I need some help around here, and we already have a live-in. (That would be me, in case you're not following.)
Michele Ashamalla: This weekend, I made a chore chart. I have made many over the years, but I think this one will really work. I have tasks broken up into small manageable sections like make the bed, set table, and help out for five minutes. Each task is worth a nickel. No one gets paid for basic hygiene, although that might be a mistake. Lest you think I'm a bigger cheapskate than I am, there are 26 small tasks on the chart, which adds up to a potential $1.30 a day. There is also one larger task worth 25 cents, bumping the total daily potential to $1.55, or a whopping $10.85 a week.
Of course, if they choose to spend a day cleaning the garage with me (in the event that they had been replaced by alien pod children), I would compensate them accordingly. I expect them to actually earn between $1.50 and $5.00 a week. Because of interest and ability limitations, the younger children will be on the lower end, but that's how allowance usually works. If they complete a certain number of tasks or earn a certain amount, I will double their amount that week. I expect my children to put aside one-third of what they earn to save and one-third for a charity of their choosing.
And this is a big thing -- I am going to let them spend their money on whatever they want. I am hoping that if they blow their whole allowance on the claw machine at the mall one week, they will make a smarter choice the next. We'll see ... My chart is attached -- what do you think?
A former state deputy attorney general and current stay-at-home mom, Recession Mama Michele Ashamalla has three kids and ten years of experience stretching one salary to cover the necessities and more. She's all about saving money whenever you can, so you have it to spend on whatever you want!