If you have kids, you might be thinking about giving them allowance. If so, the new year is a great time to get a chore chart in place and to figure out how you would like to reward your children for completing chores. My tweens have been wanting an allowance, so I created a chore chart for them earlier this school year. The chart includes simple chores I think tweens could handle, like picking up their rooms, putting laundry away, tidying up their bathroom and setting the table. Click this link to download your own free copy of the tween chore chart.
For those of you who have young elementary school-aged children, I created a chore chart with simpler tasks that a child in elementary school could complete for himself or herself. Click on this link to download your own free copy of the chore chart for young children.
I think one of the toughest parts of developing a chore chart for kids is figuring out what kind of reward system to use or how much allowance to give. Some families see completing chores as an essential part of being part of a family and don’t give their children an allowance. (That has been my husband’s and my school of thought until recently.) On the other hand, some families give their kids an allowance to teach kids about earning and saving money, or to give them some spending money.
I think you should do whatever works best for your family. If you have really young children or toddlers, you can use a non-monetary reward system for completing chores, like putting a sticker on a chore chart for each chore completed. My parents used to give my sister and I stars on our chore charts when we were kids, and although I was never really good about cleaning up my room, I really wanted to earn those stars!
I’ve heard that one way for determining how much allowance to give a child is by giving them $1 a week per age of the child. So, a 5 year old would get $5 a week, a 10 year old would get $10 a week, etc. Of course, it makes sense to set an allowance based on your family’s budget and your child’s spending needs, or even on how many kids you have! I have two 11-year-old tweens, so I think it would be kind of steep if we paid them each $11 a week — that would mean that my husband would spend at least $88 a month on allowance alone.
My husband and I cover our kids’ daily needs (we purchase their clothes, school supplies, etc., for them and pay for their cell phones), and my kids actually don’t want to spend much, so I think we might start out with $5 or less a week per kid for an allowance. I still have to work it out with my husband! My daughters each have some gift cards saved from past birthdays and holidays, so they don’t have a big need for spending money. They would just like to buy a candy bar, some nail polish or some lip balm now and then.
Do you assign chores and pay allowance to your kids? I’d love to hear about the system that you use! Please feel free to share your tips in the comments.