Chore Charts, Commissions and Crackheads, OH MY!

This was posted back in November, but it's time to post it again. Summer is dead. The school bus is here to pick up the kids. But no one is coming to pick us up to take us to the Funny Farm where we belong. So we might as well try to get ourselves together and win this thing. And I'm not talking about winning at guessing which bachelorette he's gonna chose after just viewing episode 1. I'm talking about the Game of Raising Responsible, Hard Working Humans in a Very Entitled World of Everybody Owes Me Something.

Chores aren't the answer. But it's a good place to start. Without further ado..


When Summer ended and we had to act like responsible humans again, I experienced my annual Back to School freak out. You know the one where we say homework and schedules are a good thing? Meal plans are set in motion, and we're pumped the new lunch boxes don't smell like rotten strawberries yet? That one.

Sometime in the midst of this parenting overhaul, I posted the image below to Instagram with a comment about a new world order, chores coming to town and life as we knew it being over. Turns out, I wasn't alone. All of us were looking for direction in the midst of our Summer hangover and were intrigued by the colorful charts. None of us were impressed with my foot.

But there was enough Insta chatter on the topic to dive a little deeper here. goes. Let's talk about...


Y'all, let's face it. Chores are part of life. That laundry aint gonna fold itself, and the dishes don't sing and dance their way to the cabinets. There are two ways to look at chores when you have kids of helping age:

1. Do them all by yourself, and hate your life.

2. Assign some of the workload to your kids. Even if the quality of their work is subpar, and you end up supervising their mediocrity. Even if you eventually redo it.

I'm Team #2 all the way for this main reason: I don't want my boys to be entitled turds. Hard work is important in our house, and we expect them to do their part.

Enter: The Chore Chart

School supplies awaken my inner nerd, folks. She lives just under the surface so it's not difficult to wake her, but colored pens, new books, and laminators are my JAM. While I DO care about the chore themselves, the chore chart is what motivates me to act on it. (Read: 🤓🤓🤓)

A quick Etsy search of "chore charts" magically landed me on the cutest online store: Little Graphics. They had exactly the downloadable, editable chore chart I didn't even know we needed.

Get ready to do a cartwheel, and click HERE to go to Little Graphic's Etsy page of organizational wonder.

Now..I'm no tree hugger {as evidenced by my massive, kid-hauling, ozone (and now deer)-murdering SUV}, but I really don't want to print these chore charts out every week.

Not necessary to the task, but definitely shows you mean business...The Laminator! Pair this with a dry erase marker and BOOM. Reusable chore charts.

Swallow your pride and click HERE for this laminator.




For those of you who feel kids should pitch in on the chore load "for free" because they are basically moochers of the highest order, please know I hear you. I actually AM you.  

But at the same time I realized my chore delegation skills were sub par, it also dawned on me that we were doing very little to teach the brood about money management. Outside of occasionally yelling super instructional things like, "I'M NOT YOUR PERSONAL ATM!", these boys were well on their way to needing Dave Ramsey on speed dial.

So, here's the breakdown of how it works for our kids:

1. Every kiddo has their own chore chart with age appropriate tasks. Do the task, mark a check by it and move on. Their "working" days are Monday through Friday because the truth is, we want to enjoy our weekends and not deal with this nonsense. Saturday and Sunday work days are for communists and pastors.

2. Kids who submit completed chore charts on Fridays receive their age in dollars for the week. (i.e. Jack gets $13/week, Finn $11/week, etc.) Incomplete chore charts do not receive payment at our home. In the real world, if you don't do your job, you don't get payment or even partial payment. You get fired. Obviously, there is some grace to be dealt here. If Charlie forgets to make his bed one morning when he's been great all week about remembering, no big deal.

(Anyone else wondering how many memes use this same image? 🙋🏼‍♀️)

3. The boys are responsible for paying for anything outside of basic necessity. School supplies, sports equipment (unless it's the top of the line something or other) and food are provided. Skittles at the ball park, a new toy, new cleats at a baseball tournament because you didn't pack yours after you were reminded three times? That's on them.

4. We use an online app called Yuby to keep track of their earnings. Basically, I'm the virtual bank so that I don't have to carry odd amounts of cash all the time. I can log in their weekly commissions and deduct a Target purchase for a Nerf gun really easily. A 10% tithe and 10% savings (with interest!) is enforced, but the rest is theirs to spend at their leisure. Unless it's on Pokemon cards, because those are dumb.


If any of what has been written sounds like I have it together with chores and money management, please take a look at this:

Cluster Chart

It's Tuesday. Nothing is marked as complete for Monday even though Jack did do his chores. The only checks on there are a Sharpie error from weeks ago, and I'm too tired and/or forgetful to get The Laminator out right now. Commissions haven't been recorded in two weeks, and I've wondered a time or two if Finn has hacked into his account.

The point: On my very best days of parenting, a very generous panel of judges would flash a row of solid 7s, at best, in my direction. It is Crackhead Central over here when I crawl out from under my 175-lb weighted blanket each morning, but I'm settling nicely into the "something-is better-than-nothing" camp with this loosely run chore system. If one of our four boys reconsiders purchasing the same drone he has lost three separate times in our trees, then we're calling this a big, fat DUBYA. And if a daughter-in-law one day thanks me for teaching him to make the bed every day then that's basically winning at life.

Don't forget: Buy the super cute and wonderfully helpful chore charts HERE and laminator haters look away because HERE is the link for the geek glossing machine of wonder.

What works for your household? How do you manage the chore life? Spill the beans, y'all. We need all the help we can get!












  • Erin thank you this was a great read! My kids do chores but not consistently. We were struggling on how much they get for doing the chores because obviously scottie is older and would have more chores than Colin and the paying by age is brilliant. I always felt like because they are close in age and if I didn’t give them the same amount one would feel slighted!! Your idea is inspiring and the app is a great idea!! Looking forward to putting this all together!!

    Courtney Budrow
  • You have inspired my inner nerd too!! Thanks Erin!

    April Jones
  • We do the chore chart too. Sometimes I think to myself that the chore chart is more work for us, mamas. But hopefully we are teaching them something that will make them halfway responsible adults. We did have to change our chore chart rules half way through thanks to our super spunky, and way to smart for her own good, middle child. Emme did not complete her chores one week and was not going to receive her 💵. As I was sharing this information with her, I got the eye roll and shoulder shrug followed by the “Oh well!” This is the child that will probably be able to purchase her first car with cash….she’s a saver. Needless to say, if the chores are not done then they owe us their weekly allowance. This definitely got her attention and we have had zero issues since 🙌🏻 We also do their age as their weekly pay amount.

  • Great effort, Erin! The struggle is real. I enjoy your perspective.

  • We have tried everything over here and screaming has been the best use of my time. Although my throat hurts (and so does my heart a time or two) it is getting the job done. You have encouraged me to come up with a less communist system however so thank you! I love the app you mentioned too…that is a big win!

    Leah McCarthy

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