No Spend September: Family Chores and Allowance (Podcast #14!)

Chores and Allowance

Hey Parents! Jen here. This week on Episode 14 in honor of managing money and responsibilities during #NoSpendSeptember2018, Corinne and I chat about how to organize family chores for our kids and how to deal with allowance. Corinne’s kids are ages 1-7 and mine are 4-12, so we’re on slightly different chore and allowance tracks, but chances are, we’ve got you covered!

First of all, here are a few chores even the youngest kids (ages 18 months to 4 years) can do, with assistance:

    • Take laundry to basement
    • Organize toys
    • Help unload dishwasher (plastic or utensils)
    • Vacuum
    • Set table
    • Sweep (kind of…)

So, get those little ones involved. Here are a couple chore systems you can consider for your family:

  1. Pay as you go. Rather than setting up a chart or a system, pull kids in when you need some help doing “above and beyond” activities. Need help weeding the garden or taking out the trash? Here’s a dollar or two. Put it in your piggy bank!
  2. Set an allowance and a daily chore chart. For the younger kids, it’s ok to make some of their chores things that they should be doing already, like brushing their teeth and making their beds. But as they get older (say by age 8), allowance should really be for extra stuff, not what they should be doing anyway like flushing the toilet and clearing their plates at dinner.
  3. Give each kid one chore per week, then switch.  Rather that mixing it up every day during the week, you can simplify your system by giving one kid setting table for one full week and another one dishes. This system can be easier to follow and easier to enforce because it’s simple, especially if kids don’t mind sticking with the same chore(s) for 7 straight days.

Chez Reilly, we have a weekly system magnetized to our fridge where each of the 4 kids has 2 chores per day. That chore could be as painful as scrubbing toothpaste out of the kids’ bathroom sink, or as fun as sticking the shoes in the shoe cubby at the front door (wait, am I only the one that thinks that’s fun?!). Here’s what ours looks like (and here are the chart and the markers if you’re gung-ho!):

I know what you’re thinking, what the heck is the Bed Check?! Well, that person checks to make sure the other kids made their beds and then makes sure they do it if it isn’t done. If beds aren’t made, it’s on the bed check person!

Corinne is setting up a new chore system right now with her oldest daughter Audrey (7 years old) working off of a to-do list each day. I’m sure Corinne will update us on her new system as it unfolds.

Now for Allowance. In our house, we are organized and keep a spreadsheet. As long as chores get done each week, the kids get half their age in dollars (Keller age 12 gets $6, Griffin age 10 gets $5, Jake age 8 gets $4, and Annie age 4 gets $2). I know, that’s $17 per week for stuff we could do in 10 minutes. But it’s teaching them great habits and the appreciation of earned money, or at least we can hope.

Of the money our kids get, 50% goes straight to their piggy banks, 25% gets put in a savings account that they’ll be able to access when they graduate high school, and the other 25% gets donated to a charity at the end of the year. The kids all vote on one charity and last year it was our local humane society. Pretty soon they’re going to start their own non-profit to fund nerf guns and jewelry for themselves just so they can “donate” to it at the end of the year. But until they figure that out, we’ve got an awesome spreadsheet and a nice sum of $217 that’s going to go to a charity at the end of 2018.

I don’t think you can do allowance wrong, just keep in mind that it should probably increase with age along with responsibilities so start really small when they’re young.

I’ll leave you with the cutest chore system ever… I would LOVE to hear if you try that one out! It is chores on coffee 🙂

As always, share your tips in the comments below.

Until we no-spend again next week!

Jen & Corinne

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