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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

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My 14yr-old daughter is a little spoiled.  She got an iPhone for Christmas.

Let me explain.  The iPhone was not given to her, as you might justifiably think after that first paragraph, and that’s not why she’s spoiled.

In order to get most of her gadgets or relatively expensive things, she saves up and buys them herself.   And she doesn’t get an allowance.  So how does she get these things?

Well, she babysits, for one.  She also does pet sitting.   But that’s not why she’s spoiled.

She also earns money for grades.  You might think she “gets money for grades” but it’s more complicated than that. 

I probably should explain that one also – it’s a “grade earning agreement” we have.  She earns a set dollar amount for A’s and has to pay a set dollar amount (1/2 of the amt for A’s) for B’s and below.  She gets a bonus (50%) for 100’s.  Now that’s incentive, right?  And she always makes money every report card.  She has 6 grades per grading period, so that means she has to make 2 A’s and 4 B’s and below just to break even.

We as parents provide necessary clothing, household items and things a kid “need” to be a kid.  However, anything extra she wants beyond that, like designer clothing/shoes, going to the movies with her friends, going to the mall and buying stuff from top*kopi or whatever it is, comes out of her money.  I got this idea from my parents (kudos to them).

The iPhone definately falls into the “extra” category.  This 16GB iPhone 3G was $299.  She was able to contribute $212 towards the purchase, but she really really really really really wanted it.  She already agreed to sell us her 8GB video iPod nano for $60 (part of the $212) because I wanted a good MP3 for my wife, and she was already familiar enough with the iPod.   That still left $70+ to pay.   I offered to pay for the difference if she gave me her existing phone, the Palm Centro, and then I’d take the risk of selling it on eBay but I get whatever money I make from it.   (btw, she also paid for the Centro herself when she got it earlier in the year)

She agreed, and she got the phone.

She loves that phone.

We all love that phone.

We have a win-win situation here.  Mom gets a like-new ipod nano for way under market value, daughter gets her new iPhone, and dad makes some money selling off a Centro.  There’s still 4hrs left in the auction and it’s already selling for $40 more than I “paid” for it.

And that’s why she’s spoiled. 

Wait, maybe *I’m* the one who’s spoiled.

And lo, the people did comment thus:


  1. We had the same sort of system, and it worked! We had the philosophy that our sons were earning their grades the same way we earned money from our employers. Learn and earn!

  2. Avitable says:

    That’s an awesome system.

    Avitable´s last blog post..The stupidity of random anger

  3. Sarcastica says:

    That is a good system!

    Sarcastica´s last blog post..Anti-Resolution List

  4. DutchBitch says:

    Sounds like a great plan and it worked out well for all involved… I might start to implement that here too 🙂

    DutchBitch´s last blog post..I Want To Be Barbie

  5. Hmmm. Who is paying for the monthly bill?

    Richard Basile´s last blog post..Gold

  6. whall says:

    Geeky Tai-Tai, nice to know. I know a lot of parents do the “pay for grades” system but this one had some bite to it and different children are incented by different things.

    Avitable, maybe I should patent it?

    Sarcastica, it’s working so far, thanx for the comment.

    DutchBitch, some kids respond to it and some don’t. But it’s my way of indoctrinating my kids to a good work ethic 🙂

    Richard Basile, first of all, welcome to the blog of whall! Glad you stopped by. Secondly, thanx for bringing that up (at least, I assume you’re referring to the “spoiled child” part and whether or not her phone plan is paid for).

    We decided last year to pay for the $9.99 “add-a-line” expense in order to get our daughter a cell phone. That does not include data, text messaging, etc or a phone. We agreed to pay for the added line and she could get whatever free phone came with that. She paid for her luxury phone, and she also pays the extra $30/mo data/pda/everything plan, and pays a portion of the unlimited txt msging add-on we have. I do hundreds of txt/month so I was going to have that anyway.

    Some may ask why I pay for the add-a-line. My main reason is that I want her to be reachable after school, at band practice, when over at friends, and to be able to send/receive misc texts that help with efficiency. The ancillary reason is that it’s the BEST thing to use to take away from her for disciplinary reasons. Win-win!

  7. Giggle Pixie says:

    These were the same set of rules I used with my son (which I had learned from my parents using them on us). Way to go to you both!!!!

    Giggle Pixie´s last blog post..The Closest I’ll Get to Holiday Cheer in 2008

    • whall says:

      Giggle Pixie — Wow, and here I was thinking it was rare. So many people seem to already be familiar with it. I can at least take comfort that I see a whole bunch of awesomely smart people are doing the same thing.

  8. kapgar says:

    Katie’s got a 4.0 in grad school. What will you give her?

    Congrats to your daughter.

    kapgar´s last blog post..What’s your name (what’s your name)…

    • whall says:

      Kapgar — 4.0 what? liter engine? heh. Clearly Katie doesn’t need the incentive in this area. But is her room clean? Bills paid? Is there ANYthing that needs improvement?

  9. Good dad! We do things very similar here. We’ve always believed in rewarding our kids for good grades, so we pay big on report cards, but do not pay any allowance.

    BlondeBlogger´s last blog post..Watch This Star Shine

    • whall says:

      BlondeBlogger — do you pay differently based on the grades? Some people pay X for A, some percentage of X for B, and so on down the line. We pay X for A and -X/2 for non-A’s. It’s got a bite!

      • Yep….we do $5 for every “A,” $3.50″ for every “B” and nothing for a “C.” “D” is – $3.50 and an “F” is -$7. But they never feel the “bite” because they all make A’s and B’s. I guess that means it’s working. The fact that I’m their teacher probably keeps them on their toes more too.

        BlondeBlogger´s last blog post..Jackie, Debra and Stephanie Berger

  10. marilyn says:

    Sounds like some very well thought out parenting. I also worked for anything extra I got and Jasmine just doesn’t get anything extra… except her dad bought her a wii and I’m looking forward to playing that with her when she gets home from her visit with him.

    It’s a wonderful luxury for us but now we’ll have to work out a way to get some games for it.

    marilyn´s last blog post..Science All Week

    • whall says:

      marilyn – the Wii is awesome, and depending on the games you get, extremely good for learning. We just got through playing The Blob – highly recommended!

  11. Faiqa says:

    I cannot begin to express how thankful I am that there are people like you raising kids. But… wait… she has to pay for a B?!! Based on Math alone, I would *still* be in a repayment plan to my parents.

    Faiqa´s last blog post..I’m. Not. Fine.

    • whall says:

      Faiqa – I’m there would have been a bailout plan along the way somewhere. I think of my plan as the “Academic Economic Stimulus Package”

  12. martymankins says:

    I agree with Avitable… that is a pretty cool incentive. And she not only gets what she is after, she earns it. Then everyone else benefits.

    Pat yourself on the back, Whally-World… you’ve done good.

    As I previously mentioned in Twitter, I was looking for a Sprint Palm Centro. Glad you got a good price for it on eBay.

    martymankins´s last blog post..Snowy Sunday #08

  13. you are brilliant. not that there was ever a doubt, but seriously! brilliant!

    hello haha narf´s last blog post..Not Nearly Enough

    • whall says:

      hello haha narf – why thank you! I’d say the same thing about you, but I have no proof yet. I only have proof that you’re generous, kind, fun, loving, cheerful, fair and incredibly hot.

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