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How To Give an Allowance That Includes Financial Responsibility


Quick Links: Teach Your Teen to Be Money Smart | Quiz: Is Your Teen Money Smart?

When teens are given control of the money that is used for their expenses, they learn financial responsibility. Teens who learn financial responsibly are better prepared when they are out on their own. Here are the steps you can take with your teen to determine the allowance amount.

Difficulty: Average
Time Required: n/a

Here's How:

  1. Determine which expenses will be your teen’s responsibility. For example, your teen could be responsible for paying their school lunch, their weekly entertainment, their clothing budget and/or their subscriptions to clubs or magazines.

  2. Determine the cost of each item on your teen’s responsibility list. Be sure to be fair and not set too tight a budget. Used past experiences to determine amounts that don’t have a set price tag like entertainment or clothing.

  3. Add up the amounts for your teen’s responsibilities; this is your base amount.

  4. Make a list of chores around the house that are over and above the list of things your family does just because you all live there. Place a price tag on each chore.

  5. Talk to your teen about which chores he/she would like to do each week. Make the chosen chores your teen’s responsibility. Determine the time it needs to be done every week and the consequence if the chore is not completed.

  6. Add the base amount to the amount your teen earns with chores; this is his/her allowance.

  7. Determine whether the allowance will be paid weekly or bi-weekly or monthly. Ask your teen’s opinion, but be sure it fits into your budgeting practices.


  1. Always allow your teen to appeal for more money at future dates if circumstances change. For instance, he joins the basketball team and needs to buy basketball sneakers that weren’t in his clothing budget. Work out the appeal together and come to an agreement that you both can live with.

  2. When talking to your teen about their allowance, be sure to send clear messages as to how the money needs to be used. Lunch money is to be spent on lunches. If you find that your teen isn’t eating lunch and using the money for something else you may have to take control back for that part of the money.

  3. Would you give your teen their own credit card?

    See the poll results.

  4. Parenting Quizzes for Parents of Teens

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