It’s been a couple of years since I’ve written about the best chore chart system for our family: our family economy. We’ve now been using this chore system for nearly 5 years and it’s helped my kids build skills and become competent, capable, and consistent with contributing to the family.
What Is A Family Economy?
A family economy is our way of allowing everyone in the family to contribute to the running and management of the family, and then manage part of the family resources for their own needs and wants.
Neither Dan nor I had an allowance growing up, and we were hesitant to give our kids one. We didn’t to divide of “our” money and “their” money, and I didn’t want to pay them for things I expected them to do, anyway! We did, however, want to teach them financial responsibility and accountability.
The way we structure it is that when our kids take care of their portion of the family’s work, they also get to manage a part of the family’s money and have certain family benefits. So it’s really rerouting the family money through them to give them ownership over that portion of the “family business.” Semantics, perhaps, but it makes the whole system feel collaborative for us.
Our kids also have plenty of other things we expect them to do regardless of family economy money. These are things like Saturday cleaning, after-dinner cleanup, and just generally helping out. We also always expect them to practice their instruments.
How Does A Family Economy Kid Chore Chart System Work?
I shared most of the details of the benefits and day-to-day logistics of our family economy system in this post. It has info on why we do it, how the point system works, how much and how our kids get paid, and much more.
Family Economy Benefits
While I talk about a lot of the benefits in this post, here are the biggest ones for our family:
- Accountability. My kids know how to help out and can do so without being constantly nagged.
- Choice. My kids benefit a lot from a smoothly operating home, and this gives them the opportunity to choose to contribute to that and benefit financially from it.
- Financial knowledge. I love being able to reroute family money through their decision making. It gives them insight into how much things cost and pride in making financial choices. It also helps them be committed to activities they choose, but still without facing a huge risk.
- Reduced nagging! I love not having to constantly remind my kids. I’m committed to being better this year at simply asking if anyone needs any check marks, which is usually plenty to spur them to action.
2022 Changes To Our Family Economy
This year, we’ve decided to update the way we run our family economy a bit. Here are some of the changes!
Our kids usually have a couple of supplementary after school activities. This spring, we’ve added in coding as well as returning to their online Kannada language class. This will likely change a bit when spring sports start, depending on practice schedules.
Whatever our current supplementary after school activities are, they get added into the “Afternoon” section.
Wednesday Afternoon Adventures
My kids get out of school early every Wednesday. We used to be good about going on little adventures, but sort of fell off that bandwagon, especially with quarantines and such. I’d love to get back to that! These generally aren’t enormous things – a new playground, a short hike, going to get ice cream, a trip to the library, a local museum, etc. I’m excited for us to get back to exploring locally more regularly.
In order to facilitate that, our kids won’t have any chores on Wednesdays. This will hopefully help us have a more relaxed and enjoyable day focused on spending time together.
Catch Up Time
A couple of my kids get stressed when something comes up and plans change. I want them to know it’s okay if that happens and we can be flexible. While we’ve generally let them catch up if they ask, we’ll make clear that they can make up chores and such on Friday or Saturday if they’d like.
Incentivize Collaboration For Finishing Chores
I’ve also been thinking through ways to help our kids want to jump in to help a sibling finish up their chore. I don’t want them to always just be thinking about themselves and getting their own stuff done – I want them to look around and see ways to help others.
So during catch up time, we’ll allow our kids to help each other out with finishing up any chores that needed to be completed from the week. Then if everyone has all their chores completed, we’ll have a special dessert during our Friday movie night – things like Italian sodas, ice cream bar, root beer floats, etc. Of course, waiting on all their chores until Friday means they’ll have less movie time, so hopefully the incentive is also to complete things on time when possible.
Updated 2022 Kid Chore Charts
Here’s a link to our updated 2022 chore chart system for kids. It also includes our tracking system for family economy money. You’re welcome to save your own copy and edit it however you wish!
Have you ever done a family economy system before? How do chores and individual contributions to the home and family work in your household?
[…] our Wednesday afternoon adventures this year! To help with this, I gave them the day completely off from chores – I figured for one day a week, it was more important to choose fun than to choose work. They […]