Why Your Kid Should Make Less Than $35 Per Week in Allowance

A survey by American Express shows that kids who earn an allowance make on average $35 per week. I think I will go pour myself a nice glass of wine so I can digest this ridiculous claim. $35 per week equates to $140 per month and then $1680 per year. Now, let’s examine this report.

Do we get what we pay for?

Even if I wanted to pay for chores, (I do pay but I don’t want to), why would I pay that much for so little effort? Lets face it, our young adults want the money but do not do the work. I get minimum input so I am going to pay the minimum allowance. I think our teenagers need to learn from the beginning what its like to live at the poverty level. What kind of entitlements do these kids think they deserve? They pay no money for the roof over their head, no money towards the food, no money towards any household miscellaneous items and for the benefit of all the freeloading, I get the privilege of paying $35 per week? I think some of the parents in this survey might have a marijuana plant in their backyard.

Are these kids who are earning $35 per week truly making adjustments in their life to warrant such a sum? Or are they stomping their feet until they turn blue trying to convince their parents they should have that much? I would gladly pay more if I thought it would be worth it. I’ve tried to dangle the carrot with plenty of bribes and nothing–I get nothing, zip, zero, zilch! I just want my house cleaned, but more importantly, I want my kidlets to be able to clean it themselves so I know at some sweet time in the future, when they own their own house, I will not see them on TV as a “Level 19 Hoarder”!

Are there alternatives?

At $140 per month, I think parents are getting a raw deal. I can hire a housekeeper to come in and give the house a good once over for only $125 per month; not to mention the house will be free of cob webs, finger prints on the windows, bathroom germs, and hopefully have that new car smell. At least I could see out of the windows for $15 less per month.

So what drug is American Express on?

At $35 per week, I would have to imagine this includes such areas as the northwest U.S. where the cost of living is probably twice as much as the deep south. The survey does include a note that some of this money might be earned through academic performance. Ok, ok, so let’s say I pay that $35 per week for a clean house. That’s a fair trade. I suppose somehow I could tweak my monthly bills to be more in line the government’s Economic Policy Institute’s family budget (EPI). But paying for grades–hmm–while I am not a fan of it, I can see how it could be useful especially towards the end of the school year for some high school students. Up until the age of about 12, students should get good grades because it is the right thing to do; not because the grades are worth a couple hundred bucks. When students get older, the teenage brain is not in-tune to anything but money. I can see how paying for quality assignments could work.

The answer to the big question

These statistics still do not answer the question as to why your kidlet should make less than $35 per week. The answer is clear; growth. If you pay your kidlet $35 a week at age 8, what will you pay at age 13? You may go broke by age 16 because by then–double the age double the allowance, right? So at age 16 are you willing to pay $70 per week?! That’s $280 per month which is $100 more than the EPI allows per person for a family of four for food. So if you currently have a 16 year old, and you have been paying $35 a week for a few years, then your kid should be living very large right now. Good for you.

Save your postage

Now, before I start seeing nasty comments and my phone starts ringing off the hook telling me these are my kidlets and I need to pay for them anyway and that they are not “freeloaders” because they are still my responsibility–I get that…I have been paying for over 20 years and am still paying! The big picture here is the idea that some parents think paying $35 a week is going to change the way other parents do business. Sorry, but I am not buying it. I have no problem taking care of my kids. But paying for chores means the kidlets have to do something to earn it; they have to put some effort into it. Until then, they get nothing, zip, zero, zilch!

You can click on the link to see the allowance survey and percentages named.
American Express Savings Tracker

“What Families Need to Get By”

WachFox57 July 17, 2015


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