Monday, August 19, 2013

My Kid's Allowance System

I have probably used about 85 different sets of job charts and allowance systems during my stint as a mom. Most of them don't work for me, because I am lazy and inconsistent and they end up being more work for me than the kids. I think I have finally developed a system that works well for the inconsistent lazy type of mom that I am.

Here's my "Mommy Command Station".  I thought about staging it for the pic, but it an effort to keep things real, this is what it currently looks like.

Hanging on the wall, is an allowance jar for each kid.  At the beginning of the month, I put $30 into each jar.  We've tried different amounts and putting it weekly instead of monthly, but this works the best for us.
These are the kid's jobs.  Pretty basic.  Mostly they just need to practice good personal hygiene habits and pick up all their junk. Any day that they go to school without doing a job, they lose $1.

 On Saturdays, they each have some additional chores that take them about 30 minutes (although if you ask them they would tell you that I make them work all day).  I divided up these jobs into zones: upstairs, downstairs, and bathrooms and listed very detailed instructions for each zone. I put each list in a page protector, so they can check off each job with a dry-erase marker when completed.  They rotate jobs each week.  If they fail to complete these jobs, I will take $3 from their jar.  

If they complete an extra job like mowing the lawn.  I write the date the work was completed and the amount I owe them and stick it in the jar. 

At the end of the month, we settle up.

They pay 10% to the Lord, 50% to savings, and 40% for spending.

What works for you?


  1. i love this plan!

    we too
    have tried and failed
    at many ideas for tying chores
    to allowances

    thank for this!


    1. I never liked the idea of paying kids to do jobs that they should do anyways for just being part of a family. I don't have a problem for taking it away if they don't do their jobs. It may just be semantics, but I feel better about it.

  2. I have tried many different ways too and have found that very specific chores with very specific consequences to each individual chore works best. I am right now working on a huge frame that I have repurposed as a family command center, we'll see how it goes......

  3. That is such a cute idea. I love that you're teaching them how to save/tithe as well!

  4. Great lessons learned with added benefit of instilling a habit for a lifetime. Trust me 'saving' is a habit, can't be learned instantly. Good thinking Tara!
    you're indeed a trophy :D

  5. This is great! It's just my husband and I but I might have to do this. LOL. Especially the details of what they have to clean. :) Very nice! Thanks for sharing! Stop by my Friday's Five Features and link up this post (and others)!

  6. What does the Lord spend his 10% on?

  7. Melanie, in most religions people pay a tithe or offering to the Lord, which either gets spent on the community, or the needs of the congregation. 10% to the Lord is figurative for 10% charity.

    Also, TOATW, this speaks to me because, I too, am horribly lazy. I need easy. Thank you.

  8. Taking care of 3 kids, a husband, & household does not equate as lazy in my book. Finding what works for you and your family style is difficult and most often a series of trial and error. Thank you for the honesty, it is nauseating to read unrealistic expectations.

  9. Love this! I also love the tithing aspect :)

  10. Awesome allowance plan! I can't wait to try it! Thanks for sharing

  11. I would love to be able to follow this system but I just don't have $150 to pay out to the kids each month. Maybe I could pay them in quarters instead of loonies? ha! But in all honesty.. I love this method.

    I have been trying to figure out a good system for our 5 kids of varying ages (4-13) for a good 8 years and I can NOT commit to one - they always start off great but it's like I get too busy to follow through! No matter how pretty I make them.. the whole system falls to heck.

    PS. Unstaged photo for the win!