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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Smarty Tips for Chores, Allowance & Savings

By Guest Blogger, Amy I,

Interested in ways to teach responsibility and money management skills to your kids?

A simple chore chart, designated allowance and piggy bank are the tools needed to get your kids involved in helping out around the home, while at the same time, teaching them basic skills of money management.

Chore Chart and Responsibilities:
Simple job and reward charts are an excellent way to jump start kids pitching in around the house. Of course, it is easy to make your own chart with a dry erase board or your computer, but you can also purchase one like the one I used this fall (see photo). I have found, the more your children are involved, the more success you will have. It is best to begin with one or two chores or responsibilities, depending on the age of your child. You could start with making the bed or putting dishes in the sink or dishwasher after meals. Eventually, you can add other chores (feeding the dog, putting clean clothes away, etc.). Praise will ensure that your child will continue to help out and hopefully do so without being asked. Then, you won’t need the charts anymore. That is what happened for us after a few weeks… although the kids still need lots of reminders!

With your children, devise a plan and decide how it is going to work. If using a chore chart, they must complete a certain amount or the entire chart in order to receive their allowance. Your child might be young enough that a gold star or sticker is enough to motivate them. Lucky you!

* Amount of allowance - This depends on your child’s age and your income. You need to come up with a realistic amount that will inspire your child.
* Payday - This will ensure you stay on schedule and you don’t get behind in payments. We have used Sunday as payday and that seems to work. The older your kids are, the more reminders you will get!

No matter what the amount, I am sure your child will be proud of their accomplishments!

Piggy Bank:
Once you have established chores and rewards, what happens to their allowance? I have just discovered this awesome bank and my kids got one for Christmas. (see photo). It is called “Learning Cents Trio Bank.”

Renny got a pink one and Patrick a blue one. As you can see, it has 3 separate banks: one for spending, one for saving and one for giving. The brochure lists ideas and tips for teaching kids the skills of financial responsibility.
1) Set up a weekly allowance giving the kids an opportunity to manage their money.
2) Divide allowance into 3 categories: spend, save and give. This is teaching the essential skill that you do not spend it all.
3) Practice making smart money choices by making it a habit to spend wisely, saving for the future and giving to others.
So far, the bank is a hit, especially with my 7 year old daughter.

One more idea…In our house, we have a “Disney Fund” located in a large jar in the laundry room. I have found this is a very handy place for collecting change and an occasional $10 bill. Over a year ago on a rainy Saturday, I suggested to my daughter that we collect all of the change in the house and pool it together for our trip to Disney (which is semi-planned for this spring). The jar is overflowing and I am sure that we have over $200 in there. The kids love to put change floating around the house or car in the “Disney Fund.”

We would love to hear your ideas and tips for chores and allowances.


Sally said...

Toys $ Co in Greensboro has a great reusable chore chart that also includes good behaviors and manners.

Duana Cisney said...

We have three kids, so to keep things interesting we 'draw' for chores. I keep in a ziploc bag strips of paper with standard chores written on them. Each Saturday morning each child draws a slip of paper to see what they "get" to do that day!

Anonymous said...

You can also find a magentic chore chart at Target.

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