Do You Pay Your Kids For Chores?

I want to set up an allowance system for my 7-year-old, so she gets some hands-on personal finance experience, but I can’t seem to decide on how to carry it out.

As a kid, my parents never gave us money for chores, and I’ve developed the mindset that keeping the house tidy is just something you do as a member of the household, not something you do for a monetary reward. However, my grandfather did give us money for getting good grades.

I’ve come across some other interesting ideas around allowance on social media. Two that have stuck out for me are: (1) Paying your kid to read books on topics like entrepreneurship or finance and having them do a book report or explain what they’ve learned, and (2) Paying your kid to keep up with an activity or hobby they are passionate about.

I’m also not against paying my kid for chores, I just want to be thoughtful and intentional about setting up an allowance system, so I’m not wanting to change the rules about allowance three months later.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on allowance for kids – especially if you’ve got a kid that’s currently in that elementary-to-middle-school age range. Do you pay your kids for chores? How do you decide how much (and how often) to pay them? Do you have another unique approach to allowance? Do you implement any rules about what they can do with their money (like, making them save or donate a portion rather than buying yet another Lego set or LOL Surprise toy)?


I gave my kids an allowance and its rather small. Its not for chores since I expect everyone to help out regardless, rather its just some pocket money since he is too young to work an outside job. They are expected to work by the time they are 16, at the latest.

Honestly, I decided on the amount based on what I could afford at the time to give them. I could afford more now, but he gets the same because I am happy to buy what they need, and some of what they want.


I too was raised not getting paid for chores — the one exception was my parents would pay me or my brothers $10 to mow our acre lawn. I kind of have carried over the same with my 12-year-old daughter.

We started paying a regular allowance at first, but aren’t great about keeping up with it. My daughter doesn’t get paid for regular chores — that’s just being part of the family — but I have given her money for going above and beyond without being asked. I think she’s picked up on this, and it encourages to do more (fold all the clothes instead of just hers), but it’s still pretty hit or miss. She also gets money from her grandma for good grades and asks for gift cards for Christmas, so she’s (sort of) gotten the hang of budgeting all that.

At this point, she can start babysitting, so I’m encouraging her to make money from someone other than me and her dad. ?


I love hearing all this wisdom about chores are just part of the family dynamic and extra gets $, and an allowance b/c they are not old enough to work. My more recent ?? stem from young adults/late teens…my co-worker was just saying her college sophomore daughter has to pay for her entrance to a theme park & food on the next vacation but mom and dad are paying for transportation and lodging. Young adult took some issue b/c younger sibling still gets the whole vacation paid for. I admired that mom stuck to her point, you are now an adult and need to learn to budget and pay for vacations of your own. We want you to join us so we are willing to pay for the big ticket items and you have to pitch in on the entrance and food. Just like you would if you planned a vacation with your friends. I thought this was a wise step-up instead of the cold cut-off from family finances…any ideas on those young adult, ready to try their new wings experiences with money?


I gave my children chores to do and they got paid ,they did a good job today married with children and own their own homes so I feel they learned


@omi , wow, that’s a tough one! It does sound SOMEWHAT like what I do. It would really depend on several things: the older child’s level of responsibility with money- Like, do they need a reality check? Can I afford to pay for everyone? I have 2 teenagers and when we go on vacation, I hand them each money (coins we save year round cashed out) and tell them that it is theirs to do what they want, but when it’s done they don’t get more. Of course I pay for lodging and food, but if they want snacks, souvenirs, other experiences, etc…It’s on them. I save all year for vacation and have a limited budget. It’s reality. We have always been fairly open (age appropriately) about money and budgeting because I think its important to learn real life stuff.

A personal finance class is very helpful. Many high schools and colleges offer this option. I remember being away at college with no training about finances. yikes! I had to learn the hard way. I’m hoping that my kids remember all of our conversations and learn from my mistakes, and will come to me with questions.


I’m on the fence on this one.

I definitely would love to pay my kids for doing things, because it ingrains a sense of a hustle in them. And it relays the message of ‘you need to WORK to get money. No money will land on your lap’. It builds financial independence and allows me to segue into having them take care of their own expenses (hence tying work to rewards).

On the other hand: if I’m paying them for chores – will they not do chores when they move out? They won’t get paid for cleaning up their own place as adults, so will they just live like slobs, or will be habit be so ingrained in them they’ll do it for free?

Basically – on the one hand, I want to build that financial independence in them and pay them; on the other hand, I don’t want them to think that doing chores is something that they should only do when they get paid money for. A lot of it is common sense/hygiene based (i.e. taking out the trash so the house doesn’t become a cesspool of germs).

So I guess my answer is: not directly, I’d probably make them do chores before they can do the hustle I want to hire them to do to make money. Then, they’ll do the chore for free and build that habit ‘trigger’ and also build financial/hustle discipline by working.

This may be ideal because as adults later on, they might do chores weekly (for free, voluntarily) subconsciously as a habit to prep themselves to do a long week of work-for-money.


I do pay my kids for chores around the home in order to show them the value of money.

It’s not a huge sum of money, maybe they can make $30 fast in a month or so. But for them (under 14), it’s huge.

My partner is against this though. She thinks it teaches them that money is their motivation. If I want you to do the dishes, I pay you, then what’s my excuse?

She also thinks it breeds entitlement and they’ll be expecting more later on after they’ve earned enough money for an iPad or whatever. She would rather them go work at Kroger or some retail store as their first job.

And she thinks if we go out of town and their friends are over, they’ll expect to be paid for watching the kids.

I think I’m right though. When do you draw the line? How much is too much?


Hahaha… I tried paying my son once to get the chores done faster. And since then if there’s no payment involved he’s not even motivated to do pieces of stuff. Is this a good thing?

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I think it’s fine as long as you keep it fairly modest. At that age, there’s not a lot they can do to earn money or understand finances so that seems like a good place to start. I’d even argue that incentivizing cleanliness now might help develop it into a habit down the line as an adult.

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