We have decided that this summer is the perfect time to introduce Bug-A-Boo to the idea of household chores. We have also decided that we will be giving her an allowance for doing these chores to start teaching her about the value of money.
The first thing we did was decide on an amount that she could make weekly. We decided on $3.00 a week. One dollar for every year of age. We then decided that each time she completes a chore she can earn $.10, however if she chooses to not complete a chore, and mommy or daddy has to do it, then we get the $.10. So, the maximum she can make in a week is $3.00 and it goes down from there based on whether she actually does the chore. Right now this seems to be working. Since we started, there have been a few times when she has said she didn't want to do one of her chores and when I told her that I would get her dime she quickly changed her mind.
The other nice thing about this system is that as she gets older she will be able to make more money but it will mean we add new chores and new responsibilities appropriate to her age.
THE CHORE CHART
I created the chore chart on the computer. I made a grid in Excel and added cute clip art and photos to make it interesting and fun for her.
Her chores are as follows:
Monday-Friday: Make bed (we all get the weekends off)
Monday-Sunday: Help feed Cori, Help set the table for dinner, Help clear the table after every meal
Monday: Help gather trash
Sunday: Fold the napkins
Twice a week: Help empty dishwasher
The number of times she has chores to do is 30 at $.10 each is $3.00 a week.
I've hung the chart on the side of the refrigerator where she can reach it. I used an 8-1/2" x 11" sheet of magnetic paper and printed 30 dimes on it. Using a 1" circle punch I punched out the dimes. When she completes a chore she gets to mark it off with one of the dime magnets. This is also helping her in her counting and figuring of money.
We also plan to introduce "bonus" chores when needed.
TEACHING THE VALUE OF MONEY
The main reason we are doing this is to not only teach her about household responsibilities but also the value of money. Right now we are pretty lucky in the fact that she isn't one of those kids that starts to throw a fit or is constantly saying, "I want that, I want that", when we are at a store. I'm guessing it is just a matter of time before this starts.
Our goal is that when she does start doing this we will be able to tell her that if she wants something, we can go home and count the money in her bank and if she has enough we can return to the store and she can buy it with her own money. Knowing Bug-A-Boo she will change her mind pretty quickly. If she doesn't have enough in her bank she can either keep doing her regular everyday chores and save up the money or she will be given the option of doing extra work and this is when the "bonus" chores will come into play.
As she gets older and starts to understand the concept of money a little better we plan to introduce a more detailed teaching. A percentage (40%) of her weekly allowance will automatically be put into her savings account (similar to having taxes taken out of a paycheck). A percentage (10%) will go to charity, which will be chosen around the holidays each year. A percentage (15%) will go into her college fund, which we will match on a yearly basis (similar to a 401K plan). The remaining (35%) can be used in any way she wishes.
With a $4.00 weekly allowance this adds up to $83.20 a year in savings, $20.80 a year to charity, $31.20 into her college fund ($62.40 with our match) and $72.80 a year to be used however she would like. Not bad for a four year old.