Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Allowance vs. Commission

Cade is hard at work, mowing the backyard. Jeff and I are taking Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University through our Church. We thought it would be good when we went down to one salary. We never budgeted very well and so it was time to learn. He also teaches alot of other things as well. One of those things is paying your children a commission vs. an allowance. I will admit that we paid Cade an allowance-we gave him money each month. He had chores to do simply because he was a part of the family and it takes everyone to make the house and family function efficiently. That's what I believed. Dave Ramsey believes something a little different and it made perfect sense. To give children an "allowance" just because is not teaching them about life but it does teach them a sense of entitlement or it can. Adults do not "get money" just because. We have to work for our money and children need to learn that. Too many people today feel they are "entitled" to things just because...(That's my opinion) He does believe that children should also have chores just because they are a part of the family. So we came home and changed some things and it has revolutionized Cade's attitude about Chores (the majority of the time). I made out a list, typed it and posted it on the fridge. It has each chore listed and whether or not it is a paid chore or family chore. There is a lot of potential to earn more than the $20 per month we were "giving" him. Most paid chores are only .25 or .50 because they add up. He has the potential to earn more on the weekends and we also have additional jobs for him that we will pay him for-these are extra. For instance, his "commission" for mowing the backyard is $2.00. Things we don't pay for: picking up playroom, taking out trash, loading/unloading dishwasher, setting the table with Jenna, helping with the kids, unloading groceries to name a few. Things we do pay for: mowing, cleaning cat boxes, sweeping on weekends, feeding outside animals on weekends, helping Dad in yard to name a few.

I mention all of this because when Cade just got money "because", he had one of the worst attitudes about helping in our house. It was a battle, every day! Now, he looks forward to seeing how much he earns (he gets paid when Jeff gets paid) and if he complains about a commissioned chore, he doesn't have to do it but he gets no money-that really changed things for him. This also changed his attitude about his "family" chores as well-not sure why but I'll take it. Sometimes when he is tired, we still get attitude but for the most part it is good. This was one of the best household changes we have ever made. There still isn't an option on whether he gets to opt out of "family" chores but a negative attitude will cause him to lose a significant privilege. A good attitude about it can earn him a privilege also. Typically this revolves around playing with friends, xbox time, and going to bed early or staying up late.

Also, he is required to tithe 10% and save 10% (we will match his savings as well). The rest is for him to do with as he wishes. We do have the ultimate veto power however and have used it in the past. :)

This post turned into wayyyy more than I anticipated. What do you do in your house?


Stori said...

Love this idea! I can so see how the kids would get excited about the jobs they had the opportunity to earn money doing! We listen to Dave Ramsey a lot on the radio, but I have never heard him talk about the allowances. Thanks for sharing! Tell Cade to keep up all the good work!

Anonymous said...

My son to does chores for his money. I think it is a Great idea on teching the child how to save also :)
Love your blog...