Allowance and chores

[deleted account] ( 12 moms have responded )

Hi everyone! I have a 7 yr old boy and 4 yr old girl. I know that they are both capable of starting chores so my question is what types of chores are moms out there assign and do they get "paid" for their chores. I know my son is already saying "I'll do it mom for $1". That is the next question I have, allowance. With todays economy I know I am having a hard time figuring out what is appropriate for allowance. My mother in law lives with us and she said that a nickel to a quarter should be sufficiant but I'm afraid it will take them a long time to earn enough to buy anything substantial. I also heard paying them half their age. I do understand that allowance is important so that they may start learning the value. My son is bugging me for a Nintendo DS and he insists that it will take him only 2 wks to raise the money. Def need to work on concept of money. LOL Thanks and have a Great day!


Amanda - posted on 03/01/2009




As far as how much to pay kids, I saw a cool thing on Oprah a few months ago when she had Suze Orman (I think that's how you spell her name). She suggested that when you are wondering how much to pay kids, start with minimum wage. She said to divide minimum wage by 60 minutes and that it comes out to around 10 or 11 cents a minute and then get an idea of how long it takes kids to do something. For instance one of my kids chores is to empty the trash cans around the house and then take out the trash. It takes them usually about 5 minutes so they get 50 cents. It almost always comes out to 50 cents a chore so the moms that suggested that, it's a great suggestion! As far as what types of chores, my kids pretty do regular cleaning types of things, like emptying the dishwasher, putting dishes in the dishwasher, folding their laundry, they move laundry from washer to dryer as well, emptying the trash, taking care of the cats, vacuuming the floors and other light cleaning. I do all the major stuff like scrubbing the bathrooms and kitchens. They could do other things but there are certain hygeine oriented things I'd rather just do myself. I do involve them cause I want them to grow up and be able to take care of themselves someday. When it comes to paying them, I actually started using fake money. I don't keep cash on hand and this way when they want to buy something, they pay me and I just use my debit card while I'm at the store. When they are 10 (and that is in just a couple weeks for my daughter) we are going to get them a bank account and start teaching them about using a checkbook. When it comes to expensive things that they want, if they have been good in school and have been good at home, I'll usually ask my parents to help with a contribution for their birthday or something so they can get it faster (we're on a limited budget in my house and I just can't afford to buy a lot of things)

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Crystle - posted on 03/23/2011




My daughter get pocket money every week, $1 for each year of their age but I want to try giving them less pocket money and pay them about 50c for each chore they have done which would add up to about 7$ a week which is the same as what they get now. I want to start paying them for each chore as now they expect their pocket money and don't do much for it. I like the jar idea.

Elizabeth - posted on 01/12/2011




Our ten year old can earn $1 per day if: he basically takes care of his stuff (make bed, keep room tidy, clean bathroom once a week, do his laundry once a week) but we drafted a contract. There is also the provision that to earn the $1 he has to keep the bosses happy (Mom, Dad, and Teachers) meaning no misbehaving at school, no attitude at home. He has a savings account, and we match up to $10 per month that he puts into it (so he can really earn $40 a month, and he adds $10 to his savings every month, he's now up to $100 even after buying christmas gifts for his two sisters). Also, because my husband is military, we model punishment on the military system. He can be fined up to $5 depending on the transgression for things in addition to grounding. We've reinforced this idea explaining it's what can happen to his Daddy if Daddy gets in trouble. Plus, in the real world, trouble and not following rules usually results in a fine, ticket, or other loss of funds.

Amanda - posted on 01/12/2011




Hi. I agree that everyone should just help out cause they are part of the fam but also wanted my kids to learn the value of money and how to take care of it. So they each have one job that is for money and the rest is just supposed to be done to help out. They each get ten dollars a week if they do a good job that week. One dollar goes to church to be tithes, and then four goes in savings and five for them to use how they want. Lately they have been really slacking so I've been barely paying out anything but it's hard cause I don't want to just do it for them and not pay them cause that in itself becomes an easy out for them. They are 11 and 13. I'm trying to not make it negative by nagging them but it's hard. I'm looking for an easy chore to start my 5 year old on. I'm thinking maybe setting and clearing the table? Any advice?

Michelle - posted on 03/02/2009




My kids have 2 charts for jobs and a sticker chart. The 1st chart is a daily one with listed items like brushing teeth and making beds etc, the 2nd is a weekly one which is to do with their bedrooms and taking their washing to the machine etc. My children are 9, 5, 4 and 5 months, although baby has not got charts at the min:) but each childs chart is different due to their age. My eldest has a fish tank, so he has to clean it out, he can dust and hoover etc and with each job he puts a tick on his char., My 5 and 4 year old, don't hoover but do dust (with wet wipes) and also use wet wipes on their school shoes, they make their beds and have to put away toys, coats, shoes, lunch boxes etc again each job gets a tick. If the job isn't done it gets a cross. At the end of the week the ticks are turned into money and the more ticks they have the more money they get. I don't push them to do their jobs, after all if they don't do any, well that's just saved me money and they don't get anything:) I work out how much I would give each child and devide it between all the boxes. My eldest always gets the most due to his age, but has more jobs listed. Having said all this, if they are naughty they have ticks turned into crosses, so they know thier money drops.

The sticker chart is again boxes for their stickers. It could be stickers from school, play groups or even family members (for when the kids visit and have been good etc), I, myself will hand out stickers for extra jobs that they do that isn't on their daily or weekly charts or even that they've been good whilst out shopping etc. This chart will just have a total amount written on the bottom, so when the chart is full they get that amount. Again my eldest gets the most but then he has more boxes to fill and the good thing about this chart is that it takes about 4-6 weeks to fill. As for the age I started all this, it was 2, all 2 year olds can walk round with a wet wipe and 'clean'. Hope this helps!


Dani - posted on 03/02/2009




I don't give my kids an allowance and there are only a few chores my teen gets paid for, shoveling snow, mowing the lawn.  But doing laundry, dishes, vacuuming, etc. are just normal responsibilities.  I have a teenager and money does not motivate him to do things.  So he has regular chores to do and when he wants to go somewhere (movies, arcade, basketball, etc.) we give him money then.


Juniper - posted on 03/02/2009




Some really goods suggestions in here which I am going to start incorporating into my house as my girls get older.

Right now my daughter is 2.5 yrs and she has to clean up after herself (toys left out). She decided that she was going to help feed the cats and empty the dishwasher. I didn't start these just cause she was only 18 mos at the time and didn't even think of chores.

As for the bank account, wow just my opinion that sounds really early to start a checking account. Good Luck. I only say that because this is my experience on that: I was taught how to use a savings account - put money in, take money out when needed. So till I was well into my 20's that is what I did. Now married and 2 kids I have to relearn my habits and actually save money and put money in an account that can't be easily pulled from for emergencys etc...

Learning the bank is awsome and they should learn just make sure they learn to actually save some of the money.

I do think that chores are apart of the house and the payment for chores is an early "job" for kids to learn that doing work is benificial and how it helps when they are older. I never got paid for chores when I was young and have a hard time getting the motivation to want to clean my own house. Which sounds crazy cause I love a clean environment and worked as a hotel maid and a dental assistant. I think I am going to have to set up my own work jar " : )

Good Luck ladies

Melissa - posted on 03/02/2009




My son is 3 1/2. I started having him help pick uo his toys when he was about 1 & then he started being responsible for "making his bed" when he was 2. I did not pay him for chores until this year. He now picks up his toys, makes his bed, dresses himself & puts the dirty clothes in the clothes hamper. He is pd $.05 per chore per day & we use a sticker chart to keep up with the chores daily & then at the end of the week we count all the stickers & pay with nickels. We also started teaching him to save a portion, give a portion to church & then he can keep the other portion to spend.

Katy - posted on 03/02/2009




I'm starting to think about chores for my twins too.  What age do you think seems to work best in starting this?  The twins are 4, so not sure if it's too early for them?

April - posted on 03/01/2009




make a list of 2 types of chores--ones that they do as part of the family/household, and ones that they can do for $. Cleaning their rooms, clearing the table, feeding the pets and helping with dishes, those go in the first group. extras would be like dusting furniture, washing windows, scooping poop in the yard/litterbox, weeding plants, those are extra things that you could give $for--but a dollar a chore may be a bit much- my kids get 50 cents per chore, unless they have just done an awesome job. for saving for things- do NOT buy the item in exchange of future chores- it just doesnt work. my kids have 1 jar for God, 1 for spending, and 1 for saving. they are allowed to combine their money (which they have chosen to do together) for a larger item to share. unless they earn $ for the big items like a ds, those are usually christmas gift ideas. my kids also save their $ for summer, because I bring snacks to the pool- if they want to buy something at the snack bar, they use their own money. those are just some ideas- hiope it helps!

[deleted account]

Thank you, I love the chore in the jar idea. I do agree that some chores they should do just because they are part of the family. What happens to the chores that don't get done? Do you do them or with the system they all get done? Now my other problem is being consistent LOL. Have a Great Day!

Brandie - posted on 02/28/2009




Until recently I felt doing chores is part of living together... I don't get paid to do housework. However, my older kids are wanting money for certain things, so we started a chore calendar. It is a regular calendar... I only pay 50 cents a chore, but it adds up to a good amount by the end of the week... on average $5 per child... they write their chores on the day they were done & how much money owed.

Chores for that age include: matching socks, drying dishes, feeding pets, taking out trash, setting table, cooking with Mom & making dad & moms bed...  I have 2 jars 1 contains bookmark size cardstock with the names of the chores... when one is done it goes into the "done" jar.

Chores teach responsibilty. What I like is that they do chores sometimes just to be nice now, not just for money :)

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