The top 10 products kids should be spending their allowance on
All that hard-earned money has to go somewhere.
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One of the best parts about being a kid (besides the whole not having to pay bills things) was getting allowance. And while kids these days are still earning cash for chores, what they're spending it on is much different than what it was 20-some years ago (RIP Tamagotchis and Blockbuster video rentals).
A recent study by Rooster Money, a chores and allowance app, revealed exactly what's on most children's "to-buy" lists. Here are the top 10 things that kids are saving up for, plus the products that our own experts (and resident parents!) recommend.
1. A new phone
Yes, every kid wants an iPhone but no, not every kid needs—or is ready—for one. Our parenting editor, Anna Lane, says her child's school has a "wait until 8th" policy and that "anything that costs a lot of money is a good thing for kids to save up for, because they learn a.) how expensive “stuff” is and b.) delayed gratification." Once you do allow your child to have their own phone, make sure you set the proper parental controls to keep them safe.
2. LEGO sets
I'm not a parent but even I know the excruciating pain that is stepping on a Lego barefoot. While rogue blocks are a nuisance, Legos themselves can actually be fun and educational. This is especially true if you get the Lego Boost kit, which lets kids build an interactive model (like a cat or robot) and was dubbed one of the top 24 STEM toys for kids.
3. A Nintendo Switch
People are obsessed with the Nintendo Switch (it's the fastest selling game console in the U.S.)—and for good reason. Not only can your whole family use it at home, but it's also the perfect size for your child to take on the go. Just make sure you protect it with one of these Switch cases first!
4. Dolls and other figurines
While you probably think your child has enough toys already, their allowance is great for those things that they really want but that you refuse to buy, like Hatchimals, which Lane's kids love, or the cult-favorite LOL Dolls. Our Exec Editor, TJ Donegan also says that by making your child use their own money, you're teaching them how to save and budget. "You can even set them up with their own savings account at a local bank or credit union," he says. "If your kid is old enough to handle their own money, they're old enough to learn how to manage it wisely."
5. Books and magazines
For the kids who love to read, their choice in books and magazines will come down to personal preference. For Lane's family, however, she says they love the Harry Potter books (who doesn't?!) and Ranger Rick and Ladybug magazines. And if your child isn't a reader—but you want them to be? These must-have audiobooks could be a good starting point.
6. An Xbox
If your little ones are gamers, they're likely saving up for an Xbox One X (or adding it to their Christmas list for Santa!). While the current edition is great—it has incredible 4K visuals—you may want to encourage them to hold off until next year, when a new Xbox is going to be released.
7. A bike
Buying a bike that actually fits your kid (and that they feel comfortable riding) is no easy feat. While our experts haven't tested kids' bikes just yet, Lane highly recommends going to a bike store—or at least a sporting goods store—in person rather than purchasing a bike online. That way they'll be able to ride them beforehand and you won't just be ordering blindly.
8. A tablet
How else are they supposed to watch hours (and hours...) of Peppa Pig without a tablet? Our expert-approved pick is the Amazon Fire 8 Kids Edition because it's as easy to set up as it is to use and comes pre-loaded with plenty of fun apps.
If your child purchased the item above (a.k.a you now hear pigs talking in British accents in your sleep), you'll almost be begging them to buy a pair of headphones, too. After hours of testing different ones, we chose the Puro Sound Labs PuroQuiet ones as the best headphones for kids of 2019. They're noise-cancelling but also volume-limiting, so you can protect your child's ears.
10. A watch
We haven't reviewed kid's watches...but we have reviewed running watches. And the criteria for choosing one for your child will likely be the same: Look for ease of use, durability, comfort, and of course, fun bonus features.
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