Friday, January 15, 2010

Paying Kids for Weekly Chores

How come getting kids to do simple chores for cash is so hard? Do your kids do chores for money? What tricks have you used that work, and which ones really didn't work?

We are trying something new at our house this week. I have to admit I stole the idea from the Duggar's book (that my husband got me for Christmas). Now you can say whatever you want about the Duggar's, but seriously, they must be doing something right. They have 19 kids and they are all well behaved and their house seems to run much smoother than mine. So I am going to try a few of their suggestions in their book and see if they will work for my family.

What we are trying is having the kids do their chores, but instead of paying them cash every week, we put it into a "Mom & Dad Checking Account". I had extra checking registries and gave each child one of their own to keep track of their cash. I showed them how to enter it into the registry with the money that I already owed them for chores and babysitting. I printed out blank check and deposit slips from here so that they can make deposits from birthday money and such. And they can then write me a check if they want to buy something.

I am hoping that this accomplishes a few different goals. One, the learn how to balance a checkbook. Two, they learn to save up their money before buying something. Three, they will know where their money is at all times and not losing it in the laundry or in their bedrooms. And finally, I don't need to always have cash on hand to dole out to them every Friday (our payday).

I am also thinking that I will make them their own personal cash cards out of old Target gift cards. That way they will need to remember pin numbers and not lose their cards if they want to withdraw money.

So far the first week of implementing the new bank, the kids are faster to do their chores and babysitting when I need them to. They happily run to the drawer where their registries are and add the amount into the balance. My five year old told me about five times today how much money he has in his account now. He even offered to buy at McDonald's because he would still have enough money left over to buy the things that he wants.

I am just hoping that they continue to do their chores!

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A blog about living within your means in todays world, while being married, raising three kids, working full-time, and trying not to go crazy in the process.