I have long been opposed to giving my kids an allowance. I like them doing chores and I like them having their own money, but it just seemed like too much work to keep track of what they did and appoint a dollar (or quarter) to it. I’ve tried it before and I usually fizzled out before the first paycheck. Hey, I admit that I am horrible about follow-through. HORRIBLE!
About six months ago, I changed tactics. My primary reason is because I was tired of the kids asking me for things at the store. Every time we went anywhere, I was inundated with “Can I”, “Will you” or them throwing stuff in the cart. My kids are good kids, for real, they just want stuff like the rest of us.
I didn’t think we could afford it, but I was willing to try this anyway. Every two weeks, to coincide with my husband’s payday, I give each child a set dollar amount. It’s not as much as you think. 🙂 The younger kids get $10 ($5 a week), my teenager gets $20 and our adult daughter receives $35-$40. (She has an income, but she is also disabled and unable to handle her own money) My husband also takes some spending money. I don’t, just because. I mean, if I want it, it’s there, but generally I don’t need it for anything. If I ever find a purse I want, I may cash in on all that cash I haven’t been taking though.
Surprisingly, this works! It has drastically cut down on the “gimmes”. My kids are becoming excellent bargain shoppers. They are understanding that their dollars will stretch further if they wait for a sale. One of my children saved her “allowance” and money from babysitting and bought her own tablet. Our expenses have also decreased, because I am not finding extras in the cart and if there is something they want that I won’t buy, they use their own money.
It took a few months for them to really get used to not asking me for money. We are still working with our oldest on budgeting for a period of time so she knows she has enough for her extra-curricular activities.
Although I do not tie the allowance to any specific chores, there is a definite expectation that the kids will help around the house. They do a daily 5:00 clean up, keep their rooms clean, empty the dishwasher, take out the trash, bring groceries in from the car, watch the baby so I can take a shower. In short, they are part of our family and realize that to make our home life run smoothly, they need to jump in and help. My kids also feel that they are of value to the family and I am not just the no-monster.
I am really glad that we tried this method. It has definitely worked for us!