As my kids have started to get older, I’ve thought more and more about how to teach them about money. From what I’ve been reading, there are actually three different ways to “award” children with money.
The first, and most traditional, is the allowance. You get some money each week because “I love you”, and I make the money.
Allowances will let you teach them about saving, giving, and buying, but it lets them believe that they get it “because of their good looks”– in other words it doesn’t let you teach them about earning money and work. So, I’m not thinking that I want to give an allowance as much as I’d like to use…
In this scenario, I can use one of many printable chore charts to keep track of what the child does every week. Why print one out? Because it’s much cleaner and neater than writing one out by hand, and you’ll be able to change it as they accomplish some chore.
A chart also lends structure and accountability– at work I have a time card that I have to fill out saying what I spent my time on. And the link I gave you lets you download a chart and print it for free.
The upside to chores is that you get things done around the house, you give them incentive for doing things (which can help develop positive habits), but the negative side is that you have to keep it up to date, and that you set kids up to believe that they should only clean if they get money! Which had me considering…
That’s when I started wondering if I should pay my kids like I get paid– as a wage. I could establish a amount that they get paid a week, use a chore chart to keep track of what they did that week, and then have a periodic (maybe monthly) review and adjust their wage accordingly.
They could get paid when I do, we could still teach all savings and giving like the allowance, but they would have a little more security that if they had a bad week it wouldn’t be reflected immediately. Plus it would be the experience most like the real world.
What do you think? Which one do you do, and how do your kids respond?