Should Allowance Be Tied Into Chore Money?

little girl chore
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Now that my girls are older, they are expected to help out around the house on a regular basis. Before, when they were small, I would ask them to clean up their toys or pick up their rooms or put things away as needed. Now, each week, they put their clothes away and do a variety of other chores, like feed the dog and help vacuum.

Part of their allowance is tied to their chores. If they do their set chores throughout the week and earn enough tokens, then they get their full allowance. If, however, they skimp on chores, they get a portion of their allowance or no allowance at all (which, I’m pleased to say, has yet to be the case!). If they go above and beyond, they can earn extra. 

Not too many years ago I interviewed an author who felt this way:

Children should not be paid to do chores. Chores are a means for helping around the house. Adults don’t get paid to do chores. Children should look at chores as a way to help the family. 

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I understood her way of thinking in some respect. I do believe kids should assist around the house to help the family unit work well together. I want my kids to learn that when we work together, whether it’s cleaning the house, planting a garden, or washing the car, we are doing something to make all of our lives better.

At the same time I feel children should have some rewards for doing work around the house. Adults work to make a paycheck. We need the paycheck to live and, hopefully, we have a little left over to buy a few things we want. Why is it not a good thing to teach children that work can be rewarding, both in the purpose of the job (we clean the house so it looks nice, we can find things, it makes a calm environment) and for monetary purposes (we work and get extra money so we can buy something we’d like to have from time to time)?

So I have taken an ‘on the fence’ approach in our family by combining the two: giving a set allowance with a little more money offered when additional tasks are completed. 

I feel this solves two problems. It teaches my kids they are expected to do certain jobs each week to keep the family unit moving smoothly, but it also shows if they go above and beyond they can make a little money in the process. 

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What about you? Do you believe allowances should be tied to chores? Should they be somewhat related to chores? Or should they be separated altogether?

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What do you think?

Should Allowance Be Tied Into Chore Money?

Kathy Murdock works as a full time writer and web designer. Recently planted in the middle of the deep south from the busy streets of Los Angeles, when she's not coding Wordpress websites or writing about women in business and thrifty motherhood, Kathy spends time photographing alligators, playing with her family, and running. ... More

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5 comments

  1. Kathy says:

    Interesting how changing the name of it can really change the idea. I like that!

  2. Kathy says:

    That’s a good way to handle it. For your sis in law, is it for behaving, grades, all of the above?

  3. DarciEdwards says:

    We do not give our children allowance for chores for the reason mentioned above. It was important to us that they learn how ,oney works in real life. Our solution was to give our kids an allowance for school. That is the one thing they do that affects only them. Since we homeschool they only recieve payment if they are doing there very best. Goofing around and not paying attention will result in the loss of the money they would have earned that day for school. They end up earning their paycheck most days. My sister in law is the one who gave me the idea. She does this for her children who attend public school. Her logic was that school is like a job. It works for us.

  4. I agree with Suzie Orman.. it should be tied to chores and should be called work for pay not allowance. Dr. Phil tied his kids allowance to grades (probably because they hired people to do a lot around the house) I think that’s a good idea too.

  5. I totally agree, children should want to help with family cleaning without expecting anything in return but the care of the family.

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