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allowance...sort of


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#1 MichelleL

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 07:45 PM


My girls are able to bank at school (the 2nd graders are the tellers, awesome!) so we've been thinking of ways for them to earn money.

We were having behavior problems a few months ago so I started giving them 2 quarters a day. If they were mean to their sister (or should I say...if SHE was mean to HER sister...cuz you know it was primarily one) then I would take a quarter away for each incident. At the end of the week, someone had a handful and someone had barely any. It did work though! But, as it worked I realized that it was a lot of money each week!! So I changed it.

Now I give them 4 quarters on Friday. It's essentially for doing the things they are responsible for around the house. They can earn an extra quarter for helping 3 times (helping clear my dishes from the table, helping with laundry, etc. etc.) It's working out really well.

Then I stopped and thought...$1/week for a 5 year old. $4/month. Is it too much? :pardon: :blush: I'm doing it mostly so they can learn the value of a dollar, going to the bank to save it, see it add up, etc.

What age did you start it? How much did/do you give?
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#2 idril

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 08:54 PM

We just started allowance for Cricket and Piper (so they were about 4 and 3/4). They each receive $1 a week, so the same as your girls. To earn the dollar, they need to put their own clothes on each morning, put their own PJs on each evening, help clean the table after dinner, help clean up their toys each afternoon, and do a few other random things that I think up. They lose a dime for each time they refuse to help. And they can earn extra dimes for helping above and beyond. Cricket has already learned the value of money and she begs to carry my purse for me, put the groceries away, etc.

I'm doing allowance for the same reasons as you - so they can see what it is to earn money, save it, and then spend it on something they really want. Piper is saving up for a Barbie dog washing station she saw at a birthday party a few months ago, and Cricket is pretty sure she'll have enough money to buy a bicycle by her birthday in two months. (ha!)
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#3 MichelleL

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 09:07 PM

Ha ha, dimes. Who would have thought to pull out smaller coins? Oh wait, YOU did. BRILLIANT! :lol: I don't know why I said 3 good deeds = a quarter. I could have been using nickles and dimes.

Thank you for sharing. :bow2: I love that we're on the same page!


ETA: Mine are getting it too. They ask for extras allll the time. I do love that it makes them aware of doing extras also. :good:

Edited by MichelleL, 22 February 2012 - 09:08 PM.

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#4 becasquared

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 09:13 AM

Ha ha, dimes. Who would have thought to pull out smaller coins? Oh wait, YOU did. BRILLIANT! :lol: I don't know why I said 3 good deeds = a quarter. I could have been using nickles and dimes.


Watch out they don't nickle and dime you to death.
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#5 MichelleL

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 09:57 AM

Nice one Bex! ;) They're 5...you know they will!!
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#6 TwinxesMom

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 10:14 AM

The girls do chores around the house and get about a dollar a week. For some weird reason they love to vacuum
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#7 Fran27

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 12:18 PM

I don't like the idea of paying the kids for things they should be doing anyway, sorry ;) I probably won't start until they are 6 or so though, but they'll get the money either way.
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#8 lougood

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 02:02 PM

I don't pay them for things that they are responsible for, or should be anyway. :p They can earn certain amounts for things that are not their responsibility like dusting, picking up after the baby, vacuuming...stuff like that. They do not earn money for things like picking up after themselves, clearing their plates, keeping the bedroom clean and making their beds. I have a list of extra chores they can do (once the ones they are responsible for are done) and they can earn one to two quarters depending on the chore.
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#9 tinalb

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 02:52 PM

I have always struggled with the whole allowance idea. I do believe that kids need to learn the value of money & how to save/spend, etc. but I don't like the idea of paying them for helping around the house. In my mind, that is what we do as a member of a family & we shouldn't expect payment for it. So, we have never really done an allowance. The kids get money when they need it for something, for their birthdays, for babysitting for me (if we go out for the evening, not if I just have to run to the store or something), and I will often pay them if I feel they have done something to help out that is above & beyond normal household chores, but we don't do a regular allowance.

However, I don't think $1 a week is too much if you are going to give an allowance & I think that it is great that they are able to bank at school! :good:
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#10 TwinLove

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 03:04 PM

I'm in the same camp as some of the others... they don't get an allowance for things they should do. I know for one that my two would at times say they don't want the money and skip the chore :rolleyes: so I don't give them that option. :lol: We give them all our change and they put it in their piggy banks. DH takes them monthly to the bank and they then deposit it into their savings acct. They get the concept of work = $$ because this summer they've asked to set up a lemonade stand. (I'm so excited :nea: )
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#11 mama23boys

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 03:15 PM

We don't do an allowance for general "be responsible for yourself, your things, and contribute to the household" type stuff. It is just part of daily life and keeping a family and household running smoothly and happily.

We do pay our oldest DS for chores/jobs that are outside the norm. For example, he wanted to earn a few extra dollars and asked what he could do. We had him do a general sweep of the whole house picking up items and putting them where belonged (hangers in the laundry room, toys in the playroom, shoes in the closet, etc.) - that fell outside his normal responsibilities of feeding the dog, putting his clothes in the hamper, emptying his lunch box, and picking up his bedroom - so he earned 3.00.
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#12 idril

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 03:27 PM

It's funny, I always said I would not be one of those parents who paid their children for doing the basics (making beds, cleaning up their own dishes, picking up toys, etc.). I was only going to provide an allowance or payment for extra work. But with kids who are not quite five, getting the basics done is pretty good. They work hard to get their clothes on by themselves, and clean up their own dishes and toys. So I decided that at this age, it was OK with me to give an allowance that is tied to just those basics. And then I started thinking it through and I realized that I'm not even sure that their $1/week allowance is actually payment for doing the basic chores. I think they just get it as spending money. AND, I expect them to help out around the house. While they might seem linked, they're not really. By living in this house, you get some spending money. And by living in this house, you need to help out. (does that make any sense to anyone else?)

Now that we're doing allowance and chores, I'm struggling with payment for extra work. I don't want my kids to think that the only reason to help out is to get money. When I ask them to carry in coats from the car, pick up cushions that fell off our outside furniture, sweep up the dry rice that spilled, or help put away laundry in my closet, I don't want them to ask how much it's worth to me. I want them just to say "sure". (all that would be just general helping around the house for older kids, and it sort of is for almost-five-year-olds, but it's not like I can pay them extra to babysit, or run errands for me). So that's my current hurdle. How to provide money to my kids for helping, but not make the money the only reason they help. Who could have known it would be this complicated?

Edited by idril, 23 February 2012 - 03:30 PM.

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#13 tinalb

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 03:34 PM

How to provide money to my kids for helping, but not make the money the only reason they help. Who could have known it would be this complicated?


This has been my dilemma for years & I still haven't come up with a good solution. I am with you, I don't want them constantly thinking that they will only do extra work or help out if they are going to get paid, I want them to help to be helpful. I don't know, there are definitely no easy answers!
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#14 mama23boys

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 03:43 PM

It's funny, I always said I would not be one of those parents who paid their children for doing the basics (making beds, cleaning up their own dishes, picking up toys, etc.). I was only going to provide an allowance or payment for extra work. But with kids who are not quite five, getting the basics done is pretty good. They work hard to get their clothes on by themselves, and clean up their own dishes and toys. So I decided that at this age, it was OK with me to give an allowance that is tied to just those basics. And then I started thinking it through and I realized that I'm not even sure that their $1/week allowance is actually payment for doing the basic chores. I think they just get it as spending money. AND, I expect them to help out around the house. While they might seem linked, they're not really. By living in this house, you get some spending money. And by living in this house, you need to help out. (does that make any sense to anyone else?)

Now that we're doing allowance and chores, I'm struggling with payment for extra work. I don't want my kids to think that the only reason to help out is to get money. When I ask them to carry in coats from the car, pick up cushions that fell off our outside furniture, sweep up the dry rice that spilled, or help put away laundry in my closet, I don't want them to ask how much it's worth to me. I want them just to say "sure". (all that would be just general helping around the house for older kids, and it sort of is for almost-five-year-olds, but it's not like I can pay them extra to babysit, or run errands for me). So that's my current hurdle. How to provide money to my kids for helping, but not make the money the only reason they help. Who could have known it would be this complicated?



Totally get what you are saying. We don't have a consistent payment for "special" jobs routine - but they are usually things that we have to think up, not things that are required for the general running of a household. For example, if we ask them to help carry in the groceries - they help because the natural reward for that is that we have food in the house for them to eat. :laughing: If we ask Lennon to organize the DVDs or sort through the toys in the playroom or take down all of the Christmas decorations - those are more helpful but not "required" for the house to run smoothly and those are things that he can get paid for.

Don't know if that makes sense?

Edited by mama23boys, 23 February 2012 - 03:43 PM.

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#15 Nancy C

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 03:56 PM

We have these banks
http://www.amazon.co...sl_1f1nrj33j6_e

There are 4 sections, spend, save, invest and donate.
My kids get allowance once a week and get 6 coins (whatever I can find) and they must put 1 in each section and then the extras they can choose where to place. I have been very pleasantly surprised how often they put the extras in donate. We are going to take their money to the animal shelter soon.
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#16 MichelleL

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 04:58 PM

Well, we got paid for them growing up so I have no problem doing it. :D
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#17 Mellizos

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:05 AM

We do pay for chores to teach the value of work. Money comes from work. There is no free lunch and no quick way to get rich. Building up savings is a slow process that takes time. So we pay for work. They get $1/week/year of age for their basic chores. They can earn overtime for doing more beyond their assigned responsibilities. They also have no choice but to do the chores. A few weeks ago they tried the whole "we don't care about the $$ so we don't want to do the work this week." I responded calmly by saying that I also wasn't going to do any chores that week. No clean clothes. No meals. No grocery shopping. No schlepping them to hockey practice. I understood that they were tired of chores, so why didn't we all take the week off? Then we talked about how we all work together to keep up the house. I was perfectly happy not to pay them that week, but they still had to do the chores. I'm sure it won't be the last time that they try that game, but the talk went fairly well.

Ours must give $1, save $2 and then have $5 to spend every week. They take great pride in putting their $1 in the offering plate at church. The $2 goes into the bank for long-term (like for college) savings. They also see that we save a percentage of our pay every paycheck. J blows his money on silly stuff. A saves up for what he really wants. But I also don't buy them trinkets or gum at the store. They must bring their own money. We're headed on vacation in a few weeks. They know they must bring their saved spending money because we are paying for the trip, but they must pay for their extra (toys, souvenirs, etc).

My parents taught me basically nothing about money. I had to learn the hard way and paid way too much stupid tax. I hope to impart in our boys an appreciation for hard work and an understanding that there is no overnight success or lottery jackpot. An education, good job, comfortable home and nice things come from being a good steward of your gifts. I also want them to give to others freely and with joy. I have no idea if I'll meet all of these goals, but we're trying.
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#18 sharongl

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 07:20 AM

Mine get money for doing things like mowing the lawn and shoveling. Other than that, we have a chore chart. For so many things done during the week, they get a star. For each 8 stars they get a dinner pass. The dinner passes are available for if they don't like what I make for dinner or want to go out. If they make their own alternate dinner, it costs them one pass. If they want me to make them something, it costs 2. Going out for pizza or the equivalent is 4 passes, and a nice dinner is 8. They can also cash them in for $2 each. This has made the most impact on them, especially Jonathan since he is a picky eater.
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#19 KJS

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 10:10 AM

Thank you for all of the good ideas. I have been thinking of starting a chore chart and allowances but just haven't taken the time to think it through. Some good ideas here. I like the idea of having a set list of required chores and a list of extra chores and then the allowance is based upon the extra stuff. I guess I need to see what DH thinks.
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