I may be going out on a limb here, but I can guess if you’ve been a parent for more than a couple of years, you’ve had to deal with the “I Wants.” You know what I’m talking about — you’re out in a store and your typically adorable and well-mannered sweetheart morphs into a crazy, greedy monster child that demands that you buy them anything and everything in sight. It isn’t pretty and I honestly haven’t met a parent that hasn’t had to tame that monster. Because we had to deal with this on more than one occasion, The Husband and I have come up with a system that has eliminated all of the awful behavior while out and about and I thought y’all might like to learn how and why our kids EARN allowance. You can thank me later.
While we were brainstorming away for a solution to our issue, The Husband suggested we check out Dave Ramsey’s program for kids. While we liked some of the basic components of his system, we changed it to fit our family. What we boiled it down to is that we want our children to earn their money for extras, but we also want to teach them that saving long term is a necessary skill and giving to those less fortunate is important to be a good, well-rounded person.
1. Create a list of chores that your kids will have the opportunity to complete. For our list, I’ve included chores that they are able to complete now and ones that they’ll have to practice and learn how to do as time goes on. For instance, our vaccuum is on the heavier side, so my five year old has a tough time maneuvering it around; therefore, she doesn’t attempt that chore right now.
I’ve put together a few downloads to help you out. The first option is identical to the ones we are using in our home with the chores and values already entered in for you. The second option is blank with lines and dollar signs, but everything else is up to you to fill in. I printed mine on heavy duty card stock and laminated them. This way my children are able to use dry erase markers and we can wipe it off at the end of each week.
2. Assign a dollar amount for each chore completed. We decided to keep the majority of the chores the same price to make it easier for us to add up how much they’ve earned at the end of the week and so that all of the chores are weighted the same.
3. I feel like this next part is so crucial in our system: let your children decide what chores they complete. When they have ownership over their choices, they are more motivated to get their job done. Remind your kidlets that are trying to choose to do NO chores that they are then earning NO money which means NO extra treats. In our family, we let our kids know that nothing will be handed to them, they must EARN it!
Have your kids also be the ones who check off what chores they’ve completed.
4. Hang the chore charts in a prominent place in your home so its easy for your family to see what the status is of the chores for the week. If its hidden away, you’re likely to forget about it.
We give our kids the money they’ve earned once a week, but you’ll have to figure out what time frame works best for you. They’ve started calling Sunday “Pay Day” in our home because they know that is always the day we give them the money they’ve earned for the week. Because Reagan is only five, when we started out this program, we paid her immediately after she finished her chores. As she became more familiar with our system, we began paying her every other day until we built up to her being paid once a week like her big brother.
When our kids are paid, they have to separate the money they’ve earned into three different bags: Give, Save, Spend. We have them line their bags up in that exact order every time they get paid so that they start to learn that it’s important to handle your money in that order. We typically have them divide their money up for each bag the following way: Give 20%, Save 40%, and Spend 40%. For example, if Luke earns $2.50 during the week, 50 cents goes in the Give bag, $1 goes in the Save bag, and $1 goes in the Spend bag.
Here’s how each specific bag works:
Give – The money in this bag can really be given to any place your family decides. While our kids have chosen to give it to our church, you might want to give to a charity or fundraiser of your choice. Let your kidlets have input on where they give their hard earned money to.
Save – For our family, we’re going to be opening savings accounts for our children. They’ll get to save for cars for when they turn 16 or for their first home or for college funds. We’re thinking really long term here. This one is the most difficult for my kids to understand right now, but we know it’ll totally pay off in the long run.
Spend – This is hands-down my kids’ favorite bag! This is the money they can spend NOW on whatever they choose, within reason. If they want to purchase a popsicle after school that the PTSO is selling, great. If they want to save for a few weeks to buy a more pricey toy, awesome. This is the bag you can refer to when out shopping with a tantrum on the horizon. Do they have the money to pay for what they want? Remember, they aren’t given anything, they have to earn it!
I know that this was a ton of information to take in! If you have any questions or need ideas on how to make this work for your family, please ask in the comments below!
If you liked this helpful parenting tip, you might like these ones too:
Linking Here:Pin It