Kids & Chores

So, my daughter came to me last night and asked if she could start earning money for doing work around the house.  Now that she’s getting older and involved in more extracurricular activities, she needs money more often.  She told me she didn’t enjoy asking us for money and would like the chance to earn her own. 

I told her I would talk it over with her dad and get back with her.  After talking with my husband, we created an earnings contract for all three of us to sign.

Here is how we came up with the contract.

Our biggest concern was that there needed to be a differentiation between tasks that we are all required to do to keep our home functioning and tasks that could be considered “jobs” (my husband was adamant that these tasks should not be labeled as “chores”, but rather “jobs”) that she could earn money for.  Basically, anything related to her specifically are unpaid jobs.  Examples of this are:  cleaning her room, doing her laundry, keeping her bathroom tidy.  Also, anything we ask of her that needs done is unpaid.  Her paid jobs need to be tasks that she sees need done without being asked.  These are typically items that don’t fall under the Daily 6 of my 6/10 List.  Examples of paid jobs:  take trash to the dumpster, unload and reload dishwasher, mop floors.

Our next concern was money.  We needed to have a cap on how much money could be earned each week.  We decided on $20.  We chose this amount based on a few factors.  1.  $20 is the equivalent to about 3 or 4 trips to the gas station for snacks (which is typically what she spends her money on).  2.  $80 a month is doable for us to budget for housekeeping help.  3.  $20 is enough that she would feel like what she’s doing each week has value.

We agreed on paying her each Friday.  She will be responsible for tracking her completed jobs each week (I created a timesheet template for her to use) and the amount paid out will be negotiated by the three of us.  It’s too much of a gray area to put a dollar value on a task.  For instance, maybe she loads trash but there wasn’t much to load that week.  Or maybe she starts and switches laundry, but doesn’t fold it.  The amount of required cleaning tasks she does each week will also affect how much additional she can earn.  If we feel she hasn’t stayed up on her personal tasks, she won’t earn as much.

Once we nailed down her jobs and money, we drew up an informal contract for all of us to sign.  This was basically a symbolic gesture that we respected her enough to document our promise.  It also puts a little more weight behind her “employment”, making it seem important to her. 

I’m excited to see how this journey plays out.  Our daughter has always been responsible so I assume this will be a great way for her to earn her own income each week.

I’ll put the contract and the timesheet template on my Etsy shop ( if you are interested in implementing something like this in your home.

Thanks for reading!


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