Wednesday, September 8, 2010

To pay them, or not (allowance)!

The issue of allowance is always staring me in the face... what to do, what to do, what to do?

I do believe that my kids need to earn money AND spend money at this age to learn to be responsible for the future.

I do not believe they should be paid to help out in the house that they live in... isn't that part of their responsibility... they should just pick up their own undies and socks (I'm just sayin').

I did get tired of hearing, "Mom, can I get the new lego, sports card, littlest pet shop, NFL jersey, lipstick, baseball/soccer ball, _______ insert annoying request."

I caved... Allowance... it's alive and well.

Here's what we're trying and it seems to be working for us...

1. Children do normal jobs... just because (brushing teeth, making beds, etc are not a paid job)

2. Children willingly help with jobs when mom and dad ask (without eye rolling or huffing)

3. Some of my children have figured out that if they ask for a job at least once a week they make their mom REALLY happy (and she may or may not think that they are the golden child for the moment).

4. The giving of allowance is heavily weighed upon the childrens behavior for the week (I LOVE THIS)

5. Allowance is given on Friday AND the children must ask me for it. They may not ask on Thursday and if they wait till Saturday (that's a bummer). It's given on Friday. (Note... you should have cash on you on Friday... ugh... that's embarrassing)

6. Some portion of the allowance must be put into Long-term savings. The parental unit will match the amount put into long term savings (like a 401K). Some portion of money should be put into short term savings (i.e. saving for the new lego set, ipod, etc). And children should have a couple of dollars for WAM (walking around money -- love that acronym)

That's it... that's the plan.

The results...

Week 1... Children asked for allowance (mommy was out of cash... still paying them... pathetic... note to self... go to the bank)

Week 2... Children forgot to ask... remembered 2 days later (what a bummer)

1 comment:

Bill Dwight said...

To avoid the "I forgot" or "I don't have cash on me" type issues and to pick up some other personal finance teaching tools, you might consider an online Virtual Family Bank like FamZoo (disclaimer: I'm the founder ;-) We're happy to answer questions anytime - see the Contact Us link at

Bill dwight
Founder & Chief Dad,