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Paying Your Kids for Chores: What We Learned

One of the ways to make a difference for your family and community is to teach your kids about money and how to make wise choices with it. Most of us didn’t receive much guidance from our parents or in school but are in a position to give our children better than what we had…especially if you read this blog. 

This is true for me too. As the Founder and CEO of Futurebound, my husband and I have tried to teach our children (five in total) what to do with their money and how to make smart choices. But it hasn’t always worked out the way we hoped.

Here are some lessons that we learned along the way: 


Paying Kids for Chores: Parents Tell All


Lesson 01 – Give your kids some decision-making power over the budget. 

Each of our kids has a clothing account that they make decisions about what to spend it on, except our 1-year-old. They have an annual budget that gets automatically transferred to their clothing accounts each fortnight. The accounts aren’t linked to any debit cards, so they have to discuss their purchase with us and then we pay for it once the decision is made. 

If you’re considering doing this too, make sure your children have to come to you before spending any money. The goal is to teach them how to decide if something is a good buy and whether it’s a good time to buy it. Put in place roadblocks which will bring the opportunity for natural discussion. 


Lesson 02 – Paying kids for chores has an expiration date. 

When the older 4 of our children were younger, we put money aside to pay them for extra chores. Each had chores they needed to do as a member of the family but could also earn some money for doing extra chores.  

After a slow start, it started to work moderately well. Initially the kids preferred to sit around on devices rather than earn some money. 

So we started telling them if they wanted some money to hang out with friends, they’d have to earn it. Extra jobs started getting done and children were getting paid. 

This was until they started working. Once they had a more regular and much greater source of funds, they stopped doing the extra chores. Now they just do all the jobs for free. 


Lesson 03 – Consider different forms of payment for different kids. 

Of our four older kids, two were motivated to make money and two weren’t. In fact, one of them who weren’t money motivated was happy to get money from grandparents and squirrel it away for when she was going to go flatting. She was 9 years old at the time. 

We eventually learned each kid was motivated by different things, so we started to tweak the rules a bit. For one we’d make do a job before hanging out with friends and for another we’d make do a job when they want to get bubble tea.  

In effect, the thing they wanted to spend money on was the actual reward, not the money. 


Keep in mind this article is providing general information and not individual financial advice.  

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