Little Geek loves Minecraft.
He loves it so much he’s taken a class on how to use mods in the game. When he’s not playing on the PlayStation, he’s reading books on how to build structures and worlds, or he’s outside with his friends roleplaying Minecraft in the yard.
Seriously, they have boxes they’ve decorated to look like the game and most of them have swords or toys from the game due to ALL of them loving Minecraft.
Personally, I’m not a fan of Minecraft. I really don’t see the point of the game but Little Geek and his pals adore it and I don’t mind him playing within reason.
But recently, using mods have become a sticking point for him. He wants to own the PC version of the game where you can modify it however you want, whereas the console game isn’t as malleable. So we struck up a deal: he can get the game if he pays for it himself.
So we decided to come up with chores he can do for money. We’re talking minimal earnings of no more than $2 per chore depending on size of the job or the time it takes to accomplish them. Things like cleaning the toilets, washing the mirrors, sweeping the patio, vacuuming, and sweeping or mopping the kitchen floor.
Once we decided which chores would be available to him, we agreed on an amount for each and a reasonable time these chores should be completed in along with a written explanation of how the chore should be completed. All of these elements were vital to our plan because then there would be no questions or no points to argue. They would all be written out and easily understood. Plus, they would all be agreed upon by both Little Geek and us.
Then it was time to make a poster or a chart that is accessible by all of us. This chart would list all the available jobs for Little Geek along with those important points we all agreed upon: time to complete, explanation of the job, and the amount each job is worth.
If you use Pinterest, there are A LOT of options listed from cork boards to white erase boards. Lots of different variations of a Work For Hire. I wanted an option that would be easy to keep up with, something that would last and wouldn’t need to be replaced often, and something easy for Little Geek to use. I made a poster with pockets that held the job listing and amount owed once completed. Little Geek just had to pick a job, remove the description to the in progress pocket, then place it in the DONE pocket once he was finished. From the done pocket Mr. Geek or I would check his work then move it to the To Be Paid pocket and from their pay him.
The only issue Mr. Geek and I could foresee was having the cash on hand for Little Geek each time he finished a chore. Not giving the child their due payment at the moment they finished a chore properly would defeat the purpose of the process because he wouldn’t have that feeling of accomplishment of being paid for a job well done. We wouldn’t be fulfilling our side of the agreement and it would lead to a lack of confidence in us to follow through with our side of things.
In the end this could lead to Little Geek not wanting to do anything extra or earn any money outside of his allowance because he wouldn’t trust that we would follow through and pay him on time. Yikes…
Since Little Geek is going into the 4th grade and he’s old enough to talk about finances, we decided to make a checkbook system where he’s paid in checks, printed out by us. After accumulating and tallying up a certain amount, like $20, we’d go to the bank and withdraw what he is owed. This way we don’t have to have the cash on hand at all times and if he does a chore before we have the money with us, he’s paid instantly.
We see this plan as a great way for him to work on his addition skills by balancing a check book, understanding how money is earned and saved up, and it will make him responsible for keeping his money where he will find it (as this has been an issue and money is lost ALL THE TIME). Plus this will keep him from spending his hard earned cash before he saves enough to buy what he truly wants. Having the greens in his hands makes him itchy and he’s more likely to spend it rather than save it for a larger item.
The chart is in place and school starts tomorrow, thus his new chore chart is in place and we’re ready to roll! Make sure you check back and see how he’s progressing with his new set of responsibilities.