Happpppy Monday!!!!! Life update: getting ready for the AP test (hella stressed), loving making my own coffee each morning (adding wayyy too much creamer ofc bc whats coffee without 97% milk and sugar), and trying to plan in some ‘me time’ at the end of each day. This week’s post is another Mom Diaries all about managing money as a teen with allowance, chores, etc.
Many of you replied to my story on instagram (dearmondayblog) saying that you do help around the house with chores but that that is just what is expected of you in your home. Others replied saying that you do get some allowance money each week or month but it’s based on how old you are right now... SO FUNNY! I’ve never heard of that rule.
I want to put a few things out there: every family has its own rules and different parents do things differently. I’ll tell you a bit about my experiences and how my family figured out how to handle this subject because I’m hoping it will help you too!
Maybe you do chores, but you don’t get paid? Or you want to start doing chores and make some extra money? While some parents may give their kids a few dollars for laying the table or putting your laundry away, most parents are not. To live in your home and be a part of your family, you’re not getting paid to help out and maintain cleanliness (making your bed putting your plate in the dishwasher).
If you want to even consider getting some sort of chores money, I think the only way to make that extra bank is by going above and beyond. Offer to take out the trash 3 times a week, mow the lawn, help with full dinner prep or be on full clean up duty (ALONE. crazy?!). Ask your parents if you can earn some extra spending money by washing their cars. You can make a little chart and charge $3 for doing the dishes by yourself, closer to $10 for washing the car, and $2 for taking out the trash. These little tasks could definitely add up. If your parents aren’t feeling it, reach out to your neighbors and offer the same help (cat sitting, taking out their trash on vacation, mowing their lawn). In my family, I would earn $5 a week for allowance and then gradually $10 as I got to be 14 or 15.
Food (going to the mall)
Yes making some bonus money from chores is always nice but $3 can’t even get you an order of fries. When I would meet my friends at the mall in middle school, I would ask my mom for money to get food. She normally gave me around $20 which was great but it started adding up. Your parents understand that you want to socialize with your friends, which will normally involve some sort of meal, but it’s not like we’re going to have an unlimited cash flow. Establishing limits and an allowance does need to happen. This is when I was given a debit card and budget. Suggest to your parents, “I love to spend time with my friends. I try to eat big meals at home and make my own food but everyone likes to go out and get a snack. Could I be given an allowance, maybe (insert how much money a month you think is reasonable for your family) for food?”.
I can relate to anyone who lives in a big city or has friends with no spending limits. It’s difficult when the people you are surrounded by can spend however much they like on food or clothes. Be honest with your parents and tell them that it’s stressful and isolating when you’re the only one without some spending money. They went through this too and want to meet you in the middle. They’re on your team.
As teens we are pawns to marketing ads and fall for the traps of consumerism. Whether it be through your friends, tiktok, or storefronts, we are bombarded with so many trends that it’s hard to stay content in what we already own. It’s fun as a teen to pick out outfits and feel good in your own skin with a good fashion sense. You are done with letting your mom pick out your clothes and you’ve graduated from the kids ailes. You’re friends want to go to the mall and buy swimsuits and tank tops and new shoes. It’s normal for your parents to pay for your necessities when you’re a kid… food, clothes, education, etc. Tell your mom that you want to pick out some of your own clothes now when you’re out with your friends (which she will have to approve of course) and you were wondering if she could give you a little fashion budget ( the same amount as she would usually spend) and then you can go off and make your own decisions about what you want to wear.
Getting A Job
At the end of the day, there’s no better way to make a significant amount of money than by getting a job. For teens, working at a coffee or ice cream shop is a great source of income and then you can really understand what handling money is all about.
Reminding Your Parents
While you might have come up with a system with your parents, it seems like they have forgotten about ever paying you. The one piece of advice I can give is to show them you’re taking it seriously. Keep up with all your chores and even make a chart for your fridge. Set a day and time for each week where they pay you. Tell your parents that you are happy to help out around the house and hope that they would notice your consistent effort. Tell them in a kind and subtle way that it frustrates you when they forget.
Other Things to Say
Sometime’s our parents are hesitant about giving us money because they don’t know where it’s going… tell your parents you want to save your money or have some extra money to spend out with your friends. Give them the reason behind your motives.
Tell your parents this will teach you how to manage money
Gratitude is key. Make sure that everything you say comes from a place of gratitude and they will be more inclined to give you more privileges if you are grateful for what you already have.
WE GOT THIS,