$$ for Nothing?

We have been toying with the idea of giving the boys an allowance. However, we weren’t just going to give it to them. They would have to earn it. By working. With child labor laws what they are, I can’t send them to work at the local paper mill. So I guess they’ll be responsible for doing stuff around the house. Cleaning, otherwise known as chores.

We have  list of chores they are capable of doing; loading and unloading the dishwasher, vacuuming the stairs, putting toys away, making his bed, cleaning his room, helping with laundry, and a couple others that only arise when needed. We have a set amount we’re willing to give them each week. It will be split into thirds. One third of it will be for them to spend. One third will be for them to save (they can save two thirds if they really want). And one third will be to spend on others (birthdays, donations, and such).

However, I haven’t really hammered down what will happen if the chores aren’t completed. Will they lose a portion of their earnings or the whole week’s earning. How much will they lose if a chore isn’t done? How do I create a schedule or a list to keep track each week of which chores were done and which ones weren’t? How do I stick to it?

Ideally, I would like this helping around the house to become ingrained and automatic, not for the allowance. However, I won’t hold my breath as I’m not really expecting that. That won’t stop me from trying to work toward, though.

Interestingly, an e-mail popped up in my inbox today explaining that an allowance shouldn’t be connected to chores. That chores should be expected and an allowance should be given for going above and beyond what’s expected. Or it should just be given to teach them about money. Huh? Just given to them? Money for nothing? Yeah, I don’t think so. If I have to earn my money by going to work, so do they. I want them to learn that by doing nothing they get nothing.

What’s your take on allowances? Useful or not? 


16 thoughts on “$$ for Nothing?

  1. There are certain chores my kids have to do “for free” as I think they should realize that it’s part of the deal, like feeding the pets, setting the table and putting their dishes in the dishwasher. Then there are chores with which they can (but don’t have to) earn themselves some pocket money. Like helping me clean, fold the laundry and things like this. But they have to do it on a regular base and not as a one time off.
    It’s tricky, isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooh, I like those “have to do” chores. Then the others don’t seem quite so “above and beyond” but just some extra things they could do to help. The tricky part for me is pay per chore or pay per day/week? Wish these kids came with instructions or manuals or something 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • We pay per week. Kind of count the days they did their chores and if they did it on the full amount of days they’re expected to do it then they get the full amount. Otherwise less. Instructions would be great sometimes…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I like how you’ve decided how they should use their money, save it, etc.

    We suck on allowance right now. We were doing $5 per week for keeping his room clean, straightening up the toys in the living room, and completing a “Parent’s Choice” chore. He’s mostly done those things as asked (not without us reminding him), but we keep forgetting to pay him.

    Interestingly enough, right before I opened this, I had been thinking about this and had downloaded the iRewardChart app, which helps track behaviors, chores, goals, etc. since I want to start tracking things better.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am seeing a lot of posts about allowances lately. I do like the plan you have set forth for your boys. We pay our kids on a bi-weekly basis based on their age and started when they were in 1st grade as that is when they were learning about money. My daughter is 14 now, so for everything she is asked to do and doesn’t whine about, or throw a snarky comment back me about how she did that last week, who’s turn it is, etc, she gets $$. All the chores that are required to to keep a home running efficiently without being asked to do so, earns them a little bonus cash as well. Works well some weeks, while others, not so much. The money they earn is used for things they want but I refuse to buy. My son is also working himself now, but I will still pay him for mowing the yard and playing chauffeur when I can’t be in two places at once.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. When I was young, my parents paid me a small weekly allowance for keeping up in school. They always said “School is your job right now.” I was also expected to do small chores around the house.

    When I got older, maybe about 14, I was paid a slightly larger allowance and expected to complete weekly chores that were more demanding. I did my own laundry and made dinner for the family once a week. Wow, was that an eye-opener! It was hard to come up with good dinners. No more complaining about how I didn’t like what my parents cooked.

    We also had small regular chores like setting the table, loading and unloading the dishwasher, taking out the garbage and recycling, etc. Not completing chores wasn’t too much of a problem in our house. My parents did a bit of nagging, but there was also the idea that if one chore wasn’t completed, we would just have to make it up later, or we wouldn’t get our allowance. I would say it worked pretty well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your response! Interesting idea to pay you for school. Some friends of mine had this strategy when were in grade school. While I do believe school is a “job” I never really believed in getting paid for it.

      He already does well in school, but lacks significantly at helping around the house. Hopefully an allowance will be key.


  5. We’ve been having some discussions on that too and have always thought that 5yos are too young to get allowances.But all Spud’s classmates go to school with some allowance and they buy junk! It’s crazy. She still doesn’t get allowance now and we are still contemplating…and that’s another postin itself! I don’t know what’s the right age for allowance…

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is why parenting is trial and error. Some 5 year olds are ready for it and some aren’t. The only way to know is to try. I would be nervous too knowing that those who receive one are spending it on junk at school! Good luck figuring it out 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly! it makes me nervous and Spud knows the cost of each and every junk there is because her friends bought that. I’m talking about chocolates, potato chips, cola ice-cream, the works. How scary is that?


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