Asking your parents for more allowance can be stressful. We’re not just talking about the actual request, but also gathering the courage to even ask! We get it if you’re sweating over the right tone and the perfect words. And we’re also sending you a virtual pat on the back.
You see, most kids don’t like asking their parents for an allowance increase. But in our book, this is an important step toward becoming a money pro.
Here’s why: If you think about it, your allowance is kind of like your salary. And asking for more allowance is like asking for a well-deserved raise at work. That’s why learning how to do this at a young age is a valuable skill. It can help you get the pay you deserve and make sure that you can make ends meet as an adult.
In this step-by-step guide, we’ll help you figure out the best way to ask your parents for more allowance—and hopefully get a yes from them!
Step 1: Take a Look at Your Spending Habits
Sometimes, kids splurge their lunch money at the candy store and have no cash left for the rest of the week. Other times, prices go up, and the sandwich that used to cost $10 is now $12. But if you don’t keep track of your spending, it’s difficult to know why your money isn’t lasting as much as it used to.
To figure out if this allowance increase is a want or a need, you’ll need to write down what you’re spending on and how much you spend on each item. Just imagine how responsible you’ll look if you show up with a list of how much you’ve been spending and where! Plus, this will help your parents—and you—determine if this allowance increase is a want or a need.
With a pencil and a handy ledger in hand, start by writing down:
- How much money you get from your parents every week
- For every expense you make, assign a category (like food, clothing, or toys) and how much you spent
- Keep track of special expenses, like that birthday gift that you bought for your best friend
- At the end of the week, add it all up and see how much is left
Step 2: Create or Review Your Budget
After tracking for a few weeks, you’ll have a pretty good idea of your spending habits. You’ll easily see where you’re spending too much and if adjusting your expenses can stretch your dollar.
This is called budgeting, and it’s something everyone needs to do—even the richest folks in the world! Here’s why we think every kid should have a budget and try to stick to it:
- It’s the key to figuring out how much allowance you need
- It helps you differentiate between wants and needs
- It’s a way to plan what you’ll do with your money
- It builds good money habits that you’ll definitely need when you’re an adult
Step 3: Calculate How Much Allowance You Need
When you track your spending and create a budget, you’ll figure out the right allowance amount for your needs. This is the number that you’ll want to share with your parents. Your budget and ledger are the explanation of why you need this amount.
When you present this information to your parents, remember to:
- Ask for a number that reflects your financial needs and your responsibilities
- Make sure that your allowance amount is appropriate for your age
- Show your parents that you’re organized with your spending
- Keep in mind how much your parents can afford to give, depending on their financial situation
A Few More Tips
If you don’t get a yes right away, don’t let that discourage you! Instead, keep these tips in mind:
Ask for a Loan
If the summer’s coming up and all you want is a brand new bike to ride on the last day of school, think about asking your parents for a loan. Maybe they can pay for the bike now and take a little money from your weekly allowance as a reimbursement.
When you talk to your parents, keep in mind that they might not say yes right away. Some parents will want to see more tracking and budgeting. Others may feel that the amount you’re requesting is too much.
Either way, you’ll want to go into the conversation with an open mind. These are some alternatives that can help your negotiation:
- Offer to do extra chores in exchange for a bigger weekly allowance
- Compromise to a smaller increase in the amount of money that you receive
- Ask them to think about giving you bonus payments when you get good grades
Consider Additional Sources of Income
Remember, your allowance isn’t the only way to earn money. For tons of ideas on how to earn money (and what to do with it afterward), check out our article on Earning Money for Kids. It’s filled with tons of information, ideas, and inspiration to get your entrepreneurial mind going! And, we’ve even included ways in which your parents can help with your earning efforts.
More Allowance = More Responsibility
Before you get started on the “Raise My Allowance Campaign,” keep in mind that receiving money is a responsibility. You should be mature and have a plan for what you’ll do with the extra money. This is the only way to become a financially savvy kid and prepare yourself for when you make the really big bucks as a grown-up!