You want your kids to get hands-on practice with money management early on.
But your kids are too young to get a real job.
How about paying your youngsters for chores?
No. You expect your kids to complete everyday chores without compensation. After all, that’s part of being a contributing member of your household. Besides, managing a detailed chore chart is one more hassle to cram into your already overloaded parenting regimen.
How about giving your kids an allowance?
No. You don’t like the idea of a hand-out. Besides, blowing off chores should have consequences. Kids shouldn’t get off scot-free when shirking responsibilities.
What to do? Allowance or chore chart?
Try combining a variation of both: a budget-based allowance and a chore “fail” chart.
I describe how you can treat an allowance like a budget instead of a hand-out in the post, Fix The Way You’re Doing Your Kid’s Allowance.
But what’s a chore fail chart? It’s the inverse of a traditional chore rewards chart. Checking an item off a chore fail chart deducts a small penalty from your kid’s account instead of crediting a reward. It serves as claw-back from your kid’s allowance. So, instead of entries like “Made bed: +$0.25” on a chore rewards chart, you have entries like “Did NOT make bed: -$0.25” on a chore fail chart.
The added bonus is less hassle. The regular allowance runs itself, and you only need to interact with a chore fail chart when chores are being ignored instead of completed. Unless your kid is in full-on rebellion mode (teens anyone?), that means checking a lot fewer boxes.
By the way, if you don’t care for the idea of monetary penalties, you can deduct privileges on your chore fail chart instead — like online gaming time. But that can get a little more complicated to track and manage.
The ease of an allowance without the entitlement. The accountability of a chore chart without the hassle. Coupling a budget-based allowance with a chore fail chart might just solve your pay-for-chores versus give-an-allowance dilemma.
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