|pay day ...|
After about an hour, I had a dozen or so requests for the details of our system. Honestly, it's nothing amazing, just a concept that works for us. And it's not even original. It is based largely on a system that I learned about in the book, The MoneySmart Family System: Teaching Financial Independence to Children of Every Age.
Basically, we took the guidelines of the plan in The MoneySmart Family System and adapted it to our lives. The rules were laid out for the girls and they fell into line pretty quickly. Even our four year old completely understands and accomplishes all of her chores without complaint (well, mostly without complaint.) And now that they understand what is expected of them, we have increased their workload and will continually do so. They will also see increases in allowance as they age and responsibilities grow.
Beyond the fact that this system allows my children to contribute to our household, I truly love that it is teaching them how to manage their finances, a skill I hope they continue to develop throughout life. They are learning how to spend and save wisely and I am proud of how much they have learned already. (Note: J and I pay for all of their needs, vacations, extra-curricular activities and the occasional treat (i.e. frozen yogurt). The girls are expected to save and pay for all of their wants (all toys, accessories, activities, etc). Eventually, the girls will also be expected to purchase their own clothing, aside from the basics (underwear, socks, shoes) and will be compensated with a larger allowance to do so.)
So here's how it works.
- In order to earn a point, all steps must be completed in their entirety. There will be no awarding of partial points.
- Each point is worth $0.10.
- If you earn all four points, every day for one week AND you earn at least two bonus points, we will double your payout, giving you $0.20 per point.
- You will be paid once every two weeks.
- You will divide your earnings as follows: 10% - Give, 20% - Save, 70% - Spend
- You can further divide your spending money to save for a special purchase.
- Spend money will go in your piggy bank. If you are saving for something specific, Mom and Dad will help you keep track of the amount saved towards your future purchase.
- Save money will be deposited into your bank account. This money is like an emergency fund and is not to be withdrawn from without approval from Mom and Dad.
- Give money will be pooled together. Mom and Dad will match the amount you put in and we will collectively decide where and when the money should be allocated.
- Any items that Mom and Dad choose to not buy for you will go on a wish list or will be saved for by you. We will help you determine how much money you need to save and make you aware of how long it will take you to save for it. You can add or remove items from the wish list at any time.
- Money received as gifts can either be put into your bank account, directly into your savings for a specific item or divided in the same manner as the money you earn through points. The choice is yours.
And here's how they can earn points:
To earn your Morning Point, you must:
- Get dressed, including socks, shoes and hair.
- Eat breakfast.
- Make your bed.
- Put your dishes in the sink.
- Pack your backpack.
- Get out the door ON TIME, without complaining.
To earn your School Point, you must:
- Behave well at school (green or better.
- Do your best on all of your work at school.
- Complete your homework as soon as you come home without complaining.
To earn your Chores Point, you must:
- Clean you room before bed - All books and toys away and all trash thrown away.
- Clean the playroom – All books and toys away, closet “closed” and all trash thrown away.
- Put away your clean clothes
- "Round Up" the rest of the house - Check every room for anything that is yours or that you used throughout the day and put it back where it belongs. If you fail to do this, you will not get a point and the items will become mine.
To earn your Bedtime Point, you must:
- Shower (if needed)
- Put on your pajamas and put your clothes in the wash.
- Brush your teeth.
- Go to the bathroom.
- Go to bed ON TIME, without complaining. There will be no opening your bedroom door UNLESS you need to use the bathroom.
You can earn bonus points for the following:
- Doing a chore with or without being asked by Mom or Dad.
- Any day that you do not use your iPod/Computer AND you do not watch more than 2 hours of TV. Note: TV or electronic use while Mom completes her workouts will not count against you.
- For good behavior as determined by Mom or Dad.
- For 30 minutes of exercise
- For 30 minutes of workbooks or reading, outside of your homework.