My kids have been complaining about their lack of funds lately, so I came up with an ingenious offer that I would have scooped up in a heart beat if I were a kid ;)
For every (clump) of dog poop you pick up from our yard, I will give you 50¢!
BOOM! One less task for me, and more cash for them – which should literally only take like 15 seconds. And where can you find an hourly rate like that as a kid?! You’d think this would have motivated them, but no. After two weeks and approximately 0 scoops my genius idea was proven to be not that genius at all 🙃
So I did what any good problem solver would do – I upped it to $1.00 a clump (DOUBLE the reward!!!). But sadly that didn’t fair much better either, clocking in with a total of just *1* scoop out of about 130 opportunities given… And that was only after me hinting there was a golden prize right next to their feet where they were playing!
So back to the beginning we were, with me in the fields again scooping away, and them very much still in want of money… Though if you ask me, if you can’t even bend over for a few seconds to earn some quick cash, do you actually really want it that bad? ;)
(As an aside, I’m writing all this on my phone right now in the middle of the gastrointestinal office awaiting my own colonoscopy results, haha… Poo is on the mind today!! UPDATE: I’m in the clear! They found a polyp in there during the procedure, but apparently it was “the good kind” so I’m set to go for another 5 years – #Adulting)
After marinating on it for a while and trying to come up with a more enticing offer, we realized we’ve never officially implemented any type of “allowance” deal yet with our family. And perhaps now was just the time to enact one? Maybe the incorporation of *timelines* and getting weekly paychecks would motivate them more?
Or maybe they just really don’t like poop, I dunno, but either way at 10, 9 and 5 it was high-time they start appreciating where money came from more. Especially if they’re gonna take over this blog one day ;)
I remember how important allowances were for ME growing up, even if I was only getting paid $1.00/week and all my friends made fun of me (!!!), but it was enough to give me a little freedom and push in the right direction. So I dug up an old wipey board from the basement and got to work…
Here’s what I came up with:
Each kid has one daily task to complete, and if they accomplish it – AND – keep up with their other general responsibilities like making their bed and cleaning up after themselves, they’ll be entitled to an allowance at the end of the week.
If, however, they only do a partial job in any area, they’ll then get a 1/2 check and too many 1/2 checks will result in less of an allowance at the week’s end. You’ll see Baby Dime up there already got one after a couple of days rockin’ it.
As for their pay? $3.00/week. BUT! This isn’t just any ordinary allowance, oh no. As recommended by my oldest son, Baby Penny, we’ll be following the concept from the book Three Cups by Tony Townsley*. A fantastic read that surprisingly all three of my kids love! And one that recommends splitting allowances into 3 equal parts:
- 1 cup for spending
- 1 cup for savings
- and 1 cup for giving
Thereby teaching kids the importance of all THREE, and getting those habits started early. Even stars like Angeline Jolie does this!! Though perhaps filling up their houses with cash instead of plastic cups 😂 And since my kids will be *manually* receiving and divvying up their cash each week vs digitally on a screen, hopefully it’ll all sink in even more too. I’ve already headed to the bank to get stacks of ones now that I’ll be turning into an ATM!
[live shot of me flipping through a stack]
I gotta give my oldest boy mad credit again for this. We were originally going to start their allowances at $2.00/week which they could do whatever they want with, but it was him who brought up the book and said he’d like to get a little more involved and give back. I almost cried and immediately changed it.
And as you can see, we’re off to a great start! Everyone is more or less doing their part each day, and I can already tell they’re taking it seriously and excited for what they can now do with their extra money. We’ll see how long it lasts, but for now I’m a proud dad, and I’d like to think a *smart* one too ;)
Hopefully the $$$ teachings of your kids are going well for you over there! If any of them are interested in scooping up poop, my $1.00/offer is still on the table!
Yours in daddying,
*I first read Three Cups when we did a giveaway for it here on the blog over 13 years ago – way before any of my kids were born or I even had to think about allowances! Highly recommend checking out if you’re going down similar adventures right now.
*Links to book are Amazon affiliate links