How Much Should You Pay Your Child to do Chores?

Deciding to pay your child to do chores is a great way to teach them both the value of hard work as well as the value of money.If you have ever had a conversation about chores with other parents, you will most likely hear more than one opinion on the matter.

Some people feel children should not be paid to do chores at all. Rather they feel the chores are expected and should simply be a way for children to contribute to the family.

Others feel a monetary allotment should be made and attached to each chore completed. In that way they teach their children about the value of hard work and money management.

But if you agree with the latter group, how much should you pay your child to do chores? Here are a few things to take into consideration when deciding how much to pay your child to do chores.

Their Age

One of the first things that comes to mind when determining how much you should pay your child to do chores is age. If your child is a toddler, there are some tasks that are not going to be suited to them. These could be things such as washing the dishes or mowing the grass. But you might be able to have them match the socks from the dryer.

Keep in mind the tasks you assign to your child should be age appropriate. They should not take so long they have no time for other activities.

Task Choice

As previously discussed, which household duties you pay your child to do is closely tied to their age. In addition, there may be some tasks that need to be done daily. These should not be tied to a monetary reward at all.

Just as you wouldn’t pay your child to take a shower or brush their teeth, you might also not want to pay them to make their bed or keep their room picked up. These are expected as a normal part of life.

Some parents leave the choice of chores up to the child. You could adopt this method by writing each chore on a small piece of paper and tossing it in a basket. Then, mix up the chores and let your child dip their hand in the basket and pull out a card. Whatever the card says is the chore they do. There are other methods you could choose, of course, such as assigning certain chores for certain days of the week.

Number of Duties

If you have older children, you need to keep in mind other after school responsibilities they may have. These could be things like sports, music lessons, and homework. Each of these takes time and some can vary widely.

For example, some nights your middle schooler may have basketball practice. But, on other nights, he might have a game or tournament. On game day he or she may not get home until close to bed time making chores an unreasonable expectation. Other evenings your kids may need to complete extra homework assignments to make up for days they were absent or had bigger projects assigned.

Using good judgement when you assign household duties is essential to teach your kids the value of receiving payment for chores.

Dollars and Sense

When it comes down how much you should pay your child for chores it depends on the value you place on the work being done. Of course, it may also hinge on how big your budget is.

Additionally, if the task being done is grumbled and griped about or not done properly, do you pay anything for it at all? Or should you only pay half of what you would have if it had been done well?

These types of questions must be addressed and answered when considering how much you should pay for chores. There should also be some type of punishment or consequence if chores are not finished.

You can also change up the value of the chores depending on the time it takes and the difficulty in the duty being performed. Teenagers are going to be able to handle more complex tasks and should be paid accordingly. You could start out paying $1 a week per year of your child’s age. Therefore, a 4 year old would receive $4 per week. Then, allow them to spend part of it but save a portion of it as well.

Paying your child to do chores can teach them the value of hard work and how to use money wisely. Click To Tweet

Record Keeping

Record keeping is going to be important in order to track how much money you will need to pay each child. It can also affect how often you pay them for the work being done. Will you pay them at the end of each week? Or, does it make more sense financially for you to keep a notebook tracking progress and then pay based on your own pay periods? Discuss it with your child and then stick to the plan as discussed to achieve the best results. When you lead by example your child will benefit both monetarily as well as ethically.


What about bonuses? If your child shoves the snow without asking or does a chore that needs to be done and isn’t on your list will you pay them more? Make these types of questions a part of your discussion so everyone knows what is expected and consequences are clear. Of course, when they surprise you by doing something extra, you could surprise them with a bonus.


We mentioned consequences a couple of times above, but what do you do if your child completely disregards your requests to complete a task? Do you let them get by with it?

You have several options, obviously. You could make them do the duty and not pay them. A second idea is to remind them they have the option of doing the chore for pay or doing it not for pay. But, not doing it isn’t one of the options. Another idea is to take away some other thing they are looking forward to, such a going to a friend’s house to play.

Be as consistent with your punishments as you are with your rewards for the greatest chance of success with your child.

Paying your child to do chores is a great way to teach them both the value of hard work as well as the value of money. Ultimately it is up to you if, when, and how much you should pay your child to do chores.

Do you think children should be paid to do chores? How much do you pay your child to do chores?