Friday, April 30, 2010


I have been talking with many of my mom friends lately about allowance.  How much should we pay kids?  When should we start?  How can we manage all the details?  I thought I would share our families strategy for allowance...

It starts with work... I wanted my kids to understand that their allowance is connected to the work they do.  My kids have two sets of jobs, we call them "Every Day Jobs" and "Weekly Jobs".  I printed out the jobs and put them in inexpensive, magnet backed plastic frames which are on the fridge.
Aiden has pictures on his since he wasn't a confident reader when I made the lists.  The top set of jobs are daily and the bottom set are weekly.  At a glance the boys know what they need to do.  Each boy is responsible for making sure his daily jobs are done before the end of the day.  {and since they are who they are, they usually do their jobs as the very last thing before a bath!}  Weekly jobs are usually done on Saturday.  I treat the boys as if they have arrived at work when jobs begin.  They each have a clipboard with the details of their jobs in a checklist - this helps them remember what needs to be done and it helps me remember what I can be picky about!   Daily jobs take about 10 minutes each day and Weekly jobs take about an hour. 

Then they get paid... My primary goal with allowance was to teach my boys how to be responsible with money.  I wanted to make sure they had enough money to spend it all at once on an impulsive toy or to save for a time to buy something more valuable.  After weekly jobs, they get their paychecks.  Each boy has three accounts...Charity money, Savings and Spending money. 
  • They are able to spend their charity money on anything they wish as long as they don't get anything material in exchange.  {They have contributed to care packages for U.S. troops, bought school supplies for the Salvation Army and sent money to Haiti recently}
  • They track their savings with a ledger similar to a check book.  In order to access their savings, they need to identify something they are saving for and write this on the ledger.  Currently I have frozen their savings accounts so that they will have spending money for our summer vacation. 
  • Finally, they receive spending money each week to put into their wallets.  I don't usually carry cash, I'm a debit card girl, and having cash on hand for allowance was an extra chore for me.  I created Chase Bucks - which are token dollars that spend like real money.  If the boys have their wallets and enough money when we are out, they may spend it however they wish.  This eliminates the "Can you buy me something?" every time we're at a store {and I try to point out how they chose to spend their money that week and reinforce saving for something special} You can download these Kid Dollars to use with your kids.
This strategy has worked very well for my family.  In fact last week, as we were driving past the library Aiden remembered he had a fine for overdue books.  Since the library was closed, he took a dollar out of his wallet and asked me to save it for him.  He thought he, "would be tempted to spend it on a toy." 

How does allowance work in your family?

0 favorite readers have commented...:

Post a Comment

I love hearing from my readers...please leave a comment!