I’m all for anything that will make my life easier as a busy mom.
I own a business and I have two kiddos. As a single mom, I don’t get a lot of help and I have no sanity to spare.
My smartphone (oh, how I love my Android!) has been a saving grace for me for years now. I use it to organize important notes, remind me of doctor’s appointments for my kids and myself, catch up on emails when I’m on the run, make grocery shopping lists. It sometimes feels like my third hand, but it’s an essential piece of my productivity puzzle every day.
Needless to say, I love apps. Apps with a purpose, that is. If an app can help me organize my family and streamline our daily tasks in some way, then it’s soon to become one of my favorites.
Recently, I found the Homey app, one that promises to organize your family’s chores and allowance in one convenient spot. As a mom who constantly teaches her kids the importance of saving and budgeting (I start when they’re in diapers!), this app is so my thing.
I start giving my kids age-appropriate chores beginning when they can walk. They both helped me dust and put away toys when they were just toddlers. As they grow, they learn to take care of the pets, wash windows, tidy up their rooms, hang clothes up, and vacuum and steam-clean floors. I do give them some allowance if they keep up with their chores without me hounding them to do so.
We all know kids need reminders, but they also need independence. Independence teaches responsibility. So, when I found out Homey could send gentle reminders to my kids about their chores without my interference, I knew it would be the perfect way to blend reminders with independence.
Why Is Teaching Kids About Money and Responsibility Important?
Did you know that one of the best ways to teach kids about both responsibility and how money works is through a system of chores and allowance?
According to a Pollfish survey, parents who set chores for their children are more likely than those who don’t to say that their children perform better at school, are creative and responsible, and that they have a good relationship with their parents.
Out of the respondents who do create chores for their children, 100% of them said that they reward their children, in some form, for completing their chores. In my house, we use stickers for each day of completed chores. When you reach ten stickers, you get money for your piggy bank.
You get paid for the work you do, even though you don’t always enjoy it. There’s nothing wrong with paying children for their hard work, too, especially when they’re contributing to the household and learning essential responsibility skills along the way.
What Is Homey All About?
Homey’s founders, Saso Pompe and Sanja Zepan, created the app to help busy families find an easy way to manage chores and allowance. The app was selected as a semifinalist for the TechCo Startup of the Year Competitions in both 2016 and 2017.
The Homey app helps streamline the process of creating and organizing chores or your family. Through the app, which is available on both the App Store and Google Play, you can add the members of your household (yes, even yourself, which is a great way to reiterate to the kids that you have household responsibilities too) and create chores for them. Use the pre-made chores to add them quickly, or you can create your own if your family has some less common ones.
Set the frequency of chores, too, by changing how many days a child can skip between them. If you want the chores completed daily, like sweeping the floors and making beds, choose daily. For ones that children only need to complete two or three times per week, you can choose an option like “every two days” or “every three days.”
Assign the tasks to all household members if you all complete the same chores, or assign them individually. The latter is an excellent option for me since my kids are seven years apart and don’t complete the same chores. The app will give you reminders when a chore is due so everyone can stay on task. There’s no more need for a messy chore chart, hooray!
When your children complete chores, you can choose to let them mark their chores as complete themselves, wait for your approval, or even take a photo as proof before you mark it complete. Then, it’s onto the allowance!
Homey lets you connect your children’s savings or checking accounts to the app. This way, you can pay their allowance electronically (awesome for me – I’m a chronic, no-cash-on-hand type of person) when they complete their chores and you approve them.
Some of My Favorite Homey App Features
What’s not to love about the Homey app? It’s a win-win for everyone: it helps me assign and organize chores, reminds the kids to get them done, and then gives us both a simple way to pay and get paid for what they do to help around the house. But, here are a few of my very favorite Homey features:
Teaches Children About Money Using a Jar System
When your child gets his or her allowance, you can set up different funds for it to go into. For example, does your five-year-old want to save up for a Paw Patrol toy? Make a fund for that in his allowance account. Does your teenager want to save up for a car? Make a savings goal for it. Sit down and talk to your children about what they’d like to use their allowance for. Set some realistic goals, but let them get involved. They’ll learn what they need versus want, especially when they have to use their own money! Homey also suggests using the “save, spend, donate” method, letting your child have some allowance to spend and setting the rest aside for savings and donating to a charity of choice.
You can download Homey to your family’s devices or just keep it on yours. The choice is yours (although I highly recommend using separate devices so that everyone can get their reminders). But, if you do decide to put it on multiple devices, your family can use the built-in chat system to communicate with each other when you aren’t all together! Leave each other notes or some virtual high-fives when someone did a great job with their chores.
Lets Older Children Have Responsibility
One of the things I adore about Homey is that it doesn’t leave all of the responsibility of setting up and approving chores to the adults. Your older children and teens can get involved too! You have full control over your settings for your family members. Maybe you have a very responsible nine or ten-year-old who you trust with marking off her chores when she gets them done. You can change her settings to allow her to approve her own tasks. And, you can even let your teenagers, for example, approve tasks for younger siblings. They’ll feel an awesome sense of responsibility and you’ll start to feel comfortable giving away some of your responsibility!
If you have to work late one night but your kids want their chores approved so they can watch some TV, don’t worry – Homey can help you there too. The Homey app comes with a photo-proof setting that requires kids to snap a photo as proof that they did their chores. They can take photos directly with the app and they’ll show up next to the chore. Instant proof that the kids did their chores and you don’t even have to be there to see it!
How Can I Get Started with Homey?
1. Download the App and Register
Homey is available on both Google Play and the App Store. Once you download and install the app, Homey will prompt you to register for an account. This lets you take full advantage of the app by creating your household, assigning chores, approving chores, and giving allowance.
2. Pick Out a Subscription Plan – Or Stick with the Free Version
Homey has two versions you can choose from: Basic Homey or Homey Unlimited. Basic is 100% free and lets you have unlimited devices accessing your account.
Homey Unlimited costs $4.99 per month (or, save on an annual plan at $49.99). This plan gives you the full functionality of the app, allowing you to do things like give your older children the responsibility of approving chores, transfer money between accounts for allowance, and teach your kiddos about savings with unlimited savings jars.
3. Set Up Chores
Once you’re all set up, you can start divvying up some chores. Go through the pre-made ones first, because you’ll usually find what you need in there. Most of the ones I use are pre-made, with the exception of a couple chores I make up for my kids that are specific to our household.
4. Connect Checking or Savings Accounts
Finally, connect your bank account and your children’s checking or savings accounts to the app. This will let you transfer money from your bank account to theirs electronically for their allowances.
That’s it! Getting set up with the app couldn’t be easier for you, busy mama!
Delve Into Savings…with Your Kids!
I live and breathe a healthy budget. My kids know it and they’re 100% okay with it. That’s mostly because I’ve never hesitated to teach them my financially-savvy tips, even when they were seemingly too young to understand.
Chores and allowance can be some of the best ways to teach kids the value of a dollar without making the whole thing seem overwhelming. They learn to pitch into your household while also learning that hard work gets rewards. And, since they earn their money themselves, they’re much more apt to save and spend it wisely.
Homey can help you keep your household chores organized, whether you’re at home or on-the-go. That means we’ll have one less thing on our plates, ladies!
How do you teach your kids about money and responsibility? Do you think Homey is something you can see yourself and your family using? Connect with me on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram and keep the conversation rolling!
Amy is a mom of two, freelance writer, and blog manager who works with family-focused businesses to improve their content strategies. You can find her published work on Reader’s Digest Online, MSN, Niche, Frugal For Less, and other lifestyle publications.