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Chores and Allowance ~ how do you work it out in your home?
May 2, 2013 at 10:31 AM

I know we've talked about this before but I'm curious how everyone does this.  Do you assign chores and pay based on that? Do they do extra chores if they are wanting to earn extra $$?  If you don't mind how much do you pay and how old are the kids?  We've not had a pay based system in our home and things work out great.  My kids help out all the time and are happy to do it.  Lately my dd(11) has become interested in earning extra $.    


  • Boobah
    by Boobah
    May 2, 2013 at 10:37 AM
    We haven't done allowance yet, though my husband told my oldest he would give her an allowance if she picked up the dog poo in the yard on a regular basis. We don't have to worry about that one getting paid for. Lol
  • almondpigeon
    May 2, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    we've never really given an allowance.  if the kids mention needing extra money for something, we'll assign them an extra chore to earn that money (picking up sticks out of the yard, for example). Their expected chores (keeping their bedrooms clean, cleaning the playroom, cleaning the classroom, etc....) only earns them room & board, lol

  • irvinehiker
    May 2, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    That's the way I've run things here.  There are certain things they do bc we are a family and we work together.  It's worked really well for us.  

    Quoting almondpigeon:

    we've never really given an allowance.  if the kids mention needing extra money for something, we'll assign them an extra chore to earn that money (picking up sticks out of the yard, for example). Their expected chores (keeping their bedrooms clean, cleaning the playroom, cleaning the classroom, etc....) only earns them room & board, lol

  • AutymsMommy
    May 2, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    Let's see.

    Our daughter is 11 (almost 12). She receives a base allowance of $50 a month. While we will dock allowance if a chore isn't done, allowance isn't really tied to chores - she only has two hard and fast chores (take out the recycling and clean her bedroom); otherwise, she is generally a very helpful child and we haven't felt the need to make chores "mandatory" yet (one day we might get there, but we aren't there yet, lol).

    If she wants to earn extra money, besides her allowance, she is free to ask for "money worthy chores" - this often is something nobody in the house enjoys doing (like cleaning up dog poop in the yard since our German Shepherd poops multiple times a day, lol).

  • No_Difference
    May 2, 2013 at 11:12 AM

     We won't pay the kids to do chores. They're expected to help out around the house. We used to do a prize thing with them, but after they stopped caring about the prizes, we stopped buying them. I just recently made up a new cleaning schedule for the year basically. Every week, the chores change up a little, and it rotates every 4 weeks. As my little guy gets older, the chores will actually change weekly for both kids so they're not stuck doing the same thing over and over...maybe even daily. So far it's worked out really well. 

    They do now get rewarded time for electronics (typically games on the kindle, or for my youngest, his leap pad). We start all nightly chores at 7 (which also includes getting ready for bed). If they finish everything before 7:30, they get a half hr of electronic time. If they go over, they loose that much time. So if they finish at say 7:45, they lose 15 minutes...not the 15 minutes they went over, but an additional 15 minutes, which equals out to no time before bed which is at 8. This has been working out fantastically with my oldest...not so much my 4 yr old because he could care less most days lol. We're getting there with him tho ;).

    My oldest has only a few times asked if she could earn money, and we hooked her up with a volunteer job, and then we paid her, or we send her off to Granny and Papa's for a few weeks in the summer, and they pay her for doing yard work.

  • oredeb
    by oredeb
    May 2, 2013 at 4:25 PM

     never paid the kids for chores(couldnt afford to) but they all did their chores for a week then traded, if they want to earn money i have lots of extra stuff they could do, and friends and relatives with stuff they could do,

  • usmom3
    by usmom3
    May 2, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    Allowance & chores are an economics lesson around here. The kids get to pick their chores for the week from the master chore list & when the next week comes around they can change what chores they chose to do or keep the ones they had. No one is forced to do any specific thing it is all up for negotiation.

  • KrissyKC
    May 2, 2013 at 9:48 PM

    We are trying to change the concept of "chores" in our home.   I read recently about teaching kids the SERVE their families and loved ones with a positive attitude instead of getting into the whole paying them for helping out. 

    However, on the flip side, kids should be given a little spending money of their own to learn to manage...

    So we don't base the spending money on the chores.   Instead, we are trying to do everything "as a family unit."   Meaning, the kids get a small amount of our household income, plus when we are blessed with something extra (tax money, etc..) ... they also get a small portion of that.     On the flip side, when we have tough times, we tell them... "Van needed breaks this week and we have no extra spending money."  

    It's a slow process to change their attitudes over service and money...

  • celticdragon77
    May 3, 2013 at 2:47 AM

    I took a combination of issues in our lives and ideas that I recently came across, then hodge podge together a plan.

    I have two kids, ages 9 and 10. (this topic is not relevant to my 17yr old). 

    Our issues:

    My two younger kids are so-so about reading, but way too addicted to their electronic devices.

    My younger kids are currently enrolled in school, but will be homeschooling starting in July.

    My daughter is super excited and very motivated about academics. My son shows much less interest.

    My kids are pretty good about helping out around the house - IF there is a schedule and someone to gently remind them.


    Kickbuttmama mentioned a system she used for video games. The kids earned mommy bucks to rent the equipment for 24hrs at a time (minus school time).

    I also came across a blog where a woman mentioned that she pays her kids for schoolwork and "extra" chores, but not typical household chores. Her reasoning was that no one gets paid for cleaning up after themselves - and helping family out / cohabitating with others - is something done from the heart and out of respect / good character / honor. Whereas an education is (usually) for the purposes of career, business, and so forth, which is needed to support ones life. Also, that requesting extra chores / labor for financial gain, was a good lesson. 

    So I liked the thinking of these women and played with the ideas until I worked out a plan that worked out my family. 

    For us, we have to have some structure (but with some flexibility) and visual reminders. And I NEED organization.

    I took a black magnetic markerboard (about 12x12), hung it up, and created magnets for all the various tasks in our days. School related tasks, chores, family activities, just fun activities, outings, and the etc. We then organize our days/weeks with these magnets, on the board. I would eventually like to also have a weekly magnetic calendar to use like this, so that I have a weekly/monthly overview, as well as the daily/weekly overview.

    I keep a small folder with prongs, down below in a cubby. It has two plastic paper protected charts in it - of the kids progress for the week. We put stickers in each section, of the things they completed that day. Well of things that I want to keep track of for earnings.

    So the list includes: school related tasks, behavior, and a specific thing that I want the, to work on. For my son - it is his hyper activity and for my daughter it is her maturity (she is the youngest and used to being babied - and well, it has become an issue now - as in baby talk, acting helpless, etc.) We sat down and discussed in what ways they could work on these areas. The kids get stars (stickers) put on each thing on the lists every day. This earns them points. Which is then exchanged into rewards. My kids have a choice how they can exchange the points. The standard is this: they can earn two hours of time with electronics AND 50cents a day. However, they can earn bonuses! There are extra chores that earn bonuses. But also, I have issues with them such as them bickering. So having a day where they come to me to help resolve an issue - or them using peace methods to resolve a matter themselves, earns them bonus points. These can be exchanged for more electronic time OR for cash.

    I know you didn't ask about this, but when I came up with this, I also wanted to resolve my youngest daughters addiction to sweets. She has developed bad habits concerning this, thanks to her spending too much time at her grandparents house. She has the desire to eat healthy and I want to teach her that sweets are okay in moderation. She also loves to help me out. So I decided to make her my little kitchen helper. She helps me look through cookbooks, plan meals, do food prep, and cook. In exchange for her help I let her be the baker of her our house. She gets to make cupcakes every week and decorate them. Her grandma makes cakes and cupcakes as a side business (she is very good at it) and my daughter wants to grow up and be a baker. Also, my daughter recently found a series of books about cupcakes (a kids series about a cupcake club or something). So, she helps up plan super healthy meals all week AND gets to create us some special treats for the week. Her birthday was just recently, so I asked her grandma to get my daughter some tools for doing this. This excited my MIL to do so - because it's something she is passionate about and has in common with my daughter. So, my daughter got a really great kit of supplies and some cupcake cookbooks from her grandma. 

    Okay, enough of my rambling. 

  • Mommy2Phenley
    May 3, 2013 at 3:30 AM
    DD is almost 5. Up until a few months ago, we didn't have anything set, she just was expected to do things as asked. But she seeme ready for something a bit more structured and was asking a lot of money questions so we decided to formalize it some.

    She has chores and responsibilities. We distinguish between the two. Her responsibilities are what's expected of her because she is part of the family and are not paid. She has to clean her room/playroom, clothes in hamper, and clear her dishes after meals. She's also expected to do things as asked without a fight. Her chores are what is just a little above and beyond. As she gets older, some of her chores will become responsibilities and she will get new chores. Right now her chore is laundry. She had to help me each day to start, move, fold, and put away that day's laundry. I have a few other things in mind to rotate to at some point but right now this is her main chore. She also has a space on her chart for a behavior to work on.

    If she doesn't do her responsibilities, there are consequences and then it has to be done anyway. If she doesn't do her chores, she doesn't earn that days pay. I will only give a couple chances and she also can't whine and complain the whole time.

    Pay is based off of how many smilies in her chart, a quarter per day. Plus an extra quarter if she has at least 4 smilies on her behavior line. The behavior we work on changes each week (no interrupting, using please/thank you, no whining...)

    So she can earn up to $2.00 a week. We based it off the formula of 50 cents per year per week. So she'll get a 50 cent raise on her birthday. Along with new chores to earn it.

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