I was asked by several peeps to share how we handle allowance in our house, so here you go!
The Mathis kids get allowance. Payday is Sunday. If Sunday comes and goes and the money was not doled out it is usually brought to my attention before breakfast is served Monday morning. My kids like having their own money and they usually know exactly how much they have! Kids with their own money can be a wonderful thing!
I remember wanting my own money when I hit middle school. Before that I can recall getting paid for my grades and getting some dough in my birthday cards, but I guess mom and dad paid for everything else. I am sure my want for more money had something to do with Jordache jeans, gold chains and Aquanet! My mom came up with chores. As I look back, they all involved cleaning. Dusting. Sweeping. Washing. And to put it nicely, my mom is a bit of a control freak when it comes to cleaning her house. There is the Linda way and the wrong way. I quickly learned that if I wanted to get paid, I would do it her way. I cleaned. She paid. It worked out beautifully.
Team Mathis allowance is based on age. Noah is nine, he gets $9 every week. Natalie is seven, she gets $7. Right now she feels shafted, but I keep reminding her that when Noah stops receiving allowance she will keep getting it……that usually brings a slight grin to her face! My hubby is a money guy. He suggested we give allowance and researched different ways to make it happen. We both were on board with not assigning allowance to chores. I am not a fan of chore charts simply because it is more work for me! Thinking of the chores, making the chart, assigning a dollar amount to the chore, keeping track of who does their chores and then who picks up the slack if they don’t get done? Instead, we give allowance for being a member of Team Mathis. That’s it. You get paid for being a team member.
Team Mathis Responsibilities include:
-dishes cleared & cleaned (bring your dishes to the sink & when asked, wash them & load dishwasher)
-trash: emptied, curb, garage (gather the trash from the house, load the big trash cans, haul it to the curb and bring the empty cans back to the garage)
-make your bed (every morning to the best of your ability and help change sheets when asked)
-fold laundry & put away (I will wash, all will fold and all will put their own clothes away)
-take care of jagger (potty breaks, walks, feeding, scooping poop)
-clean room (pick up your stuff and put it away)
-clean playroom (put stuff where it belongs)
-wash counters/table/floor (wipe down the counters and table after meals, sweep crumbs from floor)
At the end of this list it says, “…..just to name a few. We help one another at all times because, It’s a privilege to be a Mathis“. You can read more about this in my post from a few days ago.
This is a gentle reminder that we are indeed a team and as our days unfold your duties (my kids laugh every time I say duty, do yours?) may change. Being a member of Team Mathis means that you are ready to pitch in and help with lots of things, even if they are not on a list!
On Sundays, we hand over their pay. BUT, they don’t get to keep it all. That would not teach them anything. We don’t take taxes. We don’t charge them rent. And we don’t make them pay for their insurance. We do make them give a portion to charity and put a portion towards an investment. I use these envelopes to keep it all straight:
You can buy them here.
Here’s how Sunday nights go down. I bring out the cash (all ones), they pull out their wallets and envelopes and we begin. I count out their allowance and make them count it back to me so we are in agreement. They keep about half of their allowance for themselves. From the remaining half of their allowance, 75% goes to Investing and 25% goes to Charity. This is easy when their age is even. We are in an odd age year this year and I do not want to deal with coins, so it is not as perfect.
Noah’s $9.00 = $5 for himself, $3 to invest, $1 to charity.
Natalie’s $7.00 = $4 for herself, $2 to invest, $1 to charity.
They ‘pay’ their envelopes. They have both emptied their charity envelopes a couple of times to give to Pennies for Patients at school. It’s pretty cool to see them give back. Jeremy is in the process of working on a good investment for them. They like the idea of their money making more money all by itself! They are allowed and encouraged to keep readily available spending money in their wallets, but they also have bank accounts where the bulk of it goes. This way it is out of the house and safe, but also accessible if they need to withdraw any. Once their wallets or envelopes are bursting at the seams (ones take up a lot of space), I buy the dollar bills back from them. They love getting a $20, then saving for a $50 or a $100! And it saves me running to the bank every time my stash of ones is depleted.
Allowance cannot be taken away for behavior or being a crappy team member. Once it is given, it belongs to them. It can be used to replace items they have lost, broken or destroyed. A couple examples include:
New puppy = put your shoes away! First pair of Nike slides he chewed, I replaced. Second pair, Noah paid for. Amazing how the slides get put away now.
Balls in the living room = broken frame. Warnings were given, play continued, frame was broken, frame was replaced using their own money. Ouch!
Other than that, their money is theirs to spend. Within reason, of course. Sometimes I say no; it is my job to protect them, right? And sometimes I silently sigh as they spend their money on another app, their 20th pair of Elite socks or more doll accessories. But that is the point of having your own money, being able to spend it on what makes you happy.
It has worked out well so far. They are learning about money and how to save and spend it. We aren’t buying them everything they want. And that makes us all happy!
How do you handle money with your kids?