The Allowance Experiment: Part Deux

I’m almost three weeks into this whole allowance experiment and wanted to let you know results thus far.

A few details:
1. We are paying out $7 per week per kid to do a list of chores, all homework (of course) and to keep a good attitude in general.
2. Extra chores outside of this list are available should they want to earn more (cleaning the cars, re-roofing the house, etc…)
3. Not really on the re-roofing, I just wanted to see if you were paying attention.

The Great Allowance Experiment commenced on a Friday afternoon. The kids were required to keep to the list of chores for the week and each Friday, we pay out. Like a Greasy Guido at a singles’ bar, they told all their friends about their new–impending–wealth.

Sunday, Delaneigh, 9, dropped her iPod touch, otherwise known as an iAmStinkinFragile, and broke the screen. Now, while this was an accident and iFelt sorry for her little broken iPod Touch heart; iDo know iRepeatedly have said:

“You need to keep a cover on it, that’s why I bought you one.”

Or, “It’s going to break if you don’t put a cover on it.”

And also, “What would Jesus Do?” (Applicable in multiple situations.)

Now we have a predicament: There’s nothing like the heartbreak a parent feels when their kid is truly upset. But on the other hand, I had the overwhelming urge to do the ‘Told You So’ dance from Will and Grace.

will and grace image

So, the next day I pay $107.85 to have Lani’s iPod repaired/replaced at the Apple Store, I bring it home, I show it to her and then…..I put it away and tell her she must work it off. She is now $100.85 in the hole. She is quite forlorn.

Later that week, she wants me to buy her some cotton candy body spray in cute glittery pink packaging with flowers on it at Target. “It’s only $3.99, Mom.” she says. I tell her when she has her allowance she can save it for her iPod or buy body spray.

“UGH!!” She says, “I HATE this stupid allowance thing. I didn’t AGREE to THIS!”

Then she puts back the cotton candy body spray in the cute glittery pink packaging with flowers on it. I just realized I saved $3.99 plus tax and I buy myself new mascara.

Only once did he ask me for an iTunes song. He was told ‘no’. He surrendered peacefully.

The boys fared a little differently. Connor, 11, has cheerfully done his chores for two weeks in anticipation of the allowance. This is the most effort I’ve gotten from him ever. EVER! EVERRRRR!!! He’s happy, motivated, and diligent, if you will.

He’s also shown us no less than 3 pellet guns, a Go-Cart, a St. Bernard puppy, and a motorcycle that he plans on buying when he saves up. And when he walks in from school and says “can I have my $7?”, I hand it to him–he has earned it. My momma heart is proud.

By the following Tuesday, he’s spent $7 on candy and gum.

Only once did he ask me for an iTunes song. He was told ‘no’. He surrendered peacefully.

Tanner, 7, has almost as cheerfully done his chores. His favorite thing to do is spend our money at the concession stands during Connor’s baseball games, of which we often have 3-5 on weekends. He walks up to me asking for $1 to buy candy.

“Nope.” I say.

“UGH, (we say ‘UGH’ a lot in my house) but I’m STARVING!” he whines.

“We just ate.”

Kid you not if he says “Nevermind, I’m saving up for a new video game and a treadmill.”


“A treadmill, ‘cuz they just look like fun!” Tanner runs away to play.

I high-five all the baseball moms.

By the end of week two, they’ve figured something else out: Working together has its perks. They decided to pool their money to rent a movie on Pay-per-View. Then they shared a pack of gum on Saturday. By Sunday, they’ve decided to invest their money in baby chicks. Random, I know. But since they’re all fans of Duck Dynasty, their names are Si, Si, Si, Si, I Don’t Remember, and Si.

So, in summary after two weeks, this is the official status report:

Connor: $0, 2 baby chicks, can’t wait until next Friday when we pay out again.

Delaneigh: -$101, no iPod Touch, 2 baby chicks, has begun to do extra chores so she can earn more money.

Tanner: $12, 2 baby chicks, is considering paying Connor and Delaneigh at a reduced rate to do his chores.

After two weeks, Copenhagen Fella and I have decided this Allowance Experiment might be the best thing EVER!


The Allowance Experiment

Hey friends, I wanted to share with you our recent experience with giving our kids an allowance.
At dinner a few nights ago, our 3 curtain climbers approached (again) the subject of getting an allowance. Now, in our house–our offspring have everything and then some. And we often complain that they don’t value money. Why do we feel this? Statements such as “it’s not a big deal that I left my sweatshirt at the field trip, it’s just $40.” Or “why can’t I have this bat $150 isn’t that much?” Or my personal favorite as they hold their iPads and iPods and iDon’t Even know what else’s, “you never buy me anything!”
So, the request was that they each feel that in return for their weekly chores, their homework, and for being overall very good and loving kids we should pay them $5 a week. There are many great reasons why allowance should be given.

Our reply was simply “that’s great, but in reality, we spend SO much money on you regularly that you don’t even pay attention to, that we feel it’s fair for us simply to have these expectations of them.”

(And this is where it gets really good my friends) Their reply? “How about, y’all stop giving us money for things then, and we just use our allowance?”

It was as if the heavens themselves opened up and rays of sunshine fell upon our dinner table. The hubster and I, who–incidentally–has requested I refer to him as ‘Copenhagen Fella’, could not get our words out fast enough. In fact, we might have fought to climb over the table to look them eye-to-eye and say “Done!” And “no take backs!” and “Please sign here at the dotted line.”

Then we pointed and yelled “What’s that?!” as we high-fived when their heads turned away.
To further seal the deal, I even followed up with “we’d be willing to pay $7 a week for that deal.”

The kids, bless their little non-money-valuing hearts, said “Done! And No take backs!”
Court was not impressed with that. As he calculated $7 per week, x 3 mini-me’s x 4 weeks in a month, I hear something like, “Lady, you know not what you’ve done!”

“Go with it.” I said.

So thus became week one of a new agreement NEVER (as if) again to give them $ other than their allowance.

We all went to bed feeling rich that night. And calm fell upon us as we drifted off to thoughts of what we would be able to buy with all this (as if) wealth.

Think about this my dear friends. And stay tuned for the results from week one.

Do your kids get allowance? Share your thoughts here!