Stay-at-home parents, have you been reading about "Wife Bonuses" and wondering, "Where's my piece of the pie?" Have you started to think about all the sacrifices you have made to help further your spouse's career and wondered why you didn't earn a salary too, or at least a bonus for all your hard work?
Sure you have access to the joint bank account, but most of that money goes towards the kids and household items. It's nice to have some money ear-marked just for you and your frivolous indulgences. Where's your Jimmy Choo shoe fund?
Well, look no further stay-at-home parents - I'm here to tell you that there are plenty of "Wife Bonuses" abound (and "Husband Bonuses" for you stay-at-home dads out there). You just need to know where to look for them.
And no, I'm not talking about the "bonuses" of being able to stay in your pajamas until dinnertime or all that priceless "quality" time you get with your precious children everyday; I'm talking cold, hard cash.
Now, first off, let's not be greedy ladies; not every family has the budget for designer shoes and handbags. But I think we all do deserve a guilt-free latte now and then, amiright?
So here are my secrets on how I manage to earn a "Wife Bonus" without having to grovel to my husband, who does not earn a bonus himself and would laugh in my face if I asked for one. In other words...
How to Get a "Wife Bonus" Without Looking Like A Greedy B*tch:
1. Money Laundering. I used to think doing the laundry was a thankless task - that is, until I started realizing how much money I was actually getting paid for this chore. I always find at least $0.25 in every load, sometimes more.
Don't forget to look around the filters - why that's a 50p coin right there!
Since we moved to London, where laundry is considerably more time-consuming and frustrating, it is only fair that my laundry "bonus" has increased. With the prevalence of £1 and £2 coins, pocket change in England equals serious coinage. Yet my husband still isn't in the practice of using coins when shopping. Cha-ching! Just last week while doing laundry I found almost £7 (over $10!) in coins in my husband's jeans pocket - a new record!
Mama got a Venti the next day. With an extra shot. Awww yeah, baby.
2. Digging for Gold. If you're like me, you don't vacuum under the couch pillows often (ok ever); in fact, the only time I lift them up is when I'm searching for a missing TV remote control. But you'd be surprised by what treasures lay hidden beneath the indentation of your lazy arse. Sure, it's never paid out as much as my money laundering scheme, but you never know when you will strike gold. Or even a Goldfish. Those things never go stale. Say goodbye to mid-morning hunger pains while you munch your way to a full belly and a full coin purse. Ahoy, matey!
3. Counter Offers. When my husband isn't throwing his money-laden jeans into the hamper (aka "treasure chest"), he is absent-mindedly dumping out change on random countertops or tables around the house. A little "dusting" (and by dusting I mean sliding your hand across surfaces looking for spare change) can be quite lucrative.
You see, your house is a veritable latte fund just waiting to be tapped. But sometimes the money dries up, particularly if you've been thorough in your scavenging and your caffeine addiction is increasing.
Resist the temptation to steal from your kids' piggy banks. Sure they have no clue how much is in there, and the younger ones don't know a quarter from a nickel, but this article is about feel-good "bonuses," not petty theft - or piggy theft, if you will.
Instead, when you're goldmine of a house runs dry, it's time to get a little resourceful. Here are a couple ideas on how you can make it rain:
1. Curses. Make a "Swear Jar" where any offender must contribute $0.50 per swear. Put it by the TV during football season. Sit back and wait. Your jar will be full quicker than you can say the words, "No-whip Mocha Frappuccino." Note: this works especially well if your husband is a Detroit Lions fan.
2. Child Labor. We don't give a weekly allowance for chores, but I'm tempted to have a reverse-allowance: you don't clean your room, you pay a fine. It can also work for behavior: you talk back to me, you pay a fine. My kids stash away money like squirrels and never spend it; it's time some of that money started going towards my Starbucks habit. After all, a caffeinated mom is a happy mom and a happy mom is a happy kid.
There you have it. My tips on how you too can get your own Wife (or Husband) Bonus. I would love to hear your tips too. 'Cuz I'm kinda running low on change around here and am jonesing for a Double Tall Latte...
The Wife Bonus: it's not just for Rich Bitches anymore.