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September 12, 2008


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I absolutely love putting the kids to work... if only they would do it without complaining.

We also do the spend/save/give buckets, with the twist that I double anything they deposit into their bank accounts. And a couple of weeks ago, a homeless woman came to our door and my son went right to his Give bucket...it was a beautiful thing (I kept it to myself that she was probably using his lovely gesture to buy meth.)

We don't have a direct allowance/chore link, but they are expected to clean up their messes at the end of each day, make beds, put laundry away, sweep the floors etc...not in a harsh way, simply in a "this is what we do" sort of way. We are a Montessori family, what can I say, I think it's true, kids feel more confident when they are given tasks to master.

We use Ledger books to keep track of our kids' pocketmoney. Removing the cold hard cash from the equation (and teaching them about money-on-paper versus money-in-your-hand) has been the smartest thing we've done. We started this when our kids were about 6 and 8. More details via my link...

Thanks for the giveaway, Kristen!!

We brought Beena, 8, 3 pretty decorative jars (Save, Spend & Tithe) and anytime she gets money, we divide it up. As far an allowance is concerned, she has things she is responsible for like keeping her room clean, feeding HER pets, and clearing the dinner table after meals that she doesn't get paid for. She gets allowance on the extra things she does around the house. Plus whenever she helps out other people, mostly family, she's allowed to keep any money they offer her.

My DS is only 3 so it's a little tough to teach him the value of anything - let alone money. We play shopping games, when we go to the grocery store we talk about money, how much things cost and that mommy & daddy work to be able to buy this stuff. Right now we are just trying to make money & saving part of our regular conversations with him. Eventually he will have chores, earn an allowance and will be required to put a part of the allowance in a savings account.

With our kids, if they want something that I wouldn't normally buy for them, we figure out the price and then they have to earn the money doing different chores. Like taking out the garbage every day for a week is 3.00, putting a load of dishes away is 1.00, etc. I give them the money as they earn it and we put it up somewhere safe in the house. Together we figure out how much more they need to get the thing that they want. when they finally get enough to buy it, we go to the store together and they purchase it themselves (yes we help the little ones count their money out LOL) so they know exactly how much they have spent. Ive found that this works well for us adn helps keep the house clean(er) in the process.

I feel so deficient now after reading these comments. I love Lora's comment about how her kid earns a dollar a week. I mean my kid could just find a dollar laying around the house and put it in her pocket. I love the chore chart concept too. Well, I guess I will start thinking about these things for my 4 year old.

I grew up with two sisters, and we each had a "time card." If we washed the dishes, we wrote it down and had a parent initial it and put a monetary amount next to it, and then cashed it in whenever we wanted. We never had chore charts, it was usually who was more desperate for money or just who got told to do it. When we were younger, my dad made us banks out of those old metal baking cocoa tins or giant black pepper cans, and put a lock on them that only he had the key to. Don't think I'd repeat that one, but it made me good with a butter knife at jimmying out quarters. :)

I don't have kids myself but my parents started us out on an allowance and an envelope system. One envelope for spending, one for saving, one for giving. We were then given our allowance in such a way that we would divide so that 10% went into the spending envelope, 10% went into the giving, and the rest into the saving. This took planning by my parents but they were good at it.

Also, each chore we were assigned was also assigned a dollar value. If we neglected our chores, the money was left out of our allowance. Yet we still had to put the whole 10% in giving so we were shorted on the spending.

I'm of the school of thought that, like any citizens living under a dictator, my children should earn money for their labor, and then turn it all over to me.

Plus I get to wear a cool hat and they have to shout their approval of everything I say. This plan is working very well so far-- we'll see how it goes once they hit middle school or so.

My 15 year old son has set chores. (trash, hauling coal in for our coal stove, cleaning his room, etc..) We give him $20 a week, but I usually end up borrowing it back from him....

@muskrat -- or you could do what everyone else here in ATL does and raise money at the stoplights.

Love that piggy bank! I've seen it several times but haven't had the chance to pick it up yet.

I had the opposite upbringing from you. My mom didn't require much in the way of chores, although I did have to save for many of the things I wanted, mostly because we didn't have a lot. College was a little tough for me, but I quickly gained a good sense of money. Now I'm the responsible one with money in my family.

I figure I'll drop them off at an I-20 exit ramp, along with the dog, and give them some soapy water and a couple squeegees. I'll tell them to look really pathetic and beg for tips while they clean windshields.

Then I'll explain the power of compounding interest and how not paying taxes will lead to great wealth.

I plan to do allowance with my kids, but I am not going to tie it to doing chores. Chores are something you do for the general good of the household, because you have responsibilities as a member of the household to take care of it and keep it up. I don't get paid for washing dishes, neither should they!

I may pay "bonus" allowance for doing something huge, like helping to rake leaves or shovel snow or babysitting, though.

Maybe my kids will just be salaried instead of paid hourly or by the piece. Ha!

Amy @ http://prettybabies.blogspot.com

PS - the 3 year old does chores already here, too, without being compensated.

I'm going to institute a small allowance when my son gets older (he's only 16 months now) - probably something like a dollar a week. I'm also going to get that pig you linked to (it's on his Amazon list already); and we'll put a quarter in each slot together every week. I'm going to add some "interest" too at the end of each month -- like four nickels a month, maybe. I know it's a complex thing for a child; but I really want him to see the value of compound interest before I did (mid-20's).

I'm going to institute a small allowance when my son gets older (he's only 16 months now) - probably something like a dollar a week. I'm also going to get that pig you linked to (it's on his Amazon list already); and we'll put a quarter in each slot together every week. I'm going to add some "interest" too at the end of each month -- like four nickels a month, maybe. I know it's a complex thing for a child; but I really want him to see the value of compound interest before I did (mid-20's).

Since the focus is on teaching kids to manage money we did both the "chores for cash" for spending money, but we also instituted a couple of other pools of money the kids managed with some restrictions. Starting right around the same time as allowance did they got a monthly "book allowance" that went along with a trip to the local bookstore. As they got older they also got a semi annual clothes budget. With both of those we started off requiring parental approval of purchases and as they showed their responsibility we stepped back to give them more control.

Learning a new skill is all about small steps taken as you master existing skills. Money management shouldn't be any different.

I LOVE that bank! Also love the chore chart. Simple and perfect. Thanks for sharing those.

My son is 8 years old and he doesn't have a lot of chores, just the basics. take out trash, clear dinner dishes from table, pick up room... he doesn't get an allowance either but i buy him what he wants. I have been thinking about how to increase his chores and set a normal allowance so i don't buy everything. But i still have no idea what is reasonable.

Oh, and I don't have a blog, so I don't know if my comment counts as an entry or not.

I just started using the Choreganizer (you can buy it through Amazon.com) which has cards with a picture of a chore on the front and step by step instructions on the back. The kids get rewarded with "Mom Money" or "Dad Dollars" that they can spend at the "Chore Store". I fill the chore store with some smallish toys, or larger things that they have been wanting. They have to save for a few weeks for those. They can also have non-material rewards like a trip to the playground, having me make their favorite dessert, alone time with mom or dad, getting to stay up a half hour later, an extra chapter of the book I am reading them, etc.

I'm a member of the FlyLady system, LOVE IT, and they have a seperate system for kids, called House Fairy. My son is only 3, so he's still a bit young to really benefit from this but we do have routines that we follow and I'm slowly building up to the system.

I agree that children need to learn the value of money and how to handle their finances, so that when they get out in the real world they don't scramble around not knowing what to do. We follow Dave Ramsey's financial planning as well, and it works for us!


We have certain chores that our kids are expected to do as part of the family which they do no matter what and aren't paid for. Then we have other chores that are optional that they are paid for. We don't do an allowance.

I have a chore chart for my 6 year old. I think there are currently 7 or 8 things on it. He earns a dollar a week, if he does all his chores. If he misses a chore, 10 cents gets subtracted from his allowance. Some weeks he earns nothing. Other weeks he may make more by doing "extra" chores. He's currently trying to save money for a Webkinz so chores have been pretty high on his list.

We started an allowance at age 5--a dollar a week. She saved it all, except what she needed to buy her sister a birthday gift. Her chores are to make her bed, pick up her toys, and set the table at dinnertime. Lil sis got jealous, so we let her set out the napkins. :)

I like the Dave Ramsey system of "commission" rather than allowance. I have a series of chores that are worth a certain amount of money. Since my kids are little they run the gamut of 5cents (sorting silverware) to 50 cents (mopping the floor with the wet swiffer). And then there are their "responsibilities" that are pretty much just the cost of being part of a family such as clearing your place at the table.

We haven't really done a good job of the spend/save/give thing, but I figure I can add that in after they learn money better. (They call every coin a penny.)

I think this is one of the most challenging parts of being a parent, since my parents didn't get it totally right. We're teaching the 17 month old to pick up her toys, but I'm already plotting the next steps, and her allowance. I love the bank, since it fits with wanting to teach generosity as well.

We use the jar system...one for spending money, one to save, and one for charity. And in my house chores are expected-it's part of the responsibility of being in a family.

Not a parent, but could really have used some of this kind of parenting when I was a kid.

I've been most impressed with The First National Bank of Dad by David Owen -- I wish that I had learned more from it.

I think the chore chart and allowance is the best opportunity to make your child understand the work that goes in making money. I totally agree it gives you the opportunity about spending and saving then too!

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