Allowance for Children

How Much Allowance
Should You Pay A Young Child?

So you've decided to give your child an allowance, but you don't know the best allowance for children? There are no hard and fast rules, but this page does provide some suggestions and things to keep in mind.

Allowance Ground Rules

allowance for children

Lay the allowance ground rules ahead of time.

Before you get fully into how much the kids' allowance will be, be sure that everyone is on the same page about the allowance basics.

These are simply the ground rules to help avoid disagreements later.

Be sure to check out the Kids' Allowance page for a full list of allowance resources, guidelines, and tips that this site offers.

So . . . How Much Allowance Should Kids Get?

The easiest way to approach an allowance for children is to pay is based on the child's age. Situations may vary but here are some general guidelines from when you start giving a child allowance up through age 10.

In this age group, how much allowance the child receives can be based entirely on their age. This assumes that your kid is responsible for only minor expenses that are discretionary.

The goal in giving an allowance for children is to introduce them to having their own money and learning how to spend it - and to save it for larger purchases. With that in mind, here are some possible calculations for kids' allowance (please note that the figures below refer to a weekly allowance - see the Allowance Schedule for Kids page to explore different payout scheduling options):

  • One quarter for every year of age. At age 6, this would be $1.50 per week.
  • One dollar for every year of age. At age 6, this would be $6 per week. Wow!
  • One-half dollar (or fifty cents) for every year of age. At age 6, this would be $3 per week.

The last option probably gives the best balance between having enough money to make it feel tangible and actually be able to do something with while not providing so much that your child is overwhelmed.

And to get a better sense of what other U.S. parents are paying, be sure to check out the average allowances for kids page.

Other Beginning Allowance Guidelines

Try not to fall into the trap of giving a young child too much allowance and then offsetting it by increasing what the child should pay for. This can be overloading kids with responsibility that they are not ready for.

Instead, think of these ages as though they are on allowance training wheels. In this stage, how much allowance they get is less important than getting a system in place and starting to have the kids manage some of their own money.

Remember as well that these are only guidelines and suggestions to get you started. The key is to take these and adapt them for your family so you can figure out for you and your family how much allowance to give to your kids.

Also, be sure to visit the How Much Should My Child's Allowance Be page for more resources and ideas. And when you're young child is ready to advance (or if he or she has older siblings) be sure to check out the Youth (and Tween) Allowance and Teen Allowance resource pages.