Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Money doesn't grow on trees

Do your children get paid to do their chores?
Do they get paid if they do extra jobs, other than normal chores?
How much money does the average school-aged child get every week?
All these questions and more prompted me to do an informal poll about allowances on one Facebook. The results left me feeling like a kite stuck in the proverbial money tree.

Fifty percent of respondents answered yes, my children do get an allowance. All of them listed specific requirements for getting this allotted allowance. Some children had to do their all of their chores, do them correctly and in a timely fashion. Others had to always do their chores plus extra jobs such as pooper- scooping the back yard, feeding chickens and gathering eggs. Younger children received $2 to $4 a week. Older children, if they made their siblings beds, received $5 to $8 a week.

Most of the respondents that answered no, did not give a reason why their kids don't get an allowance. My 8 year-old son does not receive an allowance at this time. He is expected to do what is asked of him without asking when or why. He is an only child, so he tends to get more toys for things he excels at. My husband's perspective on allowances is stricter than most. He feels our son doesn't need an allowance unless he goes above and beyond his normal chores. When he starts helping more with yard work, snow shoveling and even pooper-scooping, then we will talk about an allowance. Until then, we are content to carry on as usual. Our son doesn't get paid to do the chores he is expected to do routinely.

My parents always told me "Money doesn't grow on trees!" Are your children pruning that money tree or even stripping it clean? I would love your feedback!


Steve Rice said...

CAVEAT: I don't have kids! LOL.

But I do want to pass on a point of view I would apply were I to have children. (I stole it from finance guru, Dave Ramsey)

Dave recommends that kids work on "commission" so that they learn very early that $$ is related to production.

This gives parents a great opportunity to teach kids the value of money and how to save, spend and give.

I think this is a pretty balanced approach and I think I would follow something like this if I were grappling with this issue (beyond the theoretical)

Really great post on an important issue, though! Will look forward to input from *real* parents! :)

Anonymous said...

No. I never got allowance. I was super jealous of my friends that did. I started to work at 10. I think that not getting allowance and being a greedy little bugger is why. lol
J. Aday Kennedy
The Differently-Abled Writer & Speaker
Children's Author of Stella the Fire Farting Dragon (April 2010)

Steven Suchar said...

Hi Pam!

Thanks for inviting me to your Blog...it's so nice meeting you here too. :)

I applaud your 'child rearing' values, I too,
was raised by strict parents who didn't believe
in allowances. They did, however, buy me a Lawn
Boy mower for my 8th grade graduation gift which
allowed me to EARN money by cutting people's
lawns...my 1st taste of Entrepreneurship. So, I
thank them for that, lol.

My Wife & I never had any 'human' kids, but we
are retired K9 parents, owning dogs over the
course of 30 years (Poodles & Dobermans). I have
the feeling I would've raised my kids the way I
was raised more than likely.

Have a highly inspired day...your tribal friend Steven Suchar

Pam said...

Thanks Steve. I like that work on Commission idea. I'll be sure to share that concept with my husband. He is all about being productive and getting jobs completed.
My son loves math and counting money. He would benefit from learning how money is related to production, supply and demand and efficiency.
Thanks for sharing.

Pam said...

J. Aday...I hear you! I never got an allowance either. I started babysitting at 12 to make money to keep up with my friend's allowances :) Thanks for sharing!

Pam said...

Steve S: My brothers had their own lawn business by the time they were 14 I think. I don't think my parents even bought the mower for them. They earned the money by doing raking or other odd jobs. Actually, my older brother has a very profitable lawn business (landscaping actually) to this day, some 25 years later! Those values we learn at an early age follow us forever!
Thanks for sharing!

TheAdsOnUs.com said...

Great post and picture. No allowances here either. My children are all grown up now and they pitched in just because I asked. Know what, they still do.
Love them.


Pam said...

I've been finding that it's all about how we raise our children. If money is the main goal to helping around the house, they will be motivated by the wrong thing. If they help because we ask and they love and respect us (parents), they will continue to do so in the future.
Thanks for your thoughts!
Happy Blogging!

TheCEOMamma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TheCEOMamma said...

Hi Pam,
I like your post...this is something I haven't really considered being a mom to six, ages 2months-17yrs. My children do not receive allowance. In our house, they are expected to "do their part" of helping out. They each have a chore to do and it is expected to get done. They do however, earn money for doing "extra", for instance, I pay my daughter to babysit occasionally and she will earn money for that.

Steve Nicholas said...

Great post, Pamela! I don't have kids, but I remember when I was a kid and attitudes about allowances that I felt backfired. My parents had the idea of giving an allowance in exchange for doing chores, but when I did the chores, they complained that I wasn't enthusiastic enough about it, so I didn't get paid. I was so insulted by this that it only made me want to do fewer chores because I felt like they backed out on their word, and I wondered what could've been a good enough attitude. It also instilled in me the idea that production has to be the key indicator, especially considering how many people complain about their jobs but still get paid.

This made me think about the nature of allowances for when the time comes when I have kids. Reading Smart Couples Finish Rich and learning about helping kids set up a retirement account to get them started on building wealth, I've been intrigued about the idea of hiring your kids and devoting a healthy portion of that to an IRA account. I think that it is important to teach kids the value of work and the value of production. I don't think that every single thing should be monetized, but it is good to start the values that will teach them success, and an allowance mixed with an IRA is a great way to do so.

Pam said...

CEOMamma: I think if we all did our part, the world would be a happier place! I too babysat for extra money. Thanks for sharing!

Steve N: I love the idea of hiring your kids! I think I may actually have the book, Smart Couple Finish Rich. I will have to dig it out and apply it to my home!
Thanks for sharing!

Brenda Marie said...

I am a single mom to a single child LOL She's 9 and wants an allowance. While I did get one as a kid, things are different here. I expect her to help around the house just because there's only the 2 of us and I'm disabled. I think helping is part of being a family member. I also don't have money growing on the trees in my backyard and as a freelance writer, times sure can be tough LOL I think there's plenty of reasons why she should just do as she's asked. It's not like she doesn't get almost everything she wants anyhow LOL (and NO she's not spoiled - she definitely works hard so I must be doing something right LOL)

Priya Iyengar said...

Good topic to talk about, Pam. I have only daughter and she does her part of chores with without any allowance in cash. She gets movies, books, eating out in her favorite restaurant,toys, and other things that she has been wanting for. My husband and I believe that everyone one in the family has some set of chores to do as a duty. If allowance is the reward for doing the chores then everyone should be given an allowance. Otherwise it doesn't strike a balance. We also feel that kids, after certain age, should participate and share the chores with rest of the family members. Not just because of the allowance they are going to get. We rather prefer to show our appreciate feelings toward their chore sharing than just giving money. Of course, there are exceptional situations and we consider that. But mostly our rewards in kind and gestures and it works well with my kid.

Thanks for brining up this topic. It's worth discussion.

Pam said...

Brenda: It's great that your daughter is able to help out and be a happy part of your family. You are doing something right: you're being you and loving her! Thanks for sharing!

Priya: Thanks for sharing your thoughts! We feel the same at my house: that kids should participate and share the chores with the rest of the family. Thanks again for sharing your opinion.

Melanie Kissell said...

Hello Pam -- love your blog!

I'm a single mom to four daughters, including a set of twins. Whew!

I didn't receive an allowance from my parents and I don't feel the least bit cheated. I earned money by babysitting for family, friends, and neighbors and running errands for elderly people in my neighborhood. And relatives always slipped a few bucks into my birthday cards every year -- guess you'd say that was my annual "bonus". :)

I've never believed in paying your children for pitching in around the house.

Being a family member doesn't equate with having a "job". My belief is that family members need to work together to create harmony and a clean bathroom. :)

After all ...

The work of being a mom (and there's a mountain of it!) has never provided me with a paycheck. How about you, Pam? Getting paid for your mom services? LOL

Wonderful post!

Pam said...

Thanks for the compliments. 4 girls, WOW. I thought 1 was hard, but compared to your 4 girls, he is probably a breeze.
I agree that harmony in the home is important and I do love a clean bathroom that I didn't clean.
No I don't get paid for my mom services, just my full time job as a MRI technologist. :)
Happy Easter!

Kristen said...

Hi Pam,

I stopped over from the MBS blog hop. I have a preschool age child and we do not pay her an allowance, but she does have age appropriate "jobs," like keeping her room neat and feeding the cats. We do not pay her in money for those jobs, but if she does not do them then she is not allowed to do a fun activity. We tell her that everyone in the family has a responsibility to keep our home nice and to care for the cats. She has a piggy bank and we save all the $$ people give her as gifts, but I don't think she has much of a concept of money yet...

Vic Stathopoulos said...

I have written a song called Money Doesn't Grow on Trees. My name is Vic Stathopoulos. I am not that good in making graphics so I searched for a nice pic to use for the song and I found yours. I am using your money tree as a picture for my song. If you object, please contact me as soon as possible. You can see my posts and songs here:


If you want to hear my song Money Doesn't Grow on Trees' you can here it here:


If you hear the song, I hope you enjoy it. Vic Stathopoulos

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