Kids & Money

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A few months ago Isaiah broke our broom.  He was trying to get something out from underneath the oven and he somehow managed to break the handle in half.  I honestly don’t know how he managed it.  It was an aluminum handle.  But break it he did and when I expressed my dismay, he looked at me with a confused face, shrugged his little shoulders and said, “…but you can buy a new one.”  As if that just settled it.   If you break something, you just buy a new one.

I explained that it doesn’t work that way.  That you can’t always replace something when you break it.  That things like brooms cost money and did he have any money to contribute to a new broom?   But while I was explaining all this to him, I was also adding, “order new broom from Amazon Prime” to my mental to-do list.   Apparently we do just replace things when we break them.   Hmmm.

Then today we were at REI with the boys and we were down in the bargain basement.  We saw a pair of shoes that looked like they might be Gryffin’s size so we had him try them on.  Not even close, as it turns out, so we stuck them back on the shelf and went on our way. Cue the whining and the complaining from the 5-year-old for the remainder of the morning.

A few weeks ago we made a new family rule that the boys were not allowed to ask, “can we buy this?” when we are in the grocery store (or any sort of store, really) but apparently this new rule didn’t translate to our situation at REI.  Frustrated, Jason and I chatted on the way home about how annoyed we were the boys and what we are teaching (or not teaching) them about money and other related things.  Long story short is that we decided it’s time for some chores & allowance.

Here’s what we came up with:

  • We will have a list of certain daily chores for each boy that they have to do simply because they are part of the family.  No money involved with these.
  • If they are current on their daily chores, they may choose something extra from the list to earn money.
  • They can do whatever they want with the money.  We are hoping that at some point they will decide to give some of their money away but we aren’t going to force it at this point.
  • Gryffin is definitely seems ready for this.  Isaiah… not so much, but he won’t want to be left out so he’ll get to give it a go as well.

I made a quick chart for each of them so that we can try it out this week.DSC_1063

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Because I am part of the family, I am in charge of…

  1. Putting away my pajamas
  2. Making my bed
  3. Cleaning up my room after quiet time
  4. Putting my shoes & coat in the coat closet
  5. Clearing my dishes when I’m done eating
  6. Putting my clothes away before bed

If I would like to make some money, I can…

  1. Wipe the baseboards in one room                      50 cents
  2. Dust the coffee table & rocking chair                  25 cents
  3. Take out the recycling                                          50 cents
  4. Put away my laundry                                            75 cents
  5. Wipe kitchen or bathroom cupboards                50 cents
  6. Wipe down bathroom counters                           75 cents/upstairs bathrooms

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Neither Jason nor I really received an allowance growing up so this is relatively new terrain for us.  I’m curious to hear from you. Did you get an allowance growing up?  Did you have to work for it or was it a set amount?  Do you give your kids allowance?  How much?  Do they have to earn it?

 

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  • Kathryn

    Wow! I like you’re approach to chores. I also would include washing your tooth paste down the sink and putting away your bathroom stuff after using them. Drives me bonks. Anyway, I also like the clear system for going above and beyond. It’s grand and I hope the boys enjoy it too. High five! On a side note… Being one of five kids, I witnessed my mother deal with things breaking all the time. I likes her it’s no big deal response (I’m talking glasses, plates, etc.) Of course my brothers did break the windshields of a fair number of cars with rock throwing and she wasn’t as cool headed about those instances. :)

    • http://www.therustylife.com nance

      Oh, the bathroom stuff! Yes!

      And, wow… your brothers broke windshields? That is intense. Sounds like there is a lot we can learn from your mom. That’s a good reminder about not sweating the small stuff, like plates breaking.