Allowance for 8 year old

My eldest is 8 and has been asking for an allowance for about a year now.  We have been giving him money on and off for activities, trips to a store with a parent where he gets $x and allowed to spend it on one thing or add it to his savings, and as gifts for occasions, but nothing consistent.  He is an amazing kid and very helpful around the house and watching younger siblings (he is better than a paid mother helper when it comes to watching and caring for his young toddler sibling while I work from home on school closure days) and we don't pay him for any of that, so decided to start giving him an allowance since I like it more than paying him for house chores/babysitting (with parent at home always, but still very helpful).  He mostly wants to use it for purchases that we don't want to spend money on but he wants and for in-app purchases, and buying apps or video games that we don't buy for him (outside of birthday/special holidays).  He has a piggy bank where he saves his money in his room and spends it periodically when there is something he wants, and we might get him a bank account soon.  I'm interested in crowd sourcing as to what is a reasonable amount for an 8 year old?  He told me his friends are getting $20/week, which seems high to me since it is around $1,000/year of discretionary spending for a little kid who already has everything he needs purchased for him, but we can afford it and if that is what his friends are getting I guess it is ok, but I'm curious as to what others are doing. If we do the $20/week, I'm thinking of splitting it with $10/week goes into his piggy bank for him to control and the other $10/week going into his bank account to be saved for larger purchases he might be saving for that he can spend with parental approval (like a new video game system, a phone when he gets older, or other more expensive items). He is my eldest and I never received an allowance growing up so really not sure what is reasonable here. 

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RE: Allowance for 8 year old ()

$20 seems like a lot for an 8 year old, but your kid sounds very mature and responsible with money. Assuming it's not a financial burden for you, it's probably OK.  I like the idea of having him put half of it into his bank account. You should also lay out clearly what you will and won't be paying for going forward.  You might also consider talking to him about donating money to causes he is interested in.  I had a really hard time getting my son to see any value in giving away his money, but it's worth a shot.

RE: Allowance for 8 year old ()

Wow, $20/week seems SUPER high for an 8-year old but I'll be curious to hear what others say.  Our high school son gets $10/week and our middle school daughter gets $5.  We started out at $1/week when they were younger and went to $5 around age 10.  Of course, our decision was partially impacted by what we could afford, which is less than you.  I do like the idea of putting half in savings, though it all depends on the kid - our younger wants to save all her money for college while our older just spends it.

RE: Allowance for 8 year old ()

I have 3 kids (21, 18, 13) and always gave them a dollar amount per week based on their grade. So, 3rd grade = $3/week or $12/mo, 7th grade = $7/week or $28/mo. I found that was enough, but not too much. They were always motivated to babysit, umpire baseball games, do odd jobs for neighbors etc to create more money for themselves. In high school I switch them to a bi-annual allowance and they pay for pretty much everything themselves. This has worked great for all my kids (something you can rarely say when you have 3!) and they all have solid money management skills, even though they spend their money differently.

RE: Allowance for 8 year old ()

After doing some research on the topic, we give 1/2 of the age in allowance to our kids, rounding down. So for our 9 year old, weekly allowance is $4. When he turns 10, it will go up to $5/week. As you say, since all his needs are covered, this is really money to help him learn how to save, spend, delay gratification. We loosely try and follow the Save/Spend/Donate method, using cups or jars where they can distribute their money visually. The Money writer for the NYTimes has some good articles on the subject, including advice on whether or not to tie it to chores, etc. 

RE: Allowance for 8 year old ()

We started giving my daughter an allowance at age 5, and she's always gotten $1 per year of age. Now that she's a high school freshman, that's $14 a week. We divide it into "spend now" money, "save for something big" money, and "save for college" money (my ex handles the allowance so I don't remember the exact allocations, but something like 50%, 30%, 20%, respectively). The save for college money embedded the idea that she was going to go to college from and early age, and also brings home the message that in life, you don't get to bring home 100% of your paycheck (I remember when I got my first job being shocked at how much got skimmed off). The college money eventually migrates to a UGMA investment account that I set up for her.

RE: Allowance for 8 year old ()

We give $5 each to our 9 and 7 year olds, although they/we are very inconsistent about it (they forget to ask and we don't offer many weeks). I didn't want it tied to chores because I want them to learn to do them for the good of the family rather than an external reward, and I didn't want them to have a way of getting out of chores (that's OK, I don't need my allowance this week). We've had mixed success on both accounts... I've also discussed the value in saving and donating some of the allowance, but have yet to make headway in that area. They actually decided on their own to pool their resources and will occasionally go to the toy store together and each pick something out. $20 seems high to me as well, but if you do decide on that amount, I would suggest the save/donate/spend approach. I have a friend whose kids get their age as an allowance, but have to save some and donate some, so it ends up being a small amount each week. I found when we first instituted the allowance about a year ago, the money added up quickly and there were lots of little toy purchases that seemed wasteful to me. Like you, we are able to provide all of their needs, so this was really a way for them to have some autonomy and to learn some about finances. 

RE: Allowance for 8 year old ()

Yeah right, my kid tried that one.  He still says other kids get to stay up until midnight on videogames, get $200 sneakers, whatever, so why can't he? $20 a week for an 8 year old is too much.  $20 a week for my 14 year old is too much.  We've gone with a dollar per grade, plus extra money for extra chores, good grades and behavior in school, recycling bottles, etc.  He's got a phone and an xbox, a trendy hoodie, and has plenty of aunties to spoil him.  He's rich.  

RE: Allowance for 8 year old ()

$20 each week seems very high for an 8 year old. We give our 15 year old $25 each week and she buys snacks and clothes, pays for her friends’ holiday gifts, goes to movies, etc... The savings idea is a good one.

RE: Allowance for 8 year old ()

I feel cheap. Lol. We give our kids a dollar per year per week. The 10 year old gets $10/week while the 4 year old gets $4. We do buy them most things they ask for so I feel like the amount we give them is reasonable.

RE: Allowance for 8 year old ()

I’m also really curious about allowances for kids, and personally prefer a set amount for meeting a list of responsibilities rather than a pay-per-job chart... for example, my 7 year old’s list includes: clean up after meals, sweep floor/vacuum, pick up room, practice piano, etc. However, my jaw hit the floor when I saw your number of $20! He gets $3 for completing all chores, which I would honestly expect him to do regardless, as a member of the household. One thing to think about is “inflation” - if you start at $20, what are you going to be paying when he’s 12??

RE: Allowance for 8 year old ()

I also have a responsible 9 yr old that helps out with his 7 yr old twin siblings and around the house, so I was also facing the challenge of money.  Not wanting to "pay" him for what comes naturally with being part of a family dynamic, but wanting to acknowledge his help, I came across a website to a program that families can adopt and it's called Greenlight card.  The concept is simple in that you apply for a debit card and then you control how much money goes into each account ( I opened one for each kid) and you can even set the stores/ sites they can spend their savings. It seems to be working for us, at the moment, one kid has $12, the other two have $6.  Baby steps.  https://www.greenlightcard.com/ 

RE: Allowance for 8 year old ()

For him set up son we set up the rule of thirds. 1/3 he can spend whenever he wants, another third is for short term savings that can be liquidated after being saved for a few months ie for a gift for another person, something he feels is urgent or Christmas time. The last third is long-term savings that can’t be liquidated or touched until he graduates from high school. We opened up a bank account with him and talk about money management/budgeting every few months. 

RE: Allowance for 8 year old ()

I agree that $20/week is way too much for an 8 year old. I have 8 year old twins and have been giving them $3/week for the past year or so. Every week when I hand out the money I ask them whether they want to put any of the money towards their college funds or charity. They often do so and I keep the college and charity money in special envelopes. The remainder of the money goes in their piggy banks, wallets, or locked safes. I try to let them spend the money as they see fit, but also encourage them to avoid buying candy or junky plastic toys. BTW, I got them cheap locking safes after I discovered that one of their friends had stolen money from them during a play date. 

RE: Allowance for 8 year old ()

I'm dubious about the claim that his friends are getting $20/week to spend on whatever they want. That sounds outrageous. We give our 13-year old $20/month so he can go out with friends to boba or occasionally lunch or something. If he wants to do something and can't afford it (like go to the movies), we might just give him money, but he's expected to pay for most of his social life. We could afford to give more but want our son to learn to prioritize his wants and needs. And you know what, he mostly doesn't spend his money. He'll go out with friends a couple times a month and is now mindful about loaning money to friends and not getting paid back (used to be an issue when it wasn't his money). He also tutors kids in math to make extra money, but he saves most of that too.

Our middle son is very helpful around the house and often goes above and beyond. Maybe once or twice a year I'll give him an extra $20 and tell him thank you for all the extra work he's doing. He's grateful for it and feels sort of bad for getting so much.

Honestly, at 8 i would think $5/month is plenty. Maybe $8/month since he's 8. If he does well with that, then give him more. If you feel bad, start putting some money every month in a bank account "for college" so he knows he has a bunch for when he's older but doesn't have access to it now.

RE: Allowance for 8 year old ()

My son is nearly 8 and he has been getting $1 per week for probably 3 years now. He also basically gets everything he wants from us (though he has to wait until his birthday for big things) and things he wants that he doesn't get, like video games, are not about the money but about us not approving them. He gets money for his birthday from relatives. We give him $1 per week and he can earn extra for chores when he really wants to save up for something. He can choose to spend it, lose it, or save it; It is 100% his. I think that allowance at this age is about learning to budget and having some control. It isn't really about the amount, but about the practice and learning about money. My son, it turns out, mostly just saves it. I pay him interest once a year on his savings to encourage that. When he says he really wants something that I don't feel like buying, he can buy it with his own money. I would consider raising it to $2 per week now that he is nearly 8 but he hasn't asked. I would not go anywhere close to $20 per week! I think my son is too young to start making decisions about buying a new back pack or a new sweater that he needs and at $20 per week I would want him to take on more of his costs. Maybe your son is more ready. 

RE: Allowance for 8 year old ()

Wow! We’re in an OUSD public school in one of the wealthiest hills communities in the city and I’ve never heard of a child getting $20. At 8, we gave our child $8, split roughly 3 ways - Save, Give (Donate) and Spend. Our son is now 13 and he gets $4 Save, $4 Give and $5 Spend because he sometimes buys snacks now. He wants for nothing! He’s amassed about $200 in his bank account (not the savings one, which is much higher) because he doesn’t spend often. We don’t buy him toys and treats other than birthday and Xmas - but he still has loads of stuff. All his friends get about the same or less, except one kid whose parents give about $10. I’ll be interested in your responses!

RE: Allowance for 8 year old ()

Hi there- we just started with our daughter who is 6 1/2. We give her 50 cent per week. In return she folds all laundry and keep her art desk clean. I know it’s low and she doesn’t complain because she doesn’t have full grasp of the value yet. Maybe try with $5/week? Or a bit less.

RE: Allowance for 8 year old ()

This is a very interesting topic for me because, in my experience, most of my kids' friends get a lot of allowance. It seems like excess. In my option, there is no reason an 8 year old who has everything he needs, should feel entitled to $20/week. I have 12 year old twins and they get $3 a week each. We started allowance a few years ago (probably at around age 8) at $1 a week, and went up to $2 last year on their birthday, and $3 this year on their birthday. They have everything they need, we pay for their outings and clothes and buy them birthday presents. So, in my opinion, they don't really need much money.

We don't put any limits on what they spend their money on. Its their money and I think it is a good learning experience for them to figure out how to spend it. Sometime they give it away, sometimes they don't. They buy gifts for family and each other at the holidays. But, mostly, they waste it on stuff that I wouldn't buy like candy or unnecessary items (they don't play video games).

In general, I think you need to think about what values you want to instill. I am really opposed to the excessive spending that goes on in our society today, and try to pass that along to my kids. I don't buy a lot of stuff because I don't need it. Instead, I like to spend my money on travel, and experiences. But, I think you have to start with what works for you and is consistent with your personal family values, and go from there.

Good luck.

RE: Allowance for 8 year old ()

Yikes! $20 a week is a ton of money for an 8 year old.  We only gave my son $5 a week when he was 8. Even now at 13 he only gets $10. But he does receive several hundred dollars each birthday and Christmas from relatives so maybe that’s a factor. 

It sounds like your son is super helpful and responsible though (unlike mine—Ha!) so maybe he can handle that amount of money in a positive way. 

RE: Allowance for 8 year old ()

Figure out what you're spending now, averaged monthly or weekly, on those "on and off" gifts of money to spend for activities, games, and shopping trips.  That's a reasonable amount to give him as a regular monthly or weekly allowance instead.  Stop buying stuff for him, and allow him to learn how to budget for the things he wants.  For some families, it also makes sense to require children to divide their allowance among spend/save/give categories, effectively giving the kids a share of control over the amount the family would otherwise save for longer-term goals (such as college) or give (to charity/community) anyway.  For others it works better for allowance to be meant only for the children's personal expenses, and have the kids choose for themselves whether and how much to set aside for things other than immediate "fun money".  What dollar sum is appropriate will vary depending on your family's total income and budget, and on what things you expect the allowance to pay for.  $20/week seems high to me, but it's not wrong if that's what it takes to cover the things you would otherwise buy/save/gift for him yourself.

I wouldn't advise requiring your kid to set aside a certain amount for bigger-ticket personal items (that you wouldn't necessarily otherwise buy), though, because really the point of an allowance is to teach money management, and allow the kid to make mistakes when the stakes are low.  (In other words, if he wants a new gaming system in a year, but has spent all of his allowance on apps and candy, too bad for him!)  But do consider whether there are other medium-term savings items that you would step in to pay for if necessary, like, say, soccer uniforms, and whether he's mature enough to be responsible for those now.  (You can always start with allowance being only for "treats" and increase it later to cover more necessary items - by high school he can be expected to cover his own clothing, personal products, lunches, school and extracurricular expenses, etc.)  Explain to him what things he will now be expected to pay for, instead of asking you for money, and help him do the math.  Open a savings account - you can have his allowance automatically transferred directly into it from your own bank account - and consider getting a reloadable prepaid/debit card that he can use for expenses, rather than regularly dispensing cash (which is probably inconvenient for you, and is difficult for him to spend on computer apps/games!)

Good luck!  And remember, whatever you decide, you can change it if it isn't working out. Revisit the budget every so often, maybe annually or whenever there are changes in his life (like going to middle school) or your family circumstances that affect your finances.  Remember the point is to prepare him for independently managing his financial life after high school, and determining his allowance on a budget basis will do that, but different kids get there in different ways. :)  (I have two teenagers, one is a "spender" and the other more of a "saver", but they both manage to cover their personal expenses in one way or another!)

RE: Allowance for 8 year old ()

I think $20/wk is fair especially considering how helpful he is. It's great that he is interested in paying for his own things and taking on this responsibility. My daughter was a few years older when I started giving her a regular allowance and I think it was $100 month. She did really well. Now she is a teen and the allowance has grown but she is adjusting and learning lessons because teens spend a lot more on eating out, movies etc...You can open a joint account with your son and he can get a debit card to use and you can track what he is buying. If you also open a savings account and link it a good way to save effortlessly is to do keep the change (that's what they call it at Bank of America) so every time he buys something it gets rounded up to the nearest dollar and the difference automatically goes into the savings account. It adds up quickly. I do not tell my daughter how much to save each month. I feel like that is part of what she has to figure out, planning for the future. It is also ok to let them learn the hard way that if they spend all of their money it's no fun to have to be broke until the next pay day!

RE: Allowance for 8 year old ()

I have an 8-year old and I am contemplating giving him an allowance as well. $20 sounds like way too much money. We were thinking $5-$8 per week. I would also kindly urge you to create a third category for what your child can do with the money - save it, spend it, and donate it. Especially if you are giving $20/week. It is important for children to experience the joy of giving financially to those that are in need. 

RE: Allowance for 8 year old ()

Wow, $20 a week?! Our children are 6 and 9 and get $1/week.  They are expected to help around the house as part of the family living there.  We don't say no to what they want to purchase with their money, but try to get them to at least sleep on it.  They also have money they receive at birthdays, etc. That being said, I heard a reasonable amount was the child's age per month, so we're thinking of giving them a little bit more at this point.

RE: Allowance for 8 year old ()

IMHO $20 is waaaayyy too much for an 8 yr old. There are many many families who could never give a child of 15 yrs that large an allowance, let alone an 8 yr old. As he gets older - how much more would you plan to give him? $25 a week when he's 10?  $30 a week when he's 12? If it's his money, it seems to me he can spend it anyway he pleases. Otherwise you could put money in a bank account for him weekly and tell him you're doing that for his college education or whatever.  Also I think he can buy a new video game every 3 weeks with that kind of an allowance.

RE: Allowance for 8 year old ()

I do $1 per year of age, so at age 8 my son was getting $8/week. I made him split that into 50% savings, 40% checking, 10% charity. Now, at age 15 his allowance is $15/week, but he is a terrible saver (mostly spends his money on in app purchases too), so I double it any week he manages to keep his checking account balance over $25. He still has to do 50/40/10. So, back to the point, $20/week sounds like too much to me, but the point of allowance is to learn how to budget, so the amount doesn’t really matter, as long as he’s learning good financial habits. If you are going to give him anything over $10/week, I would either do the 50/50 thing you mentioned, or make him responsible for one recurring expense (like school lunch or something), so he learns how to manage it. 

RE: Allowance for 8 year old ()

My 7 and 5 year olds started getting an allowance this week. I read "The Opposite of Spoiled" (highly recommend) and am using the principles in that book: (1) $1/age each week (so $5 for my 5 year old, $7 for my 7 year old), (2) evenly split between Save/Spend/Give jars. (Spend is truly for impulse purchases, Save is for pre-determined things they want that they're saving toward, Give is for a charitable cause of their choice.) It's worked really well in our house in developing financial literacy and rewarding responsibility around the house.

RE: Allowance for 8 year old ()

Hello,

i give my nine year old son $3/wk and we put $3 in a jar and after ten weeks he can spend the saved $30. Then we start again. $20 seems like A LOT!