Kids, Get Yours Under Contract

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Get Your Kids Under Contract

Kids Under Contract

Teaching your kids about money is probably one of the most important gifts you can possibly give them. I think it’s despicable that children today aren’t required to take some sort of a household finance class before they are allowed to graduate from high school. Let’s face it, they are doomed from the beginning when they get to college. They meet the people soliciting them for credit cards before they meet their advisers. It’s no wonder that the average college student leaves higher education with more debt on their personal balance sheet than they will make in salary their first year out of  school (in many cases in their first 2 years). You may have read my other article about paying your child commissions instead of an allowance.  While that may not work in every home, it has definitely worked in ours.

Kids Should Learn the “Money Lesson’ Early

First, commissions has made it very easy for Grayson to understand exactly how much a Playstation game “costs.” He knows the jobs he needs to perform and how long to perform them. This has helped him understand that you really do have to work for what you want in life. It has been a blessing to watch him “figure it out” on his own. The other thing that we have done to make it official is having Grayson under contract.  Not a bona fide 18 page legal contract, but more like a pact between a father and a son. The contract spells out Grayson’s responsibilities. It lists all the jobs that are “expected” and non-compensated. It also lists each job he has the ability to do and the amount he earns for each. It stipulates that he is required to perform all of the required jobs before he can begin earning. It also states that he is not required to do any of the “paying jobs.” However, that is the only way he gets paid. There won’t be a free ride in my home for any kids. Even Landon, who is only 5, is already completing basic tasks for stickers and fruit snacks.

Learning Early Helps In Other Areas as Well

Another interesting thing has happened in this process. Grayson has learned to develop a servant’s heart. While you may think he would only do it for the money, that’s not the case. He does other little things that are not anywhere in the contract. He gets up in the morning and immediately goes to the Keurig and makes me a cup of coffee and then goes to the refrigerator and gets Ethan’s bottle out and puts it in the bottle warmer. Once he has done those things he starts on his other tasks. He lets the dog outside to go to the bathroom and then feeds him when he comes back inside. He does it like clockwork. I don’t think for one minute that this kid is not going to be successful as I watch how he attacks he responsibilities each and every day. That said, I also know it is my responsibility and, quite frankly, my pleasure to make sure that he, and all my kids, stays the course.

Being a parent can be frustrating at times, but it is always a blessing. I count those blessings every time I am sitting at my desk typing articles like this one and I glance up at the cork bulletin board above my monitors and see a simple one page contract that is fully executed with only two signatures: “Grayson” and “Daddy.” What are the special things you have done to teach your kids the value of money? We love to hear what other people are doing? How do you hold them accountable? How do you course correct?



  1. I love your articles. My kids have always done chores; but, have taught them that they can’t get paid to do things that have to be done all the time. Like, when you move out of this house, no ones going to pay you to sort laundry, clean the dishes, take out the trash, etc. Each kid as certain chores that are at their level and are enforced. They get treats for listening doing what is expected But, I completely understand the concept and will have to make a list of things that are expected and things that need to be done as a benefit that you need to work on things in order to get paid for them. Money is tight; but, need to set something aside and have them learn that things do cost. I have taught them that the games are expensive and they can’t get them on a regular basis. They understand that certain foods, toys, movies can be at a certain price and sometimes they can’t be bought; but, they never had to pay for them out of their pocket. They just know that if we can’t afford it, they can’t get it. But, they need to start to understand that if you want something, you need to work for it and as time progresses, the harder you work, the better the payoff is, and with determination and goals, you will get what you want. I learned as a kid that if I want something, no matter how long it takes, I will get it. With hard work and patience, it can happen. My husband and I share the same goals and determination and now I need to pass them on to the kids. I’ve stated to them here and there; but, now I need to work it with them. Thank You very much !!!!! P.S., I noticed in your paragraph, second from the bottom, that it states that Grayson takes out ‘God’; but, I know that you meant to say Dog. He works in mysterious ways to make sure that we know He’s always there. LOVE IT !!!!! lol

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