As the title reads, when did you start making your kids work for stuff they wanted to buy?
My son is going to be five in May. He recently saw something at Target he really, really wanted (a shiny pirate sword and an eye patch). I’m tired of buying him all kinds of crap that gets played with for five minutes and discarded, so I decided that if he really wants it, he can work for it and buy it himself. It’ll mean more to him and could help weed out those things he would really use versus stuff he wants to buy on a whim. Plus, I’d like to start teaching him a little bit about money.
So I’ve come up with several “major” chores over and above standard maintenance (which he’s already required to help with) that involve his stuff. One was organizing all his toys in the living room and deciding which ones go into storage. He did a beautiful job. Yesterday was organizing all his stuff in the dining room and discarding things that aren’t important to him. Tonight will probably be the same thing, only with the mountain of books in his bookshelf (he’ll give books he doesn’t want to the baby or decide which ones should go to goodwill).
The sword & eye patch are just $4, so about $4.50 tops with tax. Depending upon the amount of work he has to do, he’s getting up to $1 per chore. It’s more generous than I originally wanted to give, but I felt that since this is the first time and he’s not yet 5, allowing him to have slightly quicker gratification is probably better for his motivation.
So tell me - what are your experiences? And as a tangent (and probably almost a separate thread), how do you handle allowances for little kids?