I Chronicles 29:11 "Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all."

Friday, March 12, 2010

Allowance....or NOT

My kids like money. And stuff. Big surprise, right? Don't most kids want some sort of chance to have money of their own to do with what they like? I mean, assuming they are normal kids and not some robot child you can program with perfect settings.

I remember when I was a kid and our parents gave us an allowance. I don't remember how much it was, but I do remember it was never enough for all the things I wanted to buy with it. Which made me remember why we haven't done an allowance for our girls up until now.

See, I was a very things oriented child. I loved to buy what I wanted when I wanted it without saving up. Enter Sister. She was a quiet little saver who always had plenty of money to loan me, and she would loan it to me often. With much cajoling and promises of sharing with her the item I planned to purchase.

The problem is that no one ever kept track of what I borrowed, so I never bothered paying her back in full. I'm sure I probably still owe her money for a couple Barbies.

Sorry Sis. Check's in the mail...

Anyhoona, I don't want that to be an issue for our girls. I don't want them to think it's okay to borrow from a sister or mom and dad when they want something. I want to teach them the value of saving their money and using it wisely. Thus, there will be NO BORROWING ALLOWED. PERIOD. This is an inflexible rule that is NEVER to be bent or broken. Now, if they all want a game that the family can play, and everyone agrees to pool their money, that's different. And everyone will have to fork over even amounts.

They will also be tithing. That's a very important concept I want them to learn now. Not to be selfish, I may also ask them to pick a missionary to save some of their allowance for, and send to when they've got a good amount of it saved up.

SO- now comes the hard part. What exactly should they be doing to earn this allowance? Do I pay them for doing their chores? That seems a little weird. They've been doing them for free so far...but I think if we introduce it with a devotion on "A workman is worthy of his hire" then it could work. Also, how many chores can they miss and still get their allowance? Should each chore have a monetary value? How many times should I have to remind them to do stuff before it gets nixed for the week?

Anyone have any wisdom to share with me on this subject? It's our first time, and I really don't want to screw it up. I'm also thinking allowance isn't a good name for it, since they're earning their money. It's not something we are just giving to them...any ideas?


  • ksbishop

    Julie....I've been reading this book titled "Making Children MIND without Losing Yours." It's phenomenal!!! Christian Psychologist: Dr. Kevin Leman

    FROM THE BOOK: page 67 "Try Encouragement Instead of Reward"

    "For example, why should my twelve-year-old clean the backyard?
    1. He is a member of the household.
    2. Cleaning the yard is a job that has to be done.
    3. He will be paid five dollars for his trouble.
    3. I want him to become involved in the family and feel a responsibility toward helping it function." These are points to ponder in talking to your children about an "allowance."

    CHORES: a household responsibility.
    If they are doing extra things without you asking with the motivation to be "paid" are they doing it with the right motive?
    Are they being rewarded for being them or for doing good?
    I just did this with Clayton yesterday - I gave him a chocolate mint patty to get in his carseat. Was the end result productive? Yes. Will he think he get a candy every time he gets in his car seat...prayerfully not. :)

  • Giovanna

    I like your first sentence about your kids liking money - Ha ha - who doesn't!!
    If they have already been doing chores for free, what about if they get an allowance for behavior.
    Are there behavior issues you all are working on? If so, maybe if they go the whole week with the behavior issue in line then they would get an allowance? I don't know, just thinking here you know. My two had been fighting for a little while back and forth till my husband told them if they could find a way to resolve their fighting issues they could have a dollar at the end of the week. (Mine are 6 and 8 and a dollar is still very cool to them) but you could change the amount based on the behavior I guess.

    I know that may seem weird, almost like your paying your children to get along so some people may have issue with that. But I'm just throwing out some ideas.
    Surely you have things around the house, yard, car that need to be done on a weekly basis that they could get an allowance for. Maybe picking up the trash in the yard that gets blown in throughout the week, or cleaning the car, do you all have pets that need to be tended to?

  • karly

    Check out Dave Ramsey. He has something called Financial Peace Jr., made just for kids. It will teach them to earn "commission" (not allowance, as they are earning a commission for work done. Work isn't done, they don't earn commission.) With that commission, they will divide their earnings into three categories: give, save, and spend. The give is tithe, the save is something big, and spend is for the little things they want/ask for constantly (or maybe that's just my kids.) He also has several children's books to address different financial concepts, and all of this? It's biblically based, and perfectly on kid level. Fabulous!

  • Brenda

    I forget to pay my kids but what I plan to do is.....I don't pay for morning chores b/c we are all expected to make our beds and pick up our rooms and brush our hair, etc. If it helps the whole family, I'll pay. Those are afternoon chores. Things out in the main area of the house.

    At my book club they said they pay 10 bucks every 2 weeks. They get paid on the 1st and 15th. They give one dollar to church, one goes in savings and the rest is theirs, but they have to pay for a lot of their own things getting that much money too.

  • JulieMom

    Thank you all for the ideas and suggestions!! I am going to check out what you suggested, Karly. I like Dave Ramsey. Although we've never read any of his stuff, our church back home has used his Financial Peace seminar a few times I think.

    And Brenda- WOW! That's a lot of money! With three kids we would go broke doing that, I think. We haven't settled on an amount yet...that's still something to consider.

    What are they buying on their own with their cash? Like clothes and shoes and stuff?? Too much to think about!!

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