We have toyed around with what to do about chores and allowances for a while now. Since Chili put together a Carnival about Chores and Allowances (last week, so I am a little late), I thought I would post about what we have *finally* decided to do.
Well…actually…let me interject with — we don’t know what we’re doing about chores yet. But, I just read on An Iowa Mom’s blog about her chore chart, and I think that just might be the way to go, with a few modifications for our family.
But, we did come up with some decisions about allowance.
1. Allowance and chores have nothing to do with one another. The children should/do/will do chores because they are part of our family and live in our home. This means, also, that there shouldn’t come a time where they will skip chores because they don’t need the money and also that they shouldn’t end up asking me, “How much will you give me to do that?”
2. Now…that last part may backfire a bit, since I have told the children that from time to time, I may offer them a small amount of money ($.25 or $.50 or the like) to do a special job. I told them that they are not to ask me how much I will give them to do a job. If it is a job that can earn them extra money, I will tell them that up front. If I don’t mention it, it’s not a “special job.” With special jobs, it is totally their right to say, “No, I don’t really want to do that, but thanks for asking.” With chores, that response is not an option.
3. Friday is “payday” for the children.
4. Allowance will be equal to 1/2 of the child’s age, and will therefore change each year on their birthday. This, sadly (for the younger children), will mean that as long as Noah’s in the house, he will always get more allowance than anyone else. Fair does not always mean equal.
5. Because of number four, we hope to stop requests for “an increase in allowance.” That will just naturally occur each year on its own.
6. Each week, the boys must take a quarter from their money to Mass to put in the offering. (This amount will increase in future years as they get more allowance.) Previously, we gave them a dollar during the Mass just to put in. Although they enjoyed putting money in, that was not really all that meaningful to them. When they put in their own quarter, they seemed to show a real sense of pride that they had put in their very own money. Eric originally thought more than a quarter, but I thought it was good for now. It is pretty darn close to 10% for Jack, and a bit farther from 10% for Noah. I told Eric that as soon as we gave 10% of our income to the church, then we could expect it from the children.
7. We have not set the amount yet, but a small amount each week will also need to be put in their savings account. This will probably also be a quarter. It’s not like they will be building up their savings accounts with $1.00/month, but it is more the practice of saving that we are trying to instill.
8. Their money is mostly for games or toys. We will still give them money for things like ice cream and popcorn that they can get at school each once a week (fundraisers by various grades). We will not tell them that they can’t use their money for something (unless it is obviously something that we would not allow in the house). This will be their chance to learn about money management, which is done through both successes and failures.
Okay…I think that covers allowance for now. Hopefully I’ll be able to write about chores when we get around to formally setting them.
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