Allowance for kids can be so tricky. I even wrote a small series and kids and allowance. Since my boys are getting a little older and officially tweens, my husband and I have changed things up a bit. We’ve only been doing it for a few weeks, but it seems to be working well.
I know you’ll probably be shocked, but we raised their allowance. We didn’t raise it by a $1 or $2, but A LOT! They are getting $15-$20 a week now. When we told them, they were very excited and there was no complaining when we told them the conditions on what they had to do to earn that money.
I know you’re probably wanting to know why we did this. I know I would. Both my boys play several sports. They are always needing a mouth piece, cleats, batting gloves, a new water bottle, chin strap, baseball pants, wrestling shoes, etc. The list can really go on and on. We felt they were taking us for granted. If they needed something, we just bought it. They weren’t realizing how much everything cost. They just expected it.
We made them each a little piggy bank. (I used empty oatmeal containers.) They are required to put everything in “the bank” except a few dollars (maybe $5) for their fun money. They use fun money for treats if we go to the movies, saving up for a video game, gum, whatever they want. “The bank” money will go to sports equipment they need and fees. When it’s time to get football cleats, we will pay the $29.99 for the basic cleat, but if they want more then they will pay the difference. If they are required to have yellow socks for baseball, they must pay for it. Football gloves, yes, they have to pay for it themselves. This helps them learn to budget and learn how much things really cost.
It actually helps us budget too. Now we don’t have $100’s of dollars going out for football cleats, pants, and practice jerseys all at one time. It’s a way for us to spread out the spending, but our boys are doing a lot more to earn it and there has been NO COMPLAINING! I think that’s the best part. They feel like $15-$20 is fair compension for the work they’re doing.
We did away with chore charts and lists. The boys know what needs to be done and part of the agreement is that they do the work without complaining and with a good attitude. They are doing laundry, washing dishes, cleaning the garage, picking up dog poop, making beds, cooking dinner, whatever we ask. They are actually do much more than they previously did. This could work for girls with their sports, dance, and cheerleading. I know those get expensive too.
UPDATE: My son needed a new mouth piece for lacrosse and he was able to buy it himself. My other son has his baseball dues for June and he is able to get the money out of his bank and pay it himself. Yay!
What do you think? Would this work in your family.
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