How “Mommy Money” Worked For Us

When my kids were younger, I started a system of rewards and consequences using fake money that we called, “Mommy Money.”  The boys could earn money similar to an allowance for a good week (all homework turned in, grades fine, perfect behavior at school, all chores done), but could also receive bonuses for behavior beyond expected or fines for missteps.  The boys could then use their money for certain privileges or even trade it in for things that cost real money (the dollar amounts for Mommy Money are much larger than real money). The money we used is the large money pictured above.  It is 3.5″ x 8″ and is printed to look similar to real money so it is great for learning purposes.  For that reason, I personally like it better than smaller money, like Monopoly money, but any fake money will work for this.  I think I bought mine at the local Dollar Tree.

Shown below is the actual last “Mommy Money Privileges” sheet that we used.  My boys were older then, so the privileges had been updated and adjusted accordingly based on their ages and the activities they enjoyed.  The key is to use what motivates your own children.  We added the “Doug Dollars” part since my husband Doug participated too, but he was mostly involved in the fining part of the system.

The Mommy Money system worked very well for us and was highly effective.  The boys learned about expectations, rewards, consequences, and how there is an outcome, positive or negative, for all types of behavior.  They learned to save, budget, and learned how to prioritize.  One thing I do know for sure is they did not like to lose any of their Mommy Money for bad behavior.  The threat of a fine, with dollar amount stressed, usually stopped unwanted behavior quickly.  Another thing I learned is that one of my guys is a good saver and one is a spender.  Gotta keep working with that spender to get him to learn to save a bit more.

Now that my boys are older, we have gradually phased out the Mommy Money system, but the lessons learned from this original system remain.  We still give out occasional bonuses and we still assess fines, but now it is done with real money in much smaller amounts.

Oh, and just because something is listed doesn’t mean it only happened when purchased.  There was a whole lot of wrestling, diva dancing, trampolining, and ice cream eating at our house anyway. 🙂


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