I started a series on teaching kids about money and allowances. You can read part one here, Raising your Kids to be MONEY SMART. Today, I’m going to talk about coming up with a system that works for your family. My husband I decided that our kids needed an allowance when they started asking for special things, like a skate board ramp, a new movie, or just a special treat. We tried 2 different methods to see what worked for our family. We give out an allowance for the work they do and their attitude about doing the work.
There are many ways to come up with an earning system for your kids, but here are 2 simple systems that we have used in my family and love both of them.
1. They can get a “salary” and get paid once a week or month for the work they did.
We have 3 kids, ages 5, 7, and 9. We don’t have a chore chart, but each child in the family has certain chores that they do.
- put away their clean clothes.
- take their dirty dishes to the sink.
- put their clothes to the hamper.
- take turns cleaning up the dog poop.
- clean up their toys.
I sometimes schedule a “Clean Team”. This is where we work as a family and clean up because the house is a disaster. It doesn’t last long, but usually we do this because the house is cluttered and everything just needs to be put back in it’s proper spot. I normally do this before I deep clean.
My daughter, who is 5 organizes the shoe closet, makes her bed and more. I wrote a list of chores for preschooler that you can read here. I’m lucky that she’s a cleaner and organizer. You should hear her scold the boys when they toss their shoes in the closet after she’s organized it.
My older sons have trash duty and the majority of the poop duty. 🙂 They are in charge of keeping the garage organized and nice, since they are the ones that are making the mess. They also walk the yard to get out all toys and trash that show up. Sometimes they spend 30 minutes getting the neighborhood toys back to their proper owners.
We also give them an opportunity to earn extra cash. If they are trying really hard to save up for a special toy, then we will find extra chores for them to do. They could vacuum the stairs (which I do not like to do) or sweep the floor. They fold clothes and clean the toilets.
2. Children can earn money per chore.
For each chore they complete, they get a set amount of money. I think this works VERY well when the kids are younger. It’s very visual and my kids are very competitive. They were always racing to see which one would have the most money at the end of the week.
I made a list of chores all my kids did, then I assigned an amount to them. Cleaning off the table was a pretty easy task so I assigned it $.25. However, the trash was a little more involved so I assigned it $.75. I came up with this great trick to help keep track of what they earned. I glued each chore onto a popsicle stick. When they completed the chore, they got to move the stick into their cup. At the end of the week, we added up how much each child earned. Some weeks I had one son clean the table off every night, so he got all the Clear the Table sticks, one for each night.
We have done it both ways, but right now we give them a set allowance each week. That seems to work the best for us right now. When school starts, we may change things up again.
OK- Now we have worked out a plan to earn an allowance, but how much is a good amount to give each child? Check back tomorrow for the 3rd post in the series about how much allowance should your kids get and how much do they really need.
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