How to Negotiate an Allowance

How to Negotiate an Allowance

As a teenager, it can be hard scraping together enough cash for all the social things you want to do.  You’re willing to put forth the effort to earn your own money, but between school and extra-curriculars, you don’t have the time to get a part-time job. Well, instead of begging Mom or Dad for spending money, put together a case for yourself and ask about an allowance. This is a big deal, so think things through before blurting out your request. I’ve outlined some tips to help you through the process. Good luck!

1. Analyze:

  • What are you asking for? Are you asking for a raise, your first allowance or more earning opportunities?
  • Check your timing: Did Dad just lose his job, or did they just sign you up for an expensive sports league? If so, now may not be the best time to ask about money.

2. Research:

  • What do your friends get for their allowances? Talk to them to get an idea of how much they receive and if they have jobs that must be accomplished in exchange.
  • What are your parent’s needs?

3. Prepare:

  • Why do you want an allowance or a raise? Why do you need an allowance or a raise?
  • What will you do in exchange for the income? (Think back to your parent’s needs on this one)
  • What are you worth? If you complete your assigned duties, what amount do you deserve? Now here is a hard lesson you must learn early on. Not everything you do in life will be rewarded. So make sure you know the difference between an obligation and an earning opportunity. Homework = Obligation. Doing household’s laundry = Opportunity. Daily hygiene = Obligation. Washing Mom’s car = Opportunity. Get it?

4. Present:

  • Find a good time to sit down with your parents and discuss your proposal.
  • Be realistic. If you set your demands too high, the conversation probably won’t go in your favor. Use your friend’s stories to help you determine your proposed allowance, but you should not use them as an argument. You live in a unique household with different needs, beliefs and finances. The argument “But that’s what my friend gets” will not win them over.
  • Be respectful. Regardless of your parent’s response, remember that they are in charge and that you’re asking THEM for a favor. This is not the time for a tempter tantrum. Show your maturity and it will work in your best interest.
  • Offer solutions. Once you’ve explained why you want the extra money and what you will do to earn it, provide an additional plan to help seal the deal. If you don’t have a savings account already, now may be the time to get one. You can promise that a portion of each allowance will go into your savings account for college tuition or your first car.

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