My husband and I have become BIG Dave Ramsey fans. We've been on the Ramsey financial plan (Total Money Makeover) for a couple years now and have had great results. With two kids, we have been discussing how to make our two kids more financially responsible with the hopes that they will be wiser as adults.
I've seen countless elaborate charts and schemes out there on the internet but I decided for a much more user friendly version. Using some simple items from my craft stash, I created my own. I call it my Chore Chart.
Our kids have daily chores like feeding the animals, sweeping the kitchen, and unloading the dishwasher that earns them a set amount of allowance every week. However, this is summer and there's always something that they want whether it's a popsicle from the ice cream truck or a toy momento from our vacation travels. The Chore Chart helps them make decisions about how much they want to earn and begin thinking about planned spending.
Here's how I made my Chore Chart!
~Craft sticks - The thin ones will work. I just prefer the wide.
~Craft glue - I had E6000 on hand but any glue should work.
~An index card for each child to get started and keep the rest of the pack on hand for following weeks
~A permanent marker - If you have more than one child, you could use one color per child.
~Button magnets - These run about $3 at WalMart.
Have a discussion with your kids as to what types of chores they are willing/able to do. Also, discuss what you all think is a fair price making the prices appropriate for the task completed. Straightening the pillows on the couch doesn't earn as much as unloading the dishwasher or running the vacuum. Make a stick with each chore and price.
Make a tally stick for each child.
Glue magnets on the back of the sticks and allow to dry. I put one magnet on chore sticks and two on the tally sticks.
Choose a kid friendly spot to put up your chart. I chose the obvious front of the fridge since we already spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
To use the Chore Chart:
1. Child chooses a chore and moves it from the chore list over to the tally sheet. This is so much easier than the yelling that ensues when the parent tells the child what to do. Here, they can make that decision for themselves.
2. Child completes the chore(s).
3. Parent checks tally sheet as part of the bedtime routine writing the completed chores to the tally sheet along with a tally of amount earned and moving those completed chore sticks back to the list for the next day. (Sometimes parental follow up is necessary with completed chores. My son had to learn to vacuum properly, not just through the middle of the living room. ;) )
4. Payday happens once a week! We've chosen to pay on Sundays but you can do whichever day works for you.
**If you have more than one child, you could color code the chores sticks so that the younger one(s) know which stick is a chore more appropriate for them. In my case, I just wrote an E on the sticks for my littlest.**
And now for a Proud Momma Moment...
My son (age 11) has been super excited about going to LegoLand in July. He is a Lego fanatic and can't wait to get turned loose in the gift shop. (Yes, he already knows what he wants and approximately how much it will cost.) We have been discussing weekly what he can do to earn his money as well as how to break the work down into daily bits rather than working himself to death on the weekends. He's beginning to understand how to pace himself and that he can get what he wants with a bit of patience and saving. If this lesson sticks with him through Life, he'll be one step ahead of many of his friends. :D
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