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Sometimes knowing how to handle allowances with kids is a struggle. There can be disagreement about kids helping out with work simply because they are part of the family versus paying kids to do things (because you realize as an adult, you can do it all faster—and for free.)
We live on a farm. There is a ton to do. Now, I love my farm and I love my home and I don’t take issue with the work that comes with the life we’ve chosen to live. But there are times when things pile up. I’m a farmgirl. I’m a homeschool mom. I’m an author. Let’s be honest—sometimes I need help.
This idea was originally used a few years ago when the boys were around 9-10 years old. To see how we are handling the chores/cash situation now that they are teens, check out Why I Pay My Kids An Allowance to do Chores.
Extra Chores for Extra Cash
Our kids do have things they are expected to help with everyday just because they are alive and breathing and take part in this fabulous house. They do not get paid for those things.
There are extra jobs they can get paid for after their regular jobs are done.
These extra jobs (which change all the time, according to what I’m needing help with) are laid out every morning in our dining room. The job is clearly explained and has a post-it attached noting what the job pays.
These are not jobs the kids have to do, and I don’t guilt them into helping. They are simply there for the taking if the kids want them. There is, however, a time they need to be done by if the kids want to partake. Because if some of these chores aren’t done that day (especially certain farm ones), I do have to step in and do them before the day is done.
I don’t mind the housework or the farm work, but it’s also good to have help. And it’s good for the kids to see that running a life takes work. This is just a way our kids can have an opportunity to help and earn a little extra dough.
It’s a nice little system that works well for us. What do you all do for chores and allowance? What has worked? What hasn’t? What things would you like to try?
7 thoughts on “How to Set Up an Extra Chores Extra Cash System for Your Kids”
We don't do allowances yet as I don't think Rhiannon really grasps the money thing yet (everything is "Free" to her), but I love your idea of the daily chore list, especially the "Jobs Available Until" options. Sticky notes rock.
We've used several different systems, none of which are tied to chores because, let's face it, if I say, "Go do X," or, "I'd like Y to be done by the end of the day, please," it's not really optional and I'm giving them life, room and board. Plus I find that I get really, really annoyed if I make the effort to write out a list like yours at the beginning of the day and they get all excited and promise to do something and then discover they don't have time to do it but it has to be done and so *I* have to somehow find time in *my* day to do it. Doesn't end well, and I'm too lazy to want to feel perpetually grumpy. Anyway… at first we gave them Family Funny Money – they got fake bills that they could trade in for cash and/or Mommy credit. This was before they were mature enough to keep track of their own money. Now they each get a good chunk of cash each week – the 8yo gets $10.50 and the 10yo gets $13.50. The catch is that their bedrooms and bathroom MUST stay clean without me telling them AND they have to budget for and purchase all their own clothing. So far it's worked. They've both purchased their fall wardrobes and stayed under their limits, which makes them happy because A) they didn't have to borrow from Mom, because hello introduction to interest rates, and B) they have money left over for superfluous purchases like video games (the boy) and fabric (the girl). *shrug* It works for us. I don't know how it would work for others, but they seem to like it.
My boys have chores that they are expected to do without pay as well, but the younger ones are always looking for ways to earn some spending money. I like your idea of "extra" job listings for pay, and just might give it a whirl at our house.
We don't call any tasks chores here. It sounds negative to my ears in the UK. Maybe we don't have many jobs which need to be done here. I do small 'learning to be a good flatmate' tasks with them as and when they occur. Things like changing a lightbulb which is really high up, or really awkward to take out. I assume they'll know how to do the easy bulb replacements. I ask for tech help, like all households! I ask for help with moving furniture around. I also ask for their opinions or advice. That's useful because another mind can point out the obvious.
I make their beds with them if they are around. It's a nice thing to do, friendly and I want them to know what it is like to enjoy doing this with another person because until now I had only done this on my own and it always felt lonely.
I tidy up their rooms a little at a time usually when they are in the room, so they know what it's like to focus on one area, then feel satisfied and happy. Also I have permission to be in their rooms if they are in.
We practiced sharing out the 4 kitchen recycling bins, but I didn't like being the manager all week, taking care not to bug the others, trying to be patient. I'm happy with the laundry and used plates/glasses being taken downstairs when they decide to do it.
My sons are 15 and 18. None of this is paid for.
I haven't really done allowance for the same reasons- they are part of the family, we work together to run the house/farm,etc. We also don't have a ton of spare cash to be handing out all the time. I do pay my oldest $5 a week to mow….and he usually mows well over what is required. We have started a "ticket" system lately and man, I can get some cheap labor out of those boys! 🙂
You are so clever it makes my brain almost hurt. Good for you, Amy! Your two young'ins are so fortunate to have someone smart for a mom who works so diligently at making things work. Go, girl!
oh my gosh… we JUST started this in our house this weekend w/our 7 and 4 year old. Same idea: you do most chores because you are part of this family and that is what we do, but there are a few things that are "extra" and you can earn money by choosing to do the whole job correctly. Hope it works out for you guys. Heck, hope it works out for us, too.
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