The boys have been begging for allowances for several months. Every time we set foot in 7-11 they window shop the toy and candy sections, and then break through the imaginary glass, running towards us with the sugar-filled, battery-powered desires of their hearts. We made the mistake of explaining the concept of an allowance to them, and ever since it’s been a consistent, onslaught of nagging for cash in exchange for chores.
We recently read Dave Ramsey’s view on allowances, and revised our approach, swapping out allowances for commissions. Hubby and I began by making a list of all the paid chores we agreed upon. Things like making your bed and cleaning your room did not make the cut. No way were we paying for basic daily hygiene and tidiness responsibilities. The list we came up reads as such:
1. Trash – Take out the kitchen trash bag, put it in the correct dumpster and then place an empty bag in the bin.
2. Recycling – Empty out the contents into the recycling dumpster and return the container under the sink.
3. Dishes – Put the dirty dishes into the dishwasher.
4. Breakfast Floor – Sweep all food off the floor after breakfast.
5. Dinner Table – Set the table for dinner, inclusive of placemats, plates, silverware, drinks and napkins.
6. Fold Towels – Correctly fold and put up all towels inside the clean hamper.
7. Wash Towels – Find all dirty hand towels, wash cloths and towels and place them in the washing machine and close the machine door.
8. Book Report – Read a level appropriate book and then answer the following on a piece of paper: title, author, main characters, what happened in the beginning, middle and end of the story, and why you like the book.
We then assigned a commission amount, ranging from $0.25 to $1.00 for each chore. We also set the maximum amount of times a child can perform each chore for commission during the week. The next task was figuring out a creative way to display all this information in a simple, easy to understand and track format. I searched Pinterest and was inspired by chore magnets I’d seen, but you couldn’t write on the them, and I wanted a way to keep track of who did each chore. We settled on using a magnetic dry erase sheet from Hobby Lobby, which we cut into eight pieces and then wrote each chore, the commission amount, and then drew squares where the boys could write their initials. This way we could control how many times the chore could be performed for money, and also clearly see who had completed it for pay-day. We set pay-day for Sunday and require each boy to tally his total commission before being paid. Voila! We now have the most eager chore-seeking children ever!