Saturday, January 23, 2010

Categorizing Chores for kids

I want to start Porter on some chores. He has expressed quite a few times his desire to earn money to buy things he wants. He has also proven to be very helpful around the house (when he's motivated/excited about it). He'll help dust, pick things up, clear off the table, fill the dishwasher etc etc. He's a good helper for the most part!

Now... part of me thinks kids should have chores that are just expected of them. Chores they should do because they are a part of the family and its part of keeping up the house. But I also really want my kids to learn the value of a dollar and learn how to save up money and the responsibility/pride in paying for things on your own.

Maybe I'm a little ahead of myself as Porter hasn't even turned 4 yet, but I really want to start this system off right and be consistent. I'm sure there are SO many great blogs out there that highlight their chore systems but I haven't run across any that seem to be geared toward preschoolers.

Ideally, I guess I want to know how to separate those "expected" chores from those that should deserve getting paid for. And what is an appropriate amount of pay for a 4 year old? Per chore? Per week?

I'd love to hear your ideas, thoughts, suggestions and I'd LOVE if you could post links for me to some blogs.

I found the Idea Room... I like their Chore Chart as well as their Reward System Home Store but I'm not sure how to adapt it to allow him to earn money for doing certain chores.

Should kids have regular chores they are expected to do as their part of the team and then just get a weekly allowance "just because" (and to teach them good saving/spending habits)?


Should kids have chores they are paid for if they complete them... aka rewarded for doing chores/paid for doing a job?


  1. I wasn't sure when the appropriate time is to do something like this. Therefore I am looking forward to reading what others have to say.
    I will add that my mom used to do tickets with us, and would give us a ticket (worth 25 cents) each time we did one of the 'extra' chores. At the end of the week or when we want to purchase something, we could cash out our tickets for money. Then if we were to lose the tickets, no big loss to anyone really. Other than a ticket lost. There is no actual money that is loss. But using the ticket system over money, might not work well? Not sure if they (preschoolers) would take it as serious. kwim?

  2. Our way of separating expected vs. those done to earn money is that he is responsible for his own stuff (putting own dishes away, making own bed, cleaning own room, putting dirty clothes down the laundry chute) but earns money for helping do "my chores", cleaning windows, helping with the baby, feeding/taking care of dog, etc. Good luck with the chore system!! hope it works!

  3. We use this one for the kids. Totally customizable week to week. Plus it's cute! lol

    I think it's good. If he is showing an interest now then do it. Lacy just turned 4 as well and she has one. No monetary rewards tho. This is their contribution to the family chores etc. I sometimes do dangle a final goal in front of them like a trip to McDonalds or something. My 4 year old has jobs like feeding the fish, bunny and cats, cleaning up her craft area, tidying her room, helping load the washer and dryer.

  4. I too am interested to hear what others have to say. DH & I have been talking about starting something like this with our 3 y/o, but haven't yet. One we're probably going to look into is Financial Peace Jr. by Dave Ramsey.

    We've gone through his Financial Peace University and are on our way to getting out of debt.

  5. My friend, Nicole, started giving her boys an allowance about a year and a half ago. Her second son was just about 2 months from his 4th birthday. I think it has worked well for them.

    She blogged about it a little while after they started.

  6. I second Dave Ramsey.. We love him... He has a great plan and a lot of knowledge when it comes to anything money related.. and I also saw that his kids program starts at age three..

  7. We always gave chores which our girls were expected to do just because they were part of the family and we all need to pitch in. However, we gave them allowances separate from that, to learn to manage money. We always gave them their age in dollars per week. This worked well because they could spend it on something, save for something bigger (learning delayed gratification), and the raises came automatically with their birthday.

  8. I started a year ago when Maddie was 3 and Ayden was 5. I used a marble system where they earned marbles (each worth a dollar)...some things they needed to do like pick up their toys and stuff, but if they went out of their way and helped with other things (running the vaccuum or trying to help me sweep floors, dust) then they could earn a marble. If they didn't do things that were required of them (such as putting their dirty clothes down the shoot or picking up their toys) then I would "charge" them a marble for me having to take care of their things.
    The marbles worked well because if we went to the store and they were having a melt down over a toy, I would remind them that 1)do they have enough marbles to buy that item 2)is it worth "cashing in" your marbles. It has somewhat taught them about saving for things they may want...I think Ayden has 50 some marbles saved because he wants to buy a dirtbike!
    I also used marbles as somewhat of a punishment...they get one warning and if the bucketdipping continues then I have to take a marble away.
    good luck!
    I can't wait to see what other people use!

  9. I know I've mentioned Dave Ramsey before, and I know you know who he is. He has some awesome ideas for kids that I am pretty sure we will be using when ours are ready (I think Okis is almost there, but not quite yet). I was browsing Dave's site and found these. Some of it is on sale:

    Here's more info:

    This article has info about chores and allowance: