Monday, April 04, 2011

Are your kids on the dole?


My husband and I have a long-standing disagreement over what should constitute an "allowance."

I always assumed an "allowance" was a small amount of money parents gave children each week in order to teach them how to budget (and ridicule their consumer choices).

He believes allowance should only be paid for work the children do that is above and beyond the scope of chores they would ordinarily be doing if they were three-foot-tall tenants and their rooms were private apartments.

For instance ... they shouldn't get paid to clean their rooms, clear the table, pick up their toys or do anything that is in the purview of family obligation.

"Which leaves what?" I wonder ... "Paving the driveway? Re-shingling the roof?"

Technically speaking, in his estimation, we shouldn't be giving them any money for vacuuming under the couch cushions simply because the majority of what is found there is a pulverized version of the snacks they eat while watching TV.

So ... aside allowing them to keep the pocket change they find when vacuuming the crumbs under the cushions, we've yet to settle on a firm way to put our kids on the payroll.

Do you pay your kids a true allowance or do they work for their money? What chores to you have them do?


Ashley Putz said...

Hmmm food for thought! I haven't thought about this but I can see both ways. When I was younger my sister and I got $5 a week for doing our regular household chores (cleaning bathrooms, dishes, etc... not just cleaning rooms and picking up toys, though.)

Patrick said...

Growing up, we had our daily chores that we did not earn an allowance for. These included cleaning up our own bedrooms, our own laundry, and other things that were specific to our own living spaces.

The allowance we earned were for chores that were part of the "greater household" chores, such as yard work, cleaning common areas, and washing cars.

There were of us (kids) growing up, so our chores rotated each month ensuring we all got our fair share.

Also, we had the opportunity to earn more money by doing extra chores (we grew up on 7 acres of land, so there was always a ton to do).

toyfoto said...

My mom thinks she ruined me because she found it easier to clean the house herself: She gave me $5 a week just for breathing. I didn't do anything around the house beside clean my room (which was a personal decision and rather than a forced one). I would have helped (and tried to) but she would just end up rewashing whatever I did. My dad was the same way. I think I mowed the lawn twice after pestering him to let me do it. I did my own laundry when I was a teenager because I didn't want my mom shrinking my jeans in the dryer.

I earned money by doing odd jobs in the neighborhood or working at businesses after-school when I was older.

Sandra @ Albany Kid said...

We've followed similar rules where the kids only earn money for chores that are above and beyond family community obligations. But, in practice, this means the kids rarely earn money, except from neighbors who hire my son for dog walking. As for the teen, she is rarely at home except to sleep. While she would love an income, she doesn't have time to earn it. Somehow, they manage without an allowance or a job. Not sure how.