Tuesday, November 10, 2009

$3 goes a long way

Like so many things in parenting, our allowance "program" has been less-than-consistent from week to week. In the past, ChellBell's allowance has at times been in response to completed chores; sometimes it's been based on her attitude/responses; and sometimes we've just completely forgotten to give it to her. And the sad thing is that she wouldn't remember it either. Net-net, it was not working for us.

After polling several of my friends, Chris and I decided on a new allowance program. Here's how it works: Every Sunday is payday, and ChellBell is given $9. That money is divided evenly into 3 jars, labeled Save, Spend, and Serve. Save is the money she will put away and hopefully help with college expenses one day. Spend is the money she gets to use for whatever she wants. On the last day of each quarter, Chris and I double anything ChellBell has in her Spend jar as a way to teach her that it pays to hang on to your money and wait until you can buy the big things. Serve is the money she uses to serve God and people. She can give this money to the church, use it to buy a coat to donate, etc -- she gets to decide how she wants to use it, with the understanding that it is used to make the world a better place.

ChellBell's school is having a food drive this week, which of course has been turned into a competition between the classes in each grade. ChellBell decided to take this week's Serve money and see how much she could buy with $3 to donate to the cause. What an educational, eye-opening shopping trip for her! Chell was of course motivated to get as many items as possible for the competition, but also so she could have more to donate to the Food Bank. So for $2.98, she was able to get 12 packages of chicken ramen, a can of green beans, and a can of corn. In contrast, while we were at the store, Chris called and asked us to get him a 12-pack of diet coke. That "sleeve" of soda set us back $4.38 -- $1.40 more than all of Chell's food!

When we got home after shopping, ChellBell wrote about her purchase in her Serve diary -- she is tracking everything she does with her Serve money over the course of the year. She wrote, "I spent $3 to help feed a family for 12 meals! Or 14 if they will eat corn and beans for a meal. But I wouldn't." (some things are more difficult to teach -- we'll keep working on the veggies!)


14 comments:

  1. That is wonderful! I struggle with tying allowance to chores. I love that she has a serve category too. Great job!

    XOOX
    Jen

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great idea! We haven't started giving allowance yet but will have to one day soon. Maybe we will wait until they are five.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow Christie, what a great idea!! If I thought I could keep it up with 4 kids...I'd do it. I'm so bad about remembering anything, I worry that I would totally short change them {no pun intended}

    Great learning lessons!! Love it!

    xoxo ~Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love these ideas! I've wanted to do something similar (in the 3 categories) and make sure allowance was not tied to chores. But I love the ideas of doubling the spend category every so often and also the serve diary!

    ReplyDelete
  5. You and Chell-Bell are both inspirations! This is a wonderful idea. Thanks for sharing and for keeping up posted on how it goes. Great idea!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love, love, love that idea. We also start and stop the allowance thing all the time.......I figure we probably owe the boys about $100 each by now, but I have done more of their chores than they have this school year so I'm willing to call it even.

    I love the idea of the SERVE journal......amazing! Hmmm.....maybe, once again, I'll copy you on this idea.

    Love you!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Like I've said, YOU should have been the Mom and me the child. Did you even get allowance? I highly suspect your Dad remembered. He has that "administrative" ability. I love how you teach principles, even of giving, to Cella.
    Love you...and today was a special day.

    ReplyDelete
  8. what a great idea! I love it and I'm probably going to steal it! have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a wonderful Idea- great way of teaching C the value of money! We stopped giving allowance when the kids never remembered to ask for it. Their "chores" are a part of being a part of this household and it works well for us!

    ~Becca

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love the concept of the three jars. How those jars are teaching such valuable life lessons. You have a very sweet daughter.
    Have a fabulous day!

    ReplyDelete
  11. That is awesome and I may very well steal it!

    ReplyDelete
  12. What an amazing way to teach her about doing for others and spending wisely! I love that idea!

    ReplyDelete
  13. What a great experience! We too are having a hard time coming up with a consistent and meaningful allowance program for our kiddos!

    ReplyDelete