Sunday, June 27, 2010

A great way to do allowance that I stole from Michelle!

I was telling my sister's about this great way my friend Michelle does allowance for her family tonight at dinner. They asked me to send them the blog, but Michelle's blog is private, so I hope she doesn't mind that I am stealing her post from her blog (minus some of the pictures, because I had to download them each seperately). :-) I was going to just send it to my sister's email, but I thought this was such a fantastic way to do this that I might as well share with all two of you who might read my blog! Lol! I am definitely going to give this a go! Thanks Michelle!! And to all my friends, keep the thoughts, ideas, inspiration coming! I might not have time to write much lately, but reading all your blogs makes me feel connected in some small way! :-)


Ohh...where do I begin?
Allowance has always been kind of an "issue" for me. It's a subject I've debated back and forth seriously since Michael was probably about three. In my mind I tried to sort through different scenarios about how to make it work without tying it just to chores. Trying to figure out how much to give, when to give, would it spoil my kids???, yada yada yada.
I seriously came up with nothing.

Then I read "Parenting Breakthrough" --a book I've previously blogged about.

When I first read the book, I remembered that I really liked the authors thoughts on allowance. But, Michael was too young at the time I felt and I wasn't quite there yet myself, but I vowed to re-open the subject when Michael was bigger. Near the end of last year Michael and I had a bit of a run in on the subject and so I figured it was time to re-read.
And man am I glad I did.
Now, I will preface this by first giving full credit to Merrilee Boyak (the author) because that is where all the insight of this came from. But it's so genius that I had to share.

SO this is how it works.

The first Saturday of every month is what we call Pay Day. Rather than give the kids a weekly allowance--it's lumped into a monthly sum. The reasoning is so that the kids have an opportunity to manage a "larger" amount of money--also it helps encourage the kids to use the spending portion of it on perhaps something a bit nicer rather than blowing it on junk (although they're still likely to do that).
The other reason is fast Sunday (what my church refers to as the first Sunday in each month) follows that day and so it's an instant reminder for the kids to pay their tithing.

So you may ask how much do you give??
The answer: $1 per year in age the kid is.

So Michael gets $8
Maddi gets $5
Braxten gets $3

I've figured out the best way for me to bridge the whole question of "why does Michael get more money?" Is to just simply say, "Because he's older and when you're older you will get the same thing...isn't that exciting?"
For me it worked.

So the BIG key here is when it's Pay day around here I make it VERY clear (not sure what the book said about this one) that I am giving my kids allowance because they are part of our family.
That's the reason.
I am NOT giving them allowance to do their normal chores.
HOWEVER, I also make it VERY clear that they do their chores-again-because they are part of our family.
That's my key phrase.
I have to remind my kids of it frequently.

Now the other BIG key here is that come pay day, ALWAYS make sure you have EXACT change to allow for the next step.

10% IMMEDIATLEY goes to tithing (a church donation)
and 10% immediately goes to savings.
The rest--is their's to spend HOWEVER they want--NO questions asked.

So this means I have a stash of dimes and quarters that are included in their pay and we sit right then and put the first 10% in a tithing envelope all ready for church the next day (I just grabbed a huge extra stash from church so we have them on hand) and the second and third straight in corresponding jars
(I found these at IKEA for $2.50 each) again--for us they work great--but just use whatever works for you.

So what do you do if your kid wants/needs more money?
That's where the money chore chart comes in.
These are chores that are ABOVE and BEYOND what would be considered their "normal" chores.

So just last week Michael desperately wanted to earn more money.
I told him to pick something off our "Money Chore Chart."
He chose this:

It earned him $5 bucks --mowing the front and back yard all by himself--it was a huge moment for me (in more ways than one) when he did it.
(Don't those crooked lines looked great! )

Things on my money chart are:
Mow Lawn: $5
Pull Weeds (front and back): $3
Clean a car: $2
Vacuum a car: $1
Sweep the garage: $1
Read an extra book (aside from normal required reading--and it has to be a "just-right book to count): $.25

Now this is something I added to our routine:
Things MOMMY get's paid for:
Socks left outside (a HUGE problem for me): $.50 per pair
Backpack/Coat on the ground: $.25
Bike left out: $.50
Burp at the dinner table (thanks Lisa for this idea--although I may be the one having to pay my kids--he-he ): $.25

The greatest thing about this is there are SO many teaching moments that are presented naturally with it ( I know we all love those moments with our kids) like just filling out the tithing envelope and answering the kids questions about all the additional lines, or what it feels like to have to save for something (something I'm still working on myself :) or to not have instant gratification--just because "they want it". It has helped SO much with the kids asking for things at the store.
Everytime they ask for something, I ask them right back if they have money for it (this works especially well for Braxten surprisingly enough). If they do--they RARELY want to actually spend it. Michael hasn't bought ONE thing yet with any of his money because he's saving for a Wii game and I just think that's great! Maddi bought an outfit for her favorite doll--that was great too because it was something she saved up for and it was a very calculated purchase for her. Plus, she seriously takes so much better care of it than she does the other toys she has.
I just love how it naturally makes them think.

And this is something we've done for the past 6 months not something that I just started--so I know it works!

Okay, I'll get off my soap box now...

Anywhoo...I'm sure each of you have your own method of teaching these same things to your kids. I just can't help but share when something that's been shared with me makes my life so much better!

Hopefully if you're looking for an allowance idea--you were able to pull something from this.


PS - If you need some vinyl for your jars, check out

1 comment:

Jolley's said...

First of all, thank you so much for the vinyl plug :) and secondly I'm so glad that you liked the post, and even more glad that you shared it!! :)
Us mommies gotta help each other out!