Friday, March 2, 2012


Since I wrote the post on our new chore system, there have been some questions I thought I should address in a blog post.

I realize that many of you do not have 6 kids like we do. You may not have enough kids to cover 4 zones in your house. The zone system may not work well for your situation. I will say that giving the kids a different zone each week will at least mean that you get help. It may not cover the whole house, but it will expose the kids to doing all kinds of household chores and lessen the work you have to do.

Some of you asked how our kids get money to pay if a sibling or I do their jobs. We have an allowance system that we have developed. I thought I would take some time to share that with you.

There are many different philosophies of allowance. Our philosophy is that allowance is an opportunity for us to teach our children about money management while the risks are still small. We consider allowance an investment in their financial education. We have observed that even as young children, it is obvious to see the financial struggles our kids will deal with when they are adults. We have one kid in particular that literally cannot seem to hold onto money. This kid will buy something he doesn't even want just because he feels the need to spend. That is a dangerous approach to money. Having the opportunity to coach him through this practice at a young age will hopefully help him develop skills and a mindset that will better prepare him for his future.

Allowance is not based on work in our family. It is a benefit of being in our family. That doesn't mean we would never take away allowance if they are abusing this grace, but in general, they get allowance and it is not tied to work. I must also say that as they get older, they are expected to pay for more. If they want to go out to eat with a friend, we will ask, "Do you have money for that?" It helps them learn to budget and spend their money on what is really important to them. If they don't have money, they have to wait or figure out another way to get it just like real life.

The one exception we make is church activities. If they want to be a part of a church activity, we want to do everything possible to make that happen for them. We value church and believe in them being a part of that community of people enough to not make money a reason for them to not participate. Sometimes we pay all of the cost, other times we split the cost depending on the activity and circumstances.

Here is our allowance system:
-At 4 years old, our children begin receiving allowance. We feel like that is a good age to start. They have official chores at the age of 4 so we feel they are ready to begin receiving allowance.
-We try really hard to teach them about tithing in this process. To be honest, I haven't done the best job in this area. Mostly it is because I forget in the craziness of getting out the door on Sunday mornings to remind them. I will say, that my older kids are doing this on their own most of the time. They will often give offering at church or to some other cause they believe in without any prompting from us.

-We don't regulate very closely how they spend their money. If they waste it on something then the next time they want something and they don't have it the natural consequences work really well in teaching them lessons about spending and saving.

Ages and Amounts:
-4 yrs old - $1 a week

-Kindergarten - 9 yrs old - $2 a week(I say Kindergarten because they start at different ages. When they start school, their allowance goes up because they are "working".)

-10 yrs - 11yrs. - $3 a week

-12 yrs. - $4 a week

-13 yrs. - $5 a week

That is as far as we have gotten. Cody is 13 right now. We need to decide where we will go from here.

There you have it. Let me know if you have questions.


  1. I just did the math on that - when Laila is 4, you will be doing about 850-900 in allowance per year. Dude.

    1. Daphne,
      It does sound like a lot when you add it up that way, but we believe so strongly in teaching our children about money management that it is worth it to us. People spend way more each year on things that have way less value like eating out, cable, etc. We are just living out our values. The price you pay for a large family.

  2. Never thought of allowances as a way to teach kids money management! Brilliant! (we didn't get an allowance when I was a kid).

    Any other details on how this "works"? Do they get allowance taken away as a punishment? If they don't do chores? Etc?

    1. Ericka,
      There are times that they will lose their allowance. If I do their work because they didn't do it, they have to pay me out of their allowance or if a sibling does it, it comes out of their allowance. (I am way more expensive). If we sense a pattern of not really caring do contribute and do what is expected then we will start to deduct from allowance to really make them feel the impact of their choices. Also, there are times that I will offer other random jobs for pay around our house. If they have not done their normal jobs, they are not eligible for the jobs that pay extra.