Tag Archives: Family

Kids and Money: Family Economy

Back in this post, I mentioned that we were beginning what we call our ‘Family Economy’. I’m not sure why we chose that name as it really doesn’t describe what we’re doing, but with 4 boys 15 years and younger, things often don’t make sense.  (Anyone feel me on that?)

To describe the Family Economy a little better, it’s a system of payment of wages to the child for completely tasks (chores and other things) throughout the week. Originally, this idea came from Shawni @ 71toes.com and this post. When I came across it, I knew we had to try it.

But let’s back up a little bit. Let me tell you WHY  I feel my children should be receiving a wage and NOT an allowance.

First, I want to describe to you what I see with kids today. In general (an by no means are all kids included in this group), I see a lot of kids who are being brought up having no concept of money or the real cost of living. They’re attending sports camps that cost hundreds of dollars, wearing clothes that are extremely over priced, get all the new gadgets as they hit the market, and watch mom or dad pay for it all on a credit card.  Kids are given no responsibility to pay for things themselves.

Which leads to the next thing. Due to all the government and insurance regulations in place, a kid is lucky to even find a job. When I was a teenager (you know…last week  ), when you turned 16, a lot of kids got a job. You worked at the grocery store, waitressed, or drove to the neighboring ‘big’ town for a job at a fast food place or one of the big chain retail stores.

If you were like me and had a parent who owned a business, or even one who farmed, you started working a lot earlier than that. I started babysitting when I was 11 and working for my parents when I was 12.  My son is 15, and although in Illinois a child can work at 14 (with some hoops to jump through) no one will hire a child younger than 16. My son has been looking for a job for almost a year and a half. Everywhere he inquires he’s met with the same answer, “Sorry. You have to be 16.” It’s frustrating for him and frustrating for us as parents trying to teach our children financial responsibility.

Lastly, I am anti-allowance. I don’t believe that handing my child money just for existing is doing anyone any favors.

Here’s the nuts and bolts of our Family Economy:

  • Each child has the opportunity to earn a wage equal to his age every week.
  • Each child has a chart with his assigned jobs and chores that must be filled out each day.
  • If a child misses one mark, he has the chance to make it up by doing an extra job. If he chooses not to make it up, his weekly wage is cut in half.
  • If a child misses 2 marks, he can make one up to be paid half wage, otherwise he won’t be paid at all.
  • If a child misses 3 or more marks, there will be no wage that week.
  • The kids are required to Give 10%, Save 20%, and the rest is their Spend money.
  • When the boys turn 12, they are required to pay for half of their clothes and shoes and all their spending money. We won’t pay more than our spending limit on clothes that we paid before. So, if the kids decide they want a pair of $120 shoes, I’ll only pay $50.
  • If they want to do camps or anything like that, they have to pay half also (although there may be instances where we’ll pay more.)
  • We pay for socks, underwear, and special occasion clothing.
  • The two oldest boys must pay for their portion of the cell phone bill after their initial two year contract is up. For Jeremy that will be this next summer and for Punkin it will be November 2014.
  • Their Save money is put into the family bank. They receive 10% interest accrued monthly on their savings. They’ve all had savings accounts in banks before, but here they’ll be able to earn more money on their savings-like 1000% more. This is their reward for working to save more money.
  • They can’t withdraw from their savings.
  • They can choose who or what they want to give their ‘Give’ money to.
  • We have payday every two weeks.
  • Edit: We use check registries to keep track of the money (the kids are responsible for filling out their registries when they get paid.)

Jeremy has a contract with us to pay back some money he borrowed to put towards his new computer and to pay an old cell phone overage debt, so that poor kid only received $1 this payday. I thought it was a great lesson to be learned. He has to pay us $20 a month, and he’s only got $42 total in his spend account for four weeks. He’s really going to have to economize and make wise spending choices so that he’ll have enough  money to pay for his clothes.

We’re in our third week of Family Economy, and I am very pleased with how excited the kids were to get paid for their hard work. Both older boys were paid for two solid weeks, while the two youngest were only paid for one week. I’m pretty serious about them having to do all their chores for them to get paid, and believe that if I was lenient at the beginning, it would just follow on through.

I can remember as a kid working for my dad, he told me, “Now that you’re getting paid, you’re going to be responsible for buying your clothes. You can either spend all your money on the expensive shit, or save some of it.” It was a small obscure conversation that’s followed me through my life. I never had the highest costing brand name clothes in school, but I always had gas money, spending money, and money in the bank. I was even able to pay for a weeklong trip to Mexico when I was 15 (with a school group).

My goal for the kids is that they learn that although money isn’t everything, it sure is nice to have enough to meet your needs and to give some away. I want them to learn to budget what they do have and to be content to live within their means.

I believe this will be a great way to do that.

What’s your opinion on allowance? Do you have a family economy of your own in place?

I’m a SAHM and No, We’re Not Rich

My name is Missy, and I’m a SAHM. And you wanna know what? We’re not rich, and SAHM life isn’t all designer clothes, luxury cars and bon bons.

Does this sound like an odd opening to you? Because for me and many other SAHMs out there, we hear this over and over again. It’s tedious.

Last week I was talking with my friend Rhonda who’s also a stay at home mom, and we began discussing the many things people say to us when they find out we don’t have 9-5 jobs, but have chosen to stay at home with our kids. I was surprised, pleasantly so, that I wasn’t the only one receiving my share of asinine comments about my husband’s income and our financial well-being.

From a family member, “Well it must be really nice to have your husband take care of you.” Why yes, it is very nice thank you. I love having a sugar daddy who provides for my every want and need. *Cue eye roll*

From a ‘friend’, “Wow. It must be really nice to be able to sit at home all day. Some of us have to work.” This one was a double whammy because I don’t ever recall ‘sitting’ for a whole day other than when I broke my leg and was unable to be on crutches for a couple days before I was up making supper for the family. I know, I’m a total slacker, but the housekeeper and cook were on vacation.

From people who don’t even know me, “Your husband must be really awesome to let you stay at home.” Because he lets me. Whatevs.

On the heels of these comments are the ones that really piss me off, the ‘Well if you can afford to stay at home’ comments: “Well if you can afford to stay home, you should be able to afford a new car.” “Well, if you can afford to stay at home, I don’t see why you can’t drive home more often.” “Well if you can afford to stay at home, why don’t you guys spend some of that money on some new (insert new item here such as clothes, vacation, furniture, blah blah blah).”

And my all time favorite, “You guys have the money.”

Very rarely do I have anyone around my age ‘get’ that I’m a SAHM because we have chosen this for our family, not because I’m ‘taken care of’ or that ‘we can afford it”. Why is this? Is it guilt, jealously, or the inability to understand that our values rank kids being raised by a parent higher than material possessions?

Because here’s our ugly truth about me staying at home with the kids. Some months we struggle. Some months we eat from the freezer because the only money we can move around in the budget to cover unexpected bills is the grocery money. Some months I’ve really wondered how we were going to even pay all our bills.

Some months I feel like we don’t have the proverbial pot to piss in.

My husband and I don’t have a clothing allocation in the budget. There simply isn’t enough money. If we need something, it has to come out of another line item.

Big Daddy gets first dibs on the gas money for the month. If he needs it and there’s not any left, I don’t get gas. He’s the one who has to get to a job. I don’t usually ‘need’ to go anywhere.

If we don’t have the money for something, we don’t get it. We did break this rule for the new-to-us vehicle we just purchased but there was a reason we chose to take on that payment. It is budgeted for, and will be paid off early.

The kids are provided for but they don’t get a lot of extras. They also don’t have a lot of clothes. It helps that with homeschooling they don’t really need many, but even when they were in public school, 2-3 pairs of jeans each was the norm. Rarely do any of them get anything ‘just because’. (And they very rarely complain.)

Thrift stores and freebies from friends are where it’s at. Why on earth would I pay full price for a brand new winter jacket when I found one for $4 that was in great shape at a thrift store? My son would have had those sleeves stained in a month anyway. The previous owner took care of that for him.

My point is that I don’t stay at home with my kids because I ‘can’. I stay at home with my kids because we choose that for our family. I stay at home with my kids because in this season of our lives, my husband needs to know that things at home are taken care of and my kids need to know they have their mama whenever they need her.

I stay at home not because we’re rich or because I’m lazy (which is also another zinger that’s been thrown out there), but because for us the sacrifice necessary to do so is worth it.

Yes, we are fortunate that my husband’s income is such that it’s feasible for me to be a SAHM. I’m so grateful for that.

I’d also be grateful if some people would shut their pie holes about our financial situation which is no business of theirs anyway.

Now if you don’t mind, I think I’ll go sit on the couch with a pint of Ben &Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream and ignore the children for the day while I watch my soap operas…because isn’t that what the rich do?

The Family Fridays Link-Up Party is Here!

This has been quite the week here in Casa Homemaker. The biggest thing was my HUGE Wellness Coaching Giveaway that I posted here. Please don’t make another New Year’s Resolution until you head on over there and read that post. Now, onto the Parrttaaayyy!

 Don’t forget to stop by HERE and enter to win 3 months of Wellness Coaching for no cost!

Welcome to Livin’ The Mom Life & Missy Homemaker’s Family Friday Link-Up Party!!!

Party Time! Family Fridays Link-Up is Open

Welcome to Livin’ The Mom Life & Missy Homemaker’s Family Friday Link-Up Party!!!

Let’s celebrate the upcoming weekend by sharing some linking love.
Jennifer at Making Our Life Matter is Co-Hosting Family Friday Link-Up Party with us this week and we are so excited she has come to party with us! Please check her out HERE and remember to follow her too!

This week is all about family. Enjoy!
Rhonda at Bitch and Whine discusses how sometimes kids should be rewarded for effort not results. This post tore at my heartstrings and is well worth your time to read.

Bonnie a.k.a. Lady Blogger writes a quick post: Applying to College. It seems it’s a lot harder than it was 20+ years ago when I sent my quick and dirty application in.

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Adelein at Blessed Learners writes about the importance of one of my favorite parts of the day: Having Meals Together as a Family. It’s something my family did when I was growing up and something my family does now.

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Oh did Tanya from Mom’s Small Victories crack me up with her Sharing Moments of Motherhood post. I can totally relate to flatulence being the music of my life. Seriously. Is there something wrong with these kids’ digestive systems?

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I can’t let this day pass without one recipe right? My buddy Melissa at Forever Fitting In has a recipe for an A.MAZ.ING Candy Cane Protein Shake. You don’t have to wait for a workout to make this. Just do it. Now. Yumm-O!

Please also check out the featured posts at Livin’ The Mom Life & Making Our Life Matter!
If you have been featured in today’s Family Friday Link-Up Party, please grab the button below and proudly display it in your post or sidebar!