Saturday, September 20, 2008

Allowance Jars

About a year ago we started giving our girls allowance for some of the chores they do around the house.  I did a lot of reading about the pros and cons of giving kids an allowance for doing chores, and I found out there was quite a bit of controversy surrounding the subject.

We even had some heated discussions about it in my house.  Peanut Head argued, and I don't disagree, that they should be doing chores as members of this family and not expecting to get something for everything they do.  After all, as adults we don't get paid to do our own housework, right?

On the other hand, I want the girls to have an allowance so they learn how to manage money, and I want them to develop a good work ethic and know what it's like to work and save for something they want.  I want to use it as a teaching tool.  

In the end, we agreed to give them a small allowance, but they still have to do whatever we tell them to do because we're bigger and we're the parents.  I think the girls like having the responsibility, and I know it has helped me in my own housework.

Anyway, I also knew that I wanted them to save a portion of their money and to give a portion of their money to charity.  That's where these little jars come in.  They each get $1.75 a week of which they get to spend $.75, they have to save $.75, and they have to put aside $.25 for charity. When they get enough in their jars to make a bank deposit or a donation, we take the money out for that purpose.

They are free to spend their money in their spend jars on whatever crap they want.  And believe me, that's exactly what they buy.  I cringe when I see them feeding quarters into the little machines at the grocery store.  I shudder when they beg me to take them to the dollar store. It's like paying good money to bring Happy Meal toys into the house, and I cannot stand Happy Meal toys.  They breed clutter.  The kids love them though, so I try, once in awhile, to indulge them and just look the other way.

The jars are just one idea.  I've seen other people use envelopes, and I actually think that would be more convenient, so why not decorate some little envelopes instead?  I would do it, but I made these things and we're going to use them dang it.  At least until one of them falls to the floor and shatters.

Click here to see how this idea turned out.


  1. I Love it! If I had an adorably fun jar like that when I was little, I would have been begging for chores to earn money just to put money in it. What a great idea.

  2. Those are the cutest little jars I've ever seen! Great idea! I too believe kids should get an allowance so that they learn how to manage their money.

  3. WOW!!!! this is a super interesting blog! i understand both viewpoints on the issue. chores are chores but managing money is a smart thing. You are super creative with the jars too. those girlies have got be brainiacs by now with all the teaching you do with them. it seems like every day they do facinating things!


  4. I have seen this idea before but those jars are really cute:-) I just might try that:-)

  5. Hi there, I found your gorgeous site through Everyday Elegance - it is wonderful, I have so enjoyed looking around. I think your ideas about allowances are great. When we were little my folks gave us an amount of pocket money - but they also exercised a little discretion where we did additional chores that weren't already allocated to us (things like sweeping leaves without having to be asked.) The idea was to help us learn to manage the money, but also to encourage us to look for ways we could help each other without it being given that we would get something in return. I really love those jars!

    Blessings to you all


  6. I love this idea! Our boys are just beginning to learn the fine art of allowance and this is going to be so helpful! Thanks :)

  7. Love this. I agree with you and Peanut Head that kids should not get paid for doing chores. Maybe I can come up with some special jobs that they can get paid for to earn an allowance. I'm definitely doing the jars. Mine may not be as pretty as yours but hopefully still functional. LOL. Thanks for sharing.