Earn Your Keep, Kid!

Alas, it’s the age-old story.

Mom longs for baby. Baby comes along. Mom buys him cute onesies from Gymboree, a Pottery Barn sheet set for the crib, and the sweetest, squishiest stuffed animals to surround him with big, fluffy love.

Mattie's 1st Nursery

Things are good.

And then The Boy grows. Mom still buys him necessities {and secretly thanks the Good Lord that he still has little-to-no desire to weigh in on fashion choices} and enjoys making select purchases at birthday and Christmas-time, yet despite having all that he needs and more, the phrase “Mom, could you get me…?” is about as common in these parts as “What’s for dinner?” 

For a while, Mom replies, “Just put it on your list!” and giggles to herself that this imaginary list— it were real—would wrap around her home several times.

Until the requests come far too frequently. And she can’t take it


Momma’s puttin’ her foot down, son. Time to learn the value of a dollar and earn your keep {or at least your toys}.

This first official full week of summer, we’re implementing Project Allowance. I want The Boy to know that as a contributing member of this family, he can EARN all those little wants he has swirling around in his head. He has the power. Besides, saying “Save your money!” sounds so much nicer than the outright “No!” I was handing him each time. 

So here are the rules we’ll be following for Project Allowance:


And in case he needed a reminder of those transgressions that would cost him a nickel, I printed up the rules he’s heard me say time and again these past six years, framed them, and placed them in a central part of our kitchen for easy viewing. {If you’d like a blank copy of this for your own rules, click here.}



We’re in Day 3, and so far, so good. He enjoys pouring his nickels into “the bank” {a small mason jar} at the end of the day and I enjoy

not making his bed.

Life is good.

Emailbutton Fbbutton Twbutton Blbutton


  1. This is a great idea! We’ve starting talking about an allowance for our 5 year old daughter who likes to make a huge mess of her room. She doesn’t understand why it has to be cleaned everyday. Maybe this is just the push she needs to get into a good habit. Got my wheels turning!

  2. Love it. He gets to be in control. Very cute prints too!


    Britta @ TheHandmadeHouse.net

  3. Wonderful idea, Michelle!! And perfect timing AS ALWAYS!! Anthony had been asking me all morning if he could buy all of the angry birds that he doesn’t have yet 🙂 I told him he’d need to earn $ to buy toys and he looked at me like I had 10 heads and said, “I’ll just use your money mom!” I’ll be going over “Project Allowance” with him a little later today. Thanks again for sharing!!!

  4. Oh my goodness, I love this! I love how you write it all out for him too. This is really so great. I am so glad that I have gotten to know you so I can tuck little things like this away for future ideas when I’m a momma some day. 🙂

  5. Hi, I’m stopping in from SITS and I gotta say, I’m lovin’ your blog!
    We enacted “project allowance” last year for our 6 year old, but it’s not nearly as well organized as yours. LOL Consistency is a problem in our ever changing household. Maybe I’ll take a cue from you, and use your rules for our house. I especially love the rule about “when the sun is out, the tv is off” I HATE OUR TV!

    Come on by my website if you get a chance, I’d love to see you there
    Nowhere to Go But Crazy,

    Peace and Love

  6. This is the post I needed. Ive been feeling guilty about giving in to my little girl’s wants. She’s four but i suppose it’s never too early to start learning responsibility. Thanks for the headstart. by the way, I’m Jennice from SITS

  7. Visitings from the SITS

    Love this rules.. a very good way to discipline them from young age

  8. This is so cool!! Definitely want to do this with my son once he’s old enough

  9. LOVE this!! I’m putting this idea in the bank (pun intended 😉 for when my little guy gets older! stopping by from Sits sharefest!

  10. THis is something I need to get my girls started on! I was just thinking about it the other day…and here I am presented with great ideas – thanks! Visiting from SITS – Congrats on the feature!

  11. I’ve been doing a lot of research on setting guidelines for allowance. I love the house “rules” for payout. Expectations all around will be made clear now. I’m totally setting these up at our house. T hanks for sharing 🙂
    More Than A Mom just wrote this gem …Book Review ~ “Waiting For Morning” by Margaret BrownleyMy Profile

Leave a Reply to Jessie A. Cancel reply


CommentLuv badge

Facebook Like Box provided by technology reviews