Allowance for Chores?

Should an Allowance Be Tied to Chores?

Allowance for chores? Should an allowance be tied to chores? If ever there was a hot debate on allowances, this is it.

Chores and Allowances - What to Consider

There are equally compelling arguments on both sides of the question. Your family will need to determine which method works best for you. And, of course, you may need to revise over time to find the best balance.

In the meantime, here are some issues and questions to consider:

#1 - Tracking Chores

Are you willing to assign chores and keep track of actual performance? This can be a deal-breaker. It can be difficult enough to remember to pay an allowance once a week. But it gets much more complicated when you also have to track and evaluate performance on an ongoing basis.

#2 - Chores - Mandatory or Compensated?

Do you feel like certain chores are just part of being in the family, and that they don't deserve a monetary reward? In this case, the kids may be expected to do certain things - such as making their beds and keeping their rooms clean - for free.

Other tasks may be more involved, however, like raking leaves, shoveling snow, mowing the lawn, and may be more appropriate for paying your child to complete. Whether these are included in a formal allowance for chores agreement, or whether they're considered special projects negotiated on an individual basis is up to you.

#3 - Money Management vs. Good Work Ethic

Don't confuse money management principles with instilling a good work ethic.

Often, these do go hand-in-hand. But be sure that you are clear on what you are trying to accomplish in each instance.

Teaching the kids that a CD will cost them three weeks' worth of allowance is different than teaching them that there is value in hard work. And, even kids who hold jobs for their money can blow it on frivolous items.

Would a Proven Chore Program Make Life Easier?

If you do decide to tie to an allowance to chores, seriously consider getting a good chore program or system in place to make it easier on you.

Whether you go the allowance for chores route, or whether you just need some guidance on chores in general, a formal chore program can save you a ton of time and eliminate your frustrations by giving you immediate information and resources that work.