Chores for Money Chart (Plus, Chore Pay Scales to Choose from!)

Need chores for money charts? Not only do I have chores to help fill your kid's money chart out, but I offer chore pay scale examples.

So, you’ve decided that you want to pay your kids for chores. Heck, you might even have purchased a money chart built for paying kids for chores – great going?

But…you’re wondering now how to fill everything in. I mean, what are good chores for money charts?young family choosing chores, text overlay "how to pick chores for kid money charts"

What is a good chore pay scale?

We’re going to address all for this, with REAL and SPECIFIC examples of chore prices, chores vs. projects, and chore pay scales.

But first, there are a few decisions you’ve got to make, before picking chores for your money chart from the lists below.

Let me walk you through that.

Psst: Moving forward, I’m assuming that you’ve decided to pay your kids for chores. BUT, if you need help with that decision – about whether or not pay for chores at all – then you can ready my article on should you pay for chores.

Decisions #1: Will you pay your kids for all chores, or just special ones?

You’ve decided to pay your kids for chores – great. But, which chores will you be paying for?

For example, you could:

  • Pay for all chores.
  • Pay only for chores that feel more like projects, and not pay for chores that are just expected of your child as a member of the household.
  • Pay for kid-initiated chores, only.
  • Pay only for special chores once they have completed the chores that are expected of them – so they can’t skip making their bed (a community/household/personal responsibility duty) and jump into an earning opportunity. They’d have to make their bed first, THEN they could choose a money-earning chore.

You’ll need to get clear on this before creating your chore system.

In our household, I’m never going to pay my child to make their bed. Or to pick up his toys from the den. Because to me, these types of chores are personal responsibilities that he just has to do because he’s part of the family.

BUT, I think there’s a real opportunity for what I liked to call “chore projects” that are definitely earning opportunities in my mind.

I’ll be giving you a list of chore project ideas, below.

Decision #2: How much will you pay for these chores?

I often get asked, “How much should you pay for chores?”

It’s a loaded question, to be honest.

There are several other questions you have to answer for yourself first.

Things like:

  • How much buying power do I want my child to have at their age?
  • How much can I afford to pay my kids each week?

You also need to take the “economy” into consideration – do you have a closed economy at home where they get to spend their money at your home store, or do you allow them to use their money in the real economy? If it’s at home, then you have a lot more control over how far their money will stretch. If your child can use their money in real places, then you have to sync up with prices in the real world.

Or, do you only let them spend at the dollar store? Well, then $1 goes really far.

For example, you might want to teach your child to save up for something. If this is the case, then you need to think about how long you want them to have to wait to save their money in order to get it – which is contingent upon how much you’re paying them, and how much the things they want generally cost.

We’ll be going into three specific chore price systems below that you can choose from – so don’t worry if you feel overwhelmed at the moment.

Decision #3: Are paid chores expected, or kid-initiated (not mandatory)?

Do you see the chores on your chore money chart as expected, or are paid chores the type where your kid can take initiative to earn the money – meaning they can choose to do chores on that list, or not and their pay will reflect that choice?

This is purely a personal choice, as are many things with parenting. Remember, too, that if you choose to make a chore money chart where kids earn money, you can also make a rule that your kids can only do chores from that chart AFTER they complete some community or household duty chores that are not paid, but expected.

Whew…see what I mean about this being a loaded question? Lots involved here.

Lots of choices, but if you take the time to ask yourself these questions, then you’ll be able to set up your chore money chart and chore system much easier moving forward (and with intention, because it aligns with your family’s money values).

My Favorite Money Chore Charts

You also need a system that allows you to pay for chores, and can keep the whole thing organized so that you guys will actually stick with it.

I’ve reviewed several charts that are set up to allow you pay for chores, and I’m giving my favorites below.

Lushleaf Design’s magnetic chore chart is one of my favorites. It’s great specifically if you want to use my idea below for the pay-for-chore pay scale system, as you can stick it on the fridge, and your kids can use both magnetic chore dots you write on, and/or a reusable/erasable marker it comes with to claim those paid chores.

Another favorite of mine – one that has the potential to grow with up to 3 of your kid – is the Neatlings Chore System. WOW is this one very customizable, but with guidance (yes, I’ve got a copy of my own!). You can use it whether you pay for certain chores, or not. Your kids can redeem completed chore cards (there are 54 of them, plus 3 decks of self-care cards) for rewards or money – your choice.

And if you want to go the semi-DIY route? A work-for-hire board could work for you. You just need a magnetic dry erase board, some magnetic clips, index cards to write the chores down on, and cash that you put with each chore. You clip the money and the chore that they need to do to earn it, one clip at a time. As your child completes the chore, they get the cash. Easy-peasy.

Psst: here’s my full article on the best chore charts for kids.

Next up? Let me help you pick out your chore pay scale.

Picking Out Your Chore Pay Scale

I’m going to give you several chore pay scales. The one that you choose will depend on your chore system, the way that you answered the questions above, and your gut feeling.

Because, let’s face it Mama – our guts usually don’t steer us wrong when it comes to parenting!

System #1: Pay-Per-Chore Pay Scale

With this system, you are going to create a tier of chores depending on their complexity and/or length of time that they take to complete. Then, you’ll create one price point for each of your tiers.

For example, you could have a Pay Per Chore Pay Scale with three tiers:

  • Easy
  • Medium
  • Difficult

OR, you could divide them up by your expectation of how long they should take:

  • 10-minute chores
  • 20-minute chores
  • 30-minute+ chores

Group chores together from the list I’ve provided (plus any of your own, specific to your own household and family’s needs), and take a few minutes to sort them into those three categories. Then, assign a chore price for each category.

You could pay the following, as an example:

  • Easy: $2
  • Medium: $4
  • Difficult: $6

I’ve got three ways that you can organize this chore pay system.

  1. Basket System: Choose a color for each category, and then write down each chore on a sheet of paper with that color. Label three baskets with each of your categories, plus the amount they’re worth. Your child can then choose freely or according with your rules (such as, you can choose 2 chores from the medium basket this week, and you need to complete two from the easy basket”. When payday comes around, they can be in charge of gathering their completed chore papers and bringing them to you.
  2. Magnetic Chore System: OR, you can use a magnetic chore chart, and create three categories of chore magnets on the fridge for your kids to choose from. Use these reusable, and completely blank magnetic strips to label each category. Then, use these reusable, and completely blank magnetic circles to write each chore on. If you want to assign certain paid chores? You can pluck those magnets off and put them in the row for the child you’d like to complete them. You can also create rules where they are only allowed to choose X number of paid chores per week.
  3. Dry Erase System: Stick a dry erase board on the fridge, and write down each week’s paid chore opportunities. Your kids then get to write in which ones they want on their magnetic chore charts, and cross off from the list as they do (so that siblings know the jobs have been taken).

System #2: Unlock Allowance after All Chores are Complete

You may not want to pay per chore – maybe it sounds way too tedious for you. Instead, you could choose a set allowance amount that only gets unlocked when your child completes the weekly chores you’ve written down for them.

In this case, let’s say your child is expected to complete 4 chores this week, and their weekly allowance amount is $9. You would want to set up a chore chart with the chores they need to complete laid out, and have some sort of system where they cross off, or put the magnetic chore dots into a basket upon completion.

Come allowance day, they need to show you that those chores are completed before getting their $9.

You may or may not add an oversight system into things (which can be on a chore-by-chore completion basis as they do them throughout the week, or as part of your check-up before they get paid).  

For this type of system, I love the Neatlings Chore System, or even their decks of chore oversight cards, because they offer a space for you to write in what you expect to see when that particular chore is “complete”. 

System #3: Pay by the Chore Hour

Here's a radical idea: you could have your kid clock in and clock out each time they do chores, and then pay them an agreed-upon hourly rate. This method certainly drives home the lesson on whether or not things are worth buying with money they had to earn doing chores at $X.XX/hour. 

Chore Rules You Can Use

Now that you’ve got a chore pay scale set up, let me share some chore rules you can build into your system. Remember – these are just suggestions. Use them, and/or make up your own!

Chore Rule #1: Chore Completion Consequences

You can choose to both add OR subtract it, depending on your chore system. In other words, if you want to charge your child for NOT completing a chore, that chore price is the amount you would charge.

Chore Rule #2: Paid Chores Upon Community Chore Completion

Have your child put an “x” through each community chore that they complete, and when they’re finished with each of those, they’re allowed to choose from the paid chore section.

Alright – we’ve finally come to the long list of chores and chore projects, with chore prices, for you to choose from.

Again, these are suggestions. They’re here to help you. Because if nothing else, you’ll get a gut feeling on a price or whether or not to pay for a certain chore, and that’s helpful too – you’ll know how to move forward.

Jobs to Do Around the House for Pocket Money

Now it’s time we get into the actual chores to do for money around the house, and example amounts you could pay for them.

Remember, though, that what you choose as your chore prices depends on lots of factors personal to you – the amount they are used to getting paid, the amount you can afford to pay, the places they’ll be using their money at, the prices of the things they want to buy, their age, etc.

Psst: for a list of age appropriate chores for kids that I created from 179 surveyed Moms, check out this article.

Household Duties – Not Paid

  • Walk the dog/pet care
  • Make your bed
  • Clear away your plate from dinner
  • Unpack your lunchbox from school
  • Put away toys at the end of the day
  • Tidy your room
  • Help carry in groceries
  • Put away your laundry

This category is all about regular, daily/weekly chores. Whether or not you see some of these as personal responsibilities/household duties rather than paid opportunities is completely up to you.

Also, remember that you can pick several chores that they need to complete each week in order to get their allowance, meaning you don’t need a per-chore price.  

  • Unload/load dishwasher: $3/week
  • Weed the garden: $3/week
  • Hang clothes to dry: $3/week
  • Vacuum the house: $3/week
  • Clip coupons: $3/week
  • Take out trash and recycling: $3/week
  • Gather household trash from different trash cans: $2/week
  • Scrub your bathroom: $3-$5
  • Mow the lawn: $5-$10/week

Chore Projects

Chore projects are what I like to call chores that are above-and-beyond the norm, and so they generally will earn more money than the regular paid chores from above.  

  • Cleaning the family car: $10-$15
  • Reorganizing the family command center: $10-$15
  • Wood pile clean-up: $10
  • Organize the family hall closet: $10
  • Clean the chicken house: $10
  • Rake the yard: $5/week for maintenance, but $10-$15 for a big clean-up job
  • Scrub baseboards: $5/room
  • Clean inside windows: $15-$20 (depending on how many are in your home!)
  • Scrub outside of kitchen cabinets: $5-$10
  • Match all the socks: $5
  • Organize all the DVDs/movies: $5

No matter how you move forward with your chore pay scale, I would recommend that you include a special chore project every so often that is negotiable. Meaning, your child needs to negotiate a pay rate with you.

Why is that?

Being able to confidently negotiate your payment is a directly transferable skill kids should be learning. It’s intimidating standing up to an adult and trying to negotiate a pay rate, and it can also be difficult to hear that your price is too high. Giving your child an opportunity to practice negotiating now, with you, will help them in the future.

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Amanda L. Grossman is a Certified Financial Education Instructor, a 2016 Plutus Foundation Grant Recipient, and founder of Money Prodigy. Amanda's kid money work has been featured on Experian, GoBankingRates, PT Money, CA.gov, Rockstar Finance, the Houston Chronicle, and Colonial Life. Read more here.
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