Introducing an Easy Chore and Allowance System in Your Home

Recently, a friend asked a group of us how we approached chores and allowance in our homes.  I shared how we did ours, and I decided perhaps I should share it on the blog, in case anyone else was at the stage of setting up such a system.  It really is a simple and easy way to approach a chore and allowance system, and it works so well for us.

The first step when setting up a chore and allowance system is to ask yourself a big question: What do we want to achieve?  For us, we were at first hesitant to link chores to allowance because we wanted to make sure our children knew that some chores were just part of being a family, and were a basic responsibility.  At the same time, we wanted to implement a sense of money management and a knowledge of the fact that money doesn’t just come for free – you have to work for it.  We also wanted to avoid all the special charts and magnets and boards and… well, you know how it is. The magnets get lost or they forget to be moved, etc.  We really wanted to keep it simple and straight forward – for us and our daughter!

In the end, we came to a happy compromise that met all of our objectives.  As her regular family job, our daughter was responsible for keeping her own room clean and putting away her own laundry.  To meet out money management system, she is given an allowance (monthly, with dollars equal to her age) that is separate from her family responsibility.

What makes our system really work is the next step – everyday, after she has made sure her room is clean and her laundry is put away, she has the opportunity to add to her monthly allowance.  We have small “jobs” that she can do (like help unload the dishwasher, put away her sisters laundry, or vacuum her room) for small amounts like a quarter or fifty cents.

When she completes an extra task, I simply scribble the amount and initial a post it flag.  Then, she sticks it on that day on her calendar in her room. At the end of the month, she sticks them in her “bank tracker” where she records her balance from the last month, allowance, extra earnings, and spending, and then finds her new balance for the end of the month. Recording all of this helps her learn about money and to know money doesn’t come from an unlimited source. (I write the outline every month, but she fills in the numbers herself using her calculator… I drew these numbers in with PicMonkey since I didn’t think the world needed to know the details of my daughters banking!)  To make it even simpler for us, we transfer money to her bank account using an online transfer, and when she wants to “withdraw” money, we give her our cash and then transfer it out of her account, again, online.

So that is how we do chores and allowances in our house.  It might not work for everyone, but it works great for us, and if you are looking for a new way to introduce chores or money management skills with your kids, you can give it a try.  If you do, let me know how it goes – I’d love to help you find something that works for you!

About Sarah

Sarah Desjardins is a mother of two girls, a wife, an elementary school teacher, and a self proclaimed glitter addict. Becoming Martha is a place for anyone who wants to make their domestic life more beautiful and creative. Sarah started Becoming Martha as a place to find bliss between the diapers and the dishes, and invites you to do the same.


  1. Great ideas Sarah! I’m pinning for when we need a system in the future :o)

  2. Such a cute idea! I should implement it with my kids because they think everything is free. lol Where did you get that cute little cut out notebook?? Love it!

  3. This is wonderful! My boys have the same daily responsibilties as your older daughter. We don’t give allowance though our kids always seem to have money (from grandparents, of course), but my oldest (who is 11) wants to start earning money for a TV, so he’s worked out a list of chores he is able to do when he wants to make some money. I was curious about the going rate for chores like vacuuming a room.

    Bonny @

  4. You’re an amazing mom Sarah! Love this system!XO

  5. such a great system! Im sure she’ll really appreciate the value of things when she’s older too!! thanks for sharing :-)

  6. Simple and easy for a kid to understand and teaches financial responsiblity.

  7. What a great and important concept to teach! Thanks so much for sharing! 😉

  8. I like it. What a great way to introduce banking and balancing your account at the end of each month.

  9. You have really set up a terrific system here for helping your daughter learn responsibility and money smarts. We do similar with our son but I like the idea of him having a ledger to keep track! Thanks for the idea! Pinning :)

  10. What a wonderful… easy- super simple system! Love it!

  11. I think this system could work really well for me even though mine are with me only intermittently. I think the signing of a post it not only allows the ability to inspect the work done if necessary but prevents “I did this work on “x” date, no you did not” arguments.

  12. Stacie Wier says:

    I was just wondering what you did if your daughter did not keep her room lean or put laundry away as instructed? I have deducted from my daughters allowance so that although she is expected to do theses things to contribute to family, if i have to do them for her, she will have to pay me. Unfortunately, I still have trouble motivating her and wondered if you had any other ideas or suggestions??

    • So this is a totally delayed response, and I am so sorry! We have not had that problem with our daughter, but if we did I think I would definitely do what you do. Also, she does not have the opportunity to earn any extra money either if her basic chores arent done. If she still didnt do it, I would probably have to start taking away some of the things she enjoys, like friend time and using her ipad. Hope that helps!

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