Our recent money activities have sparked the girls interest in money: having money, making money, and spending money! Like most kids (I think) they have had a piggy bank (well a hippo and duck bank in our case) most of their lives. Anytime they happened to get a little money we stuffed it in there never really making a big deal out of it. Now that they have learned that money buys things they want to fill up their banks! So Nathan and I started talking about allowance. We want them to learn to handle money properly, so it wasn't really a question of if they should have an allowance; just a matter of how to go about giving it to them. You don't realize how many things you have to consider with an allowance until you start thinking about giving one to your kids.
First of all, should they have to work for it? Should it be tied to chores? My kids have had chores for a couple years now, and have been expected to do them without any payment at all. Shouldn't that be their responsibility to the family? Besides you don't want them expecting a reward for everything they do, do you?
Then again, you don't want them thinking they get paid for doing nothing do you? I mean in the real world we have to work to earn money. At least I am pretty sure most of us don't just have people giving us money just because they feel like it.
|Our chore chart; just one we got at Target.|
And of course, there is the matter of how much. Do you follow the dollar per year rule? If you do give it for chores is there a certain amount per chore? Do they have the opportunity to earn more for extra chores? Do you subtract from it as a punishment?
That's a lot of questions to answer! I think a lot of them can have very different answers for different people and different ages too.
So here is what we decided:
- The girls will each receive a dollar at the end of each week if they get 10 stars on their chore chart. (We decided a dollar per year would be a little much to start with).
- If they don't get ten stars they get no money.
- Extra stars do not equal extra money.
- They can earn extra money by doing extra work (not normal chores) as the opportunity arises. This probably won't happen much as they have issues staying on track with normal chores.
- They are still expected to pick things up from living room, dining room and kitchen, carry their dishes, hang coats, and other small things like that without receiving stars as this is not a chore, but a courtesy they should learn.
- They will not lose allowance for anything other then failing to do their chores.
I think this gives us the best of all the options. The have to earn the money, yet they still have to help without pay. They can earn extra money for extra work, and if they don't meet expectations they won't get their money. This will give them a little extra money, but it is a small enough amount that they will have to save if they want to buy much of anything.
The first week of our allowance plan, and Nadia earned hers was super excited to do so. Bria did not, but will hopefully straighten up this week. They were also thrilled when they realized it was a weekly occurrence! As they become more consistent in earning the allowance we will start talking more about how to use it. I really like the idea of the banks with three compartments (for saving, spending, and giving), so I may look into those. How do you manage allowance?