Jul 14 2014

Money Talks, So Does a Clean House

I have a simple theory, although it’s probably not even original. Here it goes. Money talks to everyone. Clean houses talk to those that live in them. Or more specifically, money talks to kids, clean house talks to Mom.

It’s never easy to get kids to do chores, but making it fun helps. My children, ages 3 and 4 (nearly 5!) are at an age of independence, where baby naps have turned into “but I’m not tired” and “Please pick up your toys” turns into a fit of “but it’s not even dark outside!” (In relation to bed-time)

Kids are never tired, we get it, thanks. But the fact of the matter is, at this age it’s not only important to make sure they learn how to be responsible, it’s also important that they learn the value of a hard-earned dollar. Or quarter. Some parents give kids an allowance. Some give money for doing all their chores. Some don’t give their kids money unless it’s their birthday. Many financial experts including Dave Ramsey, suggest teaching your children the value of hard work by offering certain household chores to be done as work for what he calls commission. We don’t call it commission here, but it’s the same concept.

We have a board in our main downstairs hallway. We began this system a week ago, after the kids got home, and it’s been working really well. They have a chart of all their daily chores that I created in Word. Any chore that can be done in the morning, has to be done by breakfast time or right after. They trade shifts for feeding the pets so that it’s not just a job for one of them. And after the morning chores are done, they’re allowed to choose chores for money. I post five chores each day with their descriptions and a predetermined amount of change in a little baggie to each chore post. Each child is allowed to choose two chores per day unless Mom tells them otherwise. I realize many people who use a system like this post chores weekly and for larger amounts, but because my kids are young, their pay is smaller (By a lot! Many items are between 7-15 cents while a few are 20-25 cents.) and a week can seem like ages to their little bodies.

I got the work for hire printables from Home Made by Carmona and edited a few of them to work for us. {You can also find a similar system at The Chic Site}We have rules posted, a few of which include what happens if they need to complete a chore as a “punishment” (unpaid, usually if they’ve done something like lie or steal something, refuse to do their basic chores, etc.) It also details when payday is and how to earn bonuses.

What’s great about this is, the kids aren’t forced to do any chores for money, but they’re incentivized with the ability to see their money right there all week long, see their bag get more full, and the fact that because there’s two of them, it seems like it’s a race. I just added the bonuses aspect of the money making opportunity, but I foresee it going over well.

As for spending the money, we’ve set rules and limits there as well. They’re not allowed to bring less than $2 out of the house because I don’t want to have a child disappointed without enough money to buy whatever snack or trinket they want and request money from Mom to make up the difference. They are however allowed to purchase items from Mom’s Dollar Store, which is a box stocked with items that cost me roughly a dollar from either the Dollar Tree or Target’s One Spot. Now, Mom’s Dollar store is tax-free, so they don’t have to worry about ponying up an extra 6-9 cents for taxes on their purchase. A dollar item is just a dollar.

What about savings you ask? Well their weekly pay comes with a pay sheet (pay stub) detailing each chore they did and what they earned. On the back has a handy little worksheet I designed that’s divided into two sections, one for piggy banks and one for their spend account. I redo the worksheet each time to reflect the exact coins they’ve earned that week. The worksheet helps them sort their coins and half of their earnings must go directly into their piggy bank and the other half goes into their spend account, their spend account is a jar that sits on the mantle with their name on it. They can take money from it for Mom’s Dollar Store or any time we’re going to the grocery store, as long as they have enough.

So, now that I’ve gone into extreme detail, I’m curious to know… How do you get your kids to do their chores? How do you teach your kids about money management? What works for your family? I’d love to see your comments!

If you’re interested in making a board like this, all you need is a cork board, a few clipboards, some binder clips (I like the Staples brand small size) & tacks and a couple zipper plastic bags.

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  1. Oliver bagnara

    Good morning!
    I really like your board, I am going to use one myself! Would you share the word documents you created so I can have a template please?

    Thank you! :-)))


    1. Shelby

      I apologize for the very late reply, but the document is linked in the post already.

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