What is the opposite of Pinterest? Because this is raw, homemade, unpretty stuff, but it works.
When school started this fall I instituted allowance for Kyle, who is eight now and really good at math so I figured he can finally handle it. I threw Brady a bone by giving him the option to earn allowance too but at only 6 years old he’s not so interested in the value of a dollar because he thinks Mom and Dad can just buy everything. So for him, it’s really just symbolic.
Kyle wanted to buy the desktop version of Minecraft, though, which cost €19.95. Yikes! That’s $26.91 as of this moment. And Kyle already had the iPad version of Minecraft, so I didn’t want to just turn around and get that for him..without striking a deal.
We drew up a list of daily chores for him, plus things he has to do on the weekends, and some jobs he can complete to earn extra money. For his diligent completion of his chores he earns $5.00 per week. He must split his money three ways:
- Give 10%
- Save 45%
- Spend 45%
The night we figured this all out, Kyle calculated that he’d be working for something like 24 cents a day. I am probably wrong on that math. I should film him working out the numbers. He can go on and on and on…
Kyle gets paid every Saturday, except when I forget. Then he is good about reminding me. Building up to buying Minecraft, every day was a countdown to the next payout. The first true test of our system was the weekend Kyle thought he had saved enough in the “Spend” jar to buy it. Unfortunately he had the 19.95 in his mind and forgot about the exchange rate, which I had explained to him when we first priced it out. We sat down to download the game and he counted out his money. $22.07. He needed $26.95 that day.
As the shortfall dawned on him his face fell, and he scrunched it up and started to cry. My heart broke for him, but only a little, because I knew this was a Teaching Moment. I stayed strong and did NOT make up the remaining amount. He worked hard that week to earn extra money to go with the $2 of spending money from his allowance that he could add to that amount. The next weekend we downloaded Minecraft on my laptop. I am not going to go into that topic here because OMG ALL THE TALKING. You parents whose children are obsessed with Minecraft know exactly what I mean. Those of you who don’t? Well, consider it one way to get your kid to talk to you, even if you will not understand one word.
Once Kyle blew his Spend jar on Minecraft he wasn’t as motivated by allowance to do chores. That’s fine with me. HE STILL HAS TO DO HIS CHORES. I pay attention to how much he gets done during the week but I haven’t docked his pay yet.
On Halloween he forgot to bring his Unicef box with him when we went trick-or-treating, so he put the contents of his Give jar (which he rebranded as “Charity”) into it. He was proud to give. I was proud of him.
So far, so good.