Kids Check Book Registers

**Updated as of 7/3/09. Now you can download documents to make your kids their very own checkbook registers!

My husband and I have tried for a while to determine the best way to teach the basics of money to our children. Personally, we do not believe in giving our kids a weekly or monthly allowance. We want our kids to realize that when they are older, someone will not just hand them a sum of money each week for doing nothing. I want them to grasp the concept that if they want money, then THEY are going to have to EARN it!

So at our house the kids are each expected to do chores they are assigned to every day without pay. For example every day they are expected to have their rooms clean and their beds made and complete a couple of additional chores that need to be done that day. Although we do not pay them for this, we have a point reward system to motivate them and to reward them for their obedience.

Then we have compiled a list of other chores and jobs that they may do to allow them to earn their “allowance”. Each job has a set price based on the difficulty and the type of chore they choose to complete. They are only paid when the job has been completed to mom and dad’s standards.

Then we ran into the problem of having the proper amount of change on hand sometimes to pay them when they were finished. So we decided to give each of them a checkbook register to record their earnings every time they earned some money. We record what they did and the amount we have deposited into their “bank account”.

Then if the kids want to spend some money from their bank account they get their checkbook registers out and make a withdrawl. Then we as the bank actually hand them the actual amount in cash. They are allowed to take that money with them too the store and spend it on what they choose to spend it on. I always let them pay for their purchase separately so they see how it feels to hand over their hard earned money for what they have chosen to buy.

We set 50 percent of their earnings for them to spend in any manner they please. We have seen some interesting differences in our children’s spending habits. One of our children saves and hordes every penny and was able to buy himself a Wii when his parents would not. It took him over 1.5 years of a lot of hard work and saving to do so, but he felt a great sense of satisfaction when he was able to walk out of the store with it in his hand.

Then another one of our children made a withdrawl almost every time I went to the store and he would raid the dollar aisle at Target. His money burned a hole in his pocket. Then one day he discovered Webkinz. But he could never save enough money to buy himself one. Finally one day he declared that he was not going to spend any more money until he had enough for a Webkinz. On the day that he had finally saved up enough money, he was so excited. Unfortunately I could not make it to the store that day or the next. He was finally able to go to store and make his purchase, and he has enjoyed his Webkin much longer than the other smaller items which were usually broken or lost shortly after buying.

We have also tried to teach the kids about saving a certain amount of their money in a long term bank account to be used later for college or for serving as a missionary for our church (at age 19). As thier savings account grows, my hubby and I will periodically take the amount they have saved in this untouchable savings account and actually place that exact sum into a real live bank account we have set up for them at our actual bank. We have decided that 40 percent of all our kids earnings will go into this untouchable account.

Our checkbook registers have a section labeled “tithing”, where the kids save 10 percent of their earnings to for charitable donations to our church. This may be something you may not need and can therefore add the 10 percent to some other area that may fit your family and/or change the amounts you save or allow them to spend.

We have found that this breakout of percentages has worked well for our family. It has given our kids sufficient money to spend on things they have wanted and helped them realize how much the things they want cost. Maybe something like this will work for you and your family. It has sure made keeping track of our kids money a lot easier around here.

If you would like to download a copy to make your own checkbook registers, click here.

There are two files you will need to download. I think I have finally gotten all the kinks worked out. Some of you had no trouble downloading the files, but for those of you who did, I changed the files to a later version of Office (thanks to a reader’s smart suggestion, thank you!), and so it should now work for the rest of you. If you still have trouble downloading them, email me and I can send you them.

You can then print them out for your use. You should need only one copy of the 2 paged document which includes the front page and the middle pages of the register. Then as needed you can print as many of page two (the middle pages) as needed.

Comments

  1. Kindra says

    Great idea with the checkbooks. I think we will have to try this for our 5 year old. (He likes math.) We just started him on working for commission. He gets a certain amount for different jobs and no pay for daily jobs like making bed, feeding the dog. It has worked well. If he doesn't do the job or we have to remind him numorous times then he doesn't get paid. We divide his earnies 1/3 to spend, 1/3 to save, 1/3 to GIVE. So far, so good it's been smooth sailing. :)

  2. Michie says

    I love the checkbook idea. I didn't get my first checking account until I started college. I remember my mother teaching me how to write a check then. I think it's great for them to learn how this works, and learn how to keep track of their money and whatnot now. I remember thinking that college was way to late to be learning about how to balance a checkbook! Maybe I'll have to try this with my daughter when she gets a little older.

  3. Amy says

    This is so cool! Would you be willing to share your printout? I'm really getting tired of trying to keep up with who do I owe what to! We too have one spender and one saver…guess they mimic hubby and I! :) Thanks!

  4. Brenbren says

    What a great idea! My kids are not old enough right now, but I defiantly will use this later!

  5. Charlotte says

    great idea..our 6yo. daughter does not get allowance, but i love the idea for when she does extra jobs around the house to earn money.

  6. Letti says

    Now this is brilliant. I have been looking for a way to teach my kids about money and I think this is the perfect thing.

  7. The Harris Family says

    Great idea. This is so much better then having them hold onto their own money for a long period of time where it can be lost. My kids are also to young but I can't wait to use it in the future.

  8. Christina says

  9. The Foster Bunch says

  10. Layne says

    I would love a copy of your register. I think it is fantastic that you are teaching your kids about tithing as well. I am a huge believer in tithing. We have been wracking our brain for a way to set up chores/allowance for my soon-to-be step daughter. It's been hard to find something that fits because we only have her every other weekend. (she is also in love with WebKins) Thank you again for another great idea!

  11. Layne says

    P.S. Would you be able to send a copy of your Chores lists please? Both expected chores and extra chores?

    Thanks so much

  12. Marlatt Five says

    I would love a copy of these but I'm unable to download them from the link your provided. Can you email them?? Thanks

  13. Sunnymommie says

  14. Anonymous says

    I would love a copy of your checkbook to teach my children how real life money works, but I can't download it. It says it is set to private and that only the owner can view it.

  15. Amy says

    The kinks in the downloading should have all been worked out now. Hopefully those of you who had trouble will be able to go back and try downloading the files again. Let me know if you continue to experience problems.

  16. Leigh says

    Wow, that sounds like a great and well thought out system. I wish my parents had done something like that.

  17. Anonymous says

    I love your ideas I've been doing this to my 7 year old boy….his main chores to do everyday is take out the trash,clean the bath room,washing the dishes he is really good @ put the dishes into the diswasher and put soap in it and turn it on, wash his own clothes which I taught him to do and he is really good at it.Make his bed, vacum the living room, and mob the kitchen floor. He does a lot everyday and he works really hard because he knows he will get paid by the end of the week …so I paid him a dollar a week. He like it so much…we really need to teach our kids to be obedience and to be responsible for what they do…I bought 2 cute wooden box from the dollar tree..one for his mission and college saving, and one for his tithing and spend….he like it so much and I even teach him money dont comes from trees…he has to work hard in order for him to survive…not to rely on mom and dad to pay for his gas money.hahahahaha

  18. Anonymous says

    I would love if u can send me your check book register and your chores list….and how can I become a member of your group? please let me know here is my email address ([email protected]) I appreciated.

    have a great week!

  19. Sothern Gurl Crafting says

    I completely agree with you and your husband, children should not be paid to make their own bed. All of my children are grown but when my kids turned sixteen we went to the bank and opened checking accounts with them. We were co-signers and I had at least 2 years to work with each one of them and their money before they flew the coop.

  20. Kristen Duke Photography says

    WOW, loving this idea! We never have cash on hand, so this is just perfect for us. We also save similar percentages for tithing/mission/college. Thanks so much for sharing.

  21. Peg Graham says

    Our job list for our 13 yr old son and 9 yr old daughter.

    Household Jobs to earn money:

    1. Vacuum downstairs rugs = .50
    2. Vacuum upstairs hallway = .50
    3. Fold clothes = .50 per basket
    4. Clean sliding glass doors and coffee/side tables = .50
    5. Dust living room furniture = .50
    6. Dust Mop living room floors (and under sofas, tables, etc…)=.75
    7. Clean stainless kitchen appliances with vinegar = .50
    8. Scrub guest bathroom toilet, sink and mirror = $1.00
    9. Organize shoe rack and sweep grass and dirt from shoes =.25
    10. Scoop dog poop and put in Doggie Dooley = $1.00
    11. Sweep kitchen floors (under rolling cabinet and behind trash can too) = .75
    12. CAR- clean out trash, dust & wipe down dashboard, clean windows = $1.50
    13. Anything extra Mom or Dad ask…..price negotiated per job

    =========
    Doing regular family chores on a daily basis will also earn you extra money, just as a reward for being so diligent.

    -Feeding pets : Daily
    -Making bed : Daily(Saturdays-stripping beds)
    -Cleaning bedroom: Daily (Saturdays-vacuum/laundry pick up)
    -Putting dishes away : Daily
    -Dumping trash: Daily (Saturdays-washing out trash cans)
    -Cleaning bathroom : Saturdays
    -Putting toys, school supplies and jackets away: Daily

  22. Peg Graham says

    My previous post may seem as if my children will be rolling in dough, but they really just pick and choose.
    Also- the extra reward money is just an incentive to get them to do their regular chores without me having to always tell them. (It's hit or miss).
    Love the checkbooks!

  23. Emily and Mike says

    So I know this post is ancient but I am new to your blog and I absolutely love it! I have a two year old and a 6 month old and I know they are still to young to do most of this stuff but I just absolutely love this idea. I am also LDS and I love that you are so open about your faith and I love that as soon as I came upon your blog you were able to tell you were LDS by the things you talk about and the subtle things like the FHE chart you had in one of your pictures. I really admire that. Do you think it is possible to send me a list of your list of expected chores and extra chores.
    [email protected]

  24. Andrea says

    Thank you for this! I was trying to find this exactly! I am having a problem opening the xls file though. Do you have any other formats?

  25. Maria says

    We would very much like to use this idea with our son who is struggling with spending money too fast!! I can’t seem to download if from the linked website. Is there anyway you could email this file/idea to me?
    Much appreciated!
    Thanks,
    Maria

  26. Lisa says

    This is really great – we have 6 kiddos (3 old enough to make use of this) and I too needed to figure something out! I just wanted to make a suggestion I recently heard from Dave Ramsey. He insists on using the word commission, not allowance, for all the reasons you suggested. It’s something earned above and beyond. Thanks for sharing this idea!

  27. kandarin says

    We have been using your check book printable for a few months now and love love love it! Not long after starting it for 3 of my kids (the baby doesn’t get an allowance yet, lol) my 6 year old daughter (whose friends all have ipods) asked if she could have one. I told her I would not be buying a 6 year old an ipod. She asked if she could buy one herself. She threw me for a minute but I did agree that if she saved up the money she could buy herself an ipod. Well she did it and also bought a sparkly case for it too. All herself. Her brother and sister are suckers for spending their money, when they saw her buy an ipod it made them rethink their spending.
    Thanks for sharing!

  28. Melanie says

    This is EXACTLY what I was searching for! The envelope system is driving me batty trying to keep up with the exact amount of change. Thank you!!

    • says

      So happy to hear that! We are still using it in our home after 5 years! Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know!

  29. chrissy wilson says

    I have tried to download this checkbook register, which is perfect!! But, cant find it in the shared folder. Could you please email it to me???

    Thanks!
    Chrissy

  30. says

    hi there – can u tell me where to find the checkbook download?? I just saw this and love it, but tried clicking on a few things and don’t see it.
    thanx a bunch…Wendy

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