Survey: Kids Get $65 a Month in Allowance. Too High, or Just Right?
Is a $65 a month allowance too much to be giving kids?
-Lylah M. Alphonse, Yahoo! Shine
When it comes to allowances, American kids are pulling in more than a little pocket change. A new survey says that they’re getting an average of $65 a month to spend as they like, above and beyond the things their parents buy for them — and just 1 percent of parents say their kids put any of it into savings.
“These findings make clear that it can pay to be a kid,” said Jordan Amin, chair of the American Institute of CPAs’ Financial Literacy Commission.
According to a national survey for the American Institute of CPAs by Harris Interactive, 61 percent of parents surveyed said that they give their kids an allowance, and 54 percent of parents said that they started doing so when their kids were 8 years old. Eighty-nine percent of parents surveyed said that they require their kids to earn their allowance by doing chores — at least an hour of them a week, though most kids did about 6 hours a week worth of work for their money.
Sixty-five dollars a month works out to $15 a week. It sounds like a lot, but $15 doesn’t get you as far as it did a generation ago. A single movie tickets averages about $8, the National Association of Theatre Owners announced earlier this month, compared to $4.15 in 1992. New video games can cost upwards of $50 apiece, and a new CD (or MP3 album download) costs about $10.
Even so, some experts say that $15 a week seems a little high, considering that parents are also buying their kids everything they want and need — including those CDs, movie tickets, and video games.
“It would depend on the age of the child and the financial circumstances of the family,” Clare Levison, a member of the AICPA’s National Financial Literacy Commission, told Yahoo! Shine in an interview on Thursday. “A larger amount would be more appropriate if their children were using it to buy things their parents would normally buy for them.”
When it comes to chores, “children should be doing things above and beyond the normal expectations of contributing to a household,” she says. “I would say that keeping your room clean is just a regular expectation. Something like cleaning out the car, that would be above and beyond.”