This post is sponsored by HomeyLabs, the developer of the Homey App. All opinions are 100% mine.
As my kids get older, I want to know that I am doing everything I can to help them develop good financial skills. How to earn and manage money are the first basic financial lessons we can teach to our children. It is important for kids to learn good money habits while they are still young and living at home. This way, they can grow these skills in a safe environment.
Starting a chore system is a great way for parents to teach their children the value of hard work. The best way for kids to learn about how money works is by allowing them to earn and handle money from a young age.
Recently a Harvard study found that “doing chores at a young age increases professional success.” Children who help with chores at home develop important life-long skills. They learn to take personal responsibility for chores and how to contribute to a team.
This past week, I had the opportunity to give the Homey app a try in our home. I wanted to share my experience and how you can use it to help teach your children financial skills.
What is Homey?
Homey is a chore management app that the entire family can use together. It allows parents to manage chores, rewards, and allowances for their children. Parents can setup responsibilities and jobs and assign them to each family member.
What I love about Homey is that it gets the entire family involved and working together as a team. You have the option to create an account for each member of your family and download the app onto their own device. By using Homey, parents can teach their children about household responsibilities. At the same time, children can earn money and other rewards from completing chores around the house.
Homey focuses on rewarding children for their hard work with positive reinforcements. Children can create a wishlist of rewards they want to earn for finishing chores. These wishlists help encourage children to save for long-term goals.
How the Homey App Works
It’s easy to get started with Homey. Once each member of your family has their own account setup, then you assign the household chores.
There are two ways to set up a household chore.
A responsibility is a chore that you expect your child to help contribute to the household. They help teach kids that everyone in the family needs to help around the house. Once completed, children earn points which are like experience points earned in video games. Kids use these points to earn privileges. Also, each member of the household is ranked on a chart by their total points. This is a great way to encourage children to help out while showing them how much their parents do around the house.
A job is a chore that your child can complete which earns them coins as a reward for finishing. These coins never expire and your child can use them to earn their rewards. A reward can be anything the child wants to earn, such as a privilege, a toy, or a cash reward.
Homey has several features available so you can customize the app to meet your family’s needs. You can set dues dates for chores and schedule recurring chores. Or, you can take a more relaxed approach. If you want to give your children the freedom to decide when they do chores, you can set them up to be completed anytime they want.
Homey also allows parents to manage allowances. Parents set the amount of the allowance and decide when to pay it. Once your child has earned an allowance or a money reward, the premium plan gives you the ability to transfer that money directly into your child’s savings account. If you want to connect more than one account to your checking account you can upgrade to the unlimited plan. The unlimited plan allows up to five connected bank accounts.
This can save you the hassle of trying to find cash around the house to pay your child for an allowance or reward. Also, you get the opportunity to show your children how banking works, how to earn interest, and how to save money.
If your child doesn’t have a bank account, then you can accumulate the total amount of money owed to them. When you are ready to pay them in cash for their allowance and rewards, you can then mark it as paid in their account.
Why the Homey App is Better than a Chore Chart
In the past, I tried paper chore charts, sticky notes and a dry erase board job list with our son, who is now eight years old. I tried all these chore charting methods because they seemed like a good idea at the time. But, none of these methods worked out well for our family. Eventually, I gave up trying to maintain a chore and reward system at our house.
I took the picture below over a year ago at one of my failed attempts to make a dry erase board job list for him. He erased chore #2 and wrote “play” instead. I thought it was too funny not to take a picture of it! Eventually, I gave up with our dry erase job list.
Every now and then I would ask our son to take out the trash, pick up his room or clean up his bathroom. He helped out around the house, but I was inconsistent with paying him for chores.
The Homey app can help you be consistent with managing chores and allowances. Once you take the time to develop a plan on how to handle allowances and chores, the app takes care of the hard part. It sends reminders to kids about their responsibilities and chores. And, it informs parents when a kid adds a reward to his or her wishlist and completes a chore.
What my Son Thought About Using Homey
Our son has his own iPad, so I downloaded the Homey app on there and set up him his own account. He liked getting to take his photo and having his very own account. When I first explained to him how we were going to keep track of chores that he completed, he wasn’t thrilled.
Then, I showed him how he would get coins for each chore that he completed and he could use these coins to earn rewards. That made him excited. Homey allows children the ability to create a wishlist of goals that they want to work towards. Parents are then allowed to approve these reward ideas or not.
I let my son choose his first reward and he decided that he wanted to earn a movie night at home. This meant that he could stay up late on a Friday night and we would watch a movie together as a family and eat snacks. He loves having movie nights.
How We Setup His Account
I set up two responsibilities in his account that he could complete after he got home from school each day. They were “do homework” and “hang backpack.”
Here is a list of jobs that we set up, that he can earn coins for:
- Set the table
- Take out the trash
- Make your bed
- Vacuum your room
- Return books to bookshelf
- Put away toys
- Put dirty clothes in the hamper
- Water the garden
- Help in the garden
Tonight while I was making dinner he asked me if he could set the table so he could earn some coins. Hooray! He took the initiative on his own to get a job marked off of his list. Now, he is just one completed chore away from earning his movie night.
Best Features of the Homey App
- It’s FREE to download and use the basic plan.
- Allows you to take before and after photos of chores.
- Children have the ability to create a wishlist of rewards they want to earn.
- Keeps up with the child’s progress while working towards reward goals.
- With the premium plan, you can transfer allowance or reward money into your kid’s savings account.
Can you use the Homey App Even if you Don’t Have Kids?
Yes, absolutely! When I first tried Homey, I realized that the app would also be beneficial in helping me manage the household chores that I do on a weekly basis.
I work from home during the week, and I spend a lot of time cleaning our house. The issue I have had since I began working at home was trying to establish a cleaning routine for myself. Using Homey, I was able to assign myself a few chores to do each day of the week. This way, I can stay on top of the chores without feeling like I have to spend hours a day cleaning. Because of this, our house has stayed cleaner and I have had more free time to devote to other things.
How Much Does it Cost?
The app is free to download and all the features on the basic plan are free to use.
There are premium and unlimited plans available that offer additional features. The premium plan costs $3.99 per month or $29.99 charged annually. The unlimited plan costs $6.99 per month or $49.99 charged annually.
Within the app, there are some preset chore packs that are available. Downloading these packs makes the setup process quicker and easier. Also, they are helpful in giving you ideas of chores you can add to your children’s responsibility and job lists.
Here are the chore pack options available and their cost.
- Floors – 4 preset chores – free
- Bathroom – 8 preset chores – free
- Kitchen – 11 preset chores – free
- Kids room – 6 preset chores – free
- School Days – 14 preset chores – $1.99
- Summer Chores – 15 preset chores – $1.99
- Christmas Season – 24 preset chores – $3.99
- Spring Cleaning – 65 preset chores – $4.99
I tried all of the chore packs except for the Summer Chores and the Christmas Season. My favorite chore pack was the Spring Cleaning pack. It had great ideas of ways to get your house refreshed and cleaned for spring.
Where Can I Find the Homey App?
Do you have an allowance system or pay for chores in your household? Let me know what you think about the Homey app! Do you think you will give it a try?