We decided to start giving Joanna (age 3 1/2) an allowance. She’ll get $1 every week. However, she also has to do a few age-appropriate chores in order to get her money. Kirk and I, being structured organizers, made up a system and a chart. The chart contains columns for each day of the week (except Sunday) and rows for each of her chores: making her bed, cleaning up her room, and clearing her dirty dishes off the table. Stickers go in the boxes of chores completed. Today it all fell apart. I was struggling to get her to do a small part of picking up her toys. I was getting angry, she was feeling overwhelmed. I reminded her that if she didn’t clean up she wouldn’t get part of her allowance for that job. She said, “I’d rather just get money off the ground,” referring to when we find change on the ground.
Wow, pretty insightful for a little kid. Wouldn’t we all rather just pick up money from the ground instead of having to work for it? And yet, there is value and honor and a sense of self-worth that we get from working.
You’ll be happy to know that we have taken a more “grace-filled” approach to the allowance, focusing more on her heart attitude toward helping out around the house now that she is a big girl.
Today is Thursday, traditionally my “grocery shopping day.” Last night I made up my menu for the week and this morning I made up my shopping list. I typically go to three places to buy my groceries (not including what I get at Sam’s Club or the coffee I get Kirk at World Market). Today dawned as a wet and dreary day. We’re trying to be really good about staying within our budget lately so I had $50 to spend today. I figure I can spend $30 on regular stuff and $20 on produce. First we hit Aldi with is basically caticorner to our house. I came out of Aldi spending $16 which included two splurge items (yogurt and string cheese). Next we went to Schnucks where I get my WIC items ($8 worth of milk, eggs, juice, and peanut butter). I also spent $15 on other items for meals this week but also buying popcorn (on their 10/$10 sale-I got three), wheat germ for granola, and buttermilk for muffins. I used the rest of my money to buy ICE CREAM!!! Breyers was having a buy one get one free deal. Woohoo! With $20 left and the rain picking up we decided to go ahead to the semi-outdoor Loop Market to get our produce. I LOVE this market and the people who work there. They remember me each week, when I hadn’t come for over a year they still remembered me, and one time when I realized I didn’t have any checks with me they let me pay for my produce the following week. I LOVE THE LOOP MARKET! We had enough money to buy the necessities and even grapes and a pumpkin to carve next weekend with Aunti Anna. The kids love going to the market because they get to help pick out produce and even get some for free sometimes. They get to run around and play. Today was a blast because they got to play in the pumpkins, the puddles, and the water streaming off the roof. They came home soaked and super happy.
I was a little nervous about finding new places to shop when we moved to our new house. I used to do all of my shopping at Shop-N-Save but now it’s not worth the drive. But I’ve come to really like my Aldi. I felt a bit intimidated usually being the only white person there but when you go to the same place every week you start to recognize people. I shopped last week by myself and my cashier asked me where my babies were. I’ve also really like the Schnucks I go to (on Union), recognizing people who work there. And everyone seems so friendly. So as much as I don’t like menu planning or grocery shopping, it’s become a pleasant experience.