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Should your children get paid for helping around the house?

Should your children get paid for helping around the house?
/ by vesi_127 / Moment / Getty Images

For decades, there’s been an ongoing debate about whether parents should pay their kids to do chores. Regardless of where you stand, paying kids to do housework has its fair share of pros and cons.

Offering allowance teaches kids about the connection between work and money. It helps them value and appreciate hard work. It teaches them to save and they can even learn about sales tax and depending on how strict you want to be, you can also give your kids consequences. For example, you can let them work at their own pace, only paying them for work they accomplished. Or, if they fail to do work completely, you can issue them a fine, a late fee, or not pay them at all.

On the flip side, there are also cons to paying kids to do chores. Many parents argue that chores are a responsibility that every family member must help with. Nobody expects a mother to be paid to clean the kitchen nor would they expect a dad to be paid to cook, so why pay a child to clean their room? There’s also an argument to be made that if you pay kids for chores, they might not have the motivation to pitch in otherwise. Paying for chores can also dig into a family budget. This won’t apply to every family, but it’s possible it could apply to yours, and that money could be put to better use.

As I said, there are pros and cons, and, in the end, every child is different. It’s up to the parents to decide what is best for their kids.

That said, a recent survey, conducted by kids’ finance app Rooster Money, looked at the allowances of over 90,000 kids and teens. They discovered that on average, children put 45 per cent of their chore wages into savings which can be a lot considering that the average child earned a whopping $455 in allowance in 2020. Mowing the lawn was the top-earning chore with earnings averaging $7.83 followed by washing the car, raking leaves, clearing the table, and helping to make dinner.

The survey also shows nearly 7 in 10 parents gave their children a regular allowance last year and usually children start receiving allowance around age four, with younger children often starting to get an allowance when their siblings begin to receive it. The weekly allowance rate correlated roughly to $1 per year of the child’s age.

Cat and Claudia recently discussed the survey on The Beat 5@7 and reached out to listeners for their feedback. Take a listen below. Enjoy!

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