Allowance and Chores. - Chicago,IL

Updated on August 20, 2013
S.A. asks from Chicago, IL
21 answers

My 13 year old has been asking for an allowance for a while however she doesn't do many chores. I have told her when she is willing to do more she will be paid she said OK however i am unsure of what she can do and what i should pay her. Any answers appreciated.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers


answers from Houston on

No allowances here. Chores are handed out on an as needed basis, no set schedule or chart. Everyone helps out as needed and as asked.
Connecting allowance and chores together is the only way you should hand out money.
Let her take over some of the things you normally do.

I never understood just handing out allowance just because, it doesn't teach kids 'financially planning'. Working and earning is what teaches kids about money.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

When I was around 12, I cleaned the living room, dinning room, two bathrooms and family room. My mom did not make me scrub the bathtub, but I did clean the toilet, wipe down the sink, and hand wash the floors. i did this weekly. For the other rooms I dusted and vacuumed. I also washed the kitchen floor.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Columbia on

Allowance in our home isn't tied to chores. We give allowance to teach our kids important lessons about tithing, saving, and spending. The kids get paid 50 cents per year of age per week. So our 10 year old gets $5 per week, 12 year old gets $6 per week. They tithe 10% of their money, and save 20% (which goes into their long-term savings account and is not to be spent). The rest is theirs to save or keep for short-term savings as they choose.

We consider chores to be "family work" that is required for EVERYONE. The boys do the following chores in our home:

Keep their rooms clean at all times (if they leave the room/are done playing or doing a project, it is to be picked up)
Wash, dry, fold/hang, and put away their own laundry, towels and bedclothes every Saturday.
Clean their bathroom (including tub and toilet) on Saturday. Keep tidy at all times.
Vacuum and dust the house.
Set and clear the table for meals.
Wash, dry and put away dishes, wipe off counters and table after dinner.
Sweep and mop the kitchen on Saturday.
Feed and water the dog and cats.
Take out the trash and recycling as needed. Put trash cans out on weds.
Mow the yard/pull weeds/scoop dog poo.
And other duties as assigned.

Some folks might think this is a lot for a 10 year old and 12 year old. I think that many parents don't have much faith in the ability of their kids to help out. :-) I see too many moms doing things for their kids that those kids SHOULD be doing for themselves.

Good luck!

C. Lee

ETA: I just wanted to add: Teaching kids to do many of the things on this list, and to do them PROPERLY, can be frustrating and time consuming for parents....and I honestly think that's why many just throw their hands up and say "eff it!" and do it themselves. But that's really NOT the answer. Because kids are SMART...and they'll say to themselves "Oh, if I do a crappy job on this, eventually I won't have to do it because mom and dad will want it done right!" Don't allow that to happen. Even if it means making your kid do the job 20 times until they get it right. It really DOES pay off to teach your child to do this stuff. I promise.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

There are lots of things she can do ! Wash dishes, sweep\vacuum, dust, take out the trash, clean the bathrooms(s) ,set the table,..... In my house kids always had chores, although cleaning their own rooom wasn't part of them. I would pay between $5 and $10 a week depending on how much they did and how well they did, and their age. Allowance is a great thing because it teaches work ethic, money management, responsibility, etc. But, they also knew (the children) that No chores, No Allowance. I put a list on the fridge of who had what chore and the days they were to do what. They could check things off as they did them. If somebody didn't do their chore(s) and someone else volunteered to do them , they got paid more. If they helped in the yard they got paid a certain amount over their regular allowance. There were not any advances (except in special situations) on the allowance, kids need to understand as parents we get paid on our paydays and they will get theirs on the same payday. You can always adjust allowance by what you can afford. It helped my kids/grandkids learn the value of a dollar. Too many kids today are given what they want when they want it ,and don't appreciate the hard work ,we as parents, had to do in order to provide for them nor do many of them appreciate what they get, they expect it. !!!! Call me old fashioned, but, a little hard work never hurt anybody ! C. S.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

A 13 year old can do a lot, especially a lot more than is usually required of them in our culture. A friend of mine is a single parent of one daughter, and her daughter has done practically all of the household chores ever since she was old enough to do so, and that includes the age of 13. She cleans, cooks, does laundry, etc.

My kids never got allowance, but they never did much around the house either. They had to get jobs as teens if they wanted more money than the little bit I threw their way, for movies, etc.

Good for you for tying her allowance to chores. I've never thought kids should just get paid for doing nothing. That doesn't happen anywhere else in real life.

To me, the comment "when you are willing to do more, you will be paid," makes perfect sense.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Some may or may not agree with our method for our six year old, but here goes.

Each week, our son gets $2 of allowance; one dollar is to spend, the other, we keep. That is for savings and giving, divided 50/50, and will be given to him at the end of the year for him to use with some guidance.

So, in his eyes, he gets one dollar a week. The dollar is pretty much for his basic participation in family tasks (setting the table, helping with recycling, putting his clothes away, keeping his room tidy, etc. and his self-care/homework etc.) That said, he also has multiple opportunities each week to earn extra money if he is so inclined. This is for things that are not his tasks, but which ease my load: emptying yard debris buckets I fill up while doing yardwork (which helps); vacuuming the living room/Kitchen/ bath/hall areas; turning the compost; helping wash the car; weeding or removing something from an area in the yard (like taking all the rocks out of the old rock garden when I was re-making it)... stuff like that.

I want him to have a little sum to learn how to spend,save, etc. and I also want him to be able to really earn money for specific tasks which must be done correctly and thoroughly as well. This past month he would have just been given a total of 4-5 dollars for allowance; he's chosen to save up for a Lego set and has earned an extra $19 on top of that doing jobs for me. He's been working hard and is so excited that he's less than ten dollars away from his goal. In this way, he knows the value of the work.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Pay her for doing EXTRA work, otherwise she won't want to do anything unless she gets paid for it.
For example, in our family everyone is expected to clean up after themselves, and the kids have always had certain other responsibilities, like taking out the trash, feeding the animals, etc. None of us gets PAID for doing those things (I WISH someone would pay me for all the laundry and cooking I do, I'd be a rich woman!)
BUT they could always earn money by doing extra work. At 13 she can do a lot, washing the dog, cleaning the car (inside and/or out) sweeping out the garage, yard work, mopping/waxing floors, stuff like that. My kids were also babysitting and pet sitting/plant watering/bringing in mail for neighbors on vacation.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

Since they were about 7 or so, we've given our kids a small allowance. They get it regardless of doing routine chores or not. It isn't about earning a paycheck, it is about teaching financial planning. The money itself is like a school supply.

My kids do have chores but they don't get paid for doing everyday things. They are a mandatory aspect of contributing to a shared household, and it is my duty to train them for independent adulthood. *Sob! My babies....*

Picture your kid as a young adult living away from home with roommates. Who is going to pay her for picking up her own laundry, taking a turn at the dishes and vacuuming once in awhile?

I offer payment to the kids for big, occasional, extra-work kind of jobs. Those are optional. They can decline without consequences.

Telling a kid that they get money "if" they do the task gives them the option to say No. Think about what kind of chores you want your teen to do no matter what. Things you get annoyed about when she doesn't do them. Those are the non-optional tasks, and you probably don't want to give her the No option.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

My daughter does not get allowance. She has chores and she does them, but that is part of being responsible for your home and your things. She lives here. I feed her, I clothe her, I pay for all of her expenses, I am not going to pay her to help keep our home clean. No one pays me to do my chores. Now, if she goes above and beyond and takes care of chores that are not her responsibility I will pay her for that, and how much she gets depends on what she does.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Why does she want an allowance?

Are there things she wants to buy that you don't want her to have?

Make sure to give some thought to how much "freedom" you are willing to give her with her earned money. (For example, if you don't want her to have high heels, would your opinion change if she bought the heels with her allowance.)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Doing chores in our house is not tied to an allowance.
Everyone helps out with what ever needs doing because we all live here.
He gets 'paid' with food, clothing and shelter.
Chores need to be done - they are not optional.
The only thing that take precedence over chores is homework.
Since kindergarten we've taught him 'the quickest way to fun is to get the work done' so he gets finished with school work and chores before the tv gets turned on.
We don't do allowances - it just teaches them how easy money is to spend without giving them a clue how hard it is to earn.
If our son wants extra money beyond what he gets for gifts for his birthday or Christmas he can do odd jobs for neighbors.
For great grades and a wonderful attitude I've never told him 'No' when we go to the book store - he loves to read!
Chores our son does (he's 14):
loads dishwasher
puts clean dishes away
washes his own laundry and puts it away
makes his bed
take out trash and recycling - from house to cans and take cans to the curb and brings them back on collection day
carries in groceries and helps to put them away
puts salt into water softener system
helps me with the yard work
helps with spring and fall cleaning of front and back porches and the house siding
Hubby's taught him how to use a chain saw and pressure washer and he can use them with supervision
he's in the process of learning to clean his own bathroom

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

We have a cup with jobs written in popcycle sticks. They get 25 cents for turning in a stick. They say refill the toilet paper in bathroom, refill paper towel roll, vacuum a room, wet swifter floor dust picture frames. Clean cob webs from basement. Etc. I went to and took them off her lists. You can have different amounts of money on the stick too. They turn in stick u check to see it done and give them the cash on the spot. Gives them the choice to earn if they need to go out that night or if they have too much homework. Mine still have chores they do not get paid for like putting their laundry away and making their beds opening up their blinds. Each one of my kids has a family job too like one sprays down the kitchen table after meals, one cleans the lockers area and the other picks up pillows from the floor back to the couch. Then every month we rotate these three jobs. The locker job sucks so you should hear them complain but after they have done it they realize its hard and don't just throw their stuff in the floor they actually hang up their coat and put shoes in bin. This is work for us right now.


answers from Chicago on

The allowance we give is separate from the chores that our children are expected to do. Chores get done whether they are paid for them or not. We do give extra money if they go above and beyond or a special job.

We give $1/grade level a week. So our 5th grader gets $5 a week. We pay them monthly so $5 x 4 weeks = $20/month. This teaches the kids how to budget their money.



answers from Kansas City on

By 13 my chores included (on a weekly rotating basis with my brothers and sisters) laundry, cleaning the kitchen/dishes, picking up the living room/dusting/vacuuming, making sure my room was clean/making the bed, pretty much anything but lawn work. My room was the only thing I had to do all the time, but everything else was on a weekly basis. One week my job would be to make sure the kitchen was clean every day, the next week the bathrooms, etc.



answers from Boston on

Chores and allowances should be kept separate, and chores should be different from routines. How it works in our house:

- Routines. These are tasks of daily living that everyone should do, every day - make beds, put clothes away, tidy up work and play spaces, tidy up the bathroom when done doing hair/make-up, clear own dishes from table, clean up after one's self when cooking or making snacks, etc. At 13, she should be able to automatically clean up after herself and do her own laundry.

- Chores. These are what every family member does to pitch in and contribute to running a household. At 13 these should include things like daily emptying the dishwasher or cleaning pots and pans after dinner and weekly detailed bathroom cleaning (including toilets, tub and floors), washing the kitchen floor, vacuuming, detailed bedroom cleaning, dusting, washing things like walls, windows and fans, cleaning appliances and cabinets, etc. Outside, this is routine tasks like mowing the lawn, weeding, vacuuming the pool, shoveling snow and seasonal tasks like power washing the deck, pruning shrubs, spreading loam and mulch, cleaning gutters, etc. These should be done regardless of whether or not she gets an allowance.

- Allowance. Don't tie this to chores per se. She does chores as part of the family, not because she's getting paid. Make it clear to her that as she gets older and can earn her own money, she is still expected to do chores. All the allowance does is put structure around the money you would be spending anyway and puts her in control of budgeting that and using it wisely. So figure out how much you normally spend a month on giving her money to go out (movies, ice cream with a friend, having a pizza delivered for a sleepover, etc.) or to buy things that she doesn't necessarily need - a certain hair product, accessories, etc. Then divide that into an equal amount to give her each week and let her know that the next time she asks to go to a movie or wants nail polish when you're at Target, it's coming out of her own wallet.

- Extra jobs. We do pay our older kids from time to time for extended baby-sitting (so if I go into the office and my daughter watches the younger boys for 6-8 hours instead of my hiring a sitter, I'll pay her what I would pay the sitter) and backbreaking tasks like refinishing the driveway or hauling rocks from the yard. I also pay my kids for getting the dead animals out of the pool filter because that's worth $5 to me to not have to dispose of some bloated mouse corpse.



answers from Chicago on

Check out It has suggestions for jobs, compensation and rewards beyond money. We've been using it for a week with my 6 year old and she loves it. She has paid jobs that are up to her to complete at my job chart, in addition to the daily unpaid routine stuff to clean up after herself and contribute to the household. Kids can do so much more than we think they can. Even my three year old has multiple unpaid tasks, including running the dishwasher! Good luck!!



answers from Peoria on

We just started giving an allowance mostly because we were tired of being hit up for money for this, that, and the other. We decided to give our two children an allowance just for living and breathing, but the catch is that they now have to pay their own way for a lot more things. We decided having a little spending money will help to teach them how to save, set goals, etc. We decided to give 50cents for every year of their age so my almost 12 year old get s $6 and my 8 year old gets $4.

That said, they also have a daily chore list. If they do all of their daily chores and don't get in trouble that day (which earns extra jobs), they get a token. Each token can be exchanged for $1 or can be saved to do something special of their choice. We also have assigned monetary amounts to other household jobs. If they want to earn money, they may do those jobs in addition to their other household chores. Keep in mind that at 13, kids can do almost anything you can. Dishes, laundry, vacuuming, mopping, dusting, making supper, it's all fair game.n



answers from Indianapolis on

This is a good time to teach her how to do laundry. She could also clean the bathrooms. You don't want to make a maid out of her but this is a good time to teach her the lessons she needs to take care of herself in the future.


answers from Dover on

I personally think that chores are part of contributing to the shared household (picking up after yourself, putting dirty clothes in the hamper, cleaning your room, helping with dishes, etc.). If you want to pay for chores that are above and beyond (like stuff they aren't expected to do (preparing dinner, babysitting, etc) then I would do that but not tie it to an "allowance". If you opt for an allowance, then they need to spend it on the extras they always ask for when out and about. Since we cover this for our kids, there is no allowance (can't support both the extras and an allowance in the budget since we don't get paid extra at work).


answers from San Diego on

We give pocket money. A bit different from a set dollar amount each week for an allowance.
If they take care of their normal day to day responsibilities within the house and family they can get the new toy or game or whatever it is. My kids are 12, 9 & 4. They all have things they are responsible for that are appropriate to their age. Things like dirty laundry all in the hamper, dishes put in the sink when done, trash in the trash cans, tidying their toys/rooms up. Putting their laundry away. No fighting, doing as they are told, getting to places on time. My oldest is responsible for at least unloading the dishwasher, my second child is responsible for emptying out all the little trash cans in the bathrooms/bedrooms. Things like that. If they help with extras, above and beyond, like cleaning windows in the house or something we don't do all the time they earn a little extra treat.
"Chores" are typically things that need to be done for a house to function. I don't see the need to hand over a set amount for doing every day things. I don't get paid to take care of the house as an adult. It just has to be done. But if they help keep the house functioning I don't mind buying them something every now and again that they will enjoy. The exact dollar amount can vary widely each and every time.


answers from Santa Fe on

My mom gave my brother and I a list of daily chores and a list of weekly chores. If we got them done by the end of the week we would get our allowance ($5). Daily chores were things like make bed, empty dish washer, clean up after dinner, sweep. Weekly chores were things like wash windows, mop, do own laundry, mow lawn, dust. I'm not sure what amount you would give these days.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions