give them an allowance so I haven’t had any experience with this. How much should I give him and should this include payment for chores that usually he is expected to do for free?

Dear Todd,

This could be a good learning experience for Dallas. Why don’t you ask him to present you with a budget of how he plans to spend his allowance. He could itemize his expenses and any major purchases that he would like to save for. This would give you and him an idea of where the money is likely to be spent.

In the adult world people are paid for their labors but on the other hand, each person in a family needs to contribute to the good of the family. You could come to an agreement that his allowance is tied to some extra chores such as cutting the grass or shoveling snow off the sidewalk.

If Dallas has friends who get an allowance then this is probably where he got the idea. You could check with their parents to see how much money they receive and how they are allowed to spend it.

It’s probably not a good idea for a twelve-year-old to have a great deal of money to spend without some supervision so you could keep the amount you give Dallas to a modest amount and see how he manages it and negotiate it in a month or so.


  1. dad2twins1998 says:

    If this is any help I have always used the rule of 1 dollar per year per week. Thirteen year olds would earn 13 dollars a week. I have done this for all 3 of my children. My oldest 2 are now in college and very financially responsible. I also opened them up a checking and savings account at a early age. This allowed me to send them on school trips with a debit card that I could put money on. I did not let them have full use of the accounts until they were 17. I found this a fantastic way to teach them about money management.

  2. Sara,
    I agree wholeheartedly with your answer! has an AMAZING tool for parents and children in regards to TEACHING our children to be responsible with money!!! The small cost for this a TRUE investment in your child’s financial future!!
    I gave each of my grandchildren one as a gift. They love EARNING their allowance!


  3. Estela Uhart says:

    I never received allowance because if my parents feed, buy my clothing etc. why they should pay for chores is something that family should do. Everybody contribute. No wonder this days kids are the way they are.
    Estela U.

  4. Thomas Alston says:

    Give him a job to earn the money

  5. Dear Todd,

    That’s wonderful that your twelve year old
    son wants to earn money by doing jobs he
    can handle around the house. It shows motivation on his part. I think the amount
    should be on par with what is being asked of
    him but what you can afford to give him for
    doing those jobs.

    This gives him a chance to save his earned
    money for something he really wants or
    a special gift he may want to buy for
    a family member. Even though you didn’t
    give an allowance to your other children;
    you can always keep an open mind to
    them if they ask at a future time.

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