It is important for your earner to see how money grows considerably over time. The faster they see their savings grow, the more likely they are to become savers. This is a behavior that reinforces itself when done properly
Should I pay my child for every little thing they do?
No. You do not want them to become coin operated. Require basic chores from your child as a contributing member of the family. These chores need to be completed in order to be eligible to EarnSum™ money.
When and how often should I pay my Earner?
I recommend a weekly payday because you don’t want to go too long in order to consistently provide positive reinforcement. Even if you don’t get paid as often, you should make an effort to pay weekly. I always pay on Monday, but this is completely up to you. Just be consistent and have payday on a routine basis. Also, don’t pay everyday. I found that my children were not planning well because they could do some work and get paid right away. This worked counter to my desire to have them plan for short and long term purchases. Having a set payday solved this issue.
How do I afford to pay my children for tasks?
No one should spend more for this program than they already spend on their child. I reallocated part of my entertainment budget, food budget and clothing budget to fund the program. The idea is to have your child earn money for things you are routinely paying for now such as movies, candy, special clothes, and other treats. You still provide the basics, but they learn to earn and buy the extras for themselves. This will also help them take better care of their belongings because we always appreciate things more when they were bought with our hard earned money. It also builds self esteem. To see a child beam with pride at having bought something for themselves is a wonderful experience.
My child wants to buy a video game that costs $50. Should we allow him to use his savings?
No. Savings should be for something major in the future… college, first car, start a business, etc. I recommend that your child use the SpendSum Envelope to build up enough money to buy smaller pricetag items such as toys. I encourage my children to always have at least $30 in their SpendSum Spending Envelope. They never know when we will take off for the weekend or do something unexpected and they won’t have time to save. This way they are always prepared and have not dipped into their long term savings. If they do use some of the Spending money, I encourage them to rebuild the $30 minimum as quickly as possible.