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Entries in allowance (4)


The Price of Chores

What would you pay to have the recycling brought outside and down to the curb?

This is what i am contemplating right now as The Twofer are starting to ask about an allowance. We used to give them a small allowance, back when they hardly "got" it, back before they knew about Five Below. We kept forgetting to pay them anyway. Recently though, they have been asking, and I've been wanting to dole out a few more chores and so it begs the question...


What would you pay to have someone empty your dishwasher every day?

A while ago I wrote a post joking that it was child labor. But the fact is, the girls are members of this household, and as such, they need to contribute. And until I see them creating a Mary Kate and Ashley empire, their contribution will have to be non-monetary. I am a better mom, a nicer mom, and a happier mom when everyone in the home is pitching in. This is also why I stopped "paying" for them to do chores. If I give them an allowance will they no longer feel that sense of family obligation? Will it be harder to get them to actually do their chores?

Probably not.
It's never been easy to get them to do their chores.
They never say "I can't wait to empty the dishwasher mom!"
Almost every single day I have to explain to them that just like Daddy and i have jobs around the house, so do they.
I don't see this changing if money is involved.
What if they say, "I don't want my allowance anyway.."?
I suppose I will keep the allowance and still present the argument that if they are a member of this family....
You get the idea.

The Price of Chores

I supposed I could give them an allowance and not tie it to chores at all. I will consider this IF this plan doesn't work. Right now I want to try giving chores a value to help the girls understand the value of work, how long it takes to earn money, and the value of a dollar. What doe you think of the values I've assigned to various chores? Too much? Too little?

Empty Dishwasher - $.50
Take Out Recycling - $.25
Empty Trash Cans Around the House - $.25
Wipe Down Bathroom Counter - $.25 per bathroom
Vacuum Sofa - $.50
Vacuum kitchen - $.25
Vacuum foyer - $.25
Wash Windows - $.25 per window

With this price list they would each be able to earn about $2.00 each week and more when I need the windows done. With stores like Five Below, in a few weeks they could earn enough to buy something fun, or save their money to buy something larger at Justice (when they have a sale). Plus, I won't have to remember ice cream money for the pool this summer!
But I will have to remember to pay them every week.
And that is the biggest chore of them all.


Well it was bound to happen!

At just 5 years old, my kids often have more cash on them than me.
I needed to prepay the neighbor kid to take care of our cats and mail while we're gone this weekend...I didn't even have $10 on me.
I saw the little Hello Kitty wallet sitting there just brimming with ones...

ScaryMom "Um, L? Can I borrow some money?"

L, "For what?"

ScaryMom, "I have to pay the neighbor to take care of Fatcat and Franklin while we're gone."

L, after a long pause watching me sweat it out... "Yes. But don't forget to pay me back!"

(Just another reason I'm glad we decided to give them a small allowance.)

Anyone else had to break into their kid's piggy bank yet? Be honest...


The Wonderful World of Woogi

Imagine, if you will, a place online where where kids are encouraged to do good deeds and where their efforts pay off in the real world...what? Yes: play online, do good deeds, get rewarded in real life.

That place is Woogi World.

Woogi World gets a big Twofer Thumbs Up from me for these reasons:

It is a world where kids learn about internet safety as well as how to find a balance between time spent on the computer, with time spent doing other important things.

Kids are rewarded when they watch videos that discuss real world values.

Rewards for community service happen in real life with letters of recognition from state governors and senators (this is a first I believe).

There is the opportunity to start learning financial responsibility without risking real money. (This excites me because I'm tired of watching them blow what little they have on stupid plastic stuff that breaks and makes a mess within hours!)

Plus, it's fun! The Twofer loved picking out their personal Woogi World character and checking out their Wigwam, then exploring the neighborhood and playing games too. Next we learned that we cannot afford to adopt a pet and that motivated them to get going on earning (and saving) some Watts (Woogi money).

I disabled the chat feature until they get a better feel for the site. I'm not opposed to it because it's set up to be ultra safe. I just don't want them distracted from learning how to be an active participant in the Woogi World community. (See, times like these and I start to think I'm not so Scary).

The best part? Most of this is FREE with the basic membership. Just go to Woogi World, sign up for the free basic membership, and start playing!

Meet us at the Shark game!
ScaryMom (L and M too)

Special thanks to Mom Central for another really cool opportunity!


Save your money or find an agent and put that drama to work!

How timely. Right on the heels of talking about responsibility, The Parent Bloggers Network has a contest for those who write about when to teach kids about money (prize: an iPhone).

In addition, Capital One has launched a new online Moneywise eLearning tool
to help families learn about managing money including ways to bring their kids into the discussion.

Well, we here in the Scary household recently did just that - we talked to the Twofer about money and we came up with a way to teach them about it....we put them to work!

OK, Ok really, we assigned chores to them and started tracking on a weekly basis. It is somewhat coincidental that around this time we made the decision to pay the Twofer a weekly allowance...but they are not actually getting paid to do the chores (that's my story and I'm sticking to it).

The Twofer turned 5 this Spring and after asking around, we decided to give them each $1 per week. We actually give them $2 a week and $1 of that goes into our "charity bowl" and they get to keep the other $1. The "charity bowl" will be opened closer to Christmas and together we'll decide how to donate that money (and hopefully teach the Twofer just how lucky they are to have what they have).

Why pay?
I really do believe that kids should help out around the house not for money, but as members of the family. We also wanted them to start learning the value of money. Not how many quarters are in a dollar, but what a dollar can get you...or these days, can't get you.

In short, we wanted them to understand why they don't get an ice cream every time we're at the pool.

Lessons learned.
Now when we're out at a store and they see something they want, we say, "How much money do you have?"
They are learning that the neighborhood ice cream truck is a ripoff ($3 for a bomb pop) compared to the snack bar at the pool ($.80 for an Italian ice). And that a Hannah Montana magazine provides hours more entertainment than a necklace that breaks within 5 minutes of wearing it.

Oh don't worry. I'm not that Scary. I treat them to an ice cream sandwich now and then and of course provide them with the necessities: shoes, clothes and riding lessons (I gave in to that because we are no longer paying for school).

The fact remains: learning about money, it's value, and the importance of saving is a lesson that can't be learned too early.
Check out the Capital One tool and fingers crossed that I get one of the 3 iPhones!

Saving it for later,