Why Is It a Good Idea to Pay Your Kids for Chores?


Lately, I’ve started a system where each of our boys has a couple of new chores he must do each day. Yes, even the 4-year-old. I instituted this because I actually cannot keep up with the housekeeping all myself anyway.

I pay them a quarter for each of those jobs, plus I give them extra coins when they exhibit a wonderful attitude.

I’m able to pay them on the spot because I have a big juice jug full of change.

This has been working extremely well for us. Though yes, I always inspect their work, and make them fix things they’ve skipped over, like little Lego men peeking out from under the sofa.

 

Killing bugs for mom also counts as a chore. The 3 of them teamed up to kill the cicada under that stack of books! That particular job was free of charge. Ha!

 

Today I have asked Josh Wilson, of FaithFamilyFinance.com, to fill us in on why paying children for chores is a MARVELOUS idea, not just for us, but for our kids too….

 

Why Is It a Good Idea to Pay Your Kids for Chores?

One financial decision you will need to make with your children is if you should pay your children to do chores. There are several different reasons why this is a good idea. For starters, they can learn valuable life lessons. If you are on the fence about paying your children for chores, read more to find out why it can be a good idea.

Adults Work for Money

Adults work to earn money because they have bills to pay. Paying children for chores teaches them the value of work. They can learn about the incentive of working harder to earn more money. Just as you don’t get paid if you don’t work, you have the option not to pay your child if they don’t complete their chores on schedule.

Until your children are old enough to get a part-time job, paying your children for chores can be a good way to allow your children to work for a goal instead of simply being given everything they want.

It's a great way to teach your kids to work for a goal rather than being given everything! via @AprilandAlan storiesofourboys.com #responsibiityClick To Tweet

Chores Teach Commitment

Chores can consist of daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. Even if you decide not to pay your child for some everyday chores, money is a strong incentive to remain committed for additional chores. Your children can establish a work ethic early on.

Offering to pay your child for optional tasks that you don’t necessarily have to do is a good starting place. By not paying your child for every single chore they complete, you can reward them for their efforts while avoiding the entitlement spirit of thinking they “must” get paid for every chore or they won’t do it.

Chores Can Instill Entrepreneurship

Depending on your child’s personality, paying for chores can instill a level of entrepreneurship. By realizing they can make money by providing a solution to a need, completing chores in this case, they may decide to pursue their own side hustle as they grow older.

For example, if you pay them to mow the lawn, they might ask your neighbors to mow their lawns for cash. During the winter, they might offer to shovel driveways and sidewalks for extra cash. If you only pay them an allowance for not doing chores, they might miss out on these additional money-making opportunities.

Paying for Chores Establishes Expectations

As the parent, you can set the expectations for when your children will be paid for their chores. If your children don’t do it right the first time, have them redo the task to your satisfaction. Chores can be an excellent opportunity to learn attention to detail and working efficiently to maximize their earning potential.

Remember to consider your child’s age and experience when setting expectations. Just as there is a learning curve when you start a new job, your children will need to master new skills as well. As they mature, you can increase your expectations and maybe even give them a raise as well.

Chores Can Encourage Communication

Communication is a two-way street in every relationship. Paying for chores can teach your children communication skills that can benefit them in the professional world. On payday, you can review your child’s performance and encourage them or tell them how they can improve.

Your child can also improve their communication skills because they will learn how to accept feedback, good and bad, from their superiors. Chores can also teach negotiation. Your child might offer to perform additional tasks if they are trying to increase their income.

Children Can Learn Money Management Skills

Earning money allows children the opportunity to learn the value of saving money for future purchases and accomplishing other financial goals. If you offer them additional money for completing extra tasks, your children can have an additional incentive to work hard to achieve their goals sooner.

In addition to paying your children for chores, you can also teach them budgeting and banking. Instead of just giving them money and letting them go on a spending spree, you can have them divide their paycheck into saving, spending, and giving.

For example, you can help your kids open up a savings account and they can watch as their interest grows. Each month opens the doors for a new learning experience, and even earnings for your children. You should likely use an online account with low minimums and fees to help you children keep more of their money. My children use Capital One which has an account created just for them. This will prepare them for adulthood when a portion of each paycheck goes to taxes and living expenses.

Summary

Paying children for chores is one of the most debated topics about parenting. While no parent is required to pay for chores, doing so can teach your child valuable life lessons. If you decide to pay your child, remember that you don’t have to pay them for every single chore, and you can also base the payment on their performance.

 

 

Josh Wilson is the owner of a start-up personal finance blog, Family Faith Finance. Check out his blog and learn more about his journey through life.

 

 

16 comments

  • LOVE that even killing bugs counts as a chore!! I’d pay big time for that. I’m scared to death of bugs. Lol.

    Thank you for your kind comments on my oboe today!

    His
    Mrs U

  • Jen

    Alright, I know I should, but the free labor… Actually, none of the labor is ever free. My kids do chores and there is so much work involved in it for me!

  • Melinda Johnson

    While I do agree that maybe some chores should be paid because of the above reasons, I also feel that not all work is rewarded monetarily. I mean, I, as the stay at home parent, do not receive a salary. I think there should be a balance between paid chores and unpaid chores. Our kids have found other ways to earn money, and through that, we have taken the opportunity to teach them about giving, then saving, then spending. Just like in a lot of things, there needs to be a balance. Thanks.

    • I feel like that goes along with the theme of this article. He mentions that you as the parents choose some chores as paid and some as doing their part. I’m impressed your kids have found other ways to earn money.

  • Oh man. I struggle with this. As kids, we all five had specific chores and a specific allowance. I didn’t know the “worth” of chores and no matter if it was a heavy or light week, I still got the same allowance.
    I kinda love bribing/paying my kids for chores. There are many they do and should do for free (like their own messes) but gosh, it helps my morale to have them work! And they love it!
    So yes, that’s my long-winded way of agreeing!
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  • I still remember when my parents started paying me for our chores, it left an lasting impression, if I did a good job I got paid if I phoned it in I didn’t. the boys look so cute in this picture. Killing bugs for Mommy is a very important chore.

  • McMom

    I totally agree – pay for some, not for others. What do you, and/or Josh, think about some allowance not attached to chores (with the potential to earn more money via chores)? We haven’t started allowance yet, but it’s on my radar! Just curious. Also, do you pay immediately or on a “payday?”

    • I dislike allowance b/c I felt like they ended up with more money than they needed and i could not see the work they did in front of my face, even if they had done work. I like to pay them immediately right now b/c I do not have 1,000 tracking devices in place to keep track of who I owe when. I have a section of my home notebook that does list what kids I owe money to but I would forget to write small amounts. Therefore, for now, I pay immediately.

  • Josette Hall

    We didn’t reward in exactly the same way but I’m a big fan of giving kids a chance to have and spend their own money at a young age. For one thing, it helps you and them quickly see what they really value, which isn’t always everything they’ve been begging for. I’ve had this on my mind too and planning a post about my 21 year old son paying off his car loan of $10,000 in 6 months. It all started with earning an allowance!