In our home this week I am attempting round two of implementing chores. When I first tried this the children’s chores included a bunch of stuff they don’t already do around the home, plus all the stuff they already do. They got a sticker for each completed task and the stickers added up to privileges like computer time or a watching a movie. It all ended up making more work for me and I wasn’t ready for it. This time is different.
This time, the chores mostly include things they already are doing, like getting dressed, brushing teeth, etc. and a few things they struggle with: being kind to sibling, no whining, practicing piano. The key for all of these things is the added phrase, “without being told” and they get a nickel for each completed “chore”. They can earn up to $15 a month each.
At the end of the month we will sit down with them and see how much they’ve earned. Each child will have three bags (giving, saving, spending). Ten percent for giving, 50% for saving, and the rest for spending. The saving category is further divided into more categories, which I think is too complicated for kids, but Nathan wants to teach them about thinking long term. SO our kids will be saving their nickels for college, a home, a wedding, long term disability. Who knows?
Another portion of their savings is going toward a spending goal. Moriah is saving $60 for an iPod shuffle and Noah is saving $20 for a Chick Hicks Hauler (Pixar Cars). We will most likely think of ways for them to earn extra money. Otherwise, I’ve told them they could just put their spending money toward their goal.
Each child has a jar with their name on it and a checklist (soon) a parent puts the money in the “bank” as they earn it. They can hear the coins drop in the glass jar. Noah has been warned (after today) that if he puts money in that jar, he loses it all. He thought he should get paid for doing something cute. Each child also has a savings goal chart. Just like those fund raiser ones. The chart has a picture of what they want to buy and at the end of the month they get to color in how much money they earned toward their goal.
Our kids don’t watch a lot of movies or use the computer a lot, which is how I like it. BUT they ask to do those things multiple times a day. So, they will now have to use their spending money to pay to do those things (unless initiated by a parent). I haven’t decided how much those things will cost.
What I like about this is that it isn’t any more work for me than what I’m already doing. I’m older than they so it’s a bit more difficult for me to start a new habit. If they don’t clear their dishes, I already remind them or I do it. Now, if that happens, they don’t get the money. There is also the element of rewards for good behavior. Sometimes a hug, kiss and attention just isn’t enough. As they get older and as they master completing these things without being told, they will get more difficult chores. I also love that they are learning about money. Real money. Not plastic, not checks. They are learning money management, work ethic, consequences, etc…
I’m excited about this and I look at it as a gift to them. They are pretty excited about having some money to spend on the “junk” I never buy in the store, and even more excited about their goals.