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« A Letter to my Daughters on their 8th Birthday | Main | FOOD: I will not be afraid »

The Price of Chores

What would you pay to have the recycling brought outside and down to the curb?

This is what i am contemplating right now as The Twofer are starting to ask about an allowance. We used to give them a small allowance, back when they hardly "got" it, back before they knew about Five Below. We kept forgetting to pay them anyway. Recently though, they have been asking, and I've been wanting to dole out a few more chores and so it begs the question...


What would you pay to have someone empty your dishwasher every day?

A while ago I wrote a post joking that it was child labor. But the fact is, the girls are members of this household, and as such, they need to contribute. And until I see them creating a Mary Kate and Ashley empire, their contribution will have to be non-monetary. I am a better mom, a nicer mom, and a happier mom when everyone in the home is pitching in. This is also why I stopped "paying" for them to do chores. If I give them an allowance will they no longer feel that sense of family obligation? Will it be harder to get them to actually do their chores?

Probably not.
It's never been easy to get them to do their chores.
They never say "I can't wait to empty the dishwasher mom!"
Almost every single day I have to explain to them that just like Daddy and i have jobs around the house, so do they.
I don't see this changing if money is involved.
What if they say, "I don't want my allowance anyway.."?
I suppose I will keep the allowance and still present the argument that if they are a member of this family....
You get the idea.

The Price of Chores

I supposed I could give them an allowance and not tie it to chores at all. I will consider this IF this plan doesn't work. Right now I want to try giving chores a value to help the girls understand the value of work, how long it takes to earn money, and the value of a dollar. What doe you think of the values I've assigned to various chores? Too much? Too little?

Empty Dishwasher - $.50
Take Out Recycling - $.25
Empty Trash Cans Around the House - $.25
Wipe Down Bathroom Counter - $.25 per bathroom
Vacuum Sofa - $.50
Vacuum kitchen - $.25
Vacuum foyer - $.25
Wash Windows - $.25 per window

With this price list they would each be able to earn about $2.00 each week and more when I need the windows done. With stores like Five Below, in a few weeks they could earn enough to buy something fun, or save their money to buy something larger at Justice (when they have a sale). Plus, I won't have to remember ice cream money for the pool this summer!
But I will have to remember to pay them every week.
And that is the biggest chore of them all.

Reader Comments (5)

I like the prices...only thing I would say is you might want to rethink the windows...when i see windwos that kids have "Washed" they look worse after the washing. Thankfull emily is still young enough that she is concerned more about how many actual coins she gets vs. the 5 pennies sounds like more than one quarter for cleaning the playroom

May 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie New

Wish I knew - we're not quite in that phase yet. But we have been doing the "Bank of Mom" with the boy's allowance. Every week they hand the dollar back to me instead of spending it, they earn interest - 1% a week to make it earn "real" money - and they're fascinated watching it grow!

When I was six, I had a real bank account -- but this is both cheaper and much less hassle.

May 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSusan @WhyMommy

I don't pay for chores. I tried. I failed. I couldn't keep up with it. However T is a big helper, I'm sure it has a lot to do with me being a single mom and her not having a choice. She is also spoiled I must say for a teenager. Even as a preteen she was spoiled in many ways with a cell phone, laptop, unlimited internet access, cable television, awesome family vacations, etc. There isn't much she wants for. She also has the understanding that with that spoiling comes responsibility. Someone asked her the other day why she was helping me with her siblings laundry and her response was 'I like being spoiled, if I don't help my mom and I miss a day of my life of being spoiled that would suck' so I guess she gets it. Mom has to work from home and can't do it all which she understands. No one can. Outside of chores all my kids pick up after themselves and put up their own toys. We are pretty organized with totes and such and I taught them from toddler age to clean up.

May 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMommaDJane

I don't pay for chores. I tried. I failed. I couldn't keep up with it.

I would think about the chores that you want done on a daily baisis (ie, empty dishwasher) to be broken down into a per time cost. Is $.50 what you want to pay per time???... that i $3.50 a week. Think about what you would be willing to pay for that chore to be done everyday for 7 days, Come up with a total from that and divide by 7 that way if one child splits chore with another, child gets paid for work truely done.

I chose to make amounts evenly divisible to teach division but also to pay for work done as my son would do a task but not fully completed and hence was paying for work not completed. Not paying him at all discouraged his motivation to actually take on task so partial pay for partial work was a fair compromise.

May 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3Ultras

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