Chores and the financial outcome

Today was a beautiful day. I know technically it is winter, but it feels and smells like spring. The sky today was such a bright, light blue with billowy clouds stretched out as far as the eye could see.

The Man and I went out some place new (to us) for breakfast. While the scenery was great, I wasn’t impressed with the food nor the service. Very ordinary and cold. I’ll take the sweethearts down at Waffle House anytime over stiff service.

After our weekly breakfast date we went to the Auto Store. I got a deco- air freshener (skull dog tags), steering wheel cover (also skulls), and a new knob for the Stang’s gear shift (a skull… shocking). We also got all the goodies to regularly clean and detail both of our cars.

I’m off of work tonight. Nice to spend the evening with my babies. Deedee showed off her culinary skills and cooked us spaghetti. Now we have already watched a movie and the kids are getting their evening chores done before bedtime. Snoochie is washing the dinner dishes. Bobo is cleaning the cat box.

I tend not to give them money straight out for their chores. I pay about $3 a week if they do the bare minimum (1 daily chore through out the week). If they do any extra work I add a dollar here, a dollar there. They have the option of going to Family Dollar and spending their money or they can save up. Recently Snoochie got a dragon Lego set with her allowance and Bobo got a new video game.

As a kid, I can not remember a time when I was exempt from chores (except when I was physically injured or sick). My mom had some grade “A” expectations too. I had to brush 50 hair balls off of our dog. Vacuum the living room. Dust ALL the wood in the living room (and there was so much wood). Of course I had to clean the playroom and my bedroom (those were my wrecking grounds anyway). I had to help wash and fold laundry. Clean, set, and clear the kitchen table. Shovel the driveway and side walks on snowy days. Rake the front, back, and two side yards when the autumn leaves fell, and mow the grass in the spring. The more I think back, the more I can keep adding to this list.

When I was tiny my mom paid cut throat rates. I got like 25 cents and a “Be lucky you got that. I can make you do the chores for free if you complain.” She did get competitive with her rates though. I remember loving Sunday’s because I’d get $5 if my chores were done on time.

After my parents separated my mom was incredibly busy between work and school. She couldn’t stand a messy house, but wasn’t around to make sure it was cleaned and maintained. That’s when I hit it big time. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, at 14 years old I got a $25’s a week for helping my mom out. If I had been a better kid, more altruistic, more sensitive, I would have refused the amount. I didn’t though. Unfortunately I was an insensitive kid. I pocketed that money and loved every second of it.

My heft allowance got even more weighty. My brother and sister also made a whopping $25 a week, but when they got real jobs they refused to help out. My mom told me if I did their chores too, I could have their allowance. I was pulling in $75 a week just by really thoroughly cleaning my house.

So when it comes to my kids, I feel weird burdening them with too many chores. They each have a daily chore and then a few extra ones (like changing the trash, bringing in groceries). I think we’ve got a good system.

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