For a couple of years I have been telling Bean that his first job will be a paper route. Most semi-responsible people I have encountered started their employment history this way, so it seems like a good thing to do. Kind of like what working at McDonalds was when I was much younger (except now anyone under 18 rarely gets to work in food services, since adults moved into that sector when the good jobs disappeared).
I even bought him a wagon for xmas in 2012 to encourage him, and figured we would have a route by his 7th birthday. However by that date I didn't think he was ready and would find it more of a curse than a blessing. Also I'm still a bit hesitant because as kids, my sister had a route but pawned it off on me (without pay!) so I know how much work can be involved.
And I never knew how low the pay is!
The route I have a lead on is for "the free paper" in our town. We will deliver to 27 houses on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and the pay is $22 for two weeks work. My calculator tells me that this works out to be 13.5 cents per house, or $3.65 for (hopefully) an hour's work per night. That includes putting the papers together, walking up to the next neighbourhood with our wagon, and delivering. Rain or shine. And I would probably be doing Fridays on my own since Bean goes to his dad's (in the big city) most weekends and leaves on the bus right after school.
When I worked at a Pizza Hut in the late 1980s I made $3.70 an hour, and that was indoors, so you can see why I might be hesitating again. I currently consider my time valued at $25 an hour, after taxes.
Currently Bean does not get an allowance, because he does not do any chores around the house. I can't think of anything for him to do. When I was a kid I unloaded the dishwasher, cleaned the glass tables with glass cleaner, set the dinner table, and washed the bathroom sink. I think I was 10 or 11 when I took over these chores, but I think I started getting a weekly allowance ($2) when I was 7. I told Bean that if he wants an allowance he must do a few things around the house but we didn't come up with a plan. We don't have a dishwasher and he barely reaches the kitchen sink!
If we take the paper route he would make $7.30 a week (I might take the $3.65 for doing Fridays, and put it in his piggy bank as savings), which is a pretty good amount for an 8 year old. It would be a lot of work (maybe!) for a little bit of money, but it would be his own money. He could decide to save or spend it, a lesson we have already been working on for awhile with his birthday money.
I guess we will do the paper route. I need to find out if there is a contract, just in case we hate it and need to quit.
Side note: We don't have any after-school activities lined up for September. Soccer will be finished, and I am letting him quit karate because he is just not that into it. He finished level 3 in swimming and didn't want to continue on. He wanted to go into basketball but the games are on the weekends and he is usually away at his dad's.