Pocket money and pedal power

Elizabeth wants to earn some pocket money so I told her that if she did some jobs around the house we’d give her some money. I suggested that she make her bed and tidy the bedroom so she disappeared for a little while and then came back and said:

Elizabeth: Mum, I made my bed, I made Daniel’s bed and I put the toys away.
Me: That’s terrific. How much do you think you should get for that?
Elizabeth: Well, it was quite a big job so I think 20p.
Wow, she’s cheap!
Me: I’ll tell you what, if you put the toys away in the lounge room as well I’ll give you five of those which will be one whole pound.

She thought this was a good deal and she went off to tidy the lounge. I’m not sure whether it’s good management, good genes, or just good luck, but we’ve somehow ended up a child who wants to help around the house AND likes doing her homework. How can this be?

I discovered something interesting about the University of Aberdeen.  All senior management expenses are disclosed on their website here:

I think this kind of transparency is fantastic and there should be more of it.

Aberdeen University Students’ Association are putting on a pedal-powered screening of Voices of Transition. I’ve never heard of it but I like the idea of riding a bicycle and watching a film at the same time. It’ll happen on the 12th of February – they haven’t said what time – at the University of Aberdeen.

16 responses to “Pocket money and pedal power”

  1. My kids helped keep the house up without pay, just for being part of the family. But once my son came home from a weekend with a relative and began looking for the extra work, the unexpected and un-routine. He bid jobs like sweeping up the debris near the wood chopping area, fixing the garden fence before I noticed it needed it. He estimates what his time and skill was worth and actually proposed jobs and his fee. We thought it was a wonderful way for him to practice entrepreneurship. He also made cookies to sell at a nearby coffee shop back in the day when he didn’t need a commercial kitchen. The cafe sold them as “Ricky’s cookies.

    • Yes, we are both a bit against the idea of giving money for jobs that should be done anyway and so it didn’t feel quite right to give her pocket money in exchange for these tasks. However she’s only 5 and too young to do “real” jobs so I wasn’t quite sure what things to suggest. I’d quite like to give the kids a small amount of pocket money weekly anyway which they can save just to learn a bit about money and saving.

    • Interesting article. My sisters and I used to wash cars in our neighbourhood when we were in Primary school. We used to walk around the neighbourhood on weekends, knock on doors and ask whether they’d like their car washed for $5. It was a fairly lucrative venture if I remember correctly 🙂

  2. Your account of Elizabeth and her pocket money really amused me. Let’s hope the interest in doing house work remains! I used to willingly do my homework every day and wouldn’t go out to play until I’d done it. Strange! Unlike Elizabeth, though, I wasn’t particularly keen on doing household chores! 🙂

    • Well, as others have already pointed out she should really be doing basic tasks for no monetary reward, like making her bed. I’ll have to rethink our strategy a bit here 🙂

  3. She’s only five so I can’t see how paying her a pittance to do a few things will hurt. Having said that, I wouldn’t have the faintest idea of how to raise kids. All guesswork I’m afraid. 😦

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