A few weeks back, I wrote a blog about motivating my children to do work around the house. None of them are very motivated, and I have found in the past that offering a blanketed amount for a week’s worth of duties left me with less money in my wallet for less than par performances.
My two younger daughters, nine and eleven-years old respectively, have finally learned that saving money for something they really want has a higher sense of gratification than running to the dollar aisle at Target every time she has a buck or two. Maggie recently saved for a Captain America Build-A-Bear, and Lizzie saved for an American Girl gymnastics set. However, they have each learned that without a regular way of earning money, it is difficult to set her sights on something big because she is unable to make a timeline and work toward that goal.
This morning, after a very long conversation with Lizzie, the nine-year old, I decided to reinstitute allowance. However, I refuse to allow for the handing over of moneys for the same level of effort I am getting at present. Hence, I drew up two unique contracts for each girl, I had their father act as witness and legal advisor, and he, on their behalf, agreed to the wording and terms of my contract.
They have been signed. Schedules have been made, and who knows what the results will be. Hopefully, the girls will learn that their performance effects their pay; they will learn that economic survival is about one’s willingness to perform; and they will learn that earning money is actually rewarding and can lead to an early retirement!
Here is Lizzie’s contract: (Moms, feel free to borrow my idea!)
I, ______________________________, not bound by the contract of habeas corpus, do agree that by the signing of this said legal document, that I will do my best to perform each activity listed so that I can earn a fair wage in the Huffer household.
I understand that by signing this document that I am aware that if I perform each activity to the best of my ability, I will be awarded a bonus for each activity a week. Likewise, I understand that if I do not meet said criteria, not only do I forfeit my bonus, but that my weekly allotment will be less because of my laziness.
In addition, mother and/or father have the right to ask me to take on an up to two extra duties a day that do not meet the requirements for compensation. These duties include, but are not limited to: picking up wet towels, taking paper to the paper pile, hang up my coat, taking cans and glass to recycling, etc.
If at any point I feel that I am asked to do an activity that is time consuming, it is in my legal right to negotiate for compensation for said activity.
I will make my bed and pick up my floor every morning for $.25. At the end of the week, if I have performed said activity each morning, I will have earned $1.75. However, I may also earn a bonus $.25 for performing this job for seven consecutive days, taking my earnings for said activity for the week to $2.00.
I will at the end of each evening, pick up all of my belongings off of the kitchen table, the tables in the living room, the living room floor, and the basement floor and put them in their specified locations: books should return to the book bag, toys to their proper location, and any other belongings should be placed NEATLY in my room. This assignment will also earn me $.25 a day with a bonus of $.25 at the end of the week if I perform my activity for seven consecutive days.
I will empty the dishwasher every day. As with the other activities, I will earn $.25 a day with a bonus at the end of the week of $.25, after I have executed my responsibility for seven consecutive days.
Lastly, on laundry day, I will be afforded $.50 for putting all of my laundry away NEATLY and appropriately. I must bring down my hamper to have my clothes washed, and I must bring down all hangars in my closet that are not supporting my clothing at the time.
If I perform all of these activities each week, I have the opportunity to earn $6.50 a week. However, I understand that my pay is solely based on my diligence to perform each activity each day.
Print your name ____________________________ Date _______________________________________
Signature _________________________________ Witness _____________________________________