Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Kids "Bank Accounts"

One day I woke up and had had it with how messy my house was. I don't need Martha Stewart's home, but I do need the crap picked up. Three kids and their stuff was getting out of hand. So, I got to work with my brand new cricut machine, new laminator & new-to-me sewing machine. I spent many hours making this perfect responsibility system. This actually worked just fine. The problem was me. The kids knew they were to get paid on Saturday - but, I never had the cash/change to give them. Well, that's no fun for them. Slowly this system fizzled out. Mr. T still kept up with his chores, but the other two weren't doing so well. I decided I needed to get rid of the idea of actually handing them money. I just don't carry much cash. I would also like to get my kids in the habit of saving their money & giving at various opportunities.

You can print this chart here.

Here's our new system. I printed a chart for each kid, writing their name on the piggy bank.
The columns are:
Weekly Allowance - This is the total amount they are paid for the week. I upped it from a little over $3/week to $4/week, but am expecting a little more from them. And, they know they will not get their max pay if I don't feel they've done their best all week. They also have opportunities to earn extra money.
To Spend - This is the amount they are able to spend whenever they want on whatever they choose.
To Save - This is the amount I'm making them save. We are going on a road trip later in the year, so for right now I'm asking them to save at least $1 each week.
To Give - This is the amount I'm asking them to save & give to a worthwhile cause. They can give it to the church. Also, every year at VBS, the offering goes somewhere that needs help. Last year it went to the tornado victims. Samaritan's Purse is something we hope to take part in again next year. My mother in law died from cancer a few years ago. A couple of my favorite cancer awareness organizations are Relay for Life and Angels Making a Difference. Angels Making a Difference has done fantastic things for my friend, whose 2 year old has neuroblastoma. There's no shortage on organizations that could use the money. I haven't told the kids this yet, but I'm going to match whatever money they earn in the "to give" column.

In each section there are more columns. They are:
"carry over" - the amount left over from the week before
"this week" - the amount they've earned just this week
"spent" - subtracting any amount they've spent this past week
"total to spend" - shows the amount they have to spend in each category

As I write this, I realize it seems complicated. It's really not.

Check out our original chore chart on my gardening blog.

Even though I'm not using this chart in its entirety, I am still using parts of it. I couldn't bare to toss all my hard work away. Now we are only using the blue/black flannel chart. Each kid has their own & I've added the chores they are expected to do for the entire week. Things like "Feed the Dogs" is obviously something they know they need to do each day. "Put Away Clean Clothes" is also on their chart, but only needs done when there are actually clean clothes to be put away.

We've only been using this new "Bank Account" system for a little over 2 weeks. But, so far, so good. One of my favorite things is that I added "Put Away Clean Dishes" to Capt. N's chart. He's been so great about putting away the dishes every day, even though he has to climb on a stool to put most things away. This has made it so much easier for me to keep up with the dishes.

I would love to hear your tips on how you keep your house picked up.

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