Funny Fridays: Taking 6 Kids to an Art Museum & Other Stories

At the Smithsonian National Museum of Art

When we went to D.C. this summer, I insisted we go and visit my favorite painting in the world, which happens to be at the National Gallery of Art on the National Mall. While we were there, we perused the collections, along with our friend Amy and her children.

I thought the day was going amazingly well. We took 6 kids through a museum where you are supposed to be quiet, and I felt like we did a heroic job. The kids even sat on these nice sofas they had in many of the galleries.

After about an hour, Alan whispered emphatically, with the big eyes,  “Are you ready to go now? Please.”

“Sure…. C’mon kids, let’s go.”

Once outside, Alan looked like he’d just escaped prison.

Alan had a much different experience in the Smithsonian than I had.

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Why Is It a Good Idea to Pay Your Kids for Chores?


Lately, I’ve started a system where each of our boys has a couple of new chores he must do each day. Yes, even the 4-year-old. I instituted this because I actually cannot keep up with the housekeeping all myself anyway.

I pay them a quarter for each of those jobs, plus I give them extra coins when they exhibit a wonderful attitude.

I’m able to pay them on the spot because I have a big juice jug full of change.

This has been working extremely well for us. Though yes, I always inspect their work, and make them fix things they’ve skipped over, like little Lego men peeking out from under the sofa.

 

Killing bugs for mom also counts as a chore. The 3 of them teamed up to kill the cicada under that stack of books! That particular job was free of charge. Ha!

 

Today I have asked Josh Wilson, of FaithFamilyFinance.com, to fill us in on why paying children for chores is a MARVELOUS idea, not just for us, but for our kids too….

 

Why Is It a Good Idea to Pay Your Kids for Chores?

One financial decision you will need to make with your children is if you should pay your children to do chores. There are several different reasons why this is a good idea. For starters, they can learn valuable life lessons. If you are on the fence about paying your children for chores, read more to find out why it can be a good idea.

Adults Work for Money

Adults work to earn money because they have bills to pay. Paying children for chores teaches them the value of work. They can learn about the incentive of working harder to earn more money. Just as you don’t get paid if you don’t work, you have the option not to pay your child if they don’t complete their chores on schedule.

Until your children are old enough to get a part-time job, paying your children for chores can be a good way to allow your children to work for a goal instead of simply being given everything they want.

It's a great way to teach your kids to work for a goal rather than being given everything! via @AprilandAlan storiesofourboys.com #responsibiityClick To Tweet

Chores Teach Commitment

Chores can consist of daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. Even if you decide not to pay your child for some everyday chores, money is a strong incentive to remain committed for additional chores. Your children can establish a work ethic early on.

Offering to pay your child for optional tasks that you don’t necessarily have to do is a good starting place. By not paying your child for every single chore they complete, you can reward them for their efforts while avoiding the entitlement spirit of thinking they “must” get paid for every chore or they won’t do it.

Chores Can Instill Entrepreneurship

Depending on your child’s personality, paying for chores can instill a level of entrepreneurship. By realizing they can make money by providing a solution to a need, completing chores in this case, they may decide to pursue their own side hustle as they grow older.

For example, if you pay them to mow the lawn, they might ask your neighbors to mow their lawns for cash. During the winter, they might offer to shovel driveways and sidewalks for extra cash. If you only pay them an allowance for not doing chores, they might miss out on these additional money-making opportunities.

Paying for Chores Establishes Expectations

As the parent, you can set the expectations for when your children will be paid for their chores. If your children don’t do it right the first time, have them redo the task to your satisfaction. Chores can be an excellent opportunity to learn attention to detail and working efficiently to maximize their earning potential.

Remember to consider your child’s age and experience when setting expectations. Just as there is a learning curve when you start a new job, your children will need to master new skills as well. As they mature, you can increase your expectations and maybe even give them a raise as well.

Chores Can Encourage Communication

Communication is a two-way street in every relationship. Paying for chores can teach your children communication skills that can benefit them in the professional world. On payday, you can review your child’s performance and encourage them or tell them how they can improve.

Your child can also improve their communication skills because they will learn how to accept feedback, good and bad, from their superiors. Chores can also teach negotiation. Your child might offer to perform additional tasks if they are trying to increase their income.

Children Can Learn Money Management Skills

Earning money allows children the opportunity to learn the value of saving money for future purchases and accomplishing other financial goals. If you offer them additional money for completing extra tasks, your children can have an additional incentive to work hard to achieve their goals sooner.

In addition to paying your children for chores, you can also teach them budgeting and banking. Instead of just giving them money and letting them go on a spending spree, you can have them divide their paycheck into saving, spending, and giving.

For example, you can help your kids open up a savings account and they can watch as their interest grows. Each month opens the doors for a new learning experience, and even earnings for your children. You should likely use an online account with low minimums and fees to help you children keep more of their money. My children use Capital One which has an account created just for them. This will prepare them for adulthood when a portion of each paycheck goes to taxes and living expenses.

Summary

Paying children for chores is one of the most debated topics about parenting. While no parent is required to pay for chores, doing so can teach your child valuable life lessons. If you decide to pay your child, remember that you don’t have to pay them for every single chore, and you can also base the payment on their performance.

 

 

Josh Wilson is the owner of a start-up personal finance blog, Family Faith Finance. Check out his blog and learn more about his journey through life.

 

 

Stitch Fix: Yea or Nay?

Stitch Fix: Yea or Nay? Full review and explanation of how Stitch Fix works.

 

***Disclosure: This post does contain Stitch Fix ad links. If your purchase through these links, I do receive compensation. However, all the clothes were purchased from my own pocket, and opinions are my own.***

Stitch Fix, yea or nay?” was a question I posed to my blog’s Facebook page a month ago. Before I even tried it out, I wanted to hear some feedback to know if I should bother. Most everyone seemed to think I should go for it, but I was warned that it’s not super thrifty.

For a few years now, I’ve heard my sister-in-law as well as my friend Hillary talk about how much they like Stitch Fix. I’ve seen my favorite blogger, Crystal Paine, do unboxing videos from her Stitch Fix shipments.

So what is Stitch Fix exactly?

It’s a service that provides you 5 new clothing or accessory items in each box through the mail. Each item is hand-selected for you personally by a Stitch Fix stylist. You decide how often you get the box. You can choose just once, every few weeks, every couple of months, quarterly, etc.

Clothes are something I LOVE, but I never actually signed up because I was afraid it would be a gigantic money pit.

Also, since I do love clothes and shopping, I didn’t feel like I needed someone to do my shopping for me.

You know what I mean?

How can we know they will choose affordably cute clothes and not just tease us with beautiful clothing that we cannot even afford and have to send back anyway??

Well, wonder no longer. I’m going to give you more information here than even Stitch Fix probably wants me to give you, so you can make an informed decision.

Disclosure #2: I need to invest in better lighting for my photos, so I can wash out my wrinkles and freckles…

First, let me tell you about the Process.

When you sign up, you go to Stitchfix.com, and you answer questions about your body type, clothing needs, and your style. Truthfully, I enjoyed this part because for some reason I enjoy answering questions about myself and my clothing.

Answer as HONESTLY as you possibly can!!! Telling them you wear a 10 when you actually need a 12 will help no one. This is not a fantasy questionnaire. hehehe! I’m only saying this because these are the things I had to tell MYSELF when I was answering these questions.

There are about 25-50 questions, but they are all multiple choice, so no need to panic. Halfway through, I realized I should take screenshots for you to know what to expect:

Multiple choice preference questions

This was so fun. Rate these outfit groups! ….I strongly dislike that orange dress.

Love these!!

I started out with the “occasional update”, but I downgraded to “quarterly top-off” because I bought so much from this last one.

One time only!

You can’t see it in the above photo, but there is also an option to get a one-time box.

Tell them more about you!

They give you an option to tell your stylist more about yourself. Use this!!! I was very specific. I told her I needed more tops, that I love trouser-style pants, and I even got specific on the fact that having 4 babies left me with a pooch. Therefore, please no spandex-tops. Ha!! I even specified that I wear a smaller size shirt if it is super blousy or peasant style.

Also, include your Pinterest profile name if you have one!! You can go on Pinterest and create a board of clothes you like—any clothes at all that you like. It gives them an idea of your taste.

My stylist, Becca, not only viewed my Pinterest boards, but she actually referenced them in the note.

This was my note from my stylist:

So much attention to detail. I was blown away.

 

FEES!!!!

Okay, let’s talk about the fees. Am I saying there is a service fee? Yes, I am. It’s $20. That’s  part of what kept me from signing up for forever!!!

But if only I had known! If you keep any of the clothes Stitch Fix sends you, they deduct the $20 from that item. Ohhhh!!! See, I did not know that.

My First Shipment

If you want to see the full unboxing of my first shipment, here’s the Facebook Live video, but I’m also going to write out everything you need to know below. You won’t miss any information by skipping the video. (I know what it’s like to be reading in public without headphones!!)

 

The first thing you see in your box is this envelope with this note.

Don’t skip the note. (Like I did.) This note includes your message from your stylist and your style suggestions. The envelope also includes the prices of each item, as well as how much your total will be after your discount(s) are applied.

These were my outfit suggestions:

The item in the middle of each block is the item you receive. The items off to the sides are styling suggestions.

The teal top is what I got. Accouterments to the left and right are suggestions.

Suggestions to go with black pants…..I think I know what to do with black pants…but for the fashion challenged, this is actually super helpful.

The elephant top—love this!

casual black dress

There was also a pair of earrings, which I will show you below (keep going).

Did I like everything I got in my box?

….Well, actually I did! It was a home run, but I did not expect that. Please don’t expect that you will love everything you get in every box. There’s no way.

My box was full of beautiful clothes that I would have bought for myself if I had found them at Kohl’s. Totally.

But did they fit??

Believe it or not……

Okay, not my best dress photo, but how sweet is he? I couldn’t leave this one out.

These are the super cute earrings, which by the way, match the teal top that was also in my box.

This outfit will be cute with flats, heels, or boots! I’m wearing THREE of my Fix items here: the earrings, the shirt, and the pants.

And my FAVORITE part….

 

This elephant shirt!!!! Love!!!

Okay, yes, it all looks awesome, sure, but…

How much did all of this cost???

In MY opinion, their prices are inflated to pay the shipping and the stylists. There is no shipping charge on top of what you pay, but there is still sales tax.

Was it affordable??? It was moderately affordable to me.

I could have gotten just the elephant shirt for $48, minus the $20, so $28.

Both shirts were $48 a piece, more than I usually pay.

The dress was actually reasonably priced, in my opinion. $68 is reasonable for a dress. If you were only buying the dress from this box, it would be only $48.

The earrings were $28. $10 to $20 would have been more exciting.

Like I mentioned before, you are also paying for the service.

The only item I felt was way over-priced was the pants, at $88, I was like “Whaaa???”

Oh!!! One more thing about the prices!!

When you answer those initial sign-up questions on StitchFix.com, they ask you your price range. I marked “as cheap as possible” for everything EXCEPT for pants. That may be why my trousers cost more. It’s important to me to have high quality pants. I can’t explain it.

So how did I choose what to get?

I could have bought 3 of these Stitch Fix items for $104, but that’s not including the dress. Finding dresses that fit me well is difficult, so I wanted to get the dress. That would have put me at $172.

4 for $172 (no pants)

or all 5 for only $190 (including the pants)…...You can see why I chose to just buy it all! 

If you buy everything in your box, you get a 25% discount plus your $20 styling fee off.

I did the math, dispersing the discounts in my head where I so desired…

That made it like I was getting the tops for $38/piece, the earrings for $28, the dress for $68, and the pants for $18…..the way I did the math!! Ha!! You could distribute the dollars however you want. I did it that way because if I sent anything back, it would have been the pants.

 

…So Stitch Fix? Yea or Nay???

I’m going to have to go with “Yea!!!”, BUT since I bought all of it this time, I had to move my next Fix further out. It was super simple to switch from “every other month” to “quarterly”.

This will be a special, quarterly treat that I will be looking forward to.

What about you? Do you need help choosing new outfits? Want to give it a whirl?

Click on the photo below to give it a trial run. Let me know how it goes!! Already tried Stitch Fix? Comment below to tell us what you thought!



 

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