HA! We don’t give allowances in our house. I’m a mean mommy that way (or so my kids tell me LOL). They work for their money even starting at a young 4-5 years of age. Honestly, I don’t know the psychology of what I’m “suppose” to be doing, or not doing, when it comes to teaching my kids about working for a paycheck verses getting an allowance.
It’s a push-pull thing in my heart, but this just is what is working for our family. On one hand, I want to teach my kids to contribute to a household regardless of getting “paid.” On the other hand, I want to teach my kids they have to earn money and to not be entitled to handouts in life.
I’m doing the best that I can and loving them the best I know how. It’s what us moms are all doing – the best we can, right?
If you’d like to try out chore charts, here’s a rundown of what I use…
#1 Use a sheet of paper as a log for earning chore money.
At the end of this article is a link to the free printable that is an example of what I use plus a blank chore chart for you to modify for your family. My kids check their chore charts periodically during the “pay period.” It’s good for them to see how they are progressing and is encouraging for them to keep going. We used to use a monthly chart but are switching to a 2 week chart as my kids would lose interest after too many weeks.
#2 Determine the chore categories.
It was important for my kids to understand clearly what is expected of them in our home. There are 5 separate categories of chores in our house – Homework(this includes reading books), Keeping our rooms clean each day/making our bed, Helping with general house cleaning, Pet care, and Doing dishes. Your home might need more or less.
Your chore chart also might change with your kids’ ages. For example, when my kids were little, we started an easier “chore chart” to teach them to remember to brush their teeth each night, make their beds in the morning, and take their dishes from the table to the sink. As our kids have grown and changed, the responsibilities of brushing teeth and taking dishes to the sink are understood as part of life but they still “earn” money for putting dishes up from the dishwasher. Eventually, this will grow into putting dirty dishes into the dishwasher and cooking.
Through using chore charts, I have been motivated to teach my kids how to do laundry, clean floors, clean windows. At first, they need a bunch of supervising and help, but it’s amazing to watch how well they can do these tasks and still be so young. I believe this has instilled confidence in their hearts and minds. It has not only motivated them to complete these tasks but also motivates me to teach them things they’ll need to know how to do as adults even though they are so young right now.
#3 Determine how many check marks equals how much money.
We have lots of categories and lots of ways to earn money with our chore chart so I can’t afford something like $1 per check mark! LOL I’d have to take out a loan every paycheck for these three kids!!! Ha! So we stick to $1 per every 4 check marks. It still adds up for this momma but my kids are working hard and I want to encourage them.
#4 Explain what is expected daily to earn check marks and how the chore chart works.
Let them know the prizes they can pick out with their earned chore money. I make it a big deal when we have the outings to pick out prizes. They are always SO excited about this! I also use this time to teach about the 10-10-80 rule in budgeting (not that I’m the best example for it). That’s where 10% is a tithe(or charitable giving) 10% is for saving and 80% is for spending. I want them to get into this habit as early as possible.
Are you wanting to start using a chore chart?
Here’s an example of what we use at our home…
In the above sheet I write the weeks for that chore chart under each category heading such as Dec 9-15 and Dec 16-22 . This area could be used for anything you choose. Maybe you just expect one chore from the category to be done daily per child so you could write that here. Also, I like having places for daily check marks to be made because seeing the chart fill up seems to be motivating as well.
Do you use chore charts in your home? If you are looking to start using them, sign up for my sometimes weekly(more like monthly) newsletter using the form below for access to a free “My Responsibilities” chore chart plus more free printables to help simplify your life.