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The Longest Debate - Should You Link Chores To Allowance?

Whether or not to link chores to allowance has undoubtedly been the longest debate in the parenting world. Tying chores to allowance is not a taboo, the key is to do it the right way!

Parents who are against the idea usually hold the same reasons - they believe monetary incentives create a system of expectation and entitlement, where children will soon negotiate payment terms of a chore, therefore not a sustainable reward in the long run.


However, there are actually numerous benefits of tying chores to allowance. In fact, such parenting approach is not uncommon. In 2018, AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) survey 📊 found that 52% of parents believe that kids should ‘earn’ their allowance, while 25% believe that it should be partially earned and partially given without strings attached. Tying chores to allowance is not a taboo, the key is to do it the right way! 🗝


Benefits of Linking Chores to Allowance

(Source: Getty Images)


1. Teach kids the concept of work for reward 💪

If you argue that linking chores to allowance foster a sense of entitlement, actually, giving kids money without strings attached might cause kids to take things for granted since they are spoon fed without contributing to the family. It is beneficial if parents make kids work for allowance AND properly explain to kids that such a process is similar to the real working world 🌐. Children will learn to appreciate how their parents work hard to earn a living and run the family 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦!


2. Foster a sense of responsibility and build independence.

Assigning children age-appropriate tasks around the house helps them learn about shouldering his share of work in the family, while training him to take care of himself. According to a New York Times article, children who helps at home feel a larger sense of obligation and connectedness to their parents 💘, and that connection helps them weather life’s stressful moments — in other words, it helps them be happier 😄! Meanwhile, you save time 🕙 on simple chores, and are able to save money 💵 on hiring a professional cleaner. A win-win situation for both you and your kids!


3. Train kids to be in control with their money.

Since kids work for their pocket money, they know that money is a limited resource and effort is required to earn it 💰. Indirectly, this trains them to manage their finances wisely. For instance, if a kid wants to make a larger purchase e.g. a VR goggles/ a bike 🚲, parents can offer additional chores while supporting their little ones to save for their desired purchases. They are going to feel SO happy and proud when they are able to purchase a large item fully with their hard work! 🤩 😌


(Source: Getty Images/ iStockPhotos)


There are different ways to link chores to allowance 🧹 🧺 🧽 🛒, our suggestion is to set a base allowance and provide bonus for extra tasks completed, i.e. allowance is half earned and half gifted. No matter which way you take, remember these tips: 📝


#1: Avoid paying for basic errands, pay for more complex tasks instead.

If pocket money is tied to the most fundamental tasks that kids should do, the child might consider such payment as a norm and sooner or later refuse to do even the basic tasks without financial incentives. Depending on the child's age 👦🏻 👧🏻 🧑🏻, it is advisable to set fundamental chores (e.g. wiping the table after meals) and for tasks that are tougher and more time consuming (e.g. car wash or baby sitting), pay according to their performance. Also, provide extra compensation for one-off tasks such as helping out with a major spring cleaning.

#2: Always EXPLAIN the underlying meaning behind your actions!

Tell them that completing chores isn't purely for money, but most importantly, it is to contribute to the family out of love and affection 🥰. Those extra pocket money is a reward for kindness, helpfulness, and their diligence! Also, the rules to earn money via chores should be transparent, consistent and very obviously fair among children.

Key Takeaway:

This blogpost is not a one-size-fits all financial parenting advice, for at the end of the day, every family holds different cultures and values. The key to linking chores to allowance depends on the types of chores, the amount offered, your children’s attitude, and (most importantly!) the way you communicate the financial values embedded in such an approach.




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Cover image credits: nytimes.com