I often find myself telling my children how I had to do chores to earn money when I was younger. There was a list posted to the fridge every week detailing which child had to clean what in order to get our allowance and play with friend on the weekend. By the time I reached middle school the chore list disappeared. Probably because my older siblings had real jobs by then, one was even in the military.
During my grade school years I received an allowance. I don’t recall how much we got. I preferred to clean the living room, it seemed like the fastest chore on the list. My older (by ten years) sister liked the laundry because she could go to her room and watch t.v. or read while waiting on the machines to finish. I helped my older brother’s with the dishes. One would wash, one would rinse, and another would dry. I often rinsed the dishes, probably because it meant I would handle them less so they were not as likely to break.
When my brothers got paper routes I would help to fold them or if it was raining or snowy I would stuff them into the little plastic bags. If one of my brothers was running late and needed a runner I would gladly go. My oldest brother would then take me to Helen’s corner store to get candy which we used for currency while playing poker. I don’t think Helen ever raised the prices of the candy in her store because I could go in with a few dollars and walk out with a bag of candy. I couldn’t do that at the gas station.
When middle school came along I began to help my grandparents clean the church. Every Saturday morning they would pick me up. I would start by cleaning the Sunday School rooms down stairs while Grandpa worked on other rooms. By the time I got done without that grandma was usually done with the kitchen and fellowship hall except for vacuuming. I would grab the furniture polish and start cleaning the pews in the sanctuary. I started in the balcony and worked my way down to the altar. Polishing the pews usually took about an hour. Once that was done I’d grab window cleaner and start on those. We always did the preacher’s office last. That cleaning earned me $10 a week which I used to buy soda and candy from the gas station next to my house.
I didn’t get my first “real” job until I graduated high school.
What sort of things did you do to earn money as a kid?