After many failed attempts with “typical” allowance programs we’ve been successfully keeping up with our 4S’s Money Management Program for our three girls for at least 2-years now. It works like a charm, our house stays cleaner, their “homeschool” work gets done willfully without nagging on my part, they rarely ask for candy in the grocery lane, etc. While we’ve instilled the 4S’s even when we gave weekly allowance, by associating chores, duties, and responsibilities to different dollar and cents-figures, they understand that their monetary reward is directly related to their individual efforts. Interestingly, none of them get jealous based on age, knowing that the older one may have the opportunity to get more simply because they think the other can achieve more–because each of their work assigned is age-appropriate. And, surprisingly, it’s based on their individual moods, desires, etc. how hard one works on a daily or weekly basis. They realize that it’s all dependent on them. I will happily report, that our Money Management system has caused them to cooperate more, as they encourage the others to do this, or that, so they can all buy this or that, and be “equal”. They actually choose not to let any of their sisters out; because on the off-weeks that one does achieve more and get more money–they don’t like that feeling and have no one to blame but herself.
4-S Money Management System
- Sadaqah (which means “Charity” in Arabic) or Share is a good word in English
- Selection (They get to choose a fourth of their money to go into one of the 3 other categories, OR Invest in something with financial growth, like their online businesses). [100% of the funds to date, has been placed into the Top 3 categories, but I'm instilling what a true halal investment. For example, not any interest-bearing alternatives, but in themselves and their education may be a viable option.]
Since we started this, they each have their own purses when we go out. If they forget, they keep track of the IOUs and pay each other back the minute they get home. They’ve lost wallets or purses before, and hubby and I have never given them that money back–why should we!?
The girls are very in tune to their spending habits, they enjoy bargain shopping opportunities and finding the best “deals” to purchase. They love circulars and sales. They choose wise investments too–such as buying quality high-end jewelry.
Once a Week Pay-Day
Hey, Adults love pay-day. Why shouldn’t kids, right?
You must sit-down as a family, compare notes, and pay them regularly. Or, the seriousness of this matter is thrown out the door. I keep as best records I can on the family calendar or stray notes; and my girls keep records as well. The weeks they really want money, rest assured their record-keeping abilities are better than mine. And, while we have an honor system, because this is “work” and “responsibility”, we have a double-checker who must “okay” or “witness” the duty or obligation being satisfied.
It could be a simple, “Mama…I finished this see?” “Yes, check!”
I’ve heard so many failed attempts at allowance programs with other parents, simply because they make things so intricate, so “organized”, so sporadic that they are the ones who never follows-through with their kids. What kind of money-lesson are you teaching them?
Does your boss ever miss a pay day for you? If so, what would you do!?
Yet, your kids (the ones who look up to you) are neglected…disrespected…as if they don’t matter, “oh, they never remember anyways”.
Come on! Give them credit. Give them Your Time & Money and watch them teach you about better money management skills.
Be dependable, responsible and accountable to paying your kids regularly and see what a wonderful Money Management lesson this will be for your whole family!
Sample To Do Tasks and Price-Points
I change values depending on the week’s top priorities.
- Morning routine: no fussing to get up, make beds, teeth brushed, hair combed, face washed, eat breakfast may be 10-cents each day; but when we’re visiting the grandparents (on either side) 25-cents or on big-days $1.
- Homeschool subjects: I’ve offered 10-cents a day for every subject completed, or if there’s something I really want to hash out, I’ll double or even give them $1/hour of my high-intensive jammin-brain-power-sessions.
- House cleaning chores: As you can see we have a running 10-cent/day tab theme, but when whenever we’re relaxed (myself included) and I need a total Fly-Lady 15-minute-increments for 2-3 hours straight, I pay handsomely. And, of course, not all of them can keep up–so the one who does gets the bigger pay-out.
If I keep my modest 10-cents/duty for 7-days/week, my girls always have the potential to make $10, $20 + a week each–which scares any mom I share our program too.
But, they are quickly relieved when I share that interestingly no one ever exceeded the $4-$5 price point; and they probably reach $2-$4 each week.
The truth is, and I emphasize this over and over again to my girls, that I would easily pay $60/week for their collective efforts to be more responsible to their health, well-being, education, home and more!
Alhumdulilah, we worked as a team and during the week of the launch, they finally hit record highs with over $10, $14 and $20 for their jobs well accomplished–keeping in mind that our health and home were not neglected at the same time.
Not paying for ibadah (prescribed acts of worship)
An important note: my husband and I have never, nor will ever, inshaAllah, give them monetary incentives for any act of worship, ibadah–such as prayers, fasting, etc. The pillars of our faith must be completely willfully, sincerely and for them to gain their own individual reward–which is specifically between themselves and Allah alone.
However, if and when they do it successfully, repetitively and genuinely, we reward our girls handsomely sporadically whenever we want, as to not be predictable or expected. This is to show our support in their good upbringing.
And, we do offer incentives for completing things like Qur’an or ahadith memorization, because there are many benefits to them and us as a family if these additional acts to make us all better Muslims–do you see a notable difference? We do.
Start a kids online home business
What started off as my attempt to get their writing and typing skills up to snuff, now their technological abilities far-exceed mine, as seen in their video production for our relaunch. But, we’re proud to share that last month Kid Bloggers Club brought them $32.07 in affiliate sales, and they each made $5 for product testing an educational online program–which is perfectly aligned to our high-tech homeschooling lifestyle. They are obviously doing much more than blogging, actually they learned, enjoyed and got paid to do some awesome online publicity–and enjoyed every moment of it. They probably know more about running an online biz than most mom bloggers do, because most mom bloggers–simply blog.
While they haven’t shared all their discoveries over the past 2 weeks, rest assured they have so many unfinished posts in their drafts that they’re too much of a perfectionist to hit ‘publish’.
I recently shared with them that the biggest lesson I learned in publishing my 1st podcast show, which I wasn’t very proud is, get it out there, and let your audience tell you where you need to improve. Also, you’ll see if there’s an audience for you in the first place.
I tell them to use their blog as a journal for them of all the resources, websites, they used to learn different techniques; as well as their reflections of lessons learned. But, as you can imaging, their online business and blogging is secondary to their education and home responsibilities, so it’s okay to let it slide a bit. Having reminded them about this last night, my oldest one is well on schedule today so she can hit ‘publish’ soon enough, inshaAllah.
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