Friday, October 8, 2010

money matters

For the last couple of years, Les and I have been talking about giving the girls a regular allowance and starting to teach them about spending, saving and tithing. Unfortunately it's all been just talk...until now (hopefully).

For their birthdays this year, we bought them each one of these awesome piggy banks (click on the picture to see where you can order one too!). As you can see, it has three different sections -- one is the bank, one is the store and one is the church.

We want to teach our girls that some of their money needs to go in each section. The money in the bank is to save up for something special; a bigger purchase. The money in the store can be spent whenever -- to buy gum at the store, or to buy a pretty new headband, etc. And the money in the church is obviously to be put in the offering bag on Sunday morning.

I think this piggy bank is the perfect way to teach them about money management. The building is even see-through (hard to tell in this picture, especially because there's no money in it yet), so they can visibly see how much money is in each section.

Now that we are well on our way with this new bank, we need to decide on how much money to give to them each week, and what they need to do to earn it. Now, I know there are people out there (even people who read this blog) that are of the opinion that children should not get paid allowance to do household chores -- it should just be their job as being part of the family. And while I can sort of see that perspective, my question is: What, then, do they get allowance for? Just because? Or do they not get allowance until they are old enough to get their own job -- babysitting, newspaper delivery, etc.?

I personally am of the opinion that being paid for chores is a great way to start teaching children that they need to earn their money. I don't want to have to wait until they are old enough to get their own job outside of the house. Yes, they should automatically do chores as being part of the family -- and up until now, they have. Not regular chores, mind you. But if they are asked to set or clear the table, tidy up the basement, clean their rooms, etc, they do it without any pay. They do it simply because they are asked to.

But now that they are getting a bit older, I want to start incorporating money with it. Not necessarily because I think they deserve money in exchange for doing chores -- but as an important life skill of learning proper money management.

Les and I still need to sit down and figure out the specifics about what types of chores and the amount of money and all that -- but in the meantime, I'm looking for your feedback. What do you do with your kids and allowance? Do your kids do chores for money? Or do your kids to chores just because they are a part of the family? And if that's the case -- do they get allowance for other reasons?

I'm not saying one way is right and one way is wrong...I'm just curious as to what everybody else out there does...please share!


The Brandt Family said...

My kids are not up to the allowance stage yet. Maybe in another year, but me and my husband have talked about it.

I definitely think that there should be some chores that they be required to do without getting an allowance.

For intance, find one or two jobs that it is their responsibility to do. Like keep their room clean that job would be expected to be done without any reward, but other jobs done on a daily basis (like setting the table, clearing the table, taking out the garbage etc.) would be rewarded with an allowance.

Just my opinion. Everyone needs to do what works for their family.

LaughingLady said...

We keep meaning to do this too, but haven't really done ANYTHING about it. We give them money occasionally when they do jobs we didn't ask them to do, or when the do extra stuff on top of what we've asked. I think it's possible to teach them that chores are just a part of family life and they don't necessarily relate to money, but that if they want their FULL allowance, they'll have to willingly chip in and help out around the home. We've been taking their age and dividing it in half to establish a weekly allowance. (WHEN we do it, of course! I've been kinda waiting till our budget has sufficient funds to buy them these piggy banks)

Kathy and Carl said...

I think it's a great idea to teach children about spending, saving and tithing at a young age. We have had our kids help out in the home for a long while, depending on their age and ability. Asha at three already can help put her clothes in her drawer. But we haven't ever assigned a price to chores, even the extra ones. We ask the kids to help out around the house, then on Saturday we give them some money that can be divided into three to put in their save, spend, and tithe jars. They are getting money, but it usually isn't right after the chore, so I don't think the assume they are being paid for jobs around the house. It seems that it's working well in our house.

TammyIsBlessed said...

We give the kids allowance and we make them do chores but we do not make them related to each other.

I don't want them to get the impression that every time I ask them to do something they need to get paid for it.

Their regular chores they are expected to do because they are part of the family and as a family we all work together to keep our house clean and to help each other out.

They get allowance as a benefit for being part of our family and so teach them about money management.

We haven't run into this problem yet, but if they do not do their chores, I can ask one of their siblings to do it for them, paying them out of their allowance. This is a real life consequence. I can either mow my lawn myself (I don't get paid for it), or I can pay someone to do it for me. If they won't do their chores, they will pay one of their siblings to do it for them.

If they want to earn extra money, we will think up extra jobs for them to do, above and beyond their regular chores. Or, similarly, if I ask them to do a bigger chore, I will pay them for it. This gives them the chance to learn about working (above and beyond their normal chores) in order to earn money.

For us, this gives the right balance to both sides of the coin.

pam d said...

We obviously don't give Annika an allowance yet, so I'll just share my own experience with allowance growing up. In our house, I don't recall any strong connection between chores and allowance. We were expected to do the chores that were asked of us because we were a part of the family, not because it was something we got paid for. At the same time, because we were a part of the family, we were given an allowance. But it was never that our allowance would get "docked" if we didn't clean out the dishwasher one day, or something like that. I think, though, if we were asked to do something extra, or particularly time-consuming (like raking leaves in fall, or helping with extra housecleaning for a party), then we were given a little extra money for that.

Jamie said...

You can check out my blog for what we're doing for chores/allowance. I actually never really thought about them associating allowance with chores and the pros or cons of that. I agree with your thoughts.