Developing Healthy Money Management Habits with Kids - Our Plan for Matthew and Jacob

2 minute read

Julie and I launched a new program for the boys last night - it will officially kick in on Oct 1, but they got the program last night over dinner and seem to be pretty excited about the plan. This is adapted from some of the teachings of personal finance guru Dave Ramsey, who has been instrumental in guiding our philosophy about money management and debt avoidance. I took the $ amounts out, so if you want to adopt something similar just substitute in what you think is appropriate based on your situation.

I especially like the fact that the boys are already talking about some savings goals and what they would like to buy with their own money (with cold hard cash).

The Goal

To develop healthy money management habits, learn how to save for the future, pay cash for purchases, and how to earn money for needs and wants without borrowing money.

The Basics

Jacob and Matthew will earn $x per month in base salary, payable on the 1st and 15th of each month. This base salary is for the core set of responsibilities that both boys have as part of our family:

  • Making your bed each morning after you wake up
  • Setting and clearing the table at meals
  • Taking care of food and water for pets
  • Keep room and game room straightened up (CDs away, etc.)
  • Keep bathroom in decent condition (wiped, straightened, etc.)
  • Miscellaneous odd jobs as requested by mom & dad

Commission Earning

In addition to the base salary, Jacob and Matthew can earn extra money by taking on extra jobs that earn commissions ("fees for services rendered") according to the following commission schedule:





Cook a meal (main + side dish)


Vacuum downstairs or upstairs


Do 1 load of laundry


Cleanup after dinner (everything!)


Mow Lawn

$ / side

Clean the litter box up to 4x / week


Gardening work for 20 minutes


Sweep out front & garage


Clean bathroom (toilet, sink, etc.)




Savings and Giving Expectations

Jacob and Matthew are expected to set aside some of their salary and commission so that they can give to those in need and save for items that they want to buy with cash.


Jacob and Matthew will set aside at least 10% of their salary + commission for giving. They will each decide on a charity to give the money to on a quarterly basis.

Saving To Buy With Cash

Jacob and Matthew will set aside at least 10% of their salary + commission for savings. As an incentive to save, mom and dad will match up to $x each month of the money set aside by the boys for savings. The only catch is this: the savings + match must remain in savings for at least 90 days after saving or the match will be forfeit. This is an incentive to save for long-term wishes and delay gratification.