$$ 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?