According to T. Rowe Price’s 10th Annual Parents, Kids & Money Survey, a majority of parents (53%) give their kids an allowance but require them to earn it, whether by taking out the trash or getting good grades.
However, one Georgia mom recently took things an impressive step further by hosting an at-home job fair that required her kids to apply and interview for specific household assignments in exchange for a wage.
Shaketha Marion McGregor, 30, shared her story in a Facebook post that quickly went viral, prompting a slew of praise and encouragement for her ingenious idea.
It all started when McGregor’s children—Jahkeem, 13; Takeia, 10; and Serinity, 6—kept asking her for money for things like cell phones and outings with friends, according to Good Morning America.
So, my children continue to ask for a new cell phone, an allowance, and to go places. Yesterday I told them that I've…
“I was like, I don’t want to just give it to them,” McGregor said. “I want to do something different to make them work for it this time around so they will appreciate it more.”
Instead of just saying no to their requests for cash, McGregor decided to throw an at-home job fair. The kiddos had to fill out applications for one of three open positions (kitchen manager, lead housekeeper, and laundry supervisor) as well as undergo interviews in mom’s bedroom.
“I told them the night before that I had a surprise for them when they came home from school so they were really excited,” McGregor told GMA. “When they came through the door it was kind of like, ‘Yay!’ to an ‘Ohhhh. Really?'”
Following the interviews, McGregor created new hire forms and held orientation for the newly hired “employees.” Unfortunately, as often happens in the real world, not every applicant was successful.
“My oldest and my youngest both applied for the same position and, unfortunately for my older son, he did not get the position,” McGregor said. “My 6-year-old, I was more impressed with her application and her interview than my 13-year-old.”
I can't believe my post went viral! ??? Well you guys, the interviews are done and I'm still laughing!!! I'm going to…
McGregor herself is no stranger to financial hurdles, having been temporarily houseless after a bout with cancer in 2016. The family also lost their home and most of their belongings in a house fire last year.
“Adulthood happens and it happens hard and sometimes you’re just not prepared for it,” she said. “As a parent, you want to protect your children from as much as possible, but you know that eventually they’re going to have to go through it on their own and that’s why life’s greatest lessons are through experience.”
The single mom now works for the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice and is eager to teach her children about the importance of money management. She even started a family credit union that will assign each kid a credit score and create ways for them to earn a bigger allowance.
“I want them to really know that there’s nothing wrong with earning the things you really want in life,” McGregor told Yahoo Lifestyle. “There’s so much to be learned about that.”
McGregor also hopes to inspire other parents to come up with creative ways to impart such important life lessons.
“It’s all about finding what works for your family and listening to your kids,” she told GMA. “Really talk to your children and see some things that they’re really interested [in] and find out how those can be implemented around the house and into life lessons. What I’m realizing is kids just want to be counted and to be part of something.”
For updates and more information on McGregor’s experiment, check out her This Mom Means Business Inc. community on Facebook.