Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Kids' Chore System (Take 1)

I am here to ashamedly admit that we have not had a chore system for our kids.  Ever.  Until now.

Jared has too much commute time, and he's been spending that time listening to too much Dave Ramsey.  So he and I talked about how we wanted a chore system to work in our house.

I'm sharing with you what we are currently doing.  We are only on week 3, so I'm sure we will make adjustments as we go.

First, we made a list of possible jobs for the kids.  Then we assigned 5 jobs to each child.  The others became "extras."  Each child must complete their personal five chores all week long in order to be paid their weekly allowance of $5 on Saturday (pay day).  They will receive an additional $1 for each extra job they complete.

So just to clarify, their regular chores are worth $1 each for an entire week of completion, no matter how many times they do each chore.  The extra jobs are worth $1 per job.  Make sense?

I made a simple table to show the chores, and I put it in a super cheap picture frame (it's actually a document frame so it's 8.5"x11" but you could trim your chart and use an 8"x10" frame).  I glued magnets onto the back of the frame so it could hang on our fridge.  We also glued a magnet onto a wet-erase marker.  The kids use this to tally their extra jobs for the week.

Most of the kids' chores are self-explanatory.  We divided the basement into two sections, and Griffin and Nora are each in charge of keeping a section clean.  "Laundry" means the kids have to gather the dirty laundry and sort it by color.  After I fold all the clean laundry, they each have to put their own laundry away (including putting their hanging clothes on hangers and hanging them in their closets).  I take care of my clothes, Jared puts his own away, and I do the towels, wash cloths, etc. 

The second part of this system involves what to do after they are paid for completing their chores. 

The kids are required to split their allowance between Give, Save, and Spend envelopes.  We pay the kids their $5 in all one dollar bills.  They put $1 into the Give envelope, $2 into Spend, and $3 into Save.  When we explained the system to the kids, Griffin immediately said, "But $1 is more than 10% of $5."  That kid is too smart for anyone's good.

So normally we tithe 10%, but for the sake of simplicity, the kids give $1 each week.  We pay them on Saturdays so they can take their Give dollar to church on Sundays.  We set a cap that they can only earn up to $10 per week (for chores plus extra jobs), so technically they are tithing 10% of their highest potential earnings.

I am working on making the kids fabric zipper pouches for their Give/Save/Spend envelopes, but I'm not nearly finished.  So for now we had them label regular envelopes.  We also required them to list at least 3 goals on their Save envelopes so they can have a clear savings goal in mind.

Griffin's envelopes

Nolan's envelopes

Nora' envelopes
The kids' personalities totally came out during our family meeting about the new system.  Here are their comments:
Nolan:  "Can I just save my Spend money?"
Griffin:  "Can I spend my Save money?"
Nora:  "Can I decorate my envelopes?"
So far this system is working very well.  We are noticing that Nolan's jobs come up more frequently, so we may shift a few things around.  That should go over well.

At least we are finally making progress teaching our kids about money!


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