Why We Pay Our Children for Doing Chores

Why We Pay Our Kids for Doing Chores

As parents, one of our desires is to instill in our children skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. We only get around 18 years to train, teach, nurture, and mentor our children. Ultimately, they are responsible for the choices they make. But we want to do everything we can to help guide them now to lay a strong foundation for their future.

One way we’re seeking to teach our children valuable skills is by paying them for doing chores. I know that the whole concept of giving allowances or paying your children can be controversial. But here’s what we’ve decided: we want to give our children the best money management skills possible. In order to do so, they need to be handling money. And we believe the best time to start them is when they are young.

So, we set up a system of Non-Paid Chores and Paid Chores few years ago and, so far, it’s worked really well. Here’s the basic rundown on it:

Non-Paid Chores are chores you are required to do as a member of our family. These are non-optional; we’re a team and we all need to pull our own weight for our family to function well. These are things like vacuuming, cleaning your room, cleaning the bathroom, laundry, and so forth.

Paid Chores are chores you can elect to do and get paid to do. The only requirement is that your Non-Paid Chores have to be done first before you do any Paid Chores (well, you’re welcome to do them, but you won’t get paid for them if your Non-Paid Chores aren’t done first!). These are things like vacuuming out the car, sweeping the garage, cleaning Mom & Dad’s bathroom… the list of options changes based upon what things need to be done around the house at the time.

Why We Pay our Kids For Doing Chores

Here are four reasons we have decided to pay our children for doing chores:

1. We Want to Encourage a Strong Work Ethic

One of the greatest gifts my parents gave me growing up was a strong work ethic. They provided us many opportunities to work hard and while I didn’t always enjoy those long hours of hard work around the house and on our land, I look back now and know that much of my persevering attitude is a direct result of those opportunities.

By giving our children the option to do extra chores and get paid for them, we’re teaching them that there are rewards for hard work. It’s been so fun to see them experience those rewards firsthand!

2. We Want to Teach Real-Life Skills

We have our children start paying for things from a young age. In fact, from the time all our children were three or four years old, they had their own spending money that they had earned by doing chores and projects for us.

When we’re out shopping, they can bring their own spending money and spend it however they’d like (within reason!). This helps them learn valuable money management skills and also prevents the gimme attitude that can quickly pop up when out shopping. If a child sees something they want and they ask me if we can buy it, my response is always, “Did you bring your money?”

I also love the real-life skills our children are learning from taking their items up to the register and paying for them themselves. They learn about counting change, interacting with sales clerks, and making sure they have enough money to pay for their items in the first place. :)

Why We Pay our Kids for Doing Chores

3. We Want Them to Make the $3 Mistakes

When our children to use their own spending money to buy things they want to purchase, we don’t give a whole lot of input or guidance — unless they ask us for it. Why? Because we want them to learn how to think through the wisdom of purchases on their own. We won’t always be around to guide their purchases, so we want them to learn to think through what the best deal is and what the best use of their money is without a lot of prodding from us.

We also want them to make money mistakes. This might seem harsh, but we’d much rather have them make $3 mistakes now when they are little to hopefully prevent some $3,000 and $30,000 mistakes down the road.

They’ve learned a lot of lessons when they bought cheap items that were broken within a few days and they’ve learned that spending all your hard-earned money on some impulse purchase can often lead to regret. These instances have resulted in great discussions about how to carefully think through purchases and how to make sure you’re making the best use of your money.

4. We Want to Provide Them Opportunities to Give

One of the greatest joys of paying our children for doing chores has been watching them become generous givers. We encourage them to set aside a portion of their money for giving and we regularly talk about the needs around the world.

We’ve been so proud to watch our children fund Operation Christmas Child boxes and buy goats and chickens and help fund a water project for those in other countries through Samaritan’s Purse. Truly, there has been nothing more rewarding as a parent than seeing our children want to follow our family’s mantra to “Live simply so others can simply live.”

Do you pay your children for chores? Why or why not? I’d love to hear your thoughts. {And if you disagree with anything in my post, I want to hear your thoughts… we’re still learning and very much a work in progress as parents!}

Note: The Give, Save, Spend Wallets were sent to us as a gift from Melissa from A Time For Everything. My kids LOVE them! Thank you, Melissa!

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5 Ways to Stay Sane While Moving


This week, we’re preparing for our sixth move in 11 years. We’re not quite as adept at this as some of you military families who move like 10 times every two years or something (!), but prepping for this move has gone so smoothly and I really think a lot of it has to do with tips and tricks I’ve learned from multiple moves.

For those who may be in the midst of a move or may be planning a move later on this year, I wanted to share five ways we’re staying sane while moving:

1. Start Early

As with most things in life, starting early can be the key to your organization and success. Back in November, when I found out we were moving, I started to mentally think of everything we’d need to do to prepare for this move.

In the past, I’ve made a notebook with sections for three months before, two months before, one month before, three weeks before, two weeks before, and then each day of the week of the move. This time around, I’ve relied more on Google Calendar to keep track of all the big and little tasks.

As I think of tasks that need to be done, I’ve added it to my Google Calendar and assigned each task a due date. I haven’t always gotten everything done on the specific day a task was assigned to, but the beauty of Google Calendar is that I can easily move things to a different day, if need be.

Figure out whether paper or paperless system will work best for you. Then, start brain dumping all of the tasks into your system. Getting them out of your head and assigned to a date will take a load off your shoulders and will help you stay on track.


Read my guest post on Living Well Spending Less on 7 Ways That Google Calendar Simplifies My Life.

2. Clear the Clutter

Before you begin packing, one of the best things you can do is get rid of as much excess clutter that you can. For the past four months, I’ve been slowly going through our home from top to bottom evaluating everything in our home and deciding what to keep and what to pass on, sell, or get rid of.

This time around, knowing we were moving cross country, I was highly motivated to let go of anything I wasn’t absolutely sure we loved and would use after we moved. Truly, it’s been really freeing for me!

And best of all, I’ve been surprised and encouraged with how simple packing has been. The effort to pare down and keep things pared down has paid off in big dividends.

Struggling to know what to keep and what to get rid of? Here are 5 Questions to Ask Yourself About Clutter.

3. Break Tasks Down

Instead of approaching tasks in big chunks, break them down into bite-sized pieces. Think of the steps you need to take to get to the finished task and then assign a few pieces of those steps to each day.

This is one of the benefits of starting early — you don’t have to cram a bunch of projects in at the last minute. You can just do a few bite-sized pieces of tasks and within a few weeks, you’ve accomplished a LOT.

I’ve been breaking up the packing by room and area. So for instance, instead of tackling a whole room, I’ll just tackle a closet, a few cupboard, or a section of the room at a time. By doing a few of these areas every day, we’ve made quick progress on packing — and it’s not felt overwhelming or exhausting!

4. Accept Help

If someone offers and you can use the help, take it! We’ve been blessed to have family members and friends help us with packing, getting our yard ready, hauling off large items, watching our kids, having us over for dinner so we didn’t have to mess with cooking, cooking dinner for us, encouraging us, and praying for us.

We feel so blessed to have such a great support system around us here… and it didn’t just happen; it’s because we’ve intentionally sought to foster community here and to be available as we were able to help and bless others, too. Relationships are about give and take and it’s such a gift when you have these kinds of friendships!

We are looking forward to planting roots and plugging into a new community where we’re moving to so that we can hopefully develop deep friendships and relationships there, too.

5 Ways to Stay Sane While Moving

5. Pack With Unloading in Mind

When packing, think strategically about unloading and unpacking, too. For instance, we’ve not seen the house that we’re moving to, but I’ve taken time to study all of the pictures and videos we have so I can get a very good grasp of where we’ll put most of our furniture items, which rooms we’ll need to switch around, and what is going to go where. This makes unpacking so much more efficient and organized.

In addition, I cannot stress the importance of labeling your boxes well. We’ve been labeling boxes not only with details on what room they are from, but also with specifics on what’s in them.

I mentally know which rooms are getting transferred where in our house so I’ll be able to make sure the correct boxes (mostly!) end up in the correct rooms. This alone saves a lot of time. Plus, if the contents of the boxes are clearly labeled, it makes it much easier to find what you need quickly after you have the correct boxes in the correct rooms.

Finally, I try to think ahead to what we’re going to need as soon as the moving truck pulls up. We always pack a few boxes that have cleaning supplies, toilet paper, rags, and other essentials and put that box on the truck last. That way, it’s the first box unloaded when we arrive.

This solves so much frustration and guarantees that you’ll have at least some basics on hand right away. Life is always better when there’s toilet paper and cleaning supplies handy! :)

What are your best tips and tricks for staying sane while moving? I’d love to hear them!

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Eating From the Pantry: Day 1

Eat From the Pantry

We kind of cheated a little today on the Eat From the Pantry Challenge… we’d already scheduled to go out to dinner with my parents tonight and my parents offered to bring dinner over for my kids and my siblings who are babysitting them.

So I didn’t have to make anything for dinner, but we are using a gift card for dinner that we’ve had sitting at our house for a long time and wanted to use up before we moved. I guess that counts for something, right? :)

Eat From the Pantry Challenge

Anyway, here’s what we ate today:

Breakfast: Oatmeal

Lunch: Turkey sandwiches, apples, and chips (I had a salad!)

Snack: Finished off some ice cream some friends had brought by last week.

Dinner: Out to eat with my parents using a gift card

Eat From the Pantry Challenge

Today was a pretty simple and rather uneventful Eating from the Pantry day, but I have a feeling it will get more interesting as this week progresses and our cupboards become more bare. Stay tuned. :)

Are you eating from the pantry this week? If you are, leave a comment telling us what you ate today. Or, if you’re blogging about this challenge, leave a link to your direct blog post below that details what you ate for the Pantry Challenge today. I can’t wait to see your creative ideas!

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Join Us for an Impromptu Eat from the Pantry Challenge!

Eat From the Pantry Challenge

Since we’re moving to TN next week, I’m on a mission to use up everything in my freezer and refrigerator this week. So we’re doing an impromptu Eat from the Pantry Challenge.

We are going to buy milk, eggs, and bread. But other than that, I’m going to try to just use up what we already have here.

I’ll be posting an update every evening this week (through Friday evening), sharing what meals we came up with based upon what we already have on hand. I already have our basement pantry packed up, so this is going to make it even more of a fun challenge. :)

Eat From the Pantry Challenge

Want to join us? If you plan to join us for this Impromptu Eat from the Pantry Challenge, leave a link to your blog below. And then come back every evening and I’ll have a link-up for you to share what you ate from the Pantry that day. This should be interesting — and I can’t wait to see what you come up with to make!

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