Program Outline

Planning & Preparation

Begin planning your home economy by:

  1. Choosing the jobs and responsibilities you will assign to your children.
  2. Creating lists of bonuses and fines that will be used in your home.
  3. Preparing the materials needed to manage your home economy.
    1. You can download and print these from the Materials page.
  4. Gathering rewards for your children to purchase using their savings.

Allow two to three hours to choose jobs, bonuses, and fines, and an additional two to three hours to prepare all of the materials.

Introductory Activities

On the first day of the program, introduce your children to the home economy. Approximately a week after the introduction, assign jobs and provide short training sessions.

Allow two to three hours to complete these activities.

Ongoing Activities

Every month, children earn paychecks and bonus money, pay fines, pay rent for their rooms, and purchase prizes, all with MyHE currency. Parents/caregivers typically either conduct all of these activities on the same day, or spread them out over the course of the month.

Allow one to two hours per month to complete these activities.

Will This Work for Your Family?

If you can answer “Yes!” to the following questions, MyHE will work for you and your family.

  1. Are your children in grades K-8? Most of the concepts are best suited to a K-8 audience because of their simplicity, although the program can be adapted for older children.
  2. Do you have three hours for initial setup? The three hours for preparation do not have to be consecutive. This should be enough time to read through the guide, determine how you will structure your economy, and print necessary materials.
  3. Can you commit to ongoing practice? The economy should be part of daily household behavior. Paydays and rent collection should take less than 30 minutes. Positive reinforcement and educational discussions with children should occur throughout the week.

This site is meant to provide support for families who want to implement MyHE. You may customize any attributes of the program to better fit your family dynamics. Discuss and share the Program Guide with caregivers to involve them in decisions as you establish your economy.

Establish Your Economic System

To start your MyHE program, you’ll need to make decisions in three areas:

  • Earn — Choose a set of possible jobs and list of opportunities for bonus money.
  • Spend — Set a level of weekly or monthly rent.
  • Save & Reward — Choose a list of short- and long-term savings rewards.

Your selections can be from the lists we provide or based on your household norms. You may choose to involve your children in creating the bonus and fine lists, but this is optional. Once the lists are ready, post them in your home and refer to them as needed. You can also use additional materials such as bank logs and handouts (some examples are provided on the MyHE Materials Page). Please contact our team if you have any questions!


Selecting Jobs

Each child has a “job” or set of jobs. This is the key component of MyHE; it is the foundation from which all other pieces of the program build.

The following info includes ideas for jobs and suggested salaries using the simulated money available on the Materials Page. Should you choose to use real money, please adjust the salaries based on your family’s financial situation.

Types of jobs vary by household and each child’s capabilities.

It’s recommended that adults or oldest children hold the job of “banker.”

Ideas and considerations:

  • If your household has different jobs at different frequencies, your children may have a set of jobs (ex. make bed daily, empty trash weekly, etc.).
  • If your household rotates jobs, be sure to set clear expectations about when and how jobs will rotate.
  • Create “job postings” describing expectations of each job.
  • Older children may benefit from “applying” for the job(s) they want, through a job interview or job application.

Job Suggestions

The jobs below are options for your consideration. A child is not required to hold each of the jobs for MyHE to run successfully.



Weekly Salary

Banker (optional parent role)*

Keep bank records for family. Accept deposits and pay withdrawals. Deposit remaining cash in House Bank.


Police Officer (optional parent role)*

Check for violations of house rules. Hand out tickets for children who break rules. (Predefined rules and possible fines are recommended. Parents should decide when a child gets a ticket or distributes a ticket.)



Maintain the health and well-being of all family pets. This may include feeding, playing with, or cleaning up after them.



Assist parents with dinner preparation and cleanup. May also help prepare lunches or snacks.



Help keep family organized. Update family calendar and messages.



Keep family rooms and yard straightened. Help keep toys and books organized.


Dry cleaner

Help parents fold and put away family laundry.


Technology supervisor

Turn lights and electronics off when appropriate. Charge electronic devices and help family with technology needs.



Keep family updated on daily weather and upcoming weather events. Keep track of forecast and share with family.


*These roles are required as part of the Home Economy. If a child has completed each role, it is suggested that the parent act as an auditor, examining financial records to ensure accuracy in payments, record keeping, and timing.

Determining Salary

Jobs should have appropriate salary. Highest pay goes to the most responsible or most needed job(s). (As an example, see the suggested job list above.)

Ideas and considerations:

  • Total salaries should be slightly less than rent to encourage bonuses for positive behavior.
  • Salaries can be paid weekly or biweekly. Frequency should align with “rent” payments. For a household with older children, you can add complexity by paying weekly salary with rent due biweekly. This will encourage budgeting skills.
  • Consider the option of providing pay in the form of a check instead of MyHE dollars.

TIP: Create a cash box with slots, one for each cash denomination. This is where your household will keep excess cash and act as a “bank.” We recommend that each child only hold about $200 in cash and deposit the rest in the cash box.

Defining Bonuses

In addition to the salaries that children can earn from their jobs, they can earn bonus money by behaving well or completing small jobs around the house.

Children need to earn bonuses to make rent and save up for short and long-term savings rewards.

Ideas and considerations:

  • To set clear expectations, it is recommended that you determine bonuses up front and show bonus amounts clearly and consistently.
  • Introduce the concept of earning interest by offering interest as a bonus for saving versus spending money.
  • You can offer bonuses for specific behavior you want to encourage, as well as for activities important to your household. The following bonus amounts are a suggestion, but you can choose bonuses suitable for your household or even each specific child.
  • Create a unique list of bonuses for each child to target behavior you want them to work on for enhanced behavior management.


Bonus Amount

Wake up on time


Act as a great team player at sports practice


Help a sibling with homework


Rake leaves


Take on a sick sibling’s work (“Internship”)



  • Consider posting bonus opportunities in a central place in your home for children to choose which they want to take.
  • With bonus money, it’s far better to give away too much rather than too little. The more bonus opportunities you provide, the more often children will see their extra efforts rewarded. That means they’ll be able to participate more fully in the Home Economy, and they’ll enjoy it more.
  • For active families, it may work best to keep some Home Economy currency on hand. Parents can keep extra bonus cash in their wallets or in the car to reward children immediately for positive behavior or extra effort.

Determining Rent

The obligation to pay rent is central to the Home Economy. These are key concepts:

  • A child’s salary should not quite cover the monthly rent. To make up the difference, children need to earn bonus money.
  • Children who do not meet their rent payments should face some loss of privilege (such as losing the use of phone or tablet).
  • Those who make their payments and manage to save additional money should reap benefits (such as paying off their rent).


Bonus Amount

Suggested weekly rent


One-time room, bed, or technology purchase


Ideas and considerations:

  • Consider creating different rent amounts based on children’s ages, room size, or job.
  • We recommend that, if children miss a rent payment, they will not have the opportunity to spend next week’s salary on rewards. Although you may instead choose other privileges to be forfeited, remember that the program is designed to help children learn financial responsibility—it is not to punish them.
  • When children miss rent payments, it’s important to get them back on track as soon as possible. You can use the missed payment as an opportunity for a discussion about choices, then encourage the child to earn bonuses so that he or she can catch up on rent and participate in the rewards spending fun.


This section is optional for your household. Below are some considerations if you wish to include fines in your Home Economy.

In the Home Economy, the role of fines is to help children understand costs and consequences—it is not to punish them. The list of fines should be short and direct, matching your household priorities.

Fines should not be imposed on top of other penalties. For example, if a child is expected to clean their room to earn a salary, there should not be a fine for the messy room on top of the impacted salary.

Our list is an example:


Ticket Amount





Messy room


Missing work




Although the Police Officers write tickets for fines, you control the process through an offense log. As you correct a child, you can mention that you’re adding the violation to the log. Then, when “Ticket Day” comes, the Police Officers write tickets based on the entries in your log. In this way you retain explicit authority over dealing with misbehavior.


  • The behaviors that elicit fines should reflect your own values. As an example, our list allots the steepest fine to dishonesty, reflecting a belief that truthfulness is an essential value for children to absorb.
  • Be sure the fines you choose fit the culture of your household. For example, promptness may be difficult to enforce in your home if it is not a priority to you.
Save & Reward

Short- & Long-Term

Children who make their rent payments and manage to save additional money can reap:

  • Short-term and weekly rewards.
  • Longer-term rewards (monthly, seasonal, or even aligned to school calendars).
  • Help with budgeting to meet their savings goals while paying rent.

Reward Suggestions

  • Extra TV or tablet time.
  • Play date with a friend.
  • Ice cream treat.
  • Staying up an extra 30 minutes or hour.
  • Sleepover with friends.
  • Going to the park after school.

Long-term rewards

  • Trip to an amusement park.
  • Choice of full-day activity.
  • Camping trip.
  • Spending money for family vacation.


You can also incorporate donating as part of your child’s budget or savings goals. This can be a fun way for children to give to their favorite charity.

Rewards do not have to be tangible gifts or objects. They can simply be time with family or extra time to do activities the child enjoys.