I’m a big fan of having a clean house. Unfortunately, I’m not the biggest fan of cleaning.
Wait, no. I don’t mind cleaning. But I like cleaning things when I can take the time to do them right and free time is not something I have a lot of lately.
That and I’m tired. So, so tired. Twins are a bit exhausting, especially when you have older kids too. When I have to choose between folding the laundry or taking a nap, the nap is going to win every time.
Have you seen these signs that say “Please excuse the mess, the children are making memories”? I need one of those that you can see as you walk in my front door. That’s the stage of life I am in.
Cleaning when you have kids often feels like a loosing battle. It doesn’t have to be though.
We could look at it as an opportunity. Every pile of laundry or dirty dish can also be a great opportunity to teach kids how to work.
If there’s one thing I hope to teach my children by the time they move out on their own, it’s the value of hard work. Not everything in life is going to be easy. It’s certainly not going to always be fun. But there is value in working hard and having enough respect for yourself to keep your living space clean and organized.
With 6 kids in my house, it’s essential that everyone chips in. I can’t do it all . . . even if I like to think I can. I’ll admit that sometimes it’s more work to get your kids to help that it may be to just do something yourself but teaching them to work pays off.
Now that my oldest is almost 12 I’m seeing that big time. There are weeks when my kids take over all the main household chores and there are certain jobs that I NEVER do because they have been permanently delegated to my kids. If you are still doing any of these 10 chores you should definitely hand them off to your kids.
It doesn’t matter how old your kids are. Everyone can help with something. Even your toddler.
Allowance vs Commission
I’ve been reading Smart Money Smart Kids: Raising the Next Generation to Win with Money by Dave Ramsey and his daughter, Rachel Cruze (actually I’ve been listening to the audio book version and I highly recommend that because it’s actually read by Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze). I’m a huge Dave Ramsey fan so I was curious to hear what he had to say about kids and money.
It turns out, Dave Ramsey is not a fan of giving kids an allowance. He prefers a commission system where they only get paid if they do the work. I love that!
In real life, if you don’t do a job (or don’t do it well), you don’t get paid. Why not start teaching kids that concept early?
I’ve incorporated some of Dave Ramsey’s ideas into the chore system at my house. My kids LOVE having the opportunity to earn their own money but there’s a catch.
Before earning a commission the following things have to be done:
- All individual chores must be done (and done well). We use this FREE printable chore chart to keep track of things.
- All schoolwork must be done.
- Each child has to prove that he or she knows how to do the job they want to be paid for. That means my little 2 year old will not be paid to mop the floor but she can earn some money for folding kitchen rags.
Growing up in a family of 6 kids, they have to learn how to clean up after themselves and chip in when there’s a daily maintenance job like clearing the table after a meal. I don’t pay for those jobs. That’s just something you have to do to be a responsible family member.
What I DO pay for is the extras. After (and only after) my kids have finished their daily chores, they have the opportunity to earn a commission for doing extra jobs.
Which chores are paid?
Extra chores includes stuff that I would normally have to do. I pay for them because they take something off my plate. These include:
- Babysitting a younger sibling
- Cleaning the kitchen
- Mopping the floor
- Putting away laundry
- Cleaning the guest bathroom
- Cleaning up after a younger sibling
Our list changes week to week based on what jobs need to be done at the time. Your list probably looks different than mine. Include whatever chores you think your kids could handle.
It’s okay to have a lot of options. Your kids can choose whether or not they want to do commission chores. Individual chores, on the other hand, those ARE required.
Create a Help-Wanted Board for Chores
I LOVED the idea for this “Work for Hire” board I saw at The Chic Family. We’d been using a simple chore chart but I knew I wanted to incorporate commission jobs into our chore system so I was looking for something that fit with that a bit better.
Unfortunately, I never have cash on me and while I can definitely see the benefit of working in cash when it comes to kids, it just doesn’t always happen at our house. My older kids have bank accounts and it’s easier for everyone if we just transfer the money they earn into their accounts. I may change the way I do that if life ever slows down a bit but I’m not sure I really see that happening anytime soon.
My system isn’t nearly as pretty but it gets the job done.
Here’s what we did:
- We’ve printed a chore chart for each of my older children (get your own free printable chore chart here).
- I laminated it so that we can use it again week after week. If you don’t already have one, I’ve heard great things about this laminator. It’s on my wish-list. At the moment I use these self-adhesive laminating sheets and they do a decent job.
- Beneath each chore chart I’ve attached an envelope. I just folded the top part of the envelop back and stapled the whole thing to the board. I’m sure you can make this look prettier than I did but I was going for function here. Once their individual chores are done, this is where my kids keep track of the paid commission jobs they have completed.
- The bottom half of the board is the help-wanted section. These are the extra jobs that my kids can earn money for AFTER their individual chores are completed (and completed well). I write the job on a small card (I’ve played with using index cards or post-it notes. Either works fine). I include what the job is and how much it pays. If the job has multiple steps I make sure that I’m specific about what I want done.
Earning Commissions for Chores
Now that our chore board is set up, maintaining it is easy. My kids have to complete their individual chores each day and mark them off. If they want to do an extra chore they can choose one from the board, complete it, have me sign off on it, then put that card in the envelope below their chore chart.
At the end of the week we have payday. My kids add up the value of the jobs they have completed and get paid. I do this in cash for my young kids so they can physically see what they earn. My older kids like to have money transferred directly into their bank account so they can save it or shop online if they are saving up for something special.
I love it because my kids are learning the importance of work and the value of money. They can practice saving up their own hard-earned money for something special and I get some help with household chores so I can devote my time to other things.
It’s a win-win!
What does the chore system look like in your house?
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