In my quest to find the perfect, editable chore chart, I came up short. I wanted something that incorporated several financial ideas, that had chores that my son would do, specific to my needs, and I needed it to be on one easy to follow page. So, We created this chore chart when B was around 9.5 years old (he is almost 12 now). He would come home from school, have some down time, look at his chore chart for the respective day, begin chores, then homework. I felt like he needed a break after school and it would be good to accomplish some else other than school work.
Here is how our chart works:
The complexity of the chores reflect our other commitments. On Mondays we have Boy Scouts, so we needed easy chores. On Wednesdays he was out of school early, so we added the time intensive chores those days. Toward the end of the week we wanted it to be easier. So, this format worked for our family, it may need to be different for you.
He has weekly chores and, if all are completed, comprise his “Base Rate”. As long as he got these done, he received his allowance, paid bi-weekly (On my pay days). If he wanted more money, he could complete “As Needed” chores. We also have “Moms Choice” chores that pay more and are designated by mom. We also included “Daily” chores which are small things like getting the mail every day. These Daily and As Needed chores are not apart of his weekly list. If he completes them, he gets extra money, if he does not, then it does not come off his allowance.
Beyond the allowance
Notice at the bottom in the blue box, are additional financial goals. My intention is to start teaching him other financial situations he will face when he is older.
I would like him to save 10% of his allowance. I will be honest, this is hard and not perfected yet 🙂
In our digital age, we opted to open a youth checking and savings account. I will say though, it is much harder for him to see the benefits of saving. There is nothing to look at and measure your progress except numbers on a screen. No cracking the piggy-bank here. But: I don’t carry cash. I found myself falling behind on paying him because I would have to pullout cash, then break it.
I also added 10% of compounded interest for any money he saves. I know what your thinking! No bank will ever offer that much. While that is true, try convincing a child to save $1.00 and I will give you 2 pennies. My son would look at me like I have worms growing out from my ears. I would imagine he would weigh the pros of being able to by the candy bar now and saying “well, its only a penny or two”.
Once I explained that if he saved $1.00, I would give him $0.10, then the next month if he saved another dollar, I would pay him for saving $2.00 for a total of $2.31.
This was much more inciting. Some weeks he saved his whole allowance, some weeks he spent very little. A small hand full of times his bi-weekly “check” was a whopping $23!
Is it working?
I would like to tell you that this continued and he is saving for collage…but that is not what happend! Destiny, the video game came out. He purchased expansion packs etc. His money in savings is still there, but his checking account is up and down and up and down. While a small part of me was disappointed, which he never knew about; I reminded myself that this is exactly what we are practicing for. It is, after all, his hard earned money. He should decide how he spends his money; even if it is on video games.
Here are some other crafty inspirations! Click on the picture to get more ideas!
So what about you?
What do you do for chores/allowance? Do you have any great incentives to save?