Youth Allowance

Moving From a Child's Allowance
to a Tween Allowance

A tween or youth allowance can be challenging - just as raising a preteen can be challenging.

No longer a young child, but not yet a teenager, tweens are starting to have more freedom in their everyday life. And, their allowances should reflect these changes and developments. That child allowance they've been gettting? Well, it may be time to renegotiate.

Re-evaluating Your Preteen's Allowance

tween allowance

This could require the first sit-down meeting between child and parents to agree on what expenses the child will be responsible for paying (if you haven't already had to do this).

Here are a few suggested expenses that preteens might become responsible for as part of their new youth allowance.

  • Discretionary food expenses. This can be anything from pop after school to hot dogs at the football game on Friday night. Expenses for the regular meals of the day should still fall to the parents.
  • Their own entertainment. This is for activities that are not done with the family. Tweens shouldn't have to pay for their admission to the movie if it's a family night out, for instance. But they can be expected to pay for the video games with their friends after school or at the pizza place out of their youth allowance.
  • Subscriptions to magazines, iTunes, parent-approved website membership, or other ongong items.
  • All the discretionary expenses they had to pay for when they were younger out of their child's allowance.

Other Youth Allowance Guidelines

Here are a few more items to keep in mind as you transition your child's allowance:

  • Remember, as you set tween allowances, don't look at what the kids would like to spend. That may be more than you are willing to pay - and maybe even more than you actually do now. Instead, look at what is reasonable and base it on their actual activities.
  • When looking at activities and the related cost, start with a typical week. If your preteen is allowed to stop one day each week at the local convenience store to get a snack, then figure out how much that snack should cost and add it in. If he attends the weekly football game or an equivalent, include that cost (admission, snack, etc.) as well so it gets factored into the youth allowance total.
  • The other thing to consider when establishing a preteen allowance is whether your preteen is already earning money on a regular basis. This could include getting paid for a weekly babysitting job or from selling her crafts at a local market.

Got a tween that's ready for more responsibility - whether because of their maturity or because they are finally a teen? Move on up to the teen allowance page.