Fourth Friday Financial: Commission for Kids

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It is hard to believe that we are already three months into the year! One of the tasks that I confess that I have been putting off is updating the budget.  So last Saturday I sat down and started really looking at how we are doing at telling our money where to go (notice I said telling and not wondering).  There were a lot of things Mary and I learned, mostly good (however, we do need to work on the eat out spending).  But, there was one category that we have neglected – COMMISSION.  So I thought it would be good to share the concept of commission with our loyal MtS readers.  Let me start by giving credit where credit is due – all these concepts are straight from Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University material.

We have three little people in our house and we are trying to teach them how to relate and be responsible with money.  One way we teach them is to lead by example – we show them.  I know this is working because if I go to buy something and I don’t have a coupon the kids are like “Dad – why don’t you have a coupon!?”

commission for kids

Another teaching opportunity is through letting your kiddos DO – or work. And this is where we let our kids earn commission.  The idea around commission is if you work you get paid – if you don’t work you don’t get paid.  Lots of people pay allowance but in most cases allowance is just given without any work or effort required.  Without sounding like an old crotchety man we have a generation growing up with a sense of entitlement – they are work brittle!  Commission is a great opportunity to start teaching your kids that money is earned through effort.  A few things to consider about commission:

  • Make sure the tasks you assign are age appropriate.  For example, our 9 year old has tasks like take out the trash, empty the dishwasher and bring the dirty laundry downstairs.
  • Not all tasks that happen around the house should be paid.  There are certain things that a child should do “just because” as a member of the family. For example – keeping your room clean or in our house helping to set and clear the dinner table.
  • Be visual!  Make sure you give them the money (and only if they have earned it).  Let them see and feel their commission.  We review a simple chart at the end of the week to assess if commission is to be paid.
  • Start budgeting early! We divide the commission each week into 3 categories- Save (40%), Spend (50%) and Tithe (10%, Deuteronomy 14:22).  This begins the process of your child understanding that money shouldn’t burn a hole in your pocket.  And when they really want that new video game- they have to evaluate their savings and spending.
  • Make it fun! Often times the praise you give your kids is as much a part of the reward as the money.

So let us know – do you pay commission in your house?  And if not, this could be one of your best new budget categories.

Also checkout reader Marcie’s great repurposed Commission Jars!

Fourth Friday Financial (FFF) is written by Mary’s Dear Hubby Andy, because he was “voluntold”. 😉 We have been together for 2 decades and you will begin to see that our differences compliment each other well.  Through this monthly series we hope you find practical information for taking control of your finances.

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  1. Jen Strayer Yapp says

    Love this Andy/Mary! We’ve been talking forever about starting an allowance program for our kids, and need to get around to DOING it. Love this commission philosophy, and love Dave Ramsey too! Strayer xx

  2. Jen Schultice Bronner says

    Love it!
    When we finished FPU our minister gave us banks that were divided into three sections – save, spend, tithe – and the twins understand that this is the way it works in our house. It’s especially rewarding to watch them save for a special item or to be able to support the well project in Africa because of their tithe.

    I know in the last week I’ve said “If you don’t work, you don’t get paid.” Sometimes they roll their eyes, but they know exactly what that means. :)

    Here’s a book you may want to check out – it’s called Cleaning House (a 12 month guide to ridding your home of entitlement). I don’t love everything she says in the book, but it’s a great way to teach your kids about responsibility at home even if none of their friends have to work to get paid! JSY – it may give you some pointers for how to get started with commission, too.

  3. Jennifer says

    I don’t have kids of my own, but my parents did something very similar with their kids (all 6 of us) and it worked really well! My parents would give us “extra” chores we could choose to do too, on top of our regular chores, in case we wanted to make a little bit more (like washing the car or washing windows). Our house was always clean as a result and it taught us a LOT about the work/money relationship – great post!
    Jennifer recently posted..FREE Sample Alert: Peet’s Coffee {Facebook Offer}!My Profile

  4. says

    This is great! We don’t give an allowance but my daughter has asked to have the opportunity to earn money. I agree that some things just need to be done because she’s a member of the family and need to come up with some ideas that are ‘extra’ for her to earn with. I’d love to see your task list for you kids!
    Lindsay recently posted..New Iron Man 3 Posters! (In Theaters May 3)My Profile

  5. says

    Each child has daily chores- bed made, room picked up and homework done, table set and/or cleared, piano practiced

    Then three times a week they have additional chores- cleaning THEIR bathroom (younger one just use wipes, older son uses full cleaning supplies), basement picked up, trash out and laundry (dirty brought down and for older clean put away)

    This also helps with other “Privileges” they want to take advantage of. If they want to watch tv, play video game or go to friends house- these daily tasks are to be done (well) first.
    Mary recently posted..Amazon Free eBook Downloads- 3/2/13My Profile

  6. says

    I love this article! It is confirmation of where God is leading me. I was just discussing this with my Mini-Me! I also love that you teach your kids to tithe! I have to say my favorite was “voluntold” what a great way to describe what I do to my hubby all the time!!
    Stephanie recently posted..Toy and Games Movers and ShakersMy Profile

  7. says

    Love calling it commission. We pay our 6-yr-old “wages” for doing extra things when he is interested in having money to buy a particular item. (Mostly every task is worth a quarter.) Our teenager gets a lump sum ($35) a month on the first, and has to budget for lunches (or make them and don’t spend it), supplies, clothes, entertainment and does things a teenager would do like dinner assist, babysitting, yard work, and of course he is the IT department for the house. ha.
    Lea Ann @ Mommy’s Wish List recently posted..Family Handyman Magazine $5.28 for 1 year.My Profile

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