To Pay or Not to Pay – Allowances and Chores

Giving an allowance to a three-year-old child for chores done around the home gets some people riled up. Not everyone agrees with my decision to fork over twenty-five cents for help with cleaning the litter box.

In fact, a while back there was a great blog post explaining the two schools of thought:

1. Pay for chores
2. No pay for chores

Some parents strongly believe chores should be completed as part of family life, with no reward – and I used to think that way as well.

Other parents use a combination approach where some chores are done as part of a daily routine and extra chores are paid for with an allowance.

I’ve started paying for chores, and here’s my reasoning. (As a woman I retain my privilege to change my mind at any time.

Kay will learn early about saving.

1. Twenty percent of all her income goes straight into her piggy bank

2. Half of her piggy bank goes for short term spending – she can spend every week right now, the other half goes to long term spending. In time I may move that to a three tiered system where one third of her saving may go towards a car, college, or other teenage items. The main goal is for her to have lots of small success saving. If I can get her to save a dollar, we can go to the dollar store where she can buy something she chooses.

Kay will learn about chores.

1. Even though she’s getting an allowance in return for chores, she’s still required to do chores, a little bit every day – feed the dogs, make her bed, clean her room etc. By having chores each day she learns the value of hard work and also gets into a routine.

2. My hope is that doing chores at three will become so routine and ingrained in her that she won’t have the same ‘messy’ syndrome that her moms has. (Yea that’s me)

I’d love to hear about your experiences with allowances. Do you pay for chores? Have allowances at an early age?