Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Household Jobs

We began a new way of doing "jobs" around our house yesterday. Over the last couple years having read books by Dave Ramsey and working on getting my debt under control, etc I have thought and rethought the whole allowance situation.

I used to think I would just give my kids an allowance and they would be expected to do jobs/chores around the house just because they were a member of our family, a part of the household, and that that was reason enough to help out. I still agree with this, but looking more at the allowance end of it Dave Ramsey talks about how you don't do your children a service by "just giving" them anything. That they should learn money doesn't grow on trees and should learn how to budget and manage their money as well. I agree with this too. It makes a lot of sense.

So, when Olivia was 4 I thought through how I wanted to do allowance. At that time, I was going to start kids with allowances when they turned 5 and they would get the dollar amount for the numbers of years old they were, each week. EX: When Olivia was 5, she received 5 dollars per week. BUT, I had done some other research prior to this and had set in place the system I think I've mentioned on here. She was given 3 jars when she turned 5 and we began allowances. One marked saving, one giving, and one spending. A certain amount, established by me, is placed in each each week. When she started, I gave her all quarters. 4 went in saving, 4 in giving, and 4 in spending. That would leave her with 8 and she was allowed to choose where to put those. She was young. She just divided them up between the three jars. :)

Last year, when she turned 6 I modified it based on what I had read/learned from Dave Ramsey. She had a job chart. On a separate chart I listed 6 jobs (each easy, taking about 5-10 min). Each job completed during the week, earned one sticker on her chart. That was then transferred to dollars at the end of the week. The 3 jars remain, and she had to "pay" her saving and giving jars first. So, if she only completed two jobs, earning two dollars, one went in each of those jars and none for spending. The problem was, even though most jobs were a specific day (take garbage can to curb on Wed), she wouldn't do them unless I reminded her and reminded her about her allowance. She is just too afraid of missing out on what the rest of the family is doing. Still to this day, after 3 years with us, she wants to be near where I am in the house. Rarely does she ever go to her room to play, once in a while she goes with Braeden to his room to play, never in the basement unless I'm there, same with outside. So, she had very few weeks where she got her jobs done all week.

I modified our system yet again, this time to include some daily incentives as well as kids even if they aren't receiving allowance yet. So, here is our new system. (modified from a friend's who has 8 kids)

This is our job chart:

I won't start Liam on jobs yet, but added him anyway. I will start him at either 3 or 4.

I have a stack of notecards I made which list at the top a job, and then I drew a picture of it underneath. I went over these with the kids so that, mostly Braeden, would understand what each of them meant. Each night I will put one job card in each of the kids' envelopes. One card says "Free Day". I told them that each week they will have one free day with no job, they loved it! :) And those will be great on days we're gone most of the day and they wouldn't really have time anyway. The next morning, they will come downstairs and be able to see what job they have for that day. I'm glad they have the summer to get used to this prior to the busier routine of school/work/activities. They can do their job at any time during the day. Once their job is complete, they turn the card over. On the back I put orange dots, so that I know a job has been done and it's ready for me to check.
When I go to check a job, if it's not done properly, with Braeden I will call him to me and show him how to complete the job. With Olivia, most of these are jobs she's done or helped with and should know how they should be done. The first couple weeks I will do the same for her with showing her how if it's not done. After that, for her, I will help her do it correctly, then she will get an additional job card. If it's done correctly from the start, I will put the card away, and they will get to put a marble in an incentive jar. They are very psyched about this!

I bought a glass vase and some colored square glass stones (at the dollar store). Each job done correctly the day given earns a marble for the jar. I put marbles in myself first and at a certain number I marked the outside of the jar. Then put more in and marked a second line higher on the vase. Each time we fill up the vase and start over, I will think of two things they can earning by filling the vase to the marked lines. For this first time through, the first line earns them the chance to stay up after bedtime and watch a movie with mom in her bed. Big reward here!!! :) The second line earns them the chance to pick a restaurant for us to go to. This is huge for them. They are always asking for these two things, now I can deflect that by saying, has the jar been filled yet?

As I said yesterday was the first day and it went very well. Braeden knows the routine better than Olivia I think. He remembered to turn his card around and everything. And they were both SO excited to put in a marble! Olivia already did today's job this morning before we left, she is so excited. So, hopefully we are onto the right track. I placed the chart right by the side door in the kitchen which we use often, so they will see it easily.

If they don't do their job, no nagging. I told them I will not get on them for it. If they don't want to do it, it's their choice. BUT, the card stays there. So, if they don't do it, then the next day they have two and so on. On Sat, any cards in their pocket HAVE to be done before they will be allowed to do anything else, tv, playing, etc. If Olivia then continues to choose not to get them done, then by Saturday at bed if there are any cards not completed, she won't receive her allowance. Period. I will take the cards out and we will start again on Sunday. No emotion, no yelling, her allowance will pay for her not doing her job/s.

I hope they keep up the great work!!! I know I'm excited about it!


Julie said...

This sounds like a great system- I hope your blog is still up in about 2 years when I can use it for G! :)

Great system! I may borrow your envelope system for our 5 yo. We are also Dave Ramsey followers and we have taken allowance a step further for our older girls. They are financially responsible for their pets as well and they are responsible for their clothing. Before anyone gets the wrong idea, they receive a clothing allowance in the fall and in the spring, in no way based on job performance, they just have to decide whether they want to buy a $100 pair of jeans with a label on the butt or a pair of $20 jeans. Sometimes with teens this is a rather tough decision.

Kathy said...

I like your system! I am going to try it with Destiny too! Todd and I have been trying to do a chore check off list, and this will be way better.

Thanks for sharing!

Runergirl said...

Wonderful! I am always in awe of your energy and ideas!

Holly said...

Love this Lisa!!!! Great ideas!

Post a Comment

Let's Connect!

Search This Blog


About Me

I am a single mom to four amazing kids; each of whom just happen to have been adopted. The first three were adopted through foster care, and we just completed an international adoption from Haiti. Our family has grown through adoption and I am all the more blessed to know each of my children. I worship a mighty God, teach Special Ed, love bargains, and am inspired by Pinterest... come along with us for the ride!

Olivia - 14

Olivia - 14

Braeden - 11

Braeden - 11

Liam - 9

Liam - 9

Macy - 5

Macy - 5

Check out my Teachers Pay Teachers store!

Blog Archive

What you should know about HIV

-HIV can NOT be spread through casual/household contact. HIV is not spread through hugging, kissing, shaking hands, sharing toys, sneezing, coughing, sharing food, sharing drinks, bathing, swimming or any other casual way. It has been proven that HIV and AIDS can only be spread through sexual contact, birth, breastfeeding and blood to blood contact (such as sharing needles). - HIV is now considered a chronic but manageable disease. With treatment, people who are HIV+ can live indefinitely without developing AIDS and can live long and full lives. - People who are HIV+ deserve to be treated with love, respect, support and acceptance as all people do. Additional information on transmission of HIV can be found on the Center for Disease Control website:

Other Awesome Blogs

Orphan Crisis

• 147 million orphans in the world
• 50 million orphans in Africa 
• Every 14 seconds a child is orphaned by AIDS
• 16,000,000 have been orphaned by AIDS
• Every week, AIDS claims as many lives as American fatalities in the Vietnam War
• 854 million people do not have enough to eat
• Malnutrition is associated with the deaths of 5 million children under the age of five
• Every 2 seconds an orphan dies from malnutrition

Hence the title of my blog

Little Did I Know

Little did I know that the road would be so rocky
Little did I know that the trip would take so long
Little did I know that my heart could hurt so much
Little did I know that God is never wrong

Little did I know that love could be so powerful
Little did I know that a dream so far could go
Little did I know that God would place the right ones
Little did I know that my heart, so large, could grow

Little did I know that a dream has it’s own timing
Little did I know that this day would finally come
Little did I know that four souls would be sent to guide me
Little did I know that they would choose to call me mom

But God knew all along and He had a plan to follow
God knew all along that my dream would soon come true
God knew all along that we five should be together
God knew all along that I’d share it all with you