Did You Argue with Your Sister This Morning? There’s a Fee for That

In this family's household, allowance was not only earned, but adjusted according to behavioral faux pas.

A Redditor Stephanie Chappe posted this funny memo her father Richard drew up when she and her sisters were little, which outlined what slip-ups could get their allowances reduced, and conversely, how they could get those dollars back. The contract was signed by both parents and all four sisters.


"Our dad thrives on order," Stephanie, now 31, tells the Good News Blog. "And we were four girls who defined chaos to him, I think. He is neat, exact, and thorough. A great planner. He makes spreadsheets and databases for everything. In a similar vain as the allowance sanctions, he also created a whole hand signal system for when we took road trips (we took a lot of road trips), which we never followed but it was equally detailed (like, if he puts two fingers in the air it meant one person can talk only, putting his fist in the air meant we had to all be quiet, as so on)."

Stephanie and her sisters grew up in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, a northwest suburb of Chicago. While she doesn't remember when the list was created, she does remember that she was the primary instigator. Evidently, getting ready for school created much drama in the family, and Richard felt the contract would be a surefire way to get their attention. Each daughter earned half their age plus two or three extra dollars as a flat fee, and while the contract wasn't strictly adhered too, it certainly straightened things up, and fast.

"Just coming up with it and having us recognize how much it mattered to him was enough, really," Stephanie remembers. "If he was super serious about this, you bet he would've also had a spreadsheet detailing every single sanction and reducing of sanctions for each of us. And also graphs of it. Those were the kinds of things he liked to do."

She adds, "Probably the fact we had recognized his position and how he wanted us to behave was enough to modify our behavior so that he never really had to enforce it so strictly."

That major argument fee would do it for us!

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