Recently the kids in this family have enjoyed having a little bit of cash on hand. Normally most of their net worth is recorded in ledgers, with which they track spending and savings trends, and from which it is easy for them to avail themselves of their parents’ plastic and electronic purchasing options.
But “petty cash” accounts have found increasing utility in our family. Especially between Sophie, Fiona, Erin and myself. We’ve been trading favours, and attaching dollar values to them. Part of the reason I never wanted to pay the kids for chores is that I wanted them to understand that contributing to household work is a basic family responsibility, not a job for which they should expect compensation. But this petty economy is definitely in the spirit of fun and I don’t think it’s undermining that value.
Pictured: Fiona giving Sophie a back massage. One favour = 5-10 minutes of massage. One favour’s value is approximately a dollar. Making a smoothie for a sibling (10-15 minutes of work including clean-up) is worth two favours. Making a London Fog: about one favour. This afternoon I covered Fiona for a sixty cent shortfall when she bought herself an organic Orange Cream Soda on the way home from the cross-country meet. In return I received the better part of a favour: about 5 minutes of back and leg massage.
They must be learning something from this. They’re certainly enjoying it. And I confess that sixty cents is a pretty good deal for the robust massages Fiona gives.