We just completed our fourth week of commission chores. For those that may not know, Dave Ramsey advocates commission style chores, where you have set chores that are worth so much money. The kids then get to choose whether or not they would like to earn money by doing those chores. When we learned about this during our Financial Peace class I thought it sounded like a good idea, but also sounded like way too much effort. "I would have to check their work!" I told myself. "This would just add so much to my already packed schedule!" I also said to myself. Well let me tell you, it is a little bit of extra work on my part, BUT I can see in their little faces a sense of pride and accomplishment when they get to put their money into their spend, save and give jars right after they complete their chores. This system blows our old system of three dollars per week for things that they really should just be doing because they are a Rafferty ie. making their beds, personal hygiene and keeping their room neat and clean. And that was IF we remembered to give them their money on Sundays! Poor kids! What were we teaching them!?? I have no idea. Let me go into a little more detail on our system that we set up.
Kris and I talked first about what we felt we could afford to pay our kids. We decided $10 per week was comfortable for us. This is not $10 per week per kid mind you. Kids that are 6, 7 and 9 like ours, have no need to be earning $40 a month in my opinion. Anyway, we chose six chores to assign commissions to, that way each kid could choose two per week. Here are the chores and the dollar amounts we assigned to them:
- Clean Bathroom- $3
- Sweep the kitchen floor and wipe up spots-$2
- Take out the Trash-$1
- Vacuum the house-$2
- Pick up Outside toys-$1
- Clean out Mom's car (because it's all their stuff anyway, right!?)-$1
The first week took the longest because I had to walk each child through the chores they had chosen and show them what to do. This last week though, week 4, was so awesome! They all did what they needed to do and all I had to do was check their work and then give them their money. It has totally helped me out by taking some of the chore burden off of me and they feel accomplished. Just look at E's proud face when she finished the bathroom for her first time (keep in mind, she is the one that was ALWAYS fighting me about cleaning)
And here is my resourceful oldest daughter who said she was going to make wiping up spots "fun" and put rags on her feet like shoes. Do whatever you need to do to get the job done C...I love it!
I have no picture of my little work horse of a son. That kid is his Dad's child! He finishes his chores so fast I don't have time to get pictures...and he does a great job at them! This commission system has really changed the way our family does chores and I love it. They see a reward for their work instantly and I don't have to clean as much! Win win! I will say, I do keep my expectations relevant to their age. I don't expect the bathroom to look exactly as it would if I had cleaned it, but it does need to be clean. As they get older their definition of "clean" will become more strict. For now they are doing amazing for their 6,7 and 9 year old selves. :) Now how do they feel about their Mom and Dad not spending any money?? Let's talk about that next.
This year has seen with it a lot of the word, "No." It's really hard sometimes and really easy other times. I would LOVE to be able to take them to lunch on a Saturday or run by Dutch for a treat now and then but it's not in the budget this year. I can see the coming freedom that we will have, but that is not our reality at the moment. We sat them down at the beginning of the year and explained to them what God had called us to for this year. That it wasn't for them, but just for Mommy and Daddy. It has been so awesome to share with them how God has blessed us and shown His favor and faithfulness to us since we said yes. I believe that is what they are going to remember, even more so than what we might be teaching them about money through this. We have started a journal dedicated to the amazing things that God has done so far, gift cards, encouraging notes and words from friends have started to fill it's pages. It's such a GREAT reminder for us that God is in this with us and He will not forget about what He's called us to. All in all, our kids have been so gracious with us this year. They have their moments of frustration, but they are few and far between. They don't think twice when we tell them, "if you have money for that then you can buy it." They even know what sales tax is and that you have to "pay the man." haha! I watched my daughter ponder for ten minutes if she wanted to spend six of her hard earned dollars on some new bands for her Rainbow Loom. I was so proud of her. She ended up buying them, but not until she had weighed the value of them first. I like to think that everything Kris and I have done has taught our kids what they have learned about money, but I know that's not true. Without God bringing our finances to the forefront this year I know we would have passed on a very different financial legacy to them. Praise God. "O my strength, I sing praise to you; you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God." Psalm 59:17.