November 04, 2009

Making Allowances for Good Behavior

Every child needs to learn how to handle money. They need to know that mom and dad don't shake the money tree out back to buy them what they want (and if you DO have a money tree, could you please send me a seedling?).

They need to know the value of a buck, and that they are are rewarded monetarily for work performed.

Cue the discussion about allowance.

Some experts say that an allowance is a good idea. A typical weekly amount is one dollar per year of the child's age.

There's a debate whether you should pay for tasks that are family expectations (like making the bed, picking up toys, etc.), or whether allowance should only be given for doing extra chores.

I'm not here to debate.

When I was about 10, I was really into that allowance thing. I drew up a written contract detailing jobs and payment schedules. I was ready to negotiate some sweet terms for my younger brother and myself.

I sat down with my dad to discuss my terms. He read it over, and said something that has stayed with me all of these years.

He said that he, as one of eleven kids, never got an allowance. His dad expected him to be good for nothing...and he expected us kids to be good for nothing too.

Since I'm now unemployed, I have no income.

He's smiling down at me right now...cuz I'm still good, for nothing.


  1. I planted a penny one time when I was a kid because my brother told me it would grow a money tree....yeah I'm still waiting!

    And you do good for nothing really well!!

  2. Hey, good for nothing! I'm good for ten bucks! I got a survey today for a prescription I'm on and they slipped me a $10 bill! Whether I do the survey or not!

    1. I did the survey
    2. I am paying WAYAAAYAYAYAYAy to much for this Rx if they can afford to do this as a marketing strategy.

    Still, if we're keeping score, I'm not good for nothing anymore.

    But at least you are an amazing writer and a SURVIVOR!

  3. I never got an allowance either. I was expected to do my chores with no complaining...complaining only meant more chores.

  4. I am going through that right now with my 6 year old. All she ever says is I want this, I want that. So if she wants to buy lunch at school I have her vacuum or wipe down the kitchen table. But then I also see the other side of it, they are expected to make their beds and pick up their toys. Tough decision.

  5. I never got an allowance. And I never did any chores...

    I make my kids do some chores though, like making their beds, and cleaning their own rooms. Etc.. If they behave and clean up after themselves they get a treat at the end of the week. Like a root beer float, or a toy from the $1 store. It works. Sometimes...

  6. From one good for nothing to another - Have a great day!
    Loved the post!

  7. Ridiculous! You're good for lots! Sometimes lots of money...sometime lots of things that money can't buy!

  8. Oh ... what a sweet and clever post. I love the spin on "Good for nothing." Next time I hear that, I'll think of this!

    And I'm thinking about the whole allowance thing as my son gets older. My husband is totally into the "Good for nothing" school of thought and I'm into the "a little pay for extra work never hurt anybody and it will help him learn the value of money" school of thought. We'll see what happens!


Thanks for stopping by. I love your comments...I get all warm inside just reading them!