Of the many things kids today get that I don’t understand, them getting paid for doing chores is high up on the list. Growing up, I was expected to do chores. I learned that being a part of a household meant helping out. Being a member comes with responsibilities. I was expected to clean up after myself, pick up my room, wash dishes, pull weeds, pick up rocks, help feed animals… The list is never ending. I didn’t get paid money for any of it because my payment was being a part of the family. My wages were Mama and Papa paying for what I needed and occasionally what I wanted.

I also didn’t get an allowance for the same reason. Money wasn’t just given to me unless it was a gift on a special occasion. I learned the importance of working for the money I had and money management from working outside of family expectation. Mama would help us kids pick up trash along the dirt road. We would separate out the aluminum cans and sell them for scrap. Mama would then split the money amongst us. We would do the same thing for picking up walnuts and selling them. As we got older, we would earn money from prizes for entries at the County and District fairs and 4-H events that we were involved in.

I have a lot of fond memories because of how my parents taught us about money. I also gained a respect for money and family expectations and responsibilities. I don’t expect money to just be handed to me. I don’t expect to be paid for things I’m supposed to be doing. I complete my responsibilities for the satisfaction of it.