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61 Comments

  1. Elizabeth M says:

    LOVE these ideas! LOVE your book! Will implement the rotating chore system. What a great idea! I like that! My boys are in 3rd & 1st grades and I do 3 jobs a week at $1 each ($3 each) and then $1 to Give, $1 to Save & $1 to Spend). But I like your system to increase it as they get older and switch the percentage. I couldn’t get the video to work. Can you share a link? Thank you!

  2. Michelle Hastings says:

    I’m sorry Monica I may have not understood this or read it in your post accurately. Do you pay the grade level amount every day or every week. For instance a 2nd grader is it every day they get 2 dollars or every week they get 2 dollars? I am wanting to try this system out with my son as consistency with him has been a problem. I absolutely loved your book and have referred so many of my friends to read it. Thank you so much!

    1. No worries– I’ll have to go double check my wording! πŸ™‚ In our family it is their grade level in dollars PER WEEK. So it sounds tiny when they’re young but by 10th grade…$10 a week for pulling your own weight around the house isn’t too bad. (again, it’s more for the training aspect of teaching them to manage the money than anything.) And it is super individual to families, so I encourage you to do what makes sense/works for you! And thank you so so much for reading my books and telling friends about it. big hugs!!

  3. Stephanie Peterson says:

    I started looking for some sort of reward system after realizing my son is quite spoiled. 😐 My husband doesn’t like the idea of paying him for chores he should be doing anyways so he would like your approach. I can anticipate my 5 year will resist, complain, whine, and sass (which is the reason we want to start this). Do you do rewards for positive behavior? How much do you deduct for negative behavior?

    We also struggle with screen time. Do your kids have to “pay” for screen time or any other special activity?

  4. We love your system and glad to see it working with a family of 4 boys. We have 4 boys also (9,6,5,3). We used a very similar method but lost our way a bit lately. Do (or did) you encounter resistance from anyone when chores needed to be done? If so, what you do about paying if chores aren’t done or not done in a way you’d expect them to be for the age of the child. We’re working on getting back to this concept and just looking for some polishing pointers.

    1. Hi Ainslie! Thanks for commenting, and good job for getting back onto a chore program! πŸ™‚ Good question, too! We haven’t had a lot of resistance, but I’m also not super strict about timeline or a schedule. Since we homeschool, most days I kind of let kids flow in a way that works for them. One exception is the kitchen. Whoever has kitchen duty needs to be pretty quick about emptying the dishwasher and clearing the sink in the morning so I can get started on the day. I’ve had to give plenty of reminders, and it’s not always completely smooth, but for the most part everyone has learned to knock out what they need to. Some days (when things pile up or we have guests coming) I might say “Today I need all chores done IN FULL”, meaning, be more thorough than usual. The boys know what that means. As for what to do when someone does not fulfill their chore duties? I cut their pay at the end of the week. It’s approximate, but I will give less dollars according to days where their chores were done poorly, with a bad attitude, or not done at all. Hope some of this helps, and keep me posted!! Aloha! (PS I should also mention that I really started this chore system for the 3 oldest boys when they were probably 9, 11, and 13, so I wouldn’t expect too much when they are young. I need to get on my 7 year old much more these days, but your younger two are probably not going to be able to contribute a whole lot! Great time to train them though, so don’t give up!! :))

  5. I just have to say that I was really impressed with the savings/spending & giving idea. I added this to my parenting blog as well and was sure to leave a link to yours for credit <3

    1. OH thank you Amanda. Yes, it is good and I could do a lot better at it myself! πŸ™‚ Much aloha–

  6. Hi Monica,
    I love the simplicity of this chore system! I am working on putting this in place for my boys (12, 10, and 8). They have been wanting to earn money and although I don’t love the idea of paying for household chores, I see the value in motivation as well as money management. The pay per grade level seems manageable. You didn’t mention though, do you pay that weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly?
    I really appreciate and glean from your posts. The Lord is using you to touch many lives.
    Thank you

    1. Oh thank you so much Julie! I can honestly say it is a great system, and it just gets so auto-pilot after a while. The kids have each chore card memorized and could pretty well run through the list in their sleep. πŸ™‚ Oh–as far as payment…I’m awful. Seriously the worst. (don’t do as I do…) Finally I simplified things and told boys I would pay them quarterly. haha! Sometimes they’ll need something and order online or whatever and if so they keep a running tally on the payment sheet which shows what I owe them and what they have spent or owe me. NOT ideal, but it’s working for now. (I am just awful about having cash on hand.) Figure out what works for you and change it as needed. Thank you for the kind words also–bless you!

      1. Thank you for getting back to me. I should have been more clear…I was curious if the say 6th grader gets $6 is that $6 per week, every two weeks or the entire month only $6?

  7. What is the “giving” envelope for?

    1. Hi Erin–After reading your question, I actually went back and added to that post because you are right–I should have better explained the “giving” envelope! πŸ˜‰ Thanks for pointing that out! So to answer your question: We have taught our boys that everything we have is a gift from God, so we encourage them to give back to Him in some way. We suggest they give 10% of what they make to support our church, youth ministry, a mission, or a cause the is God-honoring. This is a great reminder (for all of us) that God is our provider and helps us not cling to money or anything materially. It also supports amazing causes and this is a chance for the boys to choose something they want to support and feel like they are helping! πŸ™‚ Hope that helps. πŸ™‚

  8. I have three little boys, 7, 6 and 2, and your advice is a great blessing to me! I love your blog. Thanks for all you put into it Monica!

    1. Oh thank you Becky! I am so glad to hear that and I really appreciate you taking the time to comment! Aloha!

  9. The video was missing, can I get the link?

    1. Uh oh…I’ll have to look into that! I’ll get back to you Lauren, thank you for letting me know!

  10. I like this idea. We have a rotating weekly chore list right now but it is pretty minimal. They have one job to do each day like set the table or empty dishwasher. They do not get paid for this chore (except get fed dinner) and we get a lot of grumbling from them about doing one chore a day! I think paying would be a motivator but honestly I’m not sure we can afford the extra $56/month. We are on a tight budget. The other thing is my husband has three kids that only come to our house on the weekends. They are assigned one of these daily jobs as well but often because they are here for such a short visit it can be chaotic and sometimes they don’t even do their chore. If I start paying my kids I know they will expect it too. Do you have any suggestions of a pay system that would even out the chore to pay ratio? If I pay per job I feel like they will just bug to be given jobs for the sake of making money and when we’re on a tight budget I’m not just going to hand out jobs and money.

  11. Thanks for your post! I am excited to try this because I have been wanting to find a simple system I don’t have to manage all the time. I also have 4 boys, 10, 9, 5, and 3. After failing at the complex stuff, my most recent “system” is just grabbing whoever is closest when I need something done. Haha!

    Do you remind your boys to complete their weekly chores before the week is up or have they just learned to do it? I’m afraid it will get to Saturday night (or whenever the switch happens) and I will get boys rushing through them at the last minute. Any advice? Thanks!

    1. Thanks Bethany! And high five for the four-boy club! πŸ™‚ Yes, a system helps so I hope you love this one!
      Great question–and yes, most weeks I have to remind my boys a little bit about the bigger “weekly chores.” If I’m honest, some weeks they don’t get done at all. (we don’t wash windows every week!) The cool thing is, when my windows DO need to be washed, I will just call on the person who’s got those particular windows that week. They can’t argue b/c it’s on their list. And even though some weeks my pantry desperately needs to be organized (a big job!!) and the pantry person is “stuck” with that job, it’s just what it is and they’ve all gotten the short stick a time or two…It works out.
      And they have gotten better about most of the regular weekly chores. The laundry room person will eventually just pull out the vacuum because they know it is their week and they just want to get it over with. πŸ™‚ Hope that makes a little sense!! aloha!

  12. Hi Monica, please forgive me, but I must be missing something. I’ve read almost everything I can on this topic on your blog, but I can’t seem to understand the “rotating” part of your system. Can you give some help with this, please? Thanks.

    1. Hey Viki! Sorry if I wasn’t clear…The “rotating” part of the chores is the bottom cards in the photo. Each week the boys are assigned one card of chores (“kitchen zone,” etc) and then the next week we rotate the cards so a different kid has the “kitchen zone” and so on. This means each kid has a chore zone each week, but they rotate weekly so there is some variety. Does that help? (And as you can see, the top cards are permanent–so each week some chores remain constant for all of the boys. This of course varies by age and ability–like I mention in the video, my oldest son can do more so his required chores are much more than the littlest guy. :))

  13. Love this! It is so simple….I was like “why didn’t I think of that”! Made the cards this weekend and we started using them this morning. I even took my (way too complicated) chore chart down because this just makes sense. Thank you so much for sharing! I heard you on the Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey and have followed you ever since. Even though I have girls I find your posts very encouraging and relevant.

    1. Oh so happy to hear that Steph! I hope the charts work like magic for you, too! Thank you for hanging out here even though it’s a bit of a boy world (I do try to make topics relevant to all! :)) Bless you and keep in touch! aloha-

  14. We do a similar thing but to combat the paying for chord issue a little bit we have a short list of daily chores that are expected and not paid for. Like making the bed, putting Jammies/ clothes away when changing, helping clear the table etc. Any extra chores or helping Dad on the farm are where the chore money comes in. While he is small we keep track with a gem jar that also helps with discipline etc and it means he can help out where is needed or show initiative and do things on his own. Thanks for your post, it’s interesting to see how others do things and ideas on how we can adapt as our kiddo grows (7 now). We do the same split with three labeled jars for give/save/spend and like that he is learning the value of money from an early age. He really thinks about his spending! I also end up with iou’s πŸ˜…

  15. We do something very similar with our boys who are 9, 11 and 13 but don’t rotate their big weekly chore as their size and abilities are different. Plus, since their privileges increase with age, I think their responsibilities should too so the difficulty of their jobs increase with age. I get the whole dilemma of not wanting to pay your kids to do housework because it just goes with being a part of a family and the privilege of having so many possessions. On the other hand, we want to teach our kids to manage money. The compromise: pay your kids for HOW they do their work because someday they may get bonuses for these same criteria πŸ™‚ 1. For taking initiative and not having to be told/reminded to do their work. 2. For doing their work without arguing and complaining and 3. For doing their work correctly/ following directions the 1st time 4. Going above and beyond (let them tell you what they did) πŸ™‚

  16. I’ve tried many different chore charts, and this one is by far the best. My 5 children even look forward to when the chores “rotate”… They like the variation. Thank you Monica for sharing

    1. Yay–So glad to hear that! Five children!? Wow! πŸ™‚ Aloha–

  17. I haven’t even watched the video yet and I love it already just from what I’m reading. I started teaching my son how to clean bathrooms with all the different sprays and cleaners. It didn’t go so well because I had to be there every time to supervise his use of bleach and all the other harsh chemicals.
    I’ve since found a better way by using Norwex microfiber cloths (disclaimer, I loved them so much I became a consultant). My son is free to clean whenever he wants to and, oddly enough, he enjoys it. I think his 7 year old mind thinks it’s magic since you clean with only the cloth and water, but I also think he likes the freedom of not having his Mom standing over him. It also takes the guess work out of which cleaner to use.
    We have a product line made just for kids and he loves his mop and dusting mitt. If anyone is interested please find a consultant near you or check out my website.
    I’m excited to watch the video and incorporate some of the $$ aspects from it and the comments (41 cents is brilliant). I hate tying $$ to chores, but I don’t like the other option of freely giving them $$ regardless of their work being done. Man parenting is hard. πŸ™‚
    Thanks for the tips and the kick in the pants to get this plan started.

  18. Stacy Bayer says:

    How long do they continue to save and what do you allow them to use that money for?

    1. Stacy…Great question. My oldest two (14 and 16) both just have a savings account that they add to as their “savings” envelope fills up. I would love to imagine that going towards a car or other responsibilities as they get older, but they have dipped in when there is something they really want…a camera, etc. I don’t have a solid rule, more like we have communication about all things as we go. “Is that a wise way to spend your money?” “Will you be glad you did that in a year?” etc. The spending envelope is a bit more up to them, and though I see them get more wise as they get older, occasionally I have to give them freedom to spend it foolishly so that they will learn a lesson for themselves. πŸ˜‰ Hope that helps!

  19. Do you have any suggestions on how to introduce this type of chore system (or any type of regular chores) to kids? We have two girls age 4 and two whiny boys age 7 & 8. Thank you!

    1. Haha, Love how you describe your kids…I get it!!
      I would just walk them through it– as if it is something fun and new and exciting. Especially if you make the chart– kids seem to like charts! πŸ™‚ It takes a while for it to become normal, but they will get used to it if you can stay consistent (which i know is hard!) It does pay off though eventually! aloha- good luck!

  20. Thank you so much for the info on your chore system and chore chart. I am a Mom of 3 girls, a little behind your guys (ours are 9 and under). We have not found a chore system that has worked here, seems everything in our lives is a work-in-progress at this point. I love the 3 envelope idea, I am definitely going to borrow that. I also read the parenting boys blog- and yes- so much of that does apply to girls too! I look forward to following your blog- Thanks!

  21. I’d love to see your video on chores but it’s not showing up on the page.

    Thank you!

    1. Sorry Grace–I’ll look into that. I haven’t had any issues with it before, so you might check again…But thx for the head’s up. πŸ™‚ Aloha!

  22. This is great. I haven’t had a system for my 8 year old because he can’t really do any chores that are helpful (he has aspergers and is motor skills challenged- still can’t tie a shoe or get himself dressed). But, I’m going to start doing this for things he can do (even if they aren’t ‘real’ chores) that way he will be used to having to do some chores. Plus, my 3 year old is already capable of doing some chores (more than her older brother) so I can get her started young. Thanks!

  23. Two points
    I pay my kids $1/year of age. More than grade level pay. Reason is I’d like them to make mistakes with money at a young age when $15 sounds like so much rather than $100 mistakes later in life.

    Also, I don’t tie chores to money. When the kids get older and can earn outside the home, I don’t want them having a reason to not do the chores. Chores just part of home. If they don’t do the chores, they lose privileges.

  24. Evi Gonawan says:

    Dear Monica,

    Wowww… you’re an inspirational mum! I am also a Christian living in Jakarta, Indonesia. I do pray for my sons to be a Godly and Family man. I have 2 boys, aged 5 (just turned 5 today) and 5 months. I do want start my elder son with your chore system, so he learns responsibility.

    My question is, do you and your husband have a chore list? How is it like managing 4 boys and a husband? πŸ˜€

    Thanks for sharing your video and your system. Love it!

    Many thanks,
    Evi Gonawan

  25. I have a token system for my 8 and 5 year old. They get tokens for doing daily chores as well as anything extra. Can also add target issues to the system as they come up. One of the ways they can redeem tokens is money. There is also several other things that they are always asking me to do. I also homeschool and do college online. This system seems to work well for us.

    1. wow I love that Ronni! thank you for sharing. πŸ™‚ aloha

  26. Awesome ideas! We get a lot of grumbling, and quite honestly it’s my own fault that they don’t follow through the way they should. We use a white board for each child, so we can update as needed. I have them write the first letter of the day of the week next to the chore when they’re done so I know that they completed the task and can go check on thoroughness. We tried the cash as well, but never had it when it was time to pay. So we opened the kids each a debit account. We also like the idea of teaching them responsibility with money, so this gives them a way to keep track of their spending and watch their savings grow. It actually also helps them not have so much cash around just tempting them to spend it!! I love the idea of adding an investment option!! That’s great!! My husband is planning to sit down with our 9th grader and teach her how to manage her money using the tools available via our online bank. Basically the modern way to manage your checkbook. Oh, and btw, we pay 1/2 their age. So my 14 year old gets $7, my 10 year old gets $5 and the 8 year old… oh, well, you get the idea =0)

    THANKS so much for your wonderful blog!!

  27. We give each kid $5 a week. $1 goes to church, $1 goes to a Christmas saving envelope so they have $52 at holiday time to buy presents for people they love. The other $3 is theirs, unless they have to pay us for breaking a rule (throwing wrappers away, that kid of thing). Since my boys are complete opposites in everything, one spends on frivolous stuff right away, the other saved all the way to $40 to buy all the Harry Potter movies. I will need to try your chore chart though. I sure could use the help around the house!

  28. Catherine says:

    Hi Monica,…I recently subscribed to your blog. For the better part of this year I had been feeling a need to be more deliberate in parenting. My parents, though great people whom I love so much, did not really set up structures in our family while growing up (I have 3 siblings) We turned out ok, (Thank God) but I really wanted to raise my boys (aged 8 and 1) differently. All I can say is your blog is an answer to prayer! God bless you and your family!

  29. LOVE IT! We are just getting started with an official listing of chores and pay. I know already that I would never have cash on hand, so I plan to keep a running total on the envelopes. This is already how we handle birthday money. I write it out and then know where we are at prior to going shopping. This way, I pay for everything at the store (my credit card gets all the bonus points!) and then subtract if from their totals when we get home. Kids aren’t carrying money in the stores this way either. Though I do plan to start teaching that responsibility soon with my oldest!

  30. Great ideas! An allowance schedule we set up some time ago is working well, but the problem is mine. I often forget to pay them, don’t have cash on hand and it bites me in the end when I’m at the check out stand and they negotiate all of the I O U money and often add a few dollars. I get so irritated. My own fault. I need to get an envelope with 50 one dollar bills and have them ready for pay day. πŸ™‚

    1. Oh my goodness—That is ME TOO! I had actually planned to mention that in my post, because I am seriously often weeks behind in paying…And the IOU’s, haha–Same thing here!! XO

  31. This system and those envelopes are genius! I’m pinning all this for future reference. I remember hating to do chores growing up because there was never any incentive. Haha! πŸ™‚

  32. Love love love. Thank you Monica. Simply brilliant. Love Danielle’s idea – I need to add a card for me!

  33. Love this – so simple and do-able! No over-complicating…

    In fact, I was reminded of some neglected chores on my own list! Maybe this system will work for myself… lol

  34. I really like those ideas. Do you get any whining? We get constant whining from the 12 year old. They never had to complete chores prior to moving here. It is funny the 9 year old, in some areas, tries harder than the 12 year old, even though, as you said, the 12 year old should be more thorough at her age than her sister. When the 12 year decides to actually do something she is certainly better at it than her sister. TMI? I like the idea of the pay scale you use. I will share that with Teresa. I especially like the 3 envelopes. The 12 year old is a spend thrift from the word go. Thanks Monica.

    1. Yes–we get whining, and complaining….and negotiating. All very normal. πŸ™‚ It drives me crazy, and I try pretty hard to be firm against it, but it still happens.
      In some areas our nine (just turned ten) year old also can be more mature than our 12 year old, especially things like how he does with little Levi and a few other areas. That can be frustrating too. Hey-parenting can be (IS) a frustrating job! πŸ™‚ you’re doing awesome, and always (always!!!!) keep in mind that you have a unique situation and you should NOT compare where your girls are to others who have parented from birth. Keep up the good work!

  35. WOW, Monica–this is amazing!! πŸ™‚ Your blog is taking on a whole new dimension with this series–I love it!! I was totally drawn in to your video, 7 minutes went by so fast. I am amazed that your boys are so capable–they mop the floor, that’s incredible!!! I like the giving, saving, spending distribution and Shannon’s comment about some for investing, too. This is really encouraging, thank you. Tommy is 5 and 1/2 so I don’t have any wisdom to offer in return yet. He likes and asks if he can help me with folding and sorting laundry, dishes, etc. so I am making the most of that now! At what age did you start your older boys into the chore rotation? Thanks, Monica, this is really practical, helpful advice!!

    1. Thank you Wendy! So glad you like the vids. πŸ™‚ Tommy is a natural–just enjoy his desire to help. (bless his sweet heart!) My first born was a bit like that too, so we didn’t have to make official “chores” very early with him. I think making chores a daily requirement began when they were around 8, 6, and 4…(I actually can’t really remember !:)) Good question though–I should have mentioned that in the post!

      1. Wow–just the idea that Tommy may be somewhat like Josiah is very encouraging! πŸ™‚

  36. I remember seeing this on the wall when I was down a year ago and thinking it was absolutely brilliant!

    I’m sure there are little parts of chores Levi could “help” with. Things that would help with everyday stuff anyway. I would suggest “matching socks” but I am pretty sure that would be way to easy of a chore since I think there would be like 0 pair a week for him to stress about.

  37. Very clear video! We handle our oldest son’s chores and pay about the same. He’s in first grade so money is very exciting!Our little one is only 4, so we aren’t there,yet.
    Although, based on my husband’s suggestion ( he’s a business teacher) we have a fourth envelope for investing. We do 10 % for giving and investing and 40% for saving and spending.

    For my 4 year old,I pay him 41 cents a week for his simple chores. Why 41 cents? A penny,nickle, dime and quarter to help him learn names and values of coins.

    1. Shannon–Brilliant! I love it all. I want to add the “investing” envelope–Love it! Also, what a great idea for the 4 yr. old. That’s how I’ll start with Levi too…thank you! πŸ˜‰

      1. My first grader had enough to buy one stock in Disney!

  38. Thanks for sharing this! My mom did the half savings/spending with our allowance too. I like the 10% giving idea. Same rules for our savings accounts. When my sister and I turned 16, our parents told us they would match what we had saved to help pay for a car. My little sister was always a big saver