This is a repost of a blog… enjoy!
My very first hourly job paid me $3 per hour. That’s a nickel every minute. When you are picking up rocks… you have time to wonder about those things. $3 / 60 = .05 per minute. I loved that job. I was getting paid to pick up rocks… and throw them into a wheelbarrow. Okay, they didn’t like us throwing them. But I didn’t complain. It was hot dirty work… but more importantly… I WAS MAKING A NICKEL A MINUTE.
The last hourly job I had was selling hardware. I was making $6 per hour. That’s a dime every minute. When you are selling hardware… you have time to wonder about those things. $6 / 60 = .10 per minute. I loved that job. I was getting paid to stand in the air conditioning. Okay, they didn’t like us standing. But I didn’t complain. It was messy work… but more importantly… I WAS MAKING A DIME A MINUTE.
I have three boys. The youngest is seven. Money, to him, is shiny stuff to buy gum with. He leaves it in his pockets or the floor. He can’t keep track of it. He has no idea of the value of it or how to get it other than the tooth fairy.
I have three boys. One of them is fifteen… okay two of them are but I’m not telling you which one I’m talking about. Money to him is green stuff that Mom and Dad have in their wallets. You ask for it and it magically appears. Close the wallet, open it again and more money appears. Magic wallet.
The other day the fifteen-year-old was asking for chores to do to earn money. His mother and I agree that we will pay for any and all activities that have to do with school. Anything extra is on him. We even pay for his lunch at school. We are good like that… helping our kids eat. So I gave him a task to do. It took him about 10 minutes. It really wasn’t that much. He asked for the money. I pulled three singles out of my wallet (yes… the magical wallet) and offered them to him. He looked at me like I was crazy. He said, “That’s IT?” I responded yes, it only took you ten minutes… fifteen at the most. I’m pretty quick with the math as you might remember from above. I told him that 15 minutes of work for $3 was about $12 per hour. If it was only 10 minutes it would have been $18 per hour. The job that he did was really only a minimum wage type job. He was INSULTED that I was paying him $12 to $18 dollars per hour to do jobs around the house that my parents would have made me do because they said. Why? Because they said. THAT’S 20 TO 30 CENTS PER MINUTE! He walked away not taking the money.
His Mom had a proposal for him. She would give him $25 dollars per week. $15 for lunch at school ($3 per day) and an additional $10 for the chores that he does at home. Basically, $25 dollars a week to take the trash cans out to the curb… and empty the trash cans in the rooms of our house. It’s about a five-minute job.
$10 for a five-minute job works out to $120 dollars per hour. $120 PER HOUR! Yes, ladies and gentlemen… that’s $2 per minute. He was offended that we offered that amount to him. OFFENDED and said “no thanks’.
I have a masters degree in secondary education. I am all but my dissertation away from having a doctorate in educational leadership. A DOCTORATE! I don’t make anywhere close to $120 per hour.
Our son is learning the power of money. He is snubbing his nose at what we offer. Yet… he is still doing the jobs… that’s $0 per hour… 0 cents per minute. Our child… doesn’t understand… the value of a dollar… or a minute.