The other day, Evan came home from school and said, “Mom, I need 56 bucks, and I need it by Friday,” and I was all, “Evan, are you doing drugs? Can’t you just wait until you get to Park View?” Anyway, he explained that he needed the money for the book order and Friday was the deadline.
I was not about to hand him over $56. Now, before I sound like an old Scrooge, too cheap to buy her kids reading material, I should elaborate. The kids have lots of books to read. He just didn’t want to read those books, thou he did when he picked them out. So, yes, if he in fact had nothing to read, I’d be more than willing to buy him books.
Evan would have to come up with the 56 bucks if he wanted them so badly.
Every year I try the whole allowance thing. We do it for a few weeks and then it gets old and tired, the kids don’t do the chores anymore we go back to their old ways. They end up getting money whenever they seem to want it, which is getting more and more frequent. And then I read this book and discovered that I am most certainly destroying them.
I came up with a plan, a way for them to do work and get an hourly wage, so if they decided to get lazy and not do their work, then they won’t get paid. And there is a consequence to not doing them, more than not getting paid.
This year I wrote a check for over $800 for hockey. I know many of you are in the same boat, only the cheque you wrote may have been for much more. Hockey’s expensive, we signed up for that, I get it. But it’s great value for the amount they play. But I told my kids that they’d not only have to reimburse me for some of the fee, but they’d also have to pay me back from some of the gas we’d use throughout the season traveling to games and practices and the liquor store.
So- I took these old CD cases, because being green is the new black, and I inserted a list of jobs on the front and the back that they can check off as they complete them each week, and then erase once the week is done and they start over. Each list is different and can be interchanged to keep them interested. Each job should take about 5 minutes. Each day they’ll have 3 jobs, so that should take about 15 minutes. On the weekend there are more and they are more difficult so it’s suppose to take them about an hour.
I decided to pay them $20 per hour, meaning that if they complete all their jobs, they should get $45 a week. Now wait. I’m not giving them $45. Thats just crazy talk. But I am giving them $45 in play money in this recycled can mailbox.
With that $45, they have bills to pay. Once they pay all their bills for the week, they should have $10 left, which they can redeem for real money.
The one folder you don’t see here is the Hockey/Gas folder which is $10.
I’m ok with giving my kids $10 a week in allowance, if that means the jobs get done and they’re not coming to me every few minutes for cash. Plus I wanted their reward to be significant enough for the jobs to be worth their while.
As for Evan and the $56, he did jobs for family and had $20 saved from before, and, oh yeah, he did ALL Colin’s jobs, and actually did manage to get the $56. I wanted Colin to see that, had he done the chores he would have received the reward. It appears that my plan didn’t work out as I had hoped. All Colin said was, “I don’t care, I don’t want books anyway.”