Getting Paid to do Chores


Around my early twenties I heard on a talk show that the best way to teach your kids about money and chores was to pay them half their age each week for chores. I always remembered that and thought about instilling this when I had kids. Fast forward to years later when we had AJ and I thought it would be better to make him do chores because he lives here and it’s what he has to do. We all need to have a hand in keeping up our home and he never needs for anything.

Now, AJ’s starting to ask for more toys, videos, games, and other things he sees. He’s not spoiled, but has no concept of the value of money and what it means to work for it. So I decided to go back to my original plan.

AJ is now getting paid $3.00 every Friday for basic and expected chores around the house. He must set the table, clean the table after he eats, put away his toys, put pillows back on the couch, fold towels and put them away, and vacuum (use the carpet sweeper) his room.


For extra money (25 to 50 cents), he can do other chores….such as washing dishes, replacing toilet paper, cleaning the bathroom sink, sweeping the porch, clean the dining room chairs, and clean the kitchen floor.

As he gets older not only will the difficulty of the chores, but the amount of money will increase as well. When he’s 7 he’ll get paid $3.50, when he’s 8 he’ll get $.4.00, 9 years will get him $4.50…and so forth.

What about when he’s in his teens? That’s almost no money per week. What if he takes on more responsibility? Can he get more per week? 

I hope that by the time he’s ready for working papers he will get an after school job and working hard to earn money will be a no-brainer for him.  Though helping around the house will still be expected. As for increasing his amount per week, I think that is open to discussion. Right now the small amounts are good enough. If he wants to earn more per week, then he will be expected to do more.

Hubby and I had a discussion about when AJ’s older, he can rake leaves, shovel snow, wash cars, take out the garbage, and even do his own laundry.

How does earning money help him understand how to save? 

We are keeping a record of what he has in his wallet and bank at home. Money in his wallet is for spending. He keeps asking to spend it, but I keep reminding him he may want to spend it on our upcoming vacation. This will prepare him for keeping a well detailed check register, understand what it means to save and spend money, and how to save for something big.

If he saves up $20.00 and puts it in the big bank, then I will add another $20.00. I think an incentive to save is not only great for him, but will increase the amount we have saved for his college fund.


What about giving to charity and helping others? 

Yes I encourage helping and giving to others. AJ likes give at church and for other donations. He already donates clothes and toys and giving money to help charities is important. For Christmas time AJ will spend some of his money to help out kids in need. Though getting him involved in a specific charity or cause might be beneficial as well.

Do you pay your kids for chores? Teach them how to save?
How to help with charities? 


Getting Paid to do Chores — 16 Comments

  1. I think it’s great that you not only set a weekly amount but provide the opportunity for him to earn more. It makes him in charge of his own earnings.
    My kids got an allowance from the time they were very little. I took them to the bank when they were around 4 or 5 years old and had them start their own bank accounts. Every week they had to stand in line at the bank and put a portion of their allowance into the account and they did it through middle school.
    What a cool thing when they started college and I handed them those accounts. They were thousands of dollars and much needed and truly money they had collected themselves.

    • Yes, AJ needs to be in charge of his earnings and know what it means to spend and save. I love that they were able to have all that money for college. It’s a great feeling.

    • Thanks, I needed something to keep him from growing up entitled and not knowing the value of money. I know this will help him develop a better financial future.

  2. This is awesome, I love how you’re recording everything, too. That’s what we need to do for our oldest who is seven right now. He is learning the concept of money and what it means to earn it, save and spend but he isn’t keeping track of seeing it written down so we’ll have to do that, as well.

    • thanks! I think that if it works for your kids and it helps raise them to be responsible adults, then it’s all good. I am open to changing it around as he gets older

  3. Sounds like you have a great system worked out. A few years ago some kids (they were probably 14 or so) biked up to me while I was working in the yard and asked if I needed to hire anyone to mow my lawn. Well, we don’t have money for that so I had to say no, but ever since I’ve been excited about my kids being that age so they can figure out some bright ways to earn money and advertise their own “business,” be it yard work or babysitting or whatever.


    • It works for now and I hope he can save up more money for his college fund…though I really hope he learns how to save and spend when he’s older. I hear you, I felt bad turning a kid away. Though I may have to splurge to get good karma for my son.

  4. I’ve heard both sides of the camp on the ‘pay for chores’ and ‘no pay for chores’. I wish it were as simple as ‘you live here, you’re doing them’, but these days kids are so busy and we get so little time just to spend together that it seems like both parents and kids need the extra incentive. You seem to have found a great balance, though. It’s not a lot of money, but it’s something tangible that AJ can begin to understand. And the fact that you’ve built in a system of savings and giving is even better. Thanks for the idea!

    • I hear you, I wanted him to feel responsible for keeping this place clean, but he also needed to know the value of money. I will increase the money if he asks and does harder chores. Tony is already thinking about how he’s going to make him work hard outside…poor AJ.

  5. I do not pay my kiddos. I feel like maybe I should, especially for the learning to manage money aspect. I think that’s smart! However, they can earn money for extra chores, they take advantage of that sometimes. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing with us at MMBH 😉

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