Monday, April 11, 2011

Chores and Allowance

Today was the big day.  We have officially started chores with Trevor in our home.  The topic has been bouncing around in my brain for some time now and I think I have finally settled on how we're going to do it (for now at least!) 

There is much debate amongst parents on whether doing chores should be linked with an allowance or if a child should do chores just because they are a member of the family.  I like what I have heard both Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman say...a child should have to contribute to the running of the household just because they are a part of it, but they should also be given opportunities to do extra work to make money (since they are not old enough to have an outside job).  Having to work for money teaches them to be responsible, to be a hard worker, and to begin to understand that money is limited (we can't just go out an buy any toy they want!) 

You may be thinking "Trevor is only two! What in the world does he need with money!?!"  I agree, but see I also have an ulterior motive =)  I think I would be starting unpaid chores now anyways just to teach responsibility and work ethic, but I'm also starting paid chores because I want to tangibly start teaching him about coin values. 

So this is what we are going to do (for now!)...each morning after breakfast I am going to have a chore for Trevor to do.  I will set the timer for five minutes and he will work (with me at his side for the time being until he gets the hang of it).  Chore done!  Then at any time throughout the day he will have an opportunity to do an extra chore.  If he wants to do this, he will work for five minutes again and earn a penny.  Well, actually he will earn a penny sticker which he will put on his allowance chart (I'll post what that looks like after we've got it filled out for a few weeks). 

At the end of the week we will count how many pennies he earned and talk I will show him how five pennies make a nickle.  I will give him five (or how many he earns) pennies and have him put two in a savings piggy bank, two in a spending piggy bank, and we will save one to put in the offering at church.  I think this is how Dave Ramsey recommends to split it up.  As soon as he gets the concept of pennies down we will move to higher denominations of coins. 

On a side note, another plus to doing this is that it will motivate me to get some cleaning done first thing in the morning =)  Cleaning is my worst home skill and a little extra motivation always helps!

Here is the list of chores I have picked for Trevor to do:

Daily Chores

Monday Dust
Tuesday Kitchen Floor
Wednesday Shower
Thursday Collect  Garbage
Friday Kitchen Table

Extra Chores

Bedroom Baseboards

Nursery Baseboards

Kitchen Baseboards

Hallway Baseboards & Vacuum Edges

Living room Baseboards

Bedroom Vacuum Edges

Nursery Vacuum Edges

Living room Vacuum Edges

Vacuum Couch Cushions

Collect Bedsheets

Bathroom #1 Floor

Bathroom #2 Floor

Kitchen Cabinets

Bathroom Cabinets

Kitchen Appliances

Window Sills

I'm fully aware that he won't be able to do many of these things well, but he can give it a good shot!

What kind of chores do you have your preschooler do? 

Happy Cleaning!


  1. I am starting to think about allowance, as well. I have 3 boys ages 7, 5, and 2. They all help to clean up, but I don't know what to pay them for. This is especially hard since I don't get paid for doing any of these things myself!

    Thanks for your list. My husband and I will start discussing paid chores. :)

    1. Ha! I know, it is hard to pay for things that we don't get paid for =) I just figure that at these ages, they don't the the option of real paid employment, so it's a good opportunity to teach them right at home. I hope you and your husband are able to come up with a good solution for your family!


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