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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Allowance Basket

I had someone ask me about our new summer allowance system.

First of all, here's the reason for it. Several years ago Rick suggested that we give Kyndal and Dawson a certain amount of money every month with the expectation that they would do their part in our family. My list of things included making their beds, putting their dirty clothes down the laundry chute, picking up their rooms when asked, putting away their clean laundry, picking up their pajamas in the mornings, etc. And, with their allowance they were to be responsible for all their own entertainment, including movies, baseball games, etc.

We have done this system for at least five years.

For the most part the kids do what they are asked. But, they very rarely just do their daily picking up and it drives me crazy. I go upstairs and see the beds unmade so I make them (because I am WAY anal about beds being made.) I see their pjs on the floor so I put them away, I see their trash cans full so I dump them, I see their (well his) toilet unflushed so I flush it (gross!). There have been times I have made them pay me for doing it.

But, this summer, I decided to do things differently. My goal is not to pay them for doing their work, but to use payment to help formulate habits! It works with kindergarteners at school, surely it can work with teenagers.

So, starting on June 1st, we will be using the allowance basket. On a beautifully type-written list hung next to their bedroom doors will be the things they have to do in the mornings, before they come down for breakfast. It will be up to them to do those things, mark them off the list, and come tell me that they have done them.

(I'm thinking of putting these in a clear sleeve so they can cross it off with an Expo marker.)

Once they have done the chores and told me, I will give them a play dollar that has their initial on it and they can put it in the basket.

At the end of the month I will count the bills for each kid. I will pay Kyndal and Dawson $1 a bill and Eli and Brynne 25 cents a bill. The older two kids have a chance to make up to $31 a month depending on the number of days per month, and the younger two kids have a chance to make up to $7 a month.

If they don't do all things on the list, they don't get a bill. If they don't tell me they did it, they don't get a bill. If they aren't even here to do it, they don't get a bill. And when I see that it hasn't been done, I will then make them go do it anyway for no bill.

The goal is to get them to do these things without being told! The money is the incentive to make that happen.

Of course the little kids will think it's fun. They LOVE earning things! But, Kyndal told me she thought it was stupid because I would get tired of doing it. Ahhhh ..... but that's the beauty of it! I don't do anything, so there's nothing for me to get tired of! Really, it won't hit them until the end of the first month when they don't have any allowance. I suspect they will take it much more seriously in July.

I guess we'll see!


  1. sounds like a good system! we do something similar and it works but during the summer for froggi it is based on reading and keeping school skills up and doing her summer bridge workbook.

    what are you doing while on the cruise? will they be on the honor system to earn it from you?

    Not too long now and you'll be in HAWAII!!!! WHOO HOO!!!

  2. forgot to say i'd do the sheet protectors so they can mark them off

  3. Good ideas!! I have done something kind of similar in the past. Good luck!!

  4. Nice, I will have to try this system. Thanks for the tip. :)


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