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Chores for kids: Should kids get an allowance? Or money for chores?

Learn how to decide between an allowance or money for chores, plus figure out what to pay based on a chores for kids calculator.

Teaching kids to help with household chores not only eases a parent’s workload but also teaches kids a few critical life lessons. Helping with chores prepares children by teaching them life skills and prompts them to learn and adopt time management strategies. It also teaches them the importance of communal participation.

“A child has to have some responsibilities,” explains Roger W. McIntire, University of Maryland psychology professor and author of Raising Good Kids in Tough Times

The key is to start early and build on skills and abilities. “Start as early as possible in your kids’ lives and make it fun,” explains Pam Myers, BSEd, and author at US-based Child Development Institute.

In principle this sounds great but how do you get your children on board? Start by focusing on the chores for kids that engage and interest them. That’s because the first lesson you will teach is the habit of doing chores.

To start building a chore routine, you can use a list of chores organized by age. Keep in mind that the best chores for kids list for your children will differ according to ability, developmental readiness, interests and any special needs. (To help, we’ve provided a chore list for kids based on age-appropriate chores, below.)

What are Chores?

Chores are regular tasks or routine jobs that are considered necessary to maintain the cleanliness of a space, such as a home.

Should I pay my kids for chores?

Before you start assigning a chore list to your kids, you may be considering whether to pay kids for chores. The good news is there is no right or wrong answer. The best answer depends on your family situation and, ultimately, your family goals.

To help you appreciate how other Canadian parents feel, Finder asked more than 1,110 parents from across Canada whether they agreed with paying kids an allowance or for the completion of chores, along with their reasons.

According to the results of the recent Finder: Chores for Kids Report, 69% of Canadian parents agree with providing an allowance or paying kids for chores.

Finder: Chores for Kids 2022 survey - Should you pay kids to complete chores?

Of the more than 1,100 parents surveyed, almost half (48%) agreed that kids should be paid to complete chores, while another 21% of Canadian parents believe that kids should be paid for chores in addition to getting an allowance.

Turns out Canadian dads were more supportive (73%) of using an allowance or paying for the completion of chores, compared to 66% of mums. The strongest advocates for using an allowance or a pay-per-chore system were Albertan dads (78%), followed by Ontario dads (74%), and dads living in the Maritimes (73%).

Less than 10% of parents believe that no form of payment, either for chores or through an allowance, is the best approach. Although Ontario mums led this group with 16% believing kids shouldn’t receive an allowance or get paid for chores.

In general, parents need to weigh the pros and cons of paying kids for household tasks.

Pros

  • Teaches the value of money: Giving your kids a source of income is a great way to educate them about the importance of earning and managing money.
  • Teaches kids how to save: Creating opportunities to save helps teach kids about money, makes them more self-reliant and gives them greater financial freedom. Use our kids’ chore calculator to help them visualize a weekly savings goal and to help them stay motivated.
  • Gives kids a sense of ownership: When children choose to complete a task, it gives them a sense of control and accomplishment.
  • Helps the household: Parents can get some relief from chasing after their kids to get the housework done.
  • Teaches consequences: Paying for chores leaves little room for negotiation if the chores aren’t completed. No play, no pay.

Cons

  • Cost creep: If you want to cap costs or have a set budget then consider setting a fixed allowance or set amount for the completion of all chores, rather than paying a per chore price. If not, some parents may find their kids are earning a sizeable sum each week or month!
  • External motivation: Instead of internalizing the importance of chores, chore payments give your child an external motivator. So, if no one pays them to take out the trash, they may not do it for themselves.
  • Makes chores optional: If your child decides that their time is worth more than they’d earn by doing chores, they may skip them altogether – leaving you with a dirty sink of dishes and a pile of trash.
  • Can undermine responsibility: Chores are part of being a family and a reality of living together. Rewarding children for things they should do may not teach them the value of pulling their own weight and the importance of working together.

Should kids get an allowance instead?

There is a bit of a debate in personal financial circles on whether to pay kids for chores or if kids should get an allowance instead.

In his book, Unconditional Parenting, author Alfie Kohn states: “A considerable number of studies found that children and adults alike are less successful at many tasks when they’re offered a reward for doing them – or for doing them well.”

Kohn goes on to explain that these studies show that students tend to learn better when there are no “A’s” to earn and that rewards are remarkably ineffective at improving the quality of people’s work or learning.

On the flip side, a body of research shows that helping kids make the connection between time, money and budgeting helps to build a solid financial literacy foundation — and this goes a long way to nurturing sound money management skills.

“The primary relationship kids have is with their parents and caregivers,” explains Angelique de Montbrun, chief marketing officer for Mydoh, a kids and teens money management app powered by RBC. “Parents play a really large role not just in helping kids build financial skills, but in helping children develop their emotional relationship to money.”

According to a survey by the American Institute of CPAs, 4 out of 5 adults say receiving an allowance taught them financial responsibility. A 2018 article published in the Journal of Family Issues notes that kids learn more about money from their parents than any other source and that parents have two main methods for teaching kids about money:

  • By example
  • By actively teaching kids about money (including earning, saving and smart spending).

For Canadian parents, the primary reason for paying kids to complete chores was to help children to develop a sense of responsibility (46%), followed by the opportunity to teach children the value of hard work (45%), while 37% of parents used payment for chores in order to motivate kids to get their chores done.

“Just like teaching your kids to be polite or grateful, parents have a critical role in teaching kids about money,” explains Rim Charkani, co-founder and CEO of Walo, a mobile app and a prepaid card that helps parents teach kids money. “Money skills are learned habits. If someone doesn’t teach us, we just end up guessing, so teaching this skill might as well be deliberate.”

Both Charkani and de Montbrun believe the best way for parents to start is to develop the habit of talking about money and broader financial decisions. “Money is hard and to help we need to move beyond shame and build an open dialogue,” says de Montbrun.

By using an allowance or a chore pay list, parents are creating opportunities to talk about money and deliberately learn financial skills in a way that is interesting and engaging for kids. “It really doesn’t matter how much you pay,” says de Montrun. “It’s about setting up a process that helps start conversations and helps children build on the skills that allow them to grow into adulthood a bit more prepared.”

In this way, parents have a significant role in shaping a child’s future financial success. “Context is everything,” says de Montbrun. If a child goes to school and opens up a lesson plan in a workbook, it has far less impact than if they are negotiating with you on how many chores to complete to earn money for their next purchase.

When actively teaching kids about money, parents can either give their kids an allowance, pay for the completion of chores or a hybrid of these two options.

Here’s a breakdown of each allowance strategy and how it works:

Allowance and chore strategies

StrategyHow it worksBenefitsBest for teaching

ALLOWANCE

Parents provide a regular sum at regular intervals that allows kids to learn about money, start saving and begin the basics of budgeting and wise spending.
  • Easy to manage and works well with automatic, regularly scheduled payments
  • Straightforward and simple
  • No complex oversight is required by parents
  • Works well with no or low-cost kids’ bank accounts
  • Kids can focus on becoming familiar with money and the fundamentals of saving and budgeting.
  • Simple way to start teaching fundamentals of money management and basic money concepts
  • Simple way to start teaching fundamentals of money management

PAY PER CHORE

This strategy is the most ‘job-like’ as it requires kids to complete tasks or chores before being paid their allowance. Chores can be completed daily, weekly, monthly or based on seasons.
  • Offers stimulation and incentive for kids to both complete chores and take on tasks to earn money
  • Can turn into a fun challenge, especially if there are extra tasks or chores to complete to earn extra money
  • Kids learn the value of a dollar (need to spend time working to earn that dollar)
  • Parents can increase or decrease payment values based on skills the child needs to focus on and develop
  • Kids learn the budget and can use the chore pay list to estimate the amount of money required and work needed to achieve a goal

CHORES +

ALLOWANCE

This is a hybrid system that lets parents pay a flat sum — like an allowance — but to earn that money, kids must complete their chores.
  • Great way to remove the performance pressure some kids feel with a pay-per-chore list.
  • Option to create a more flexible (and realistic) workload so that chores are completed without eating into activities, such as sports or homework
  • Kids learn that you need to spend time working before you get the reward of payment
  • No complex pay-per-chore list or oversight is required by parents

According to a Finder survey, released in 2021, the main reason children earned an allowance was through the completion of chores.

Reasons kids earned an allowance

Activity% of kids who got paid for the activity
Chores43.1%
Get good grades41.0%
Nothing14.6%

Allowance Statistics

  • $110 is the average allowance kids get each month
  • 35% of parents pay between $56 and $113 in allowance each month
  • 64% of parents give kids an allowance but “they have to earn it”
  • 1 in 5parents start giving an allowance when kids are between the ages of 9 and 10
  • 15 to 17is the age range when parents typically stop paying kids to do chores

Source: 14th Annual Parents Kids Money Report, T. Rowe Price, Finder: Chores for Kids 2022 survey

To help you decide whether to give an allowance to your kids, consider these benefits and drawbacks:

Chores for kids: Pros

  • Opens up a conversation: Allowances are a great way to start having a conversation with your kids about how to use money responsibly.
  • Teaches them financial responsibility: As your children earn money, they’ll learn how to manage it responsibly. They could learn to save for bigger purchases or to give some to those in need.
  • Good motivation: Earning an allowance is a great incentive to get chores done in a timely manner. It’s also a great incentive to earn good grades.
  • Spending money: Your child can use their allowance to cover any nonessentials, like new clothes, a video game or a new toy.
  • Gives them a safe place to make mistakes: It’s better if your child makes $10 mistakes with their money now, so they can learn from those lessons and avoid making $10,000 mistakes as an adult.

Chores for kids: Cons

  • Your kid could get the wrong impression: If you pay your child for everyday household chores, they may get the impression that they should be rewarded for anything they contribute to the family.
  • Could strain your budget: Allowances could strain your budget if you have multiple kids or a low income.
  • Kids could lose motivation: Once your child has saved up enough money to get what they want, they could slack off on chores or good grades.
  • It’s another thing on your to-do list: You’ll have to remember to assign chores, track your kids’ progress, pay allowances each week and monitor their spending on top of your other household duties.

Average monthly allowance

According to the Parents and Kids Money Report, released by T. Rowe Price, the average kids’ allowance is just under $110 each month (based on USD to CAD conversion in October 2022).

Average monthly allowance paid by parents

Percent of parents who pay average monthly allowance - range of average monthly allowance

Money for chores: How to pay kids for chores

According to the Parents and Kids Money Report, released by T. Rowe Price, the most common type of allowance is to pay kids for doing chores. But how much should parents pay for chores?

Before you can answer this question, you must first decide what payment method to use. When it comes to earning money for chores, there are three payment methods:

  • Flat fee: Regardless of the chore list, your child will get paid a flat fee each week or month. This helps reduce administrative time and work for parents. However, it does create the possibility that kids will slack off (i.e. not complete their chores, but still expect to get paid). The flat fee payment strategy works well with online checklist apps and with pen and paper checklists.
  • Price per chore: Another option to incentivize your kids to complete chores is to pay per chore. This method requires a bit more management by parents, but it does help parents and children prioritize what chores are critical (both to learn life skills and to optimize family dynamics). To use the price-per-chore strategy, parents can print off and use a chore list (see below for an example) or use an online money management app, such as Mydoh.
  • A third method is to use the Finder: Kids’ Money for Chores calculator, which allows parents to add chores, the frequency of these chores and the price per chore. The list can then be printed off for each child.
  • Using a money management app: If you or your child prefers using technology to keep track of tasks, consider using a money management app, such as Mydoh. These apps are specifically geared to align money management skills with specific tasks that allow kids to earn money. The app allows parents to set up, assign and monitor one-time or recurring chores and, in many cases, kids get instant validation between completing a task and earning money. (If you’re interested in learning how a money management app can help your kids learn basic financial skills, consider signing up Mydoh’s for a free 30-day trial. Test out the app for 30 days, plus get $15 in Mydoh dollars as a bonus.)

Mydoh Smart Cash Card

Teach your kids smart spending and independence. Set up tasks, pay allowances and monitor spending activity.

Finder: Kids’ Money for Chores Calculator

Use this calculator to calculate how much to pay your kids for completing their chores by selecting where you live, your child’s age, your child’s savings goal and the chore list to complete.

Kids chore calculator

Calculate how much to pay your kids for completing their chores by selecting your province or territory, child's age, child's savings goal, and chore.

map icon Province/Territory
kid iconKid's age range
dollar iconKid's weekly savings goal
dollar iconAdd chore
calendar iconWhich days will this chore be completed on?
Chore S M T W T F S Rate
Add chores to work out weekly total
Weekly total $0

Your child is 0% toward their weekly savings goal of $0.

Chore rates are based on suggestions from experts. See our methodology.

How to use the Finder: Kids’ Money for Chores Calculator

  1. Select your province or region.
  2. Choose your child’s age range.
  3. Input your child’s weekly savings goal to see how their weekly pay stacks up against their goals.
  4. Pick the chore activity and the days you want the task completed.
  5. Click “Add chore.”
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 to add more chores.
  7. Review the chore schedule, payment and weekly estimate.
  8. Print the chore calendar or select “Start over” to reset the chore calculator for another child.

Checklist of age-appropriate chores

According to Child Development Info, a US-based information site for parents, giving children tasks to complete helps create a solid work ethic. It also helps them develop self-reliance and learn critical thinking and essential life skills. Providing age-appropriate chores helps children to learn respect and helps establish a sense of responsibility. It also lets children participate in building and maintaining a community (the family home). By paying kids for chores, kids get the added benefit of learning the importance of earning and saving as well as the importance of smart spending habits.

The key is to develop a list of age-appropriate chores that will help alleviate a parent’s workload while teaching children all these necessary skills.

When establishing a chore system, give your child specific instructions about what you expect them to do. Consider your child’s age, maturity level, physical capabilities and environment.

To help, we’ve compiled a chores list for kids by age and allowance. Search for your child’s age group to find a list of appropriate chores by age, including daily chores and extra tasks to earn money, along with a chore price list.

Remember, these lists and suggested prices are just a guideline. If you believe your child is more capable or not yet capable, adjust accordingly. Also, be ready to let your child try and fail. Part of the learning process is to repeat a task and to grow their awareness and skills.

Chores list for kindergarteners – kids up to 4 years old

Download PDF of list of chores for kindergartners and kids up to age 4 + chore price list and chore pay scale

Download the PDF of chores for kindergartners and kids up to 4 years old. Image: Finder

To keep chores fun and interesting, consider tasks that are easy for kids four and younger to master and that allow them to work alongside you. For instance, let them help clean the bathroom by wiping down counters, cabinets and handles while you tackle dirtier jobs such as scrubbing the toilet or bathtub.

Download the PDF of an itemized list of chores for kindergartners and kids up to 4 years old

Chores list for 5- to 6-year-olds

Printable PDF of itemized list of chores for 5 to 6-year-olds + chore price list and chore pay scale

Building on what they have learned already, give your kids a chore list that lets them expand on their skills but still keeps tasks manageable.

Download the PDF of an itemized list of chores for 5 to 6-year-olds + chore price list

Chores list for 7- to 8-year-olds

Picture not described

At this age, kids may be more interested in playing than helping. This is when you can introduce a payment system – either paying an allowance in exchange for the completion of all chores or introducing a chore price list where kids get paid based on the chores they complete.

Download the PDF of an itemized list of chores for 7 to 8-year-olds + chore price list

Chores list for 9- to 10-year-olds

printable PDF of chore list for 9-to-10-year-olds-Printable-PDF

Kids are now more interested in hanging out with friends than helping their parents, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be responsible for completing a set of chores. Keep the list manageable, allow some flexibility around when they can complete their chores and incentivize them with an allowance or a reward, such as screen time.

Download the PDF of an itemized list of chores for 9 to 10-year-olds + chore price list

Chores list for 11- to 12-year-olds

Download a printable PDF of chores for 11 and 12 year olds + chore price list and chore pay scale

This is when kids really start to develop an interest in saving up money to purchase highly-valued items. To nurture budgeting, saving and earning (along with smart spending and the value of comparison shopping), tie the completion of household chores to the ability to earn.

Download the PDF of an itemized list of chores for 11 to 12-year-olds + chore price list

Chores list for teenagers

Download a PDF of chores for teenagers that includes a chore price list and chore pay scale

While some parents prefer kids to earn money by getting a job outside of the home, other parents like the idea of offering teenagers an allowance tied to the completion of chores or payment based on a price-per-chore list.

Download the PDF of an itemized list of chores for teenagers + chore price list

3 ways to track your kid’s chores and where to put their money

  1. Chore checklist. Create a list of items that kids can check off as they complete them. This is one of the easiest options to implement as it only requires a pen and paper. For more stylized checklists, check out the Finder blank chore lists (see below) or build your own checklist using the age-appropriate chore lists that include average chore prices and estimated time spent on chores, based on age group. When using a chore checklist, you’ll need to consider how you will track the money your child earns and decide where to store this earned money. A good option, regardless of your child’s age, is to open a kid’s bank account. These accounts offer no- or low-monthly fees and provide an opportunity to help your kids learn how to save, e-transfer, transfer between accounts and if the account includes a kid’s debit card, how to make cashless payments.
  2. Chore spreadsheet. Much like a chore checklist, a chore spreadsheet is a method for organizing and tracking the chores your child completes and how much they earn. You can design a chore spreadsheet with the days of the week as columns and the chore in each row using Microsoft Office tools or Google Office suite. Like the chore checklist, the chore spreadsheet will require you to set up a way to track and store earnings.
  3. Chore app. Use an app like Mydoh to set up, assign and monitor one-time or recurring tasks. Online apps not only allow you to create the ultimate age-appropriate chore list but also lets you keep track of how much your child earns plus it lets your child monitor their earnings and allocate funds for specific saving goals.

If you decide not to use an all-in-one money or chore app and you want to teach your children the connection between time, money earned, saving and budgeting, then you’ll need to open a kid’s savings account (or other types of kid’s bank account). In Canada, most kids’ bank accounts offer limited services and charge no (or low) monthly fees. To learn more about the best bank accounts for kids, check out the Finder guide on kid’s banking. If you’re looking for your teen, consider comparing the best bank accounts for teens.

Age-appropriate chores for kids + time spent on chores

Age GroupChore + TasksTime Spent on Chores
Chores for kindergarteners up to 4 year olds
  • Clean bathroom: Wipe down counters/surfaces, put away bath toys, dust with cloth
  • Clean bedroom: Tidy up books and toys, put away clothes, tidy up bed
  • Laundry: Help fold, help put away clean clothes
  • Clean surfaces: Wipe down counters/shelves/cabinets/baseboards
  • Help make lunch/Set table
  • Mop, vacuum or sweep floor
  • Clean common area: Tidy up, dust with cloth, wipe down surfaces
  • Trash and recycling: Put trash into bins, help put new bags into bins, help sort recycling
  • Take care of pets: Food and water, clean up, walk, groom
  • Clean car: Throw out garbage, collect and put away all toys and books
  • Clean windows and mirrors
  • Organize: Entryway shoes, books on shelves, cupboards, socks
  • Wash dishes/load or unload dishwasher
  • Yard work: Help with weeding, help rake and bag leaves, help shovel snow, help with planting and watering
Up to 10 minutes / day
Chores for 5 to 6 years olds
  • Clean bathroom: Put away bath toys, dust with cloth, wipe down surfaces, sweep/mop floors
  • Clean bedroom: Tidy up books and toys, put away clothes, tidy up bed
  • Laundry: Help fold, help put away clean clothes
  • Clean surfaces: Wipe down counters/shelves/cabinets/baseboards
  • Help make lunch/Set table
  • Mop, vacuum or sweep floor
  • Clean common area: Tidy up, dust with cloth, wipe down surfaces
  • Trash and recycling: Put trash into bins, help put new bags into bins, help sort recycling, empty compost bin
  • Take care of pets: Food and water, clean up, walk, groom
  • Clean car: Throw out garbage, collect and put away all toys and books
  • Clean windows and mirrors
  • Organize: Entryway shoes, books on shelves, cupboards, socks
  • Wash dishes/load or unload dishwasher
  • Yard work: Help with weeding, help rake and bag leaves, help shovel snow, help with planting and watering
Up to 10 minutes / day
Chores for 7 to 8 years olds
  • Clean bathroom: Put away bath toys, dust with cloth, wipe down surfaces, sweep/mop floors
  • Clean bedroom: Tidy up books and toys, put away clothes, tidy up bed
  • Laundry: Help fold, help put away clean clothes
  • Clean surfaces: Wipe down counters/shelves/cabinets/baseboards
  • Help make lunch/Set table
  • Mop, vacuum or sweep floor
  • Clean common area: Tidy up, dust with cloth, wipe down surfaces
  • Trash and recycling: Collect all trash and put into bins, sort and put out recycling bins, put out garbage bins, empty compost
  • Take care of pets: Food and water, clean up, walk, groom
  • Clean car: Throw out garbage, collect and put away all toys and books
  • Clean windows and mirrors
  • Organize: Entryway shoes, books on shelves, cupboards, socks
  • Wash dishes/load or unload dishwasher
  • Yard work: Help with weeding, help rake and bag leaves, help shovel snow, help with planting and watering
Up to 10 minutes / day + 1 project / week that takes a bit longer
Chores for 9 to 10 years olds
  • Clean bathroom: Put away bath toys, dust with cloth, wipe down surfaces, sweep/mop floors, clean mirrors, disinfect surfaces
  • Clean bedroom: Tidy up books and toys, put away clothes, tidy up bed
  • Laundry: Help fold, help put away clean clothes, help load clothes into washer and dryer
  • Clean surfaces: Wipe down counters/shelves/cabinets/baseboards
  • Help make lunch/Set table
  • Mop, vacuum or sweep floor
  • Clean common area: Tidy up, dust with cloth, wipe down surfaces
  • Trash and recycling: Collect all trash and put into bins, sort and put out recycling bins, put out garbage bins, empty compost
  • Take care of pets: Food and water, clean up, walk, groom
  • Clean car: Throw out garbage, collect and put away all toys and books
  • Clean windows and mirrors
  • Organize: Entryway shoes, books on shelves, cupboards, socks, refrigerator
  • Wash dishes/load or unload dishwasher
  • Yard work: Help with weeding, help rake and bag leaves, help shovel snow, help with planting and watering
Up to 15 minutes / day + 2 projects / week that take a bit longer
Chores for 10 to 12 years olds
  • Clean bathroom: Put away bath toys, dust with cloth, wipe down surfaces, sweep/mop floors, clean mirrors, disinfect surfaces
  • Clean bedroom: Tidy up books and toys, put away clothes, help make bed
  • Laundry: Help fold, help put away clean clothes, help load clothes into washer and dryer
  • Clean surfaces: Wipe down counters/shelves/cabinets/baseboards
  • Meal prep: Make lunch for school, set/clear table, disinfect countertops
  • Mop, vacuum or sweep floor
  • Clean common area: Tidy up, dust with cloth, wipe down surfaces
  • Trash and recycling: Collect all trash and put into bins, sort and put out recycling bins, put out garbage bins, empty compost
  • Take care of pets: Food and water, clean up, walk, groom
  • Clean car: Tidy up and remove garbage, clean and vacuum interior
  • Clean windows and mirrors
  • Organize: Kitchen cupboards, refrigerator, shelves, storage space
  • Wash dishes/load or unload dishwasher
  • Yard work: Pull weeds, potting and repotting plants, rake and bag leaves, shovel snow, water plants
Up to 20 minutes / day + 2 projects / week that take a bit longer
Chores for 13 to 17 years olds
  • Clean bathroom: Sweep and mop floors, clean bath and shower, clean mirrors, disinfect surfaces
  • Clean bedroom: Tidy up books and toys, put away clothes, make bed
  • Laundry: Help fold, put away clean clothes, help load clothes into washer and dryer, add detergent and start washing machine, iron clothes, treat stains
  • Clean surfaces: Wipe down counters/shelves/cabinets/baseboards
  • Meal prep: Make lunch for school, set/clear table, organize the pantry, disinfect sink and countertops
  • Mop, vacuum or sweep floor
  • Clean common area: Tidy up, dust with cloth, wipe down surfaces
  • Trash and recycling: Collect all trash and put into bins, sort and put out recycling bins, put out garbage bins, empty compost, powerwash outside trash and compost bins
  • Take care of pets: Food and water, clean up, walk, groom
  • Clean car: Tidy up and remove garbage, clean and vacuum interior
  • Clean windows and mirrors
  • Organize: Kitchen cupboards, refrigerator, shelves, storage space
  • Wash dishes/load or unload dishwasher
  • Yard work: Mow the lawn, rake and bag leaves, shovel snow/li>
Up to 30 minutes / day + 1 project / week that takes a bit longer
Chores for 18 year olds +
  • Clean bathroom: Sweep and mop floors, clean bath and shower, clean mirrors, disinfect surfaces
  • Clean bedroom: Tidy up books and toys, put away clothes, make bed
  • Laundry: Help fold, put away clean clothes, help load clothes into washer and dryer, add detergent and start washing machine, iron clothes, treat stains
  • Clean surfaces: Wipe down counters/shelves/cabinets/baseboards
  • Meal prep: Make lunch for school, set/clear table, organize the pantry, disinfect sink and countertops
  • Mop, vacuum or sweep floor
  • Clean common area: Tidy up, dust with cloth, wipe down surfaces
  • Trash and recycling: Collect all trash and put into bins, sort and put out recycling bins, put out garbage bins, empty compost, powerwash outside trash and compost bins
  • Take care of pets: Food and water, clean up, walk, groom
  • Clean car: Tidy up and remove garbage, clean and vacuum interior
  • Clean windows and mirrors
  • Organize: Kitchen cupboards, refrigerator, shelves, storage space
  • Wash dishes/load or unload dishwasher
  • Yard work: Mow the lawn, rake and bag leaves, shovel snow/li>
Up to 30 minutes / day + 2 projects / week that take a bit longer

Best way to give an allowance to teens

If you’re wondering whether or not your teen should still get an allowance or be paid to complete chores, you are not alone.

According to the recent Finder: Financial Literacy for Kids 2022 survey, of more than 1,100 Canadian parents, more than three-quarters (76%) believed you should stop paying your kids an allowance or for completed chores as soon as they hit their teens.

Financial experts tend to disagree.

When giving kids money, we need to remember that the ultimate goal isn’t simply the accumulation of funds but helping them to build a foundation of sound money management skills, explains de Montbrun.

Regardless of where your teen earns their money — through an allowance, getting paid to complete chores or through a part-time job — parents continue to have a role in learning critical financial literacy skills.

To help, parents should use earnings to help their teens develop the following three critical skills:

1. Build confidence. Learning to manage money, budget effectively and use financial tools is not always easy. To help your kids grow in confidence be sure to talk about their money decisions and acknowledge their achievements. Remember, kids grow in confidence when they are recognized for their accomplishments.

2. Laugh and learn from mistakes.
We all regret spending decisions and teens are no different. But to learn from mistakes — and to keep confidently building on money management skills — we all need to learn and laugh at our financial mistakes. Share your mishandled money moments with your teen and encourage them to talk openly and freely about their decisions (and how these decisions made them feel). The key is not to create a shameful space, but to establish a safe space to mess up now, when the stakes aren’t as high.

3. Encourage responsibility. Teens are eager to prove themselves and their ability to manage on their own —give them that space. Find ways to help your teen to take financial responsibility. Let them manage their banking and make their budget. As they grow older, consider giving your teen a pre-paid credit card or using a money management app, such as Mydoh or Walo. Cards and apps allow for more engagement and interaction when it comes to your teen and their money decisions. Not only will teens like the sense of independence a pre-paid credit card provides, but it allows them to learn about cashless transactions, the impact of high-interest debt and the importance of paying bills.

According to data from the recent Finder: Chores for Kids 2022 survey, 71% of Canadian parents agreed that giving pre-teens or teens a pre-paid credit card was a great way to teach kids about credit, debit and the impact of debt.

More than 1 in 5 parents (22%) “strongly agreed” that allowing a teen to use a credit card was a great money management tool. Compare this to just 6% of Canadian parents who strongly disagreed with giving teens a credit card to learn about credit and debt.

With a pre-paid credit card a parent can:

  • Limit debt: Set the maximum amount that can be charged (thereby limiting potential unpaid debt);
  • Teach budgeting: By requiring the teen to reload their pre-paid credit card, a parent can teach their child the importance of reviewing earnings, savings and spending.
  • Introduce digital finance skills: To reload a credit card or pay off a bill, the young adult needs to learn and become familiar with online banking, e-transfers and bill payments.

Whether you opt to use a pre-paid credit card or choose to use a money management app, these tools create opportunities for parents to have those critical money discussions with their teens.

“It’s the ideal conversation starter,” says de Montbrun. Getting kids engaged is often the biggest hurdle and starting the conversation based on what they care about and what impacts them directly is an ideal in-the-moment opportunity. “It’s these conversations that help kids flex their financial skills and allows parents to reinforce smart money decisions.”

Tips for finding cashless tools for teens

When your teenager reaches the age of 18, they are legally entitled to apply for a credit card but without a solid grasp of financial literacy skills, these young adults can get into trouble with credit cards and high-interest debt. To avoid these costly mistakes, it’s important for parents to help their children learn the responsible use of cashless payments and credit and the implications of budgeting and keeping up with bill payments.

One option is to adopt a money management app. These online tools help pre-teens and teens engage in financial literacy skills using technology and real-time learning. For instance, teens that pay for merchandise using their Mydoh

To help find the best Canadian credit cards for students, teens and pre-teens, consider the following four tips:

1. Help make the connection between time, money and budgets
Young adults often get into trouble with cashless spending because they didn’t learn the connection between cashless payments and the impact on their budget. To help, use a money management app that helps make this connection more apparent to pre-teens and teens.

Apps, like Walo and Mydoh, help older kids to make the connection between earning and spending by providing real-time feedback on saving and spending decisions. “As soon as they spend using the cash card, they can see the money disappear from their account,” explains Chakrani. This process also gives parents insight into the spending habits and saving decisions made by their children — and more opportunities to discuss these decisions.

2. Look for no-fee credit cards
When your teen is ready to take the step from money app cash card to a credit card, be sure to talk about the key features they need to consider. Remind them that the best credit card should combine the convenience of cashless, credit payments without the possibility of paying big fees. Help them look for a credit card with no annual fees (and be sure to find a credit card for teens that doesn’t charge for secondary cards).

3. Focus on building credit not just money management skills
While money management is a critical tool taught when using cash cards and credit cards, it’s also a good idea to consider who to get a head start on helping your teen build a solid credit history.

By adding your teen as a pre-authorized credit card user on your account will enable your teen to learn how to use a credit card, it doesn’t help them build their credit history. That’s because the account belongs to the primary cardholder, who is ultimately responsible for any debt, but also earns all the credit for paying bills. Instead, shop for a pre-paid or regular credit card that allows secondary cardholders. A secondary cardholder becomes a co-borrower — another person responsible for the management and use of the credit account. Remember, it’s hard to find a credit card that offers secondary cardholder status to young adults under 18. It may be easier to find a pre-paid credit card that allows teenagers secondary cardholder status.

4. Max out perks and discounts
One of the benefits of using a credit card is the ability to earn rewards. Whether it’s cash back, points or discounts, consider how the rewards will help incentivize your teen to use, but not abuse, the credit card.

To help narrow down the list check out Finder’s comparison of the best credit cards for teens.

Bottom line

There’s no right or wrong answer to whether you should pay your kids for doing chores. If you decide to reward your children for completing household tasks, remember to take their age and the needs of the family into account.

Methodology for the Finder Kids’ Money for Chores Calculator

The Finder Kids’ Money for Chores calculator provides a cost for chores based on frequency and cost of living. The price per chore was determined based on expert commentary as well as industry-vetted averages. The expert commentary included insight from four external financial and parenting experts and two Finder banking experts:

Aggregate chore price lists were taken from data collected by content area specialists, including the following:

To provide age-appropriate chores and allowance ranges, we asked experts and collected data based on the following age groups:

  • Preschoolers – kids between the ages of 4 and 5
  • Elementary school kids – kids between the ages of 6 and 9
  • Middle-schoolers – kids between the ages of 10 and 13
  • High-schoolers – kids between the ages of 14 and 17
  • Young adults – 18+

We then tallied and averaged all expert suggestions to create a baseline chore price for each task and age group.

To calculate the cost of living, based on regional differences, we used data from Statistics Canada regarding average household earnings and average household expenditures in 2020 and 2021.

Methodology for the Finder: Chores for Kids 2022 survey

The findings of the Finder: Chores for Kids 2022 survey were collected through an online Pollfish survey conducted between October 12 and 31, 2022, where 1,111 Canadian parents from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland & Labrador, were asked about their opinions on paying kids for chores, paying kids an allowance and providing teens with a pre-paid credit card. The estimated margin of error for the survey is +/-3%, 19 out of 20 times.

Kids’ chores and appropriate allowance by age FAQs

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