The End of Allowance

piggy-bank-970340_1920 We’re trying yet a new approach to keeping our kids (and ourselves) accountable for being productive members of the family.

I know there have been a lot of theories regarding allowance: when to give it, if you should give it, should it be earned, should it be given freely, how much should be given. All with different results, and all with differing opinions. #nobodycanagree

We started a monthly allowance about a year ago. It wasn’t a large amount of money, and it wasn’t based on performance or chores. It was to teach our kids how to budget and the value of money.

But it turns out that budgeting isn’t so much the challenge they have. It’s responsibility – both theirs and mine.

We’ve tried chore charts before, and I was not very good at enforcing them. Trying to schedule chores around soccer practices, and homework, and flexes in schedules made it hard to keep up on getting things done when they were supposed to be done. If I have something set at a certain time I am faithful at showing up. But when a wrench gets thrown in, especially when it’s someone else’s schedule, forget it. I find myself slipping further and further from the schedule. And that’s exactly how the chore chart failed. #stopthemadness

My husband wanted to list chores with a dollar amount for each chore, and then keep track of how much they earned. I saw that one crashing down in flames the moment he described it. I knew it would be up to ME to keep track, and it would be ONE MORE THING on MY list to get done. Nope. That wasn’t gonna fly.

However, we want our kids to have a good work ethic and to know that they have others depending on them, and it just wasn’t working out that way.

So we’re trying something new. No allowance. #nomoney

Instead, we made a list of daily things that need to be done. Common sense things like sweep the kitchen floor and wipe the table after dinner, make sure your jacket is hung up and shoes are put away, take out the trash, wash your dishes from any snacks you have (especially now that summer is here and snacking is an all day event), put dirty clothes in the laundry hamper, fold your laundry and put it away…I know…they’re all simple things, right? But they are the things that I find myself doing all day long. They are the time-stealers that most every mom (and dad) grumbles about. #notmyjob

There are also weekly chores like dusting, vacuuming, and cleaning out the car.putz-bucket-1290951_1920

By the way, the daily chores have to be done BEFORE they get any screen time whatsoever. (I like that rule best). #bestruleever

As for the allowance part, our new agreement is that if they decide they want that pack of Pokemon cards, then they better have some “chore currency” in the “chore bank.” Otherwise, they have no chance of getting them at all. This puts the responsibility completely on them. Trust me, they are old enough, at 10 and 14, to manage their time just fine. I’ve seen them do it when they’re motivated.

Also, if there’s something special, or a big ticket item they want to save for (the Renaissance Fair or a new Nintendo DS), then we can work out some special “overtime” chores for them to do.

I know there are differing opinions about tying allowance to chores, but we think it sets a good standard for what their future employers will expect. After all, your employer doesn’t hand you a check FIRST and THEN you have to earn it. And he or she doesn’t follow you around all day reminding you to do your job. At work, you have to show up and get the work done…period. If you don’t show up, you don’t get paid. It’s that simple.

So wish me luck as we try this out. I’m hoping that since it’s summer, we can get a good routine established before the craziness of school starts again. Hopefully, once school is back in session, the routine will be habit and any hiccups will be easily remedied.

The hammer comes down starting Monday morning.

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