Thursday, July 23, 2009

Frugal Missus Journals: Kids and Money

What do you think of Dave’s “commission” structure for kids? Is this something you could easily implement in your home?

There is a HUGE difference between "Commission" and "Allowance"! In Dave's lesson "Kids and Money", he states that, to him, "allowance" sounds like "welfare"; that you give allowances to your kids because they are unable to do anything of value, so you are going to make allowances for them. Commission, on the other hand, means if you work, you get paid, if you don't work, you don't get paid. BRILLIANT!!!

Enter the good ol' fashioned Chore Chart! Each "chore" is worth X amount (Dave paid $1 per chore. I'm inclined to think we'll be paying a little less to start), and as the chores are completed, a check mark is placed in the box next to it. At the end of the week, you sit down with your child and pay them their commission for each chore done.

I've been working since I was 11 when I started babysitting. When I was 14, I got my first "real" job, dusting shelves at a collectibles store (you know, engraved pewter stuff and embroidered blankets). At 15, I worked at Baskin-Robbins. At 18, I was a receptionist in a hair salon. At 19, I waited tables. At 22, I nannied. I KNOW the more you work, the more money you get, and when you don't show up, you don't get paid!

I wish, after so many years of working and earning, I had known the fiscally responsible route to take with my money rather than piddling it away on candy, makeup, and when I got older, adult beverages and pedicures! I had nothing to show for my aching feet (hence the pedicures) but a pretty good social life and a bucket-o-debt.

That stops now. The Princess is almost 3 and will be learning about working for your money, saving for special purchases, and giving a portion of her earnings. I think we'll be getting Dave's Financial Peace Jr. Kit for The Princess' birthday. She already enjoys putting away her laundry, helping clear the table at dinnertime, and cleaning up her room (it's a sickness, really. She is her mother's child!), so why not show her that her hard work and helpfulness can benefit her and help her reach goals?

I do like that Dave reserves some tasks for "just 'cuz you're a part of the family". Meaning, not EVERYTHING they do around the house earns them commission. I don't know about you, but I don't want to have to pay The Princess every time I want her to pick up her shoes from the middle of the kitchen, but her help in picking up her toys before she goes to bed is something that is commission worthy.

Frugal Mister and I haven't worked out the Commission List for The Princess yet, but I am leaning towards not giving commission for things that are health/hygiene related (brushing teeth, taking showers, etc.). I am sure this, along with everything in this program, will be a learning experience for us all and take some fine tuning.

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