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May 22, 2024

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One-Minute Parent: Money for Chores?

Should you give your child money for helping you around the house?

Parents go around and around on this topic: money (allowances) for kids. Should you give them money for chores done around the house? Or, are chores simply a part of family life? It’s debateable.

The Scene:

Your 7-year-old daughter tells you that her best friend gets “lots” of money every week for helping her mom with chores around the house. Your daughter wants money for what she does around the house, too.

Do You:

• Tell her “No” and that’s that.
• Explain to her that the family all pitches in and nobody gets paid so why should she?
• Say that you’ll think about it and give her an answer later.

What Experts Say:

In the book, Put Yourself in Their Shoes, parenting expert and author Barbara Meltz says that early in grade school is a good time for a child to start learning about money by getting an allowance. But before you arbitrarily set a price, talk with your child about your expectations of what she should do with her earned money. Arrive together at what a good amount is. (If part of the teaching experience is to be about saving, the the allowance needs to be enough so that your child can put some aside). Meltz suggests starting at $3 a week for a 7-year-old, and giving an allowance twice a month rather than weekly. 
    Personal finance expert Dave Ramsey, says a commission may work better than an allowance — to pay by the job. For instance, if your child helps with laundry, to pay her .50 cents. You can post a list of jobs your child needs to complete throughout the week with the amount stipulated for the job. By the end of the week, add up how much she earns based on jobs completed. Ramsey says this approach helps kids get on board with new things that need doing quicker than you may realize!

About the Author

Susan Swindell Day, Editor

Susan Swindell Day is the editor in chief of Nashville Parent and the mom of four amazing kids.