Why Pay Kids Commission for Chores

Are you considering the idea of paying your kids for chores, but not sure how and/or why you may want to pay kids for chores?

If you're not sure which route is best, you're not alone in the dilemma, but have you considered why to pay commission for chores? Keep this question in mind as we move along:

"Why pay kids commission for chores?"

Let's dive in and explore 3 approaches generally used when parents consider assigning chores to kids at home.
  1. Paying kids an allowance for chores.
  2. Paying kids commission for chores.
  3. Expect kids to volunteer and not be paid for chores.
If you wish to compensate your kids for doing chores there are several schools of thought.

Some parents choose to not pay their kids for chores ever, and feel their kids should simply volunteer.

There isn't any right or wrong method, as all families are different, what's right for one family may be totally wrong for another, and your kids might attempt to compare your family to another.
Pay Kids Commission for Chores,
May Bring Greater Balance

There are several ways a child could earn money for chores, but some question if they should be paid at all.

Let's consider these 3 points, which will help to determine if and how, to pay kids for chores:
  • When kids volunteer to do chores:
It teaches good values and the benefit of helping others.
  • Paying kids an allowance:
May have a negative long-term effect if they believe work isn't required to receive pay.
  • Paying kids commission for chores:
Promotes the concept of receiving pay in exchange for work, which encourages good work ethics.
Let's compare those 3 methods pertaining to kids doing chores!

Although volunteer work is generally what kids learn first at the earlier years, there comes a time when they may ask about money for chores.

An allowance is often paid without necessarily enforcing any chores to be done in exchange for the money.

Unfortunately, an allowance can contribute to a belief in entitlement, which can lead to far greater challenges as kids grow older.

Your family may be different, and in fact may require chores to be completed in order for the kids to get paid, and that's a good thing!

The method you choose is of course up to you, but I imagine you agree that what you want to accomplish long-term is less about getting household work completed, and more about instilling the values of good wholesome hard work!

There's probably no argument from parents regarding the expectation of a child volunteering to complete chores, but kids themselves may feel otherwise.

As kids mature they might feel they should be paid for at least some chores.

Our society is based on working for a living, and at some point a child needs to learn to be responsible with the monies they have earned and how to put that money to good use. That creates a valid argument for why to pay kids commission for chores.

Although kids may become acquainted with the more common phrase of 'an allowance':

Commission is a great method to pay kids for chores!

Depending on the approach to the topic, it's no more difficult for a child to grasp an understanding of being paid commission, compared to an allowance.

Better yet - why even bring up the topic of paying an 'allowance'?

If one wants to enforce a 'work ethic', an allowance is getting off to a wrong start.

In the mind of a child if they are looking to earn money for chores, they are probably not going to get hung up on the method you chose to pay them for chores.

If kids are accustomed to volunteer work without pay, when the time comes, and if it's explained the right way:

Most kids would view commission pay for chores as a positive upward direction.

Getting paid for chores with commission should be viewed like moving up the next rung on the ladder! A promotion!
Promote Kids from
Volunteer Work to
Commission Pay

By demonstrating a good work ethic as a volunteer, they earned the opportunity to work for money, but not to entirely replace volunteer work! Let's not forget the good lessons from volunteer work.

As a child grows, hopefully they have repeatedly witnessed their parents good work ethics, even by the simple routine of seeing them head off to work each day; whether that be outside or inside the home.

The routine becomes the reason a parent explains why they have the need for work, and that one day their kids will need to do the same.

It should be easy for a child to grasp the concepts of volunteering for chores, and/or getting paid commission for work.

Coming full circle, we're ready to dive deeper to answer the question:

Why Pay Kids Commission for Chores?

The Top Benefit of the Commission Concept:
Commission provides a greater opportunity to promote proper work ethics, whereas an allowance can tend to support the belief that work isn't always necessarily required to get paid!
What if your kid comes home one day after playing at the neighbors and suddenly asks you this;
"John Doe is getting paid an allowance every week! When do I get an allowance?"
If paying an allowance isn't your plan, and if you feel your child is ready to move up the ladder from volunteer work, then perhaps your reply might be something like;
"Every family is different, and although we won't be paying an allowance we can discuss the idea to pay commission for chores!"
At that point your child may have many questions regarding commission pay for chores. On the other hand if at least one of the parents works on commission, it has probably already been a topic of discussion in the household.

But, what if a kid has failed to complete work as a volunteer?
Yet now they're asking for either an allowance, or commission?

If that is the case it might be good to consider having a discussion with them about learning to complete the tasks as a volunteer - first.

Once they're successful with doing so, then the topic of getting paid commission for chores could be revisited again in the future.

If they failed as a volunteer another method to encourage good work ethic could be to offer some commission pay for chores they exceed in.

However, you may wish to offer to pay your kids commission for chores, only with the understanding that their earnings would go into savings.

Until they demonstrate proper work ethics they wouldn't be able to spend any! Sounds like tough love, but it's a good thing!

The Economics of Paying Kids for Chores:

If a parent is struggling financially, turning down their kid asking for their weekly allowance can add to the stress.

Then suddenly the parent can be left feeling guilty, when they should not. After all, they're providing for their child to begin with!

In comparison, if the form of pay is commission for chores it gives the parent greater flexibility!

How does paying kids commission for chores offer better flexibility compared to paying an allowance?

If the parent's budget is too tight during a particular period, the parent can more easily divert back to expecting volunteer work - thereby still holding the child accountable for work.

In contrast, if a kid is accustomed to receiving an allowance it's become a very specific routine, and quite possibly tied to less expectation of work in return.

Another potential challenge with paying an allowance is holding a kid accountable to exactly what needs to be accomplished, in order to receive an allowance.

If a child believes they get paid if they work or not,
then what incentive do they have to work?

Paying Kids for Chores
A lack of accountability or expectation tied to an allowance, promotes the entitlement mentality! That's not good!

If a focus toward entitlement is already a problem, it will become more challenging to break that belief as a kid grows older.

Do you feel an allowance would have the potential to promote the entitlement mentality, yet you wish to pay your kids for some chores?

Then why not consider paying them commission?

Paying Kids Commission for Chores Rewards Work Ethic, and Promotes the Entrepreneurship Mentality!

The power behind paying commission promotes the attitude that the child will only get paid if they work.

Work ethic is obviously important to teach and should become a learned trait early on.

It fosters a better opportunity for the child to develop greater respect for themselves.

My personal belief is that if a child has a proper work ethic, they will have greater respect for themselves, resulting in more respect toward their peers.

Paying kids commission for chores can also become the onset of educating your kids about the benefits of working for 1099 income, compared to working as an employee.

Ideally, they should learn the pros and cons of both working for commission compared to working as an employee.

Teach them young enough and we can harness the power to groom kids for their future as a potential entrepreneur!

Motivating your kids to consider a future as an entrepreneur can stimulate their creativity to become innovative leaders with the desire to explore their passion!

In comparison, teaching kids about 'employment' only, doesn't give them free-license to fully pursue their own ideas. Whereas, taking control of their work life as an entrepreneur can!

If a kid is taught the concept correctly, they'll learn and understand that although commission pay comes with some greater risks, it also generally provides much greater reward!

If neither you, or your spouse work on commission it doesn't mean you can't teach the benefits (and challenges) of that opportunity to your kids when you pay them commission for chores.

Most importantly, teach kids that money comes from hard work - except for when they need to volunteer!

A long topic in it's own right, but let's just briefly touch on the subject of doing work as a volunteer.

Working Without Pay - as a Volunteer - Before You Pay Kids Commission for Chores!

Many families already promote the volunteer concept with their kids as they simply learn to help out with chores. Once the habit of volunteer work has been proven, a parent can consider working into at least a portion of chores to be paid with commission.

It's easy for kids to learn they should contribute to household work, yard work, or perhaps help clean up a garage, among other chores.

It's important for a child to understand the value and reward of working as a volunteer - Before they connect earning money to completing tasks and chores.

After all, when we all become responsible adults we need to tend to our household, yet we aren't paid money to do so.

Volunteer work also helps a kid to understand the importance of random acts of kindness, contributing to their society, and good Samaritan deeds. All good and important to learn before earning money for work done.

Kids Moving Up to Earning Commission Pay for Chores:

Once a kid fully understands the value and importance of working as a volunteer, it's easier for them to appreciate working for commission rather than for an allowance. This is especially true if they were never paid an allowance to begin with.

A thorough discussion regarding paid chores vs unpaid chores may be in order.

Of course your discussion would consider the chores and allowance by age.

Hush now, keep me quiet - I thought we weren't going to say the word 'allowance'! 🙃 Let's focus on replacing it with the word 'commission'.

Q and A

Let's revisit and review some possible questions you may have, and consider some solutions. Then we'll talk about chore management and implementing a commission system!
  • Should you give kids an allowance? Or pay commission for chores?
That depends on the lessons you desire to teach your kids! You may first wish to consider the importance of volunteer work, and the alternative concept of paying commission for chores, rather than paying an allowance.
  • Should a parent expect their child to volunteer to do chores?
  • Many parents have some degree of expectation for their children to volunteer to do some chores. Kids volunteering for work helps them to understand the importance of giving to others. It can also contribute to better work ethics. A kid can also be informed that if they prove their work ethics to be admirable during their volunteer efforts, that there is still opportunity to also receive pay from commission for chores later on.
  • How much commission should you pay your child for chores?
In order to determine what the rate of pay should be, first it's important to consider their attained age, the degree of expectation, and the chores you would assign.
  • When should kids start getting an allowance paid commission?
Many parents feel they would like to consider paying an allowance their kids commission for chores, around the time a child reaches 10 years of age, but it really depends on the maturity of a child, the values the parent wishes to instill, and the structure of their family.

Managing the Commission for Chores Projects:

We could go on for some time longer discussing the various possibilities regarding how to track the commission for chores.

There are free printable allowance chore charts, and free printable responsibility charts, which could always be modified to reflect commission pay for chores.

There's also a significant amount of information pertaining to chores and pay by age, teenage allowance charts, and teenage allowance calculators. Many of those are available for your Smart phone or tablet.

How much commission should you pay your kid for chores?

In order to determine how much commission to pay kids for chores, I would encourage you to search for the information as it pertains to your kids specific age.

You may wish to look for any of the following:
  • Chore pay scale
  • Chore chart with prices
  • Chores and commission by age
  • Commission paid chores vs unpaid volunteer chores
Once you narrow your search down to the method for tracking what you pay your kids in commission for chores, you may want to then determine if the chart or application would provide for all of your needs.

For example, there are kids' allowance and chore tracking apps. Some of which you could still use for paying kids commission for chores.

As you search for the best app for tracking chores, remember to consider 'commission' vs 'allowance'. Again, even if an application isn't geared normally for pay with commission, it could still be utilized.

Possible Best Apps for Tracking Pay to Kids - Commission for Chores

If you prefer to use an app for tracking chores, there are numerous ones to choose from. Here's a list of some you may wish to research:

For tracking chores and setting prices:
BusyKid app might provide a solution for you.

Once your kid begins to earn commission for chores, you may wish to educate them with how to track their savings:

PiggyBot, or RoosterMoney are two possibilities. There are many to choose from so do your homework to determine what's best for your needs.

Additional Resources You May Wish to Look Into:

Dave Ramsey:
Recommends paying kids commission for chores!

Coupons Are Great:
Has a Free printable chore responsibility chart!

In closing:

Are some of your kids already young adults? Would you like a great opportunity to teach your young adult children more about money?

There's a terrific free source available! Check out our article right here on Money Illusions, about the FREE Money Smart Educational program!

You can jump-start your young adult kids in the right direction when it comes to money, and personal finance!