The Rumley Family

Loving Jesus, Loving Life

Job Chart, Explained

When we started learning about finances, and took/led Financial Peace University, it became clear that we needed a good way to teach our children about money. But we also did not want to just give them an allowance. We want them to associate money with work. So…we came up with a system that has worked well so far.

Luke bought this markerboard from Steelcase employee sales for about $3 a number of years ago. It just happened to be perfect for our chart.

First, I used a permanent marker and a ruler to draw grid lines on the markerboard. And then I read that permanent marker can come off markerboard if you write over it with a dry erase marker and then erase it. SO, in order to make my grid more durable, I used thin grid tape over the lines. I made one grid per kiddo (four in our case).

I had purchased some really cute Scrabble letter magnets from my cyber-friend Marla, to help her raise money to go on a missions trip to Cambodia. I used those to spell each child’s name at the top of his/her grid.

Next, I used a dry erase marker to write M-T-W-Th-F in the grid squares, and a list of appropriate jobs for each child on the left (including a “Mom’s Choice” space, just in case I need it). I purchased little magnets for each child and put them under the grid.

Our “workweek” is like Luke’s: Monday through Friday. So, during the workweek, the kids have a chance to each earn up to $1. Each child has 10 magnets under his/her grid, and each magnet earns him/her a dime. Whenever a job is completed, they may move a magnet up to the correct place on the chart.

(Can you tell that everyone – including me – has been slacking this summer? During the school year Grace and Caleb had their grids full or nearly full every week.)

Anyway, payday is Friday evening or Saturday. We sit down with the kiddos, and we count out how many magnets they earned. Then we count out the corresponding number of dimes. They are then able to divide their dimes into their Give-Save-Spend jars. They can choose how much to put in each jar, as long as they put at least one dime into each. (And sometimes we give them gentle guidance, too.)

So far, it has been a great introduction for our children to how money – and work – works.


  1. Wonderful idea! We had similar jars for giving, saving, and spending made out of schmuckers jelly jars when we were little. I intend to do the same for our kids. Thanks for detailing it!

  2. Thanks for the explanation. My summer chart (if I had one) would look JUST like this one! 🙂

    I am curious, though, if you have any required chores? Or if there are negative consequences for things like the garbage not going out or beds not getting made? Micah and I talk about chores theoretically every now and again, and we have yet to hammer out a perfect system. But I think I would feel frustrated if my kids didn’t do chores because they didn’t need money at the time. Have you run across anything similar to that?

    Thanks for sharing such intimate details of your home with us! You are helping all of us become better parents, now or in the future sense. 🙂


  3. Betsey, good question. We DO have chores that the kids do just because they’re a part of the family. (For example, Grace and Caleb are old enough to make their beds just because they can and not get rewarded for it. And they all take their dishes to the sink after dinner. That sort of thing.) Annnd, I will often ask them (read: tell them) do a specific chore, and they are required to obey whether they need the money or not. Obedience is definitely something that is taught with consistent discipline. (Not that we have it down perfectly by ANY stretch of the imagination, but we’re always working on it!) Hope that’s helpful someday down the road when you two decide to make some sweet nieces and nephews for us! 😉

  4. Yes, it is helpful! No word yet on those nephews or nieces for you, but I’ll keep you posted. 😉

    So you have a graduation of sorts when they have reached a level of a chore being easy and second nature, where they don’t need a reward for it? That makes sense. My friend Kathryn told me her parents had chores that were just expected, mostly the indoors stuff, that they were required to do. But any outside chores they did (mowing the lawn, weeding the garden, etc) they could earn extra money for. Which was good, because any time they skipped their indoor chores, they were fined! Kathryn said she was always making money, but her brother was always in debt to her parents. Hah!

    Thanks again for sharing. I like collecting and comparing ideas so I won’t have to come up with this stuff all on my own someday! 🙂

    Do you and Luke have chore charts? Or are your jobs just, “take care of everyone and everything”?

    – Buzz

  5. Buzz…you asked a good question. I totally need a chore chart for myself. To keep myself honest!

    Lacey, do you put the kids savings jars into a savings account? What have you told them about savings (as in what are they saving for)? Also, what is your opinion on college savings? I’m tossing ideas about in my head about that subject. Not totally sure I am siding with Dave Ramsey on this one.

  6. michele, the trusty neighbor, who tried to blow you up

    August 5, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Love it!!

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