Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chores and Money Management ...

Yesterday afternoon, I posted this picture of my children's chore/allowance chart.

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.

The Rules:

  • 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.
We keep track of each child's points on this chart ...

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.
Bonus Points:
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.
See? It's nothing amazing, but it works for us. Do you have a chores system in your home? What do you like best about it?


Allison And Kevin said...

Hey Tonia, I'm very interested in this! How old were the girls when you started this system?

Jesser said...

We have been using a similar system this year ... details in this and a couple of linked posts: http://jesser.org/?p=5191

The kids have set chores that earn them screen time in 5min increments. They earn stars for good behavior that get them things like a family outing to the pool or an extra book at bedtime. They also have an allowance that is split similarly (though my 3yo doesn't get any "savings"). This is automatically given, but they have fiscal chores that they have started taking on (paying for hot lunch is the first one for the 5yo) that we intend to add to as they get older. Then they can earn additional $$ for above and beyond chores (vacuuming the house) or other things we we want to incentivize like running ($1/mile) or math ($.25 for 2 workbook pages) or writing ($.25 for 2 good sentences), etc.

We use the iAllowance app to track it which has been great. I would like a more visual reminder for them sometimes, but I'm not great at keeping up with that and this has ensured that we've been going strong for a month and a half. We do an update as a family at dinner and bedtime and it's been a wonderful motivator for them.

Unknown said...

LOVE THIS!! We have been doing allowance/chore chart for a while now but I've really struggled with how much to pay, what kind of chores to make them do and so on... Which then ends up in me forgetting to pay, them forgetting to do chores, etc. I like this concept a lot and the inherent structure of it, thanks for posting it!

Cassalozzi said...

I know you mentioned that your four year old takes part, but how old were they when you started this system?

My oldest is three and we just introduced the chore chart and the concept of money, but I like this idea WAY better then what we set up.

I'm pretty sure he will happily earn points for everything except the going to bed without complaining part. lol He's just not there yet!

I have an 18 month old that also does chores, but we don't plan on introducing money to him until he is three.

Anyway, this is great and thanks for sharing!

Nicole Orriƫns said...

I've tried to implement a chores system, but with five kids it just go to be too much work to keep track of everything.