I’ve been going back-and-forth on whether or not to give my daughter an allowance, pay her for doing chores only, or something in between, for quite a while. (In fact, creating a chore list for her is one of my 12 goals for 2015.) All of the above appeal to me for different reasons, so I’ve come up with a hybrid model to attempt.
By way of background: My daughter is five and loves to acquire, what I consider, junk. She’s got stuffed animals and little plastic trinkets coming out of her ears, and most of them can’t be donated or consigned when she’s moved on from them. Even though most new things are forgotten within a week because there are already so many other things to play with, her appetite for new
junk toys seems insatiable. I’m not willing to buy this stuff for her except for rare occasions like her birthday and a few holidays. However, because I want her to learn about spending and saving money, I generally let her use her piggy bank money to buy things for herself. To be clear: her piggy bank balance has probably never exceeded $20, and the contents typically come from her grandparents ($5 in holiday cards), and my husband periodically giving her the loose change in his pocket. She depleted her piggy bank after the last two weekends, and is now asking for ways to replenish it.
I believe that kids should pitch in at home, and must know that this is expected of them. When she groans about being asked to do something for me, I remind my daughter that our family is a team, and we all have to work together to get things done. At the same time, I want her to understand that money is earned through work. I like the idea of reinforcing this concept by paying her for doing chores. After speaking to several other parents about how they handle this, and reading a number of blog posts on the topic, here’s what I’ve come up with:
- My daughter will receive $1 per week, on Saturdays, as long as she fed the cat in the evening, set the table for dinner, and cleaned her room before bedtime, each of the five preceding days.
- I’ll create a list of additional chores she can do for money. Each one will be written on a piece of paper, and will include a payment amount. She can go through the bowl/box/whatever it ends up being, whenever she wants to earn some additional money. After she completes the chores, she put the piece(s) of paper in an envelope/box/whatever I come up with, and the total is added to her weekly allowance payout.
Now I just have to come up with a list of additional chores. Here’s what I have so far:
- Dust downstairs tables (end tables, coffee table, and dining room table): $0.50
- Dust base boards upstairs and downstairs: $0.50 each
- Wipe doorknobs upstairs and downstairs: $0.50 each
I’m obviously in need of other ideas, so please feel free to share any that you may have! I know there will be plenty of outdoor projects and chores she can assist with, once the warmer weather comes. (It is coming, right??)
How do you handle allowances/spending money for kids?