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Instant Gratification Chore Charts Saved My Sanity

Early last summer I was frustrated. Really frustrated. The kids each had a list of chores but they were so unmotivated to get them done. I was sick and tired of reminding them to do their chores. I needed a chore chart solution that made the kids responsible.

I realized that waiting to get paid for chores at the end of the week or end of the month wasn’t working for my boys. Often times we would forget to pay them, or they couldn’t remember if they did their chores in order to get paid, etc….It was just all too much to keep track of.

I needed a system that worked.

Instant Gratification Chore Charts | Chore Charts That Make Kids and Parent Happy

This Instant Gratification Chore Chart saved my Sanity!

I created this little Instant Gratification Chore Chart folder system that allowed my kids to get paid every single day.

First, let me share a few things about our philosophy on an allowance in our house:

  • Monday- Friday our kids get $1/day if their chores are done . They definitely have plenty of things to do to earn their $1.
  • On Saturdays, they have completely different chores than weekday chores and they do NOT get paid for these chores. These are typically chores that are centered more around general house cleaning (such as vacuuming, dusting, sweeping the garage, etc.). They do not earn money for these chores because these are things that are expected to be done as a member of our household to contribute to the betterment of our home.
  • On Sundays, no chores are done…simply a day of rest!

Here’s my little homemade solution. On a bulletin board in our mudroom, each child has a folder with their name on the front or an envelope that is attached to the folder:

Tired of nagging your kids to do their chores? This simple, easy-to-make Instant Gratification Chore Chart saved my sanity & made my kids happy too!

On the inside of each folder is a list of the weeks chores AND the pay they can earn for doing them!

Tired of nagging your kids to do their chores? This simple, easy-to-make Instant Gratification Chore Chart saved my sanity & made my kids happy too!

Everyday the kids know what is expected of them. I don’t have to remind them. There is a checkbox next to each item on the list. When all chores are completed the kids come and tell me that they are done, and I in turn can do a quick run through to make sure everything was done correctly. They then MOVE their $1 to the envelope on the front of their folder. If for some reason, all the chores are not completed for the day, the kids simply don’t get their money.  It’s a simple black and white situation. Daily, they make the choice.

Every two weeks (we do this every 2 weeks because it’s easy for the kids to easily figure out percentages when they typically earn all $10) the kids can take their money out of the envelope and divide it up into different envelopes  that  are designated “tithe”, “save” and “spend” according to our agreed upon amounts:

  • 10% Tithe
  • 40% Save
  • 50% Spend

Are you willing to give it a try in your house? You can have these chore charts created in no time!

Here’s your supply list:

  • 1 folder for each child in your house
  • 1 envelope for each child
  • printable chore list (I have a template for you -you can download it below. Simply fill in the chores you want your kids to do.)
  • tape
  • scissors
  • stapler

Here are the steps you need to follow:

1. First, from the bottom of the folder, measure up 7 inches. Draw a line and then cut off the top of the folder at the 7″ mark.

Instant Gratification Chore Charts | free printable chore chart | list chores by age for kids | how to manage kid chores

2. Second, cut off the top flap of your envelope.

Instant Gratification Chore Charts | free printable chore chart | list chores by age for kids | how to manage kid chores

3. Next, write your child’s name on the envelope OR let them take ownership and decorate their envelope for you! Then tape this to the FRONT of the folder.

4. Download the chore chart. You can get instant access to the download by filling out this form:

{Below are some examples of things I have my kids do. But of course you will need to create age-appropriate chores.}. Print the chore chart 12 times (this will give you 3 months worth of chores).

5. Cut out each day’s chores,  stack all 12 weeks worth and  STAPLE them to the inside of the folder.

Tired of nagging your kids to do their chores? This simple, easy-to-make Instant Gratification Chore Chart saved my sanity & made my kids happy too!

6. Finally, fill the folder with cash and pin to your bulletin board.

What have I learned from this Chore Chart System?

  •  We need to budget for this monthly and by doing that I need to make sure I have cash on hand every week to fill their charts. I typically get cash out of the bank once a month and ask for all single dollar bills.
  • It’s important to do a thorough check of the chores at random times. Kids are kids and there are days they say they are done, but the job is not done well. I make the kids re-do. This teaches them to put forth their best effort and to do things right the first time.
  • We go lighter on chores during the school year, heavier in the summer. My kids are now teens and pre-teens. The school year is busy and there are days they are barely home, which means they might have to skip their chores. They get that they don’t get paid for them, and they are ok with it, but I also try to make the list more manageable during the school year.
  • I rotate chores between the kids about every 10-12 weeks. They get tired of doing the same thing, so it’s good to rotate and give them a fresh list every season.

Here are some summer chore ideas that my kids do:

  • make bed
  • pick up room
  • feed  & water dog
  • walk dog
  • pick up dog poop
  • water flowers
  • fill bird bath
  • sweep the hardwood floors
  • dust bedroom
  • vacuum bedroom
  • clean toilets
  • clean sinks/mirrors
  • sweep garage
  • empty dishwasher
  • mow grass
  • empty the dehumidifier
  • read (I add this to their chore list so they don’t forget to do it daily)

We needed a system. Something that would hold my kids accountable without me constantly nagging at them. This Instant Gratification Chore Chart  has worked beautifully for our kids. They can see their progress throughout the week and know that there is cash, in an envelope, waiting for them on pay day. It has provided balance and taught responsibility. It’s a solution that works great with our kids.

Looking for age appropriate chores for your kids?

I created a printable Age Appropriate Chores List that you can implement when creating your chore chart!

 Instant Gratification Chore Charts | free printable chore chart | list chores by age for kids | how to manage kid chores


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      1. Wow Heather – this is the first time I have seen comment wars on your stuff.!!!
        As usual I love your suggestions and your printables. Thank you for what you do.

      1. Hi Heather, Where can I find the ‘few more ideas’ you spoke about, please? I saw this posted SOMEWHERE and am so happy to have re-found you! great great idea.
        Thanks Teri

  1. The problem with this is that reinforcement works best at variable intervals. Randomly rewarding the kids for chores that you have agreed upon as part of life is more effective and more resistant to extinction (boredom and failing to perform chores). Wikipedia has a lot of info about reinforcement including reward schedules. Just because something is “working” doesn’t mean it’s going to work in the long run (1) for this situation or (2) for the life they will be expected to adhere to as adults in college or the workplace.

    1. Candice, I think each family has to find what works best for them. I am sure my little “system” won’t work for every child. I even see a difference between my 3 boys…2 of them are much more motivated than the third. The third, will skip days here and there because he is simply, a bit more lax and doesn’t care if he only make $4 in a week instead of $5.

      My boys also do lots of things around our house that are not on the chore chart. These things, such as emptying the dishwasher, setting the table, folding laundry, helping with dinner, etc, are things that just simply need to get done because they are members of our home. A simple “thank-you”, hug and kiss work well with my boys for those kind of chores.

      1. Thanks for the idea! I wonder if making it an all or nothing reward would make your youngest son dedicated every day. Let him see the cash in the envelope go in everyday, but if he skips out on one day that week he gets nothing. He might get to Wednesday and not “feel” like doing his chores but won’t want to lose the money he already earned. Or it can backfire if his lazy day was Monday:)

  2. What is “free throws?” Are some of your blankets imprisoned? Or do they shot basketball baskets? Just curious?

    1. So funny…I guess I should explain the “free throws”! My boys all play basketball, and in the summer they each head outside to practice free throws on the basketball hoop. So technically, they don’t get “paid” to practice their free throws, but we put it on their list so that they remember to do each day!

  3. Well… as a parent educator of 12+ years with a masters degree in family studies, I disagree with this approach. It might work in the short term to get the chores done but what are the long term things kids are learning? That they only help out around the house when they get paid. We want out kids to do chores because they are a productive and valued member of the family, not a privileged guest. Do mom and dad get paid for doing chores? No, so neither should the kids. Extra stuff (washing windows and cars, etc.) yes. Daily chores like garbage, dishes, lawn mowing, no. And allowance is not tied to chores either. Allowance, or we call it pocket change or spending money, is given to help kids learn about money and pay for their own things. Of course if they don’t do their chores and I have to, then they can also pay me. Do we really want to raise kids who are all about instant gratification? In my opinion, that’s one of the things that’s wrong with our society right now.

    1. Lisa- Hopefully you were able to read my comment above. You’ll notice that my kids don’t get paid for everything that is expected of them. I agree, that if they only got paid to help out with things around the house, then this would teach them nothing in the long run. BUT, my boys have many other things they do that don’t come with a price tag. We try to have a healthy balance of both in our home!

      1. Lisa may have all the education in the world but she obviously didn’t truly read what you posted or she didn’t comprehend. Some people are so full of themselves and “their knowledge” they haven’t a clue. Your idea is excellent and I wish I had thought of it when I had young children. I see my kids are sharing it on facebook so hope they also use it. Thank you. Jean.

    2. Lisa, I disagree with you. I have seven kids. Four are adults and three in training to be adults. This method works fine. While I may not have a masters degree in family studies I DO have a PhD in being a mom. I have home educated for 22 years. I have seen how kids turn out to be adult in all types of situations. What you may not think will work is exactly as you stated… your opinion. You simply can not state how “educated” you are as an argument to another families method of child rearing. If simple book knowledge led to perfection we would have a very educated society.

      1. You seem a bit silly. I think it’s easy to see that you do not agree with her approach and like to throw around your education as means to bullying your way into being respected. I have no doubt that you also commonly remind the people around you just how valued you should be with your accomplishments. If Lisa had a plate of fresh cookies for you, I’m sure she’s let you have every single one for all your valiant efforts in educating yourself. Would you like a cookie? Have you ever successfully changed a person’s mind with this approach, or did you just have a bad day? Are you posing that there is one single approach that is successful, being yours, and the others are inferior?

        1. Ahhh.
          No, you are not saying there is one approach. You’ve seen many – and hers just doesn’t fit the bill.
          Even better. What you may have learned is ALSO a result of a person/ persons opinions with the financial backing to research it. You know as well as anyone else that there is evidence to support anything you wanted to hear. Or not hear. I don’t think you replied to be constructive at all and I’m frustrated more at myself for caring about your senseless and destructive attitude. I’m surprised in all the years of ‘education’ that you weren’t properly taught the technique of delivery.

        2. Oh and I see you coming on here and spilling your 2 cents means something. Get over yourself, no one cares what you think.

    3. I always felt the same about paying kids for chores–but also about simply giving kids money for existing (allowance). I don’t do either one, and I have systems that work for my kids. I don’t think giving them money for existing teaches them anything better than giving them money for actually working would teach. If I were to give my kids money on some kind of schedule, I think it would be better tied to work than not. Heather’s system wouldn’t work at my house but since the kids have a mix of paid chores and non-paid chores, I suspect her kids are learning that there’s a connection between work and payoff (a good lesson) as well as that it’s important to contribute to your community (another good lesson).

    4. Wow, Lisa! So you are okay with your children getting “pocket money” for nothing but not with kids earning money for chores (aka their “job”)? And just how does that help them “learn about money and pay for their own things”? Unless your kids are going to live off of government handouts, no one is going to give them money as an adult to spend as they please. I agree that instant gratification is a problem in our society but this system is really more of an accountability system (kids accountable to do daily chores and parents accountable to pay them for the chores.) They are still waiting 2 weeks to divvy the money up, so it isn’t truly instant. And, as has already been pointed out, they don’t get paid for everything they do. There is plenty that they contribute to the household simply because they are members of the household. You are simply more proof that having a piece of paper saying you are an expert doesn’t make it true.

      1. You have no place to tell her shes wrong your an idiot you you seem like a very arrogant person. Very shallow to… but my opinion clearly wont do anything because if your like that to every person you talk too you must be told stuff like that all of the time. You thing that “piece of paper” yet she actually worked very hard for that “piece of paper” and your audacity to say “doesn’t make it true” is yet to prove that you also must not have gone to college. which i don’t know if you have or not im just kinda assuming and going off my opinion on that. However you cant exactly say that the paper she worked very very hard for means that she can have proper job to provide for her family. it means she can actually be an important person in society. It means she can be helpful to people. but okay you can have your opinion its a right.

    5. Lisa, I think you missed the part about Saturday chores not being paid chores, because they are expected to do some things just because they’re part of the family. I think this is a very balanced approach. It teaches them work/reward and responsible spending/allocation of monetary reward, as well as letting them know that families take care of each other just because, since they don’t receive money for everything. (Mother of 5, educator of them all)

    6. Number one, the kids don’t get the money immediately. They can see that it goes in their envelope, but they don’t immediately get the dollar to do with as they please. At the end of two weeks, they receive their “wages” for these chores.

      Number two, kids who are too young to hold actual paying jobs outside the home are not too young to learn the relationship between doing a job and getting paid for it. Families can handle this differently, but I can see this method really working with some kids. (It wouldn’t have worked for me when I was a kid, because I just wouldn’t have cared if I got the money or not; but my sister would have thrived on it.)

      1. I do something sort of the same. I make a chore list and give each one a list of chores to do each day and on Sunday morning I give each of them their allowance at which time they give their tith to the church and the rest is put away and saved until???? I want mine to learn to save money and spend it on something they really want and not just one candy or junk… my Grandkids range in age from 8 – 11 and there are 4 of them. I do not believe in just handing out money when kids do not earn it. Durning school there are still chores which do lighten up but in its place then there is grades. You want to earn you allowance then you bring home good grades each week. And I do check off the chores they do as far as holding any back thus far I have probably should have but in the end I have to say each one of them manage to find other things to do that may not be on their lists. And as long as they have done their very best I will not keep their allowance from them I will just show them how to do it right for the next time. But I love the idea here if I can figure out how to attach stuff to it and love the age appropiate chore lists.

  4. When I open the chore chart in Drive, it is View Only. Can you tell me how to edit the document for my family? Am I doing something wrong? Thanks!

    1. If you go to File then Make A Copy it will open up a new spreadsheet that you can type in, that is what worked for me anyways. Good luck!!

  5. Heather,

    Thank you for this idea. I have 2 boys, ages 3 and 6. They have daily, every day, jobs they do because they live in our house and are part of our family. But, learning how to do good work for good pay is an important lesson, too. As is the fact that they don’t get to keep every penny of their hard earned money as an adult. I have been trying to come up with ways to teach my kids the value of money and the work that goes into earning it. Because my boys are so little, the instant payment works better for them because they don’t remember 2 weeks down the line. I am very excited to implement this system. Thank you again!

    1. I hope this works for your boys, Daisy! I wish I would have started it when my boys were younger! My boys, now ages 13, 11 and 10, didn’t start earning money until about 2 years ago.

  6. As a mom to 7, all grown now, I think this is a wonderful idea!! It teaches the children that they have to ‘go to work’ every day and do the work their bosses expect of them in order to get paid. Ask any employer now days and you will hear all about how hard it is to find workers who will show up for work everyday and do the work that is expected of them as part of their job. This also teaches responsibility. You don’t do the job to the bosses expectations, you don’t get paid. This is very similar to what I did with my children. We had a notebook for each child with the job descriptions written in it. The older kids rotated by the week, and got paid on Dad’s payday. They did have the option of paying their siblings to do their chores for them, but then they didn’t get paid. They all have worked since high school and have attended college. Their employers love them. This method does work! People are always asking us our secrets to raising responsible children.

    1. Thanks, Kristi, SO MUCH for sharing! It’s so encouraging to hear from other moms who have “been there and done that”! I love hearing that your kids are valued by their employers! Currently, this is the kind of feedback I get from my boy’s teachers. I know what I am teaching them at home is carried over at school, and others notice this! Someday their employers will too.

  7. Maybe I overlooked it when I read, but do the kids earn $1 a day as they finish their entire list? So all 5 or 6 items are completed before they earn the dollar? I just want to be clear. Or is it $1 per item?

  8. I LOVE this idea. My boys definitely need instant gratification. Unfortunately, I do not trust my sons well enough to leave REAL $ in the pockets. I have photo copied bills in black/white. They turn them in for real $ on Fridays.
    Also, they conned me into $2/day if they complete AM & PM tasks during the school year. I was able to find $2bills on Ebay, which the boys thing are really cool. But if they only complete a portion (good attitude a MUST), then they only get $1.
    Crossing my fingers that this system lasts awhile. As with all chore charts, it only works if the adults sticks to it firmly. As the kids get older, the stakes need to be raised, or they will get bored & stop trying.
    Thanks for the Great idea

    1. Haha.. we have “coins” for $1 and $2 here in Canada.. BIG ones.. so I’m either gonna have to get an industrial strength envelope (or pony up for $5) šŸ™‚

      1. LOL Eukaable! You could do Amanda’s idea of photocopied money that they trade in for real money at the end of the week šŸ˜€

      2. Yes! Eukaable, I hear you!!
        I have spent the weekend trying to come up with a way to attach Loonies to a file folder!
        Welcome to Canada šŸ™‚
        I think the photocopied $$ is a great solution, as my kids would also scoop those coins the moment they saw them. Also, we aren’t ready to pay them $1 a day yet, (they are 4 and 6) so it solves two problems.

        1. I have small ziplock style bags that are made for jewelry and are the perfect size for coons. You can staple the bag to the folder as “a pocket” and insert a coin for each day.

    2. You can also get $2 at any bank – and at face value. Don’t know if they cost extra on Ebay, but I’m betting they probably did.

    3. you can order $ 2 bills at most major banks. They don’t always have them on hand but if you ask a banker they will get them for you usually within a few days.

      FYI- I too am an educator of 12+ years with a masters degree in child development. My real accomplishment is MOM . I think this is a great idea and it is not instant gratification. They have to wait two weeks to spend the money. So they need to plan and possibly budget for something big. I am in the classroom and struggle daily with kids wanting something because they just do. This is a great way to teach responsibility and I love the folder management piece. It may not work forever and you may need to change it up as they get older. I love that you own and do not falter from “this works for me and my family”. A variation in our family is I now right the chores on sticky notes. Some chores are valued slightly higher. ( dog poop ) Each of my three children need to pick 4 chores a day. In theory each chore is worth a quarter if all four are done. But similarly it is all or nothing. If all four chores are done then you get the 1$ however , if you chose a 1+ chore you can bank your pluses and when you get to four you earn a bonus dollar. It helps with the not so favorite chores and when my preteen knows there is a movie he wants to see he usually chooses all plus chores.

  9. I find it ironic that I’m at my wits end with my son and decide to try this out, I noticed that our sons gave the same names (except Cole). Thanks for posting this idea.

  10. I love this and am excited to give this a try this summer. I love being organized (or at least trying to be) and have tried a lot of things that my kids (currently 9, 8, and 5) get bored with easily. We don’t give our kids an allowance but lately they have been asking how they can earn some extra bucks! I’m curious though – do your daily tasks change much? I definitely have some that I just EXPECT them to do because they are part of our family – but I’m thinking it wouldn’t hurt to put it on the chart as a reminder during the summer. What are your “expected” family tasks? Any chance you can post some more of your tasks (besides your summer list?)

    On another note (because it sounds like you have some awesome kids) – do you have any tips/tricks for behavior and getting along? Seems the fighting increases in the summer as well. I did “good deed” punches last year that worked pretty well – but am always looking for new ideas too.

    Thanks for sharing this neat idea!

    1. Please share your good deeds idea. My 10 and 5 year old are going to be the death if me if they don’t start getting along! Thank you in advance!

      1. You can try the fill my bucket theory. There is a book called Fill a Bucket: A Guide to Daily Happiness for the Young Child
        Carol McCloud

        the book is great and I use the idea. Each morning I get hugs from my kids, wanted or not, 9, 12. 141/2, that makes me feel good so I give them 5 rocks to whatever is left at the end of the day before. If they are fighting, not being nice , or even rude to each other they loose a rock or two. It is better to get rocks then to loose them. The more rocks the better it is for them. fill your childs internal bucket with rewards when they reach a certain number of rocks.

        If that doesn’t work- you can always try old school. My sisters and I laugh about grandma’s chairs and we are in our 40’s. I have three sisters. So you can imagine what kinds of arguments four sisters could drum up. We were only asked once to please stop arguing and work out our “issues” quietly. If grandma heard us- which she often did. We had to sit in the chairs. My grandmother would sit us down in two kitchen table chairs so close our knees touched. We were no aloud to turn our bodies. She would then simple walk away and tell us to work it out. Within minutes we were usually laughing at each other or making funny faces. A few times grandma forgo to tell us we could get up and it is those bonding conversations that I still remember.

        Good luck.

        1. i love it!! We are going to have to try the chairs this summer (although I have to admit we have made our boys hug each other until they were ready to get along…it usually doesn’t take too long, since they prefer not to stand around and hug their brother!}!

        2. We do this with popcorn kernels. We picked up a couple of cute metal buckets in the One Spot at Target and use a tablespoon. I love Bucket Filling! šŸ™‚

    2. I think that because the kids are together all day long all summer the fighting/arguing definitely increases! One thing that I have found important is to be sure that my boys get some alone time everyday.

      My kids have to read at least 30 min. a day (we always participate in our local library’s summer reading program)..they typically get this done at some point in the afternoon. They will each head to their own room hang out and read for a while. A little break from each other at this point of the day is refreshing for everyone!

      1. I’ve noticed that some people just like to piss and moan because apparently they have nothing better to do or hate it that someone else came up with a way to motivate their kids. I however appreciate any ideas to motivate my kids. I do foster kids now and then and I think it’s a great way to reward them for their participation. Thanks for the cool tip. I will be making my folders tomorrow.

  11. I love this idea! I’m goingto try it out this summer with my kiddos! Just an fyi, your local bank will have $2 bills. I’d hate to see anyone spending extra money on shipping to get something off of eBay when they are widely available. My kids love any kind of “uncommon” money….The gold dollar coins, fifty cent pieces, Buffalo nickels, anything different.

  12. I have no idea why people have to say this is a bad idea/feel need to disagree with your publicly– people can be so rude! You have shared a wonderful idea and what works your family. If you don’t think it will work for your family, keep your opinions to yourself and move on— I for one will try this idea– thanks for sharing! Just found your blog and am glad that I did! Keep it up.

  13. To the “educated” educator above. Just to be clear, you don’t pay your kids to do chores so you basically give them “money for nothing” (because that happens in the real world!) then when you have to do THEIR chores, your kids pay you with your own money? So who’s EARNING money from whom? Seems like you are working for the same dollar twice, maybe study economics next time…

  14. As a mom that is the only one working in our family right now, and working at min. wage for a daycare,I don’t have extra $$ for chores so I think I could create “mom money” that they could use to purchase fun activities or buy back toys that were removed from their room because of not cleaning up!

    1. I think that is an awesome idea, Jenny!! Thanks for sharing your small budget idea. Even if you aren’t on a small budget, this idea would work too! It’s fabulous!

    2. For a school year my children, ages 6 & 8, had a daily checklist. Each item was worth a certain amount of points. Some were character issues we were working on like no complaining about schoolwork or being intentional and doing something extra helpful. Others were tied to chores or schoolwork like finishing up schoolwork by a certain time. Each point was worth one minute of screen time for video games, tv, or iPad. They could earn no more than 30 points each day to be used that day. The previous year I did something similar but used poker chips and they would pay me however much screen time they wanted that day but had the option of saving them for the weekend if they wanted to have a movie night. Now that we have developed good habits the checklist isn’t really necessary anymore.

    3. That is a brilliant idea! They still get the lesson of pulling their weight, the value of work, and earning rewards. Some things they could earn could include picking their favorite (homemade) meal one night a week, or picking the game the family plays on Game Night, a trip to the library, a chance to check out a special movie from the library… the possibilities are endless!

  15. We already have something similar in place. I have 5 children, 4 of which are old enough to participate. My problem is as you stated, remembering to pay them or them keeping track of what they earned. I can’t wait to revamp our system so it works better! Oh and I have a degree in education as well as many psych classes under my belt and I think this idea is wonderful! Not every educated person is truly educated, especially when it comes to parenting. There is not such a thing as a perfect parent. It’s all trial and error. You find what works best for your family! Thanks again for you great ideas!

    1. My kids aren’t exactly 7 and 4 but here is what my 6 and 18 month old chores are: 6 yr old is expected to clean room daily, clothes in hamper, pick up back yard toys sticks rocks on mow day, wipe table after meals and rinse her dishes. (Would probably have unload dishwasher and pick up bathroom but my older kids have those). 18 month old is expected to pick up toys and belongings and put them where they go(toys in box, clothes in hamper, she also helps me do the laundry). For a 4 year old I would add in a few more things helping you with your daily chores, moving objects to sweep, pulling weeds, putting things where you ask(mail into holder, towels onto shelf or anything left on counters that you can hand and tell where it goes).

  16. This actually seems misnamed as gratification is delayed within the chore system, but the children have tangible evidence of their chores daily, and parents don’t forget to provide the reward. (For older children, maybe 7 and up).

  17. this sounds like a great idea. for some reason the chorse are kida hard for me to pick from pay and no pay. besides the list you put up already for us. do you have more and which ones you would pay for and which ones they are just responsible for. my kids are 15 yrs old and 12 yr old.

  18. I love the idea, but I think I will use Monopoly money or make my own money that they can trade in for cash. I don’t like having money sitting around like that, and it’s to tempting for kids to sneak a buck or too and blame it on each other. I will be doing this for sure, thanks for sharing.


  19. Please take no offence to my words as I am just a dad that has a big mouth. This has got to be the most absurd idea that I have seen in a long time. I would rank this right up there with letting one’s children draw and color on the walls in order to let them “express themselves”. In a world of children who are growing up with an entitlement complex, this type of behavior is going to compound that and create monsters in the work place. I am a gen x’r who has experience dealing with the millennials and their need for instant gratification. Don’t take to much credit for your idea as it is not as original as you might think. I believe that you too are a millennial falling back on the only thing that you know. You are a product of the Walmart, “I need it now” genre and this is a quick “i need it now” answer to a problem that will cause you nothing but grief as the children grow older. I view it as a failure on the parents part to prepare the child for real world, harsh <OMG! realities like managing money and the reality that you have to do work in large quantities to be paid on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis. Ask one of our Uniformed hero's if they would lay down their weapon because they didn't get paid for that day….NOT! A child should be responsible for their portion of chores (at a reasonable age) without compensation. My children have chores that are expected of them and if they would like to earn money then there are chores that are always available to them to earn money with compensation commensurate of the time invested and the quality of the end result. So, there you have my opinionated opinion..I'm sure I will breed some contempt with my words…that is normal for me but I am a retired veteran who fought for the freedom to do just that. Splendid greetings to all who wish wish to take part in my grumpy rhetoric. šŸ™‚

    1. Concerned Dad Veteran, thank you for your service.

      The problem with your logic is that every job comes with exactly what this woman is teaching her children:
      1 – There is money set aside for you if you perform your expected duties
      2 – If you don’t perform your duties, or perform them poorly, you are “fired” (in this case, they don’t get the dollar)

      Why this is, and i quote, “the most absurd idea that I have seen in a long time” as described by you is beyond me.

      If you didn’t perform your basic duties would you be dismissed with benefits or without? As workers, we should be willing to perform our expected duties ‘pro bono’? In the real world are people paid only for doing things that are beyond their initial set of responsibilities?

      In families, can’t we teach children how the real world works by
      1 – setting a clear list of expectations and
      2 – listing the returns that come from performing adequately those expectations?

      This idea works well for some families and won’t work for others (like yours, apparently). But what I can see from this post is that the mother is teaching their children that money earned must be saved and spent wisely. Also, they are taught that Sunday should be a special day where we rest and regain our energies for the week. Finally, they are expected to give back to the community (via tithing). That sounds like a great lesson that even older generations need to learn or be reminded of.

      1. Fair enough Khan…you are correct that it won’t work for everyone but the absurdity does not lye within this mother’s process it lye within promoting instant gratification above and beyond the reckless levels that we endure already. Yes indeed if you insist on stating the obvious please let me humor you for a moment. (but just a moment) Do your work or get fired..do what’s expected of you and get paid, go above and beyond get paid extra…no not necessarily get noticed, get a promotion..perhaps…learning that hard work perpetuates success success..I say YES!
        So let me help you think what is, and I quote “beyond me” <good choice of words BTW. The (once again) obvious answer to above listed 1 & 2 is why yes…yes we can. But with that comes the responsibility to teach preparedness for the real life disappointments. Instant gratification is a farce, fad, misleading. I will concede that there are valuable lessons here but I caution those who choose this method to be wary of the slippery slope. I predicted misconception so congratulations for driving that band wagon..AND there are more ways than one to give back to community than money. while money is indeed needed so are strong backs with work ethics that require less "instant gratification" and more heart felt hard work with an expectation that it is the right thing to do therefore you need not compensate me. Rock on Khan!

        1. Concerned Dad–
          No need to be too concerned about my kids or our system… Not sure if you had the chance to read through the whole post, but the “instant gratification” part is actually delayed…

          As I mentioned, if my kids do their “paid” (remember…I also mentioned that they have lots of UNpaid, expected chores on a daily and weekly basis that must be done because they are members of our family that works together) chores, the dollar that they earn goes in the envelope on the front of their folder (so the instant part is feeling gratified that they earned the money that day). It isn’t until the end of TWO weeks that they actually get they money.

          At this point, they could have earned $10…10% goes to church, 40% goes to savings and they walk away with $5. That’s all $5 for two weeks. And then, if they want to go to a movie with friends, buy a slushie at the ball field, or get an app on itunes, etc it’s their money they have to spend. No handouts from mom and dad. This teaches them to make a decision. Is that $5 King Kona Slushie from the slushie truck is really worth 2 weeks of work? hmmm.

          Lessons are being learned. This is real life on their level.

          1. Perfectly said. I absolutely love this idea and will be doing this for my 9 y.o. Thank you for posting!

    2. Concerned Dad – I just wanted to say thank you for your service – and for all of the freedoms you have helped to protect – including our ability to say what we think on this contraption called the internet. My husband is also a retired Veteran. šŸ™‚ While it was immensely difficult being the one left behind with all the responsibilities of raising our children and trying so hard to do it right and do it well – I never had to leave them. Never had to walk away and say goodbye and not kiss them goodnight. So thank you for all of the sacrifices you’ve made for our country – and to your family.
      Much love!

  20. Someone asked about chores for littles: My chore-aged kids are 12, 9, 6 &3. The littlest one empties the silverware and tupperware from the dishwasher, puts away folded clothes in the correct drawers, folds towels, takes recycling to the bin, empties the smaller trashcans on trash day into the bigger kitchen can, picks up his room and straightens his bed. The 6yo sorts laundry (light & dark) starts the washing machine, switches laundry to dryer, folds & puts away his clothes, empties the dishwasher (uses a stool), vacuums, wipes down the bathroom sink and exterior of toilet, changes his sheets, supervises that toys are put away in the right bin (toy police) and helps the 12yo take trash down to the street on trash day. We do homeschool though, so we have time for lots of chores that other kids may not. I am an executive level manager here!

    1. Thank you for the ideas for little chores! I have a 4 kids…..6, 4, 1, and newborn. I never know if what I am assigning them is TOO much for their age, or if they are just being lazy. My 1 year old empties the silverware from the dishwasher (after I have taken the sharp objects out) and LOVES to sort it in the drawer! I just have to make sure to keep it closed when everything is dirty or she tries to put those away too!

  21. I would just like to comment on all the negative comments on this site. If you don’t like this idea then why are you commenting. What are you trying to accomplish here? Is your purpose to create hostility? Are you trying to prove a point? This woman is simply sharing an idea that she felt has helped her in her home. Teaching your kids to work for money is something that is NOT done enough in this world today. Lisa you have clearly stated that there are chores that your children do that are simply just because they leave under your roof. I think that is great too! As a parent I want my child to be able to earn money, and by earn I mean do something to deserve it, and to earn it now while they are young. I think your system would help children to understand that you don’t get money for free and for nothing. Teaching this is a valuable skill that is much needed in today’s world. Kids in general think they are “entitled” to everything. I think your system sounds like a great idea! Thanks for sharing this! I’ll have to try this out!

  22. This idea seems great with some tweaking for my boys! Mine are 5&6 and we are at the beginning of homeschooling. My oldest has been asking for a list to be able to check off as he completes his daily routine. I think I will start with play money for now, since we also have a “left it out, earn it back” box for toys and the money is smaller, not a problem if lost, perfect for money lessons, etc.

    Question: How do I keep them from waiting until the end of the day to do their chores? Most of chore time is in the morning, but we have a major procrastination issue here in our home! Long term I know that I will need to culture time management, but my younger still has little concept of time and consequence. I don’t want them trying to do everything at bedtime just so they won’t miss out on their earning.

    1. I give my kids a to-do list of schoolwork and chores. They can do it in any order they like but it must be done to mommy-satisfaction before any freetime is had. No screen time or outdoor time until the list is done. The littler kids have a picture list and the olders have written. This lets them tackle what they want how they want. Aome of my kids do what they hate first. Some do what they like first. I guide them (Honey maybe we should tackle math now since you just had breakfast and are ready to go) but I also let them mess up and be stuck inside doing work.while everyone else plays… and “principal Daddy” backs me up by enforcing the work if they don’t do it. (Each kid no more than twice has needed it. Detention is not fun, lol!)

      1. That’s great! Thank you for sharing your experience. I do already have established with my 6yo that he has to school work in the morning before play, so I will have to incorporate that and enforce better. Dad is Principal in our house, too! No one wants to have to talk to him on the phone while he is at work, lol, that means BIG trouble! šŸ˜‰

    2. Rachel-
      On school days, my kids don’t typically have much time in the morning to get their chores done, so they typically do them after school when their homework is done. I do expect that if it is their turn to empty the dishwasher, they make enough time in the morning (all of 5 extra minutes) so that I don’t have dirty dishes on my counter all day!

      In summer, they know that after breakfast they don’t get any electronics until chores are done. They are on an “honor” system of letting me know when they are done. Here’s where the money part comes in…I don’t typically check to see if they got everything done until around dinner time. So if they told me everything was done, but I checked and they either skipped something on their list, had an incomplete job or a job was not done well, they don’t get to take their $1 for the day.

      Your kiddos are still young enough, that they might need a little guidance about making a good decision on when is the best time to get chores done!

    3. If you’ve scheduled chore time, how about setting a timer when it starts?
      Put it somewhere in the house where it’s really visible and they have to pass by it while doing their chores (so they’ll see it)… But I only ever got motivated to do something when we were playing beat the clock or something similar. (You have xxx minutes to do ___)…

      Or you could just outright say “we’re doing chores now, anything not done by a certain time doesn’t count”

  23. Wow I love this idea and I am going to try it! And that’s great the so many ppl chimed in with their opinions and all but I saw quite a few posts of ppl throwing their weight around while putting down this idea. Every child is different and every family is different. No need to put down an idea shared by someone that may actually work for other people as well.

  24. I seen this on Facebook and love the idea. Really think it’ll help my kids, 6years and 5 years. But I can’t edit the chore chart. Anyone help me? I’m thinking about doing different rewards alongside money. One week do money, next week do coupons or a surprise.

  25. Heather- I love the creativity! Ignore the ole grumpy ones here! Our kiddos are blessed with parents like you- and so many on here! Teaching them and making memories at the same time! They’ll be well-rounded! Kudos to you! I’m going to give this a try this summer!!thanks for sharing!!

  26. Hi Heather! I love this idea – but not for my kids – for myself! My “kids” are all grown now, and I’m a grandma to 11. But I’m trying to establish some new healthy daily habits for myself and your little chart filled with dollar bills would be a great and fun motivator! Thank you!

  27. Well I was reading the comments above when it went south. I just want to say I am a mom of a 15, 13 and 8 year old. My 8 year old is special needs resulting in a lot of time needed in her daily care. So this to me was brilliant. I honestly don’t have the time to stay on top of my kids. I like the idea of them getting paid for keeping up with some daily chores and then there are chores that are just part of being part of the family (i.e. mowing the yard, helping keep the garage neat, sweeping, mopping and vacuuming) So my husband and I are implementing the system just in time for summer break. We are starting out at a dollar a day, but after four weeks depending on their performance and keeping their motivation up they will get a raise. We will add a dollar to Friday. Then down the road we will revisit for another raise and if we see they earned it, we will add another dollar to Thursday. We figured to the end of the week rather than the beginning. Hoping to teach perseverance through the whole week. And my husband and I are also discussing bonuses. My husband makes bonuses at work and we are going to teach them about it too. I understand the part about they should do chores no matter what, but I got paid an allowance and I had to do stuff around the house to get it. I am now a neat freak mom about her house and have turned into an organized nut. My kids make fun of me because my shirts are color coordinated in my closet. I think it teaches kids about jobs and keeping their home clean and neat. I will admit I was a slob once I hit high school and now I am not. Thanks for this great system and I look forward to seeing how it turns out. My boys saw me working on the folders yesterday and they are intrigued.

    1. I am glad you are going to take the idea and adapt it to make it work for your family, Cheri! There were so many controversial comments, and I think that some of those that were made were clearly made by people who didn’t read the WHOLE post to understand that my kids don’t get paid for everything they do. Like you mentioned, there are many things they do just because it is “expected”. And, looking back, maybe “instant gratification” wasn’t the best wording for the chore chart?…really, they don’t get to do their chores, grab their buck and run…they don’t have access to their money for 2 weeks because it goes in the envelope on the front of their folder.

      Thanks for taking the time to read the whole post and sharing. I’ll be curious to know how it works our for your family!

  28. I don’t believe that children should be paid to fulfill their responsibility as a family member: keeping room clean, helping with “chores”. With four daughters, I devised a moveable chart that rotated 4 chores like setting table, emptying dishwasher, etc.; each “chore” was for a week. If the assigned person was unable or unavailable to to their respective chore, it was their responsibility to ask someone else to do it for them – it did not become mine. As they got older other ‘chores’ like laundry, cleaning etc. were included. It worked because we worked as a family (can even work with one or two children). They did not get paid for doing this. They did, however, get an allowance which included specific designations (church collection, organizational dues) with enough left to either save or spend as they chose (how they used this was a learning opportunity as well).

  29. I like the balance of paid and non-paid chores. I also like the ideas in the comments about using fake money to be replaced with real money at the end of the week. I could very easily write them a check in exchange for the fake money and take them to the bank each week than to remember to get cash (since I rarely use it myself). This would also prevent them from sneakily spending money they shouldn’t. I think with my older kids there has to be a transition to non-instant gratification or learning lessons with their first actual jobs since that doesn’t typically exist in a real life job.

  30. Thanks for sharing! We are going to try it this summer, it is a little different from what we did last summer and my boy was excited about it when I showed him the idea.

  31. Sharing ideas that work for your family is fun and important. In the “good old days” neighbors shared over coffee, fences and when watching the kids play outside. It is hard to do this now with busy days. Shared ideas can help families manage different challenges . “Experts” don’t know what will work for you, friends offer so much more!

    1. You are so right, Susan! With texting, emailing and constant communication always at our fingertips, we have lost the “art” or simply stopping by someone’s house for no reason, planning coffee dates and socializing over dinner in our homes. So all the comments are a great way to get feedback, filter through and decide what works best for your kids & family!

  32. Great idea but do you think it will work with 15 year olds? They do their chores just not regularly or in what I feel to be a timely manner, so I would like to do sort of a get it done with out being asked more than once and get the money idea??? not sure – I need to think this one through so wish I had thought of this a few years ago, this so would have worked when they were a bit younger. Now that my 3 are older I have laminated chore lists, ie clean bathrooms with clear explanation of what is expected (for example clean the toilet inside and out above and below and don’t forget behind the toilet. The tub is apart of the bathroom and so on). I broke the house into 6 sections and they each take two for the week so if your too busy today then ok to do it tomorrow just get it done by Friday idea. As worked well gives me time to do all the extras windows, woodwork, ect.). Now that they are in high school they generally can only do One card a week and I do the others but they still get to chose and if your first to pick you get the job u want. Sometimes I don’t mind knowing what’s expected from myself as well! Hahaha

    Why must there be negative comments don’t like the idea move on!!

    1. Jackie- I think this would work well with 15 year olds. I know I mentioned in another comment that my kids are 13, 11 and 10 and I never paid my kids until last summer. They are at the point where they want things that are “wants” and not “needs”. I am not one to just buy my kids “wants”. So the fact that they can have some spending money and decide how to use it is important. If they want to see a movie with friends or buy a snack at the ball park, they have to use their money…so implementing the paid chores at this age, to our family, has been more valuable than at a younger age.

  33. That’s what is wrong with the world today, everyone wants instant gratification. Give them incentive, don’t bribe them, take away things they like, they’ll learn if they want to play there are things that need to be done first, when you become an adult there is not much instant gratification in many things. You are just teaching the kids there is reward in everything, and really there is not. That’s just bad parenting imho.

  34. I have never given my children money for their chores. But also my ex-husband wouldn’t allow chores to be done by my girls. He expected me to do everything along with work. Since we have left, the girls now have daily chores and I am always reminding them. And of course he said that I have turned them into Cinderella. Sometimes now when I am at work the chores never get done, mainly because “they forgot” or their father told them over the phone they don’t have to do that stuff. I remind them, and him, that not only do they have chores because they live in the house too but also because they are teens and need to learn how to take care of themselves and a household for when they move out. Mom is not going to be able to take care of three households at that timeframe. And not only because of those reasons, but it is a part of living. Nobody wants to live like a slob. I love this idea of setting up an instant gratification chart. It will also help in the fact that I do have those moments of feeling guilty that they are doing dishes everyday and I am not. But having a chart like this I can add on the new things to their list, especially since it will be summer vacation in 3 days. Granted my oldest will be extremely busy with marching band, but that part I can work around. I am thinking instead of the daily pay, make it a Saturday chore pay. When I was growing up we did Saturday morning chores and daily chores, we never got an allowance. That is one of the reasons I never paid my kids, but I also try to buy them little things when we go to the store as somewhat of a payment for getting their chores done during the week along with keeping up with their homework. it is never an expensive item, sometimes candy as they have their sweet tooth. This chart I feel is a great idea and will give my teens their extra spending cash they want along with teaching them how to save their money for whatever item they are begging for that week. Wonderful idea and I will be keeping up with all your new ideas as my daughters get a little older before they move out. I so want them to not only learn the value of a dollar, but also learn all the rest of the expectations that are required of them when they are a member of society. or even a member in their own household.

  35. I have seen many versions of chore charts over the years and was always looking for something that would work with my now 19yo (she no longer lives at home, so cest la vie). Luckily my 12yo is amazingly easy to manage. Now – personally, I have never liked the idea of paying for chores. My husband and I have always decided that one’s “payment” for chores is a roof over their heads, food in their bellies, and a place in this loving family. We do chores because it’s our job to do so. Mom and dad don’t get paid to do chores. In fact, we have to spend our hard earned dollars to pay for the “privilege” of having a home that requires chores! If they “want” something or “want” money – they have to earn it. And they do that by performing tasks that are outside their scope of responsibility in the home – clean MY bathroom and I’ll pay you (I truly hate cleaning bathrooms!) Wash MY car (it’s not theirs, they don’t drive). Both of my kiddos are amazing can/bottle collectors and turn their finds in for recycle money. My oldest babysat starting at 12. My young one will be taking her babysitting courses this summer. They have to work hard for what they want AND do their chores AND stay current with their studies. THAT, to me, is the reality of life. You DO have to do it all. It is what it is. And I honestly despise the idea of instant gratification when it comes to work and money. It’s not realistic, in my opinion. I do appreciate that your system forces them to save and to donate a portion of their earnings. I think that is really valuable. But I also agree with Concerned Dad that donating time and service is more valuable than money. I don’t think we (WE as in EVERYONE – adults and children alike) donate enough of our time and service. We are most concerned about WE – and ME, and I, and US. Which is part of the reason I don’t believe in paying for chores. I want my girls to feel responsible to people other than themselves. I want them to think of others and how their actions affect others and how they can change their actions to affect others in a positive way. I want them to think BEYOND themselves. I’ve been a retail manager for 20 years – and the caliber of people wanting to work has changed over the last two decades. It never occurred to me at any time in my career to call out because I didn’t feel like going to work or had something “come up”. To not show up on time unless there was a valid reason. To not bust my tuchuss every single day because that’s what I was being paid to do. To do the job right the first time. But that is not the work ethic that is present in our society any more. And I have to wonder why. What has changed? What has changed in the lives of our young people that makes them believe that this LACK of work ethic is okay? Is acceptable? Makes me wonder about a lot of things. Now – I do appreciate, so much, that you have taken the time to try and help others with an idea that has worked for you. I think we need more of this! And not every idea will work for every one. Fact. But what really bugs me is not that you use a method that I don’t agree with – because it’s okay for us to not agree – healthy, even, to see things differently. It’s that when people DISAGREE with something – people tell them to shut up – don’t post here if you don’t like it – if you don’t agree, keep it to yourself. PEOPLE – how can we make the world a better place if we have to keep our mouths shut because we disagree? How can we improve things if we can’t speak up? And just because we’re on the internet, faceless behind keyboards and illuminated screens, why is it okay to blast people and be rude? YOU (general you as in people, NOT you, Heather) accuse someone of being rude when they disagree, but are rude to them in return. So…..Heather, I thank you for sharing a piece of your life here on the interwebs šŸ™‚ – and for trying to help some who maybe need some new ideas for how to change things in their families. Even if I don’t agree with the method and worry about the outcomes, I think that you are doing the right thing to make a difference in the world. You are TRYING. And you put yourself out there. And I also thank those who aren’t afraid to voice their opinion even when it’s different and unpopular. Come on, people – BE NICE. A different opinion isn’t mean – or rude – it’s just different. Accept it. Maybe see that differing opinions have as much validity as yours. Try to learn something from someone. Try to see a different point of view.
    And have a beautiful day!
    Signed – G – a mom of 19 years with degrees in MOM, Retail Management/Customer Service, Wife (though some days my grades weren’t as high as I’d like) and Flawed Humanity.

    1. G-
      I appreciate your thoughts and opinions, and I agree…it’s okay for everyone to have and express their own opinions, kindly!

      I, too, agree with Concerned Dad about volunteering–we are thankful that my kids have gotten to do plenty of this over the years and walk away with humbled, happy hearts. This summer my 13 year-old is headed to Colombia, South America for his first over seas experience ministering to those less fortunate than us. I can’t wait to hear about his experiences when he gets back!

  36. I have tried to print your chore chart, but it is a view only file and has silly typo stuff on in under child#1. “dfdfdfdf” etc. Can’t you make a blank one where I can enter my only child’s name, and his chores without wasting that space?

    1. LOL…School’s out tomorrow which means an updated chore chart starting on Monday…I’ll have to be sure to change the text…I’m sure my boys will love that!

  37. I wonder why I can pull up the chart but not alter any of the fields? Any ideas? I will give you a dollar šŸ˜‰

      1. I’m having the same issue with not being able to alter any of the fields. Also, do you have a sample list of chores for each day! I’m so excited to try this. I believe it will be beneficial for our whole family! Thanks for sharing!

  38. Hey there – I feel silly asking this since I’m late to the party AND other people have successfully found it . . . the only link on your page takes me to download a zipper file software. I cannot find the link for the printable at all! Want to get my kids on the right track for their daily chores this summer and you took the picture right out of my head! šŸ™‚

    1. Color me embarrassed! I just found it!! Thanks so much!! (There’s a tricky Google ad in the middle of your page that made it seem like that was the link!!!!)

  39. Thank you for this wonderful idea. My kids just finished school for this year and I am planning on putting these folders together with them Monday. I have a hard time keeping up with my 6 kids and if they do everything and then paying them on payday. I have been working on the envelope system and like how this will work with that as well. I also like how they can do the chores at their own pace during the day. One thing to add is I pay for the Girl/Boy Scouts and sports fees. All the extra (parties, retreats, Chuckie Cheese with friends) comes out of their money. Thanks again.

  40. Love it! I have a five-year-old and a one-year-old, and my older boy LOVES helping out around the house. The idea of having a certain set of chores he gets “paid” to complete daily instead of just handing him an unearned allowance is fantastic. And I have to be amused by the critics who seem to be deliberately misunderstanding and misstating your methods. Your kids will grow up with an appreciation for the value of a dollar and the importance of finishing the job — yes, I can see how we need to avoid adding adults like THAT to our society!

  41. Str8 up…stupid idea…you do chores to build character and to eat the evening meal..they are not farm hands..they are kids..your basically telling them that anything you do you get a instant reward..thats insane.
    See if u get the same results if you tell them you will give tgeir dollars to charity like leave no kid behind or unisef..or children cancer..they will look at you and cry or bitch or complain..if they dont do tgeir chores they dont eat dinner..the boys will grow up with respect and the girls with their legs closed..because they will respect you more…but theres a fine line between chores and letting them be kids..i was pushed over the line a bit and missed a year or 2 of my childhood helping tge family..but damn did it make me a strong individual..my parents also had a tier rating for school grades..for a F i got either no cloths or goodwill D i got yardsale or handme downs C i got walmart B i got outlets andjcpenny for A i got my choice or mall..rewards dont have to be money..thats my 2 cents..if you want more advice email me …ol school values ..ol school advice for the next generation..

  42. This is a great idea. Too all of you Out there saying this won’t work for older kids or for other children. How about instead of bashing here or being just plain rude how about you put some effort into it and modify it to fit your family. I can see that kids are motivated differently. For example one dollar won’t motivate a teenager but getting to go on a date would would or a trip to the mall. Laminate a small card the size or a bill and label it whatever would motivate your child. This really is a legitimate good idea and the fact that on Saturday they have chord that they don’t get paid for is proof that its also about teaching good character. I will be using this once my son is old enough to do chores!

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Delanie!! I definitely agree that each family will have to take the basic idea and run with it…make it fit their family’s needs!

  43. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this!! Started today and my kids were happy to do their chores. I have hand written them because I can only get the list to print in a microscopic version. šŸ™ I have a MAC is that the problem? Can’t figure out how to print them in a larger version. Thanks!

  44. I think this is a wonderful idea. As an educator, one of the things we learned in school was that students need immediate and constant positive reinforcement and that is exactly what this is. I have a 9 year old and a 3 year old and I am definitely going to start this next week. My kids don’t have a list of chores but rather just do things when we ask them to but this will be nice for the daily chores they complete that sometimes go unnoticed. They are kids after all and while they should help out, they have the rest of their lives to clean and do housework for free. I am all for this idea. I especially like how you teach them to save a portion! Thank you for such a great idea. I may even use it in my claim next year.

  45. We kinda have something like this for our son. He’s adhd/odd so at school and home can be a huge problem at times. His teacher has a color chart and if he gets the good colors he gets two dollars for that day, not right away, every two weeks. We tell him school is a job you go to every day. If he gets the bad colors he doesn’t get paid and he has to go to bed early. It has worked for us. This didnt start till half through the year when he got diagnosed. Once it started even his teacher saw an improvement.

  46. I am curious as to your thoughts on how to deal with a ‘stealer’. My oldest son would certainly sneak into his own envelope early, and quite possibly his younger sibling’s as well. Would it be better to just give them each their $1/day? Or do you have any other ideas to keep the earnings safe til payday?

    1. A few people mentioned using “monopoly” type money or some sort of fake money instead of actual dollar bills. This might be a good idea for you, since there would not be much incentive for him to ‘steal’ his money early….he won’t be able to use the fake money to buy anything!

  47. This is such a great post! My husband feels like the kids should get paid “weekly” for chores (even if they are not done). But I feel like there is much around the house that needs to be done as a contributing member of the family. So I love the Saturdays! They get to earn money and contribute, I think there has to be a balance just like adults no we do not get paid to do home tasks. But kids need the option to learn the value of money. And I definitely agree with your 3 percents because if they work at it and never get to spend any they don’t see the value in working to make anything! Great system for our family to give a go!!

  48. Thank you for the fantastic idea. I think because my children are motivated by different things at their ages/stages I will also put vouchers in each pocket for an hour of “screen time” (ipad, wii, etc.) or invite a friend over.

  49. First let me say thank you for writing this. The problem with articles like this is that they are such a small snapshot of a person’s life yet some people assume it reflects everything that is happening or will ever happen in that family. When you are raising children you often have to break life lessons into stages (think learning to get dressed). I think this is a great way to start teaching so many lessons about responsibility. Once a child starts developing good habits it may not be necessary to fill the folder with money each week. Just pay them every two weeks based on the check sheets. At some point a child could be “hired” to take care of one aspect of household maintenance (beyond their expected chores). Since this would look more like a traditional job, they would get to learn more about delayed gratification and fulfilling obligations even when it’s tough. This would transition into working outside the home.

  50. Ithik 5$ dollars a week is not much, by the time they tithe, save, that only leaves @.5o to spend that will not buy much these days,,I think you should give them a raise.

    good idea just to cheap.

  51. A girl and a glue gun had a link to your post here on her Sunday Shout Out – this looks fabulous and I wish I had something like it when my kids were growing up (it would have been grand when I was a kid too!). Since they are all grown and gone, I sent a link to my daughter to use with her daughters. This system would save so much nagging, tears and the sanity of both parents and children.

  52. Someone shared this with me a few weeks back. I FINALLY picked. up a folder today so that we can get started. Our daughter is nine, and all we have ever asked of her is to be a good student and to give 100% of herself to whatever activities she has participated in. She has not just been handed things, but we haven’t asked a lot from her either. In the last few months, since we moved into the “Tweens” we have noticed an increase in her thinking she is just entitled to things. She has ask for some rather large ticket items that I am not willing to just reach into daddy’s paycheck for without her working towards them. We have tried the “Buy this for me now and I will work it off.” deal, but that doesn’t cut it. Add to the fact that we have just gone through Dave Ramsey’s FPU, and we realize how important it is to get her on the right track NOW! She has been after us for so much stuff lately, so we realized we were in big trouble. We have offered her allowance for chores before to no avail, and so we have been practicing using phrases like “When you earn enough money I will be happy to bring to back to get this.” on her for the last few weeks, until she finally asked what she could do to earn money for the wanted items. So, tonight we went together and picked out a folder for chores and a jar for her savings. I hope she is as ready to help as much as I am looking forward to having an extra hand. šŸ™‚

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your story, Leslie! Hopefully this system is motivating for your daughter. I’ll be curious to know how it goes throughout the summer!

  53. I like the instant reward for it. Day labor jobs usual pay at the end of the day. I read the comments up to a little past the PhD person disagreeing and others rallying. I used to worry about paying for common work that has to be done, but I read a couple of the Dave Ramsey books – my husband and I did Financial Peace University and it saved our finances – including the newest one he wrote with his daughter about chores and paying kids. The point is to let them make the connection between doing work = getting paid. And, we (Mom and Dad) do get paid for working at home. We get paid with a clean house, lack of disease, child services not coming to take away our children. Not all payment is cash. The point is to help my boys learn to handle money and the chore thing is a way of doing it. We call the chore chart a “Time Sheet” and then there is Pay Day with Saving, Sharing and Spending percentages. Thank you for coming up with the idea to pay at the end of each day instead of the week.

  54. How do you decide who does what on each day. For example, who walks or feeds the dog? Can any of them do it and whoever does it first gets to check it off or is it rotated through the days?

    1. I set up a rotating schedule for my boys. Then about every 2 months, I switch the schedule so that they can have a bit of variety. For example, one boy will feed the dog every day for 2 months, then another boy does it for the next 2 months. Other more time consuming jobs, like walking the dog, I have them take turns throughout the week so the same person isn’t doing it every day.

  55. Thank you so much for this fabulous idea! I have been using it for my kids for a couple of months and it has really helped them remember their chores. I was wondering if there is a way I can transfer the Google doc you created with the chart and be able to remove the “view only” mode so I can type their chores in vs. writing them. I was able to transfer the file easily, but I couldn’t figure out how to turn off the “view only” mode once it was in my own Google docs. Thanks again!!

  56. I am just trying to figure out what to do about the kid that chooses not to do the chores and doesn’t care about getting the money.

    1. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a manual that worked for EVERY kid?!?!…your kiddo might just be the opposite–maybe he needs to have a chore list and doesn’t get any privileges (i.e. tv time, electronics, playtime outside, etc.) until his chores are done.

  57. Thanks for sharing your different approach. I am getting ready to write my own blog post on responsibility. I have pinned your great link to my Pinterest board that will support my post. Thanks!

  58. For some reason the link to the chore chart template isn’t working.Or I’m not clicking the right place….. Can you help me?

  59. My daughter and I are putting these together as we speak! I cannot wait to try this out!!! I have tried several chore charts and we have run accross a few that work………..but I love how this teaches the value of money and how you have to earn it, save it, and give! Thanks for sharing heather!!!

  60. Hi,
    Love this idea! I do have a question I am not sure of how to download the chore chart? It says I have to click this [convertkit form=4865059] but it does not do anything. Please Help

  61. That’s a brilliant idea heather šŸ™‚ Parents should make ways on how to make their kids responsible in house. I’m glad you found that solution and it inspires a lot of parents too. Rewarding your kids will really motivate them to do household chores and help them also on money management.

  62. Hi, I entered my email address to be directed to the instant download page, but it keeps just looping me back to this instruction page with no download. Could you help me find the correct link so that I can customize and print?

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