I have discovered that providing my older children with opportunities to earn an allowance is more difficult than I had anticipated.
Finding jobs that are worth being paid for, some on a regular basis, and some special jobs, is tricky. I want to find things that they know if they do, and do well, they’ll earn a little something, but I also don’t want to pay them for every chore they do around here, because family doesn’t work that way. They need to also learn that family members work together to take care of a household, regardless of their own financial gain, so I don’t want to overdo the daily chores for money thing.
Finding special jobs is also tricky. What is worth being paid for? Cleaning up a mess of toys made by their younger brother and sister (especially if it’s a job I don’t want to do)? Helping me make a special dinner? Helping Daddy wash the car? Oh, and I should probably try to be consistent in what kinds of special jobs earn monetary compensation, too.
And then there’s the whole issue of how much to pay them. It needs to be enough that it won’t take them *forever* to save for something special they’d like to buy, lest they get discouraged, but not so much that they just go out an blow it all at once. Oh yeah, it also has to be an amount *we* can afford–the bank of Dad and Mom doesn’t have an endless supply!
Right now, the two main jobs Turkey and Bunny get paid for are A.) making the two beds in their rooms each day for $.25 a day, and B.) helping Daddy wash the car (when he desires their help) for $2 each per time. They get paid for other jobs as they come up, at our discretion, of course.
I hope I’m doing an OK job of teaching them a little something about money, work, and family. I guess we’ll find out as time goes on.
One thought on “Earning Money”
Amanda, I just found this site and wanted to tell you I enjoy your perspective, and agree, also. I read with interest your article about children in church (I am a Lutheran pastor now) and will be sharing it with my congregation. It accurately reflects how my wife and I raised our 2 boys in church from their infancy. Front row seats and all. I also share your concern about teaching the source and use of money. What we did was to set their allowance according to their attendance/performance in school. We didn’t home school, so it was easier to make the analogy of school being equivalent to mom and dad going to work. The rules were simple: each week the child was “paid” a small amount for simply going to school; But just as our work performance was held to a certain standard, so, too, was their work. Misbehavior, failure to do or turn in homework, and other school disruptions would result in loss of ‘pay’ (as well as other consequences) and at report card time, bonuses were paid for above-average and excellent work (they were told that a ‘C’ was acceptable, since that was considered average, but that, if they did their best work, they would do better and would be ‘paid’ better also). “D”s and “F”s were unacceptable, but what was really important was their best efforts. There was no pay for doing regular home chores, but permissible for special assignments. It worked for us. Thanks!