Show Me the Money
What's the right way to give an allowance?
Not too long ago, I decided that it would be a great time to start giving my kids an allowance. I spent some time doing research on what might be the appropriate amount for their ages and what types of chores they could do. I created a simple little chart to hang on our fridge, held a family meeting and got everyone excited and on board...including me. I get help with chores and my kids learn to save for things they want. It's a win-win, right?
Well, not so fast. I thought I was on the right track until one evening I happened to stumble across Suze Orman on television discussing her idea of an allowance. The first thing I hear her mention is how parents shouldn't give out allowances because when we talk about money, we need to talk about 'earning' money.
She suggests that instead of allowance, our kids should earn 'work pay'. She stressed that if they don't work, they don't get paid. Sounds simple enough. She went on to discuss how there could be $1, $3 and $5 chores...all the while they are working up the chore ladder earning more for bigger tasks.
The details go on, but the overall lesson that I took away from it is that I needed to trash my chore chart and allowance speech and start all over again! After I've been drilling the word allowance into my kids' heads, I couldn't shake the image of Ms. Orman sitting on my shoulder waving her finger at me saying 'tisk, tisk.'
Needless to say, my chore chart is still on the fridge, mostly being ignored until I figure out a new direction for my kids' future in chores, allowance or work pay.
Now, I know I don't really have to change it all, but I do happen to agree with her and kind of like the idea of work pay. I think it does send a great message. Maybe it is a good idea to have a list of different chores for certain dollar amounts. The only hesitation I have is that I'm thinking this could get expensive.
I'd love to know your ideas and what has worked for you. While you write your suggestions, I'm going to look for a second job!