I was aware that M and G had reached an industrious stage. They knew what money was and wanted to buy things. I let them earn $0.20 here and there doing extra outside tasks. We're not fans of paying kids to do things that are part of being a family like cleaning the house and helping out. But $0.40 of intermittent pay doesn't give kids enough to ever save up for something.
After reading a bit of the Dave Ramsey book about money for kids, we started paying M, and G, $1 a week, for the the chores they already did. They take care of their laundry and do the trash/recycling bins. Now they clean their rooms for Saturday inspections.
We struggled with how much to pay them. I was raised with too much money. P was raised with no allowance. Dave Ramsey's idea is to call it a commission. But still, how much? We came up with the $1 because it is enough to save up for things at the thrift store, and even if they just buy candy, they can't buy that much candy with $1. I bought a lot of candy with my 1980's $5 allowance.
M's been wanting skates for a few months. We even got to go to a skating rink in February. At walmart she saw some for $129 and decided to start saving. Then she saw the $5 gumball machine and wanted to save for that. We came up with the plan to save for the skates, look at thrift stores, and that mom would match what she had.
Today we found some nice inline skates for $4 at the thrift store. M had $1.82 saved up (after buying a lot of chocolate last week...) I let her do a load of laundry for P and B to earn $0.18.
I can't believe how nicely that all worked out. Hopefully M learned that it's possible to save up for something. Hopefully she learned that it's good to keep searching until you find something you can afford. Hopefully she learned that thrift stores are awesome!