I love that my kids know they don’t just get whatever they want whenever they want it. My husband and I have tried to instill in our children that you have to work for things you want and good things come to those who work and save and are patient.
On more than one occasion our children have asked how they can earn money. I love hearing that they understand money is earned and not given, but my husband and I had a hard time coming up with things for the kids to do for which they deserve to be paid. We believe most traditional jobs/chores, like taking out the recycling, cleaning their rooms, wiping the bathroom counters, emptying the little trash cans and so on are just part of being in a family – not worthy of compensation.
However, I was so impressed with their desire to EARN cash I wanted to find something. And so the sock basket was created. Now when I do laundry all the socks go into one small basket. If the children want to earn a little cash they can fold as many socks as they want. This job is valued at 10 cents per pair. To earn the money the child has to match, fold and PUT AWAY the folded socks in the correct drawer. No money is given for fishing out a pair of socks to wear.
This has worked like a charm! Now if a child wants something, he or she has to assess the value and determine how many socks to fold. Sometimes they decide the desired item is worth the effort and sometimes they don’t.
Warning: This does add up, but the teachable moment is worth it!