My eldest son, Clever, 8 1/2 (officially) has been hired. His first job. His father and I are his employers and we could not be more thrilled with our new employ.
We never really did the allowance thing with our daughter. It just never came on our radar. We presumed we would skip it for our final 3 as well, but these times and people are different.
We realized the need for an allowance with Clever a few weeks ago. He paid his younger sister, Spicy, $23 to switch dinner glasses with him at supper. “Okay.” We said to ourselves. “Someone needs to learn and appreciate the value of money. ” So I decided to come up with a system.
Here is what we did.
First, I wrote an iron-clad contract! 🙂 Clever, his father and myself signed it. It states what his job duties are AND what is expected of us as employers. It states payday is every Friday. It also states that of all the monies he earns, he is to split it the following: 50/40/10. 50% Save, 40% spend and 10% Give.
Second I went to Staples. I bought a binder. Its the color GREEN for MONEY and is labeled “Woolford Bank and Trust”. I also bought a calculator and an insert for the binder that had a velcro flap and 3 sections to it. This was to break down his money each week into his Save, Spend and Give sections.
I scooted over to our bank and asked for a mound of Savings Deposit Slips so we had plenty on hand for when we were doing our banking.
Next I went online to look for a kid-friendly bank register. I mean, what’s the point of teaching him about money unless I teach him how to balance his “checkbook”? Am I right? I found one I liked online. It is from Moritz Fine Designs, LLC. I liked this particular register because it provided big enough spaces for my 8 year old who still writes big and also has Save, Spend and Give (Donate) broken down so he can easily keep track of each “account”.
Now to the job/work. Clever already has regular chores he has been doing. We consider these things he does to contribute to our family and household. Things like making his bed, bringing down his laundry, bringing trash cans in, etc. He now ALSO has a list of 5 additional chores that he gets $10 each week to do. Bam! That is his allowance. Every Friday he gets his “paycheck” in $1 bills presuming he has done his job well. So far so great. I decided to pay him in $1 bills because it is much easier for him to break down into each account (Save, Spend and Give).
There is an additional things we do as well. I wanted to teach Clever one step further with this lesson. As it is in life, you can do what is expected and you can earn your paycheck. You can also be a “go-getter” and earn even more on top of your base. So I created “The Jar of Opportunities”. This is a glass jar that sits next to the Woolford Bank and Trust binder. It is filled with popsicle sticks that have various jobs written on them as well as Yard Sale stickers that show what each job is worth. Clever can earn even MORE in his paycheck if he does MORE work. Crazy idea, right? LOL He can choose to do them all or do none. It is up to him. Luckily for me, my Little Alex Keaton wants to work hard and get the most money that he can.
Every Friday, he gets paid his Base Salary and whatever extra money he earned from the Jar of Opportunities. Then comes the fun part, I sit with him and we break the money down into each account and he has to figure the balances as well as count out the money to make sure it matches.
This is proving to be such an awesome experience. He is learning so much about money and our fiscal system. We went shopping the other day and he learned about Sales Tax. He learned that the list price of something is NOT its actual cost because of taxes.
This helps him with his Math skills, with using a calculator properly and the proper way to balance a check register. The life skill of being practical with money. All things that sadly are not often taught and so desperately need to be. It also teaches him that if you WORK for something, you EARN it and there is a great deal of PRIDE that can be taken in that.
Of course, now my younger two are dying to hit the pavement for work but I told them , you have to be 8 1/2 to get hired. I need time to work with each child independently to be sure these important life lessons are soaking in.