New year, new family chore chart! Using a family economy system has been really helpful for our family for nearly 6 years, but it’s definitely evolved over the years. Here’s the original post I wrote about our system!
We got off track for the latter half of last year – between a new baby and my dad passing away, things were just too much for me to manage. And that was fine. I decided it was a time of survival for everyone in the family, including me.
It’s reminded me that a family economy system isn’t without work, even after kids get good at it. My kids are really used to the system, but even then, it felt like too much for me during that season to think up age-appropriate responsibilities and to follow up and track their completion. It was a time when everyone still helped out with things like laundry, dinner clean up, and other joint family cleaning when needed. But it was not a time when each child was building responsibility, practicing remembering their own tasks, and developing new skills. I just didn’t have the bandwidth for guiding that.
Why We Use A Family Economy System for Our Family Chore Chart
Now that we’ve settled into…life a bit more, I’m feeling like I can get our system up and running again. Here are a few reasons why we use this system:
- Fiscal Responsibility: We don’t do a weekly allowance. And while we sometimes financially cover fun activities, treats, and gifts, I really like my kids to learn choice in those matters. I don’t want to always be the gatekeeper who decides when something fun is worthwhile! I want them to learn the skill of choosing when to spend and when to save, and working toward a bigger goal.
- Responsibility & Proactivity: We still expect our kids to contribute when asked, such as tidying after dinner altogether. But this is a way that each child can practice remembering and completing tasks on their own without always being asked or reminded. It’s great practice for when they’ll have more homework and schoolwork to manage as they get older. Of course, I still remind them – it still takes work from me. But it’s LESS work overall and FEWER reminders/asks.
- Investing Knowledge: Family economy also gives us a great opportunity to discuss investment, savings, compound interest, etc. It’s really important to me that my kids are financially aware and confident, and this is a good system for us to have those conversations.
What Is Your Family Economy Family Chore Chart?
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.
Dan and I didn’t want to divide “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. So we decided to give them responsibility over an increasing portions of the family’s money as they contributed more to the family’s management.
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.” It makes the whole system feel collaborative for us. These items are generally extras from what we expect of them regardless – joint cleaning/tidying, practicing instruments, etc. These are some of the things I include on their family economy lists for convenience in remembering, but that we expect them to do regardless.
2023 Family Chore Chart Details
Last year, we updated the way we ran our family economy a bit. I really liked those changes in the spring when we used them, so we’ll continue with that. Here are some details:
Wednesday Afternoon Adventures
My kids get out of school early on Wednesdays, and I’d like to use that time to explore locally when we can. I’m leaving Wednesday chore-free to prioritize Wednesday adventures!
Catch Up Time
One of my kids tends to feel anxious when plans change and sometimes resist fun activities, play dates, etc. because they’re hyper-focused on their list. I want them to know it’s okay if that happens and we can be flexible. I’m going to make it clear that it’s fine to catch up on chores on Friday or Saturday (or even do them on eWednesday if we don’t have an adventure that day).
Incentivize Collaboration For Finishing Chores
I want our kids to want to help siblings succeed, and to look around for ways to help others. So during catch up time, we’ll allow the kids to help each other out with finishing chores or working on music. If everyone has their chores completed, we’ll have a special dessert during Friday movie night – things like Italian sodas, ice cream bar, root beer floats, etc. Of course, waiting to complete chores until Friday means they’ll have less movie time, so hopefully this also incentivizes them to complete things on time when possible.
I also added a couple chores that are collaborative in nature. For instance, our oldest two will be asked to babysit younger siblings 2x per month together, but only have rotating chores every other week for making dinner and cleaning a bathroom. Hopefully this gives them more time for after school interests, helps them work together, and helps out Dan and me with a couple date nights per month. (This also allows us to compensate them for babysitting, instead of asking them to do it on top of regular chores. We also pay them with cash for any babysitting in addition to the 2 monthly times.)
Updated 2023 Kid Chore Charts
Here’s a link to our updated 2023 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! (Please don’t request access to the master copy; just go to File > Make a Copy to save your own.)
Have you ever done a family economy system before? How do chores and individual contributions to the home and family work in your home?
IF YOU LIKED THIS POST ABOUT OUR FAMILY CHORE CHARTS, YOU MIGHT LIKE THESE POSTS TOO:
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- My Personal 2023 Goals
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