Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

    • DWhite
    • By DWhite 15th Sep 19, 6:36 PM
    • 182Posts
    • 649Thanks
    Pocket money jobs
    • #1
    • 15th Sep 19, 6:36 PM
    Pocket money jobs 15th Sep 19 at 6:36 PM
    My daughter is 11 and I want to start her on earning pocket money, but I’d like her to actually earn it rather than have it given to her.
    I need some ideas of what is reasonable to ask of her and how much she could earn for the jobs.
    My idea is that there’ll be a list of jobs that need doing that will have different amounts she can earn for each.
    The jobs will be things that need doing around the house daily and weekly.
    I can’t afford to pay lots and also to be fair she doesn’t really need lots to spend anyway but she is saving up for a graphic design tablet so that’s an incentive for her.
    We have a dog, cat and gecko so pet jobs can be included.

    Thanks in advance

    This Forum tip was included in's weekly email!
    If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply.
    Last edited by MSE Tine; 24-09-2019 at 8:39 AM.
Page 1
    • MovingForwards
    • By MovingForwards 15th Sep 19, 7:04 PM
    • 2,297 Posts
    • 2,726 Thanks
    • #2
    • 15th Sep 19, 7:04 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Sep 19, 7:04 PM
    Sorting out the washing
    Loading the washing machine / doing the washing
    Hanging the washing up
    Doing the washing up
    Drying dishes / putting dishes away
    Laying the table / preparing eating equipment (if not using a table)
    Mopping floor

    The list is endless
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 15th Sep 19, 8:37 PM
    • 12,030 Posts
    • 84,008 Thanks
    • #3
    • 15th Sep 19, 8:37 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Sep 19, 8:37 PM
    I had two boys and they started doing jobs to earn extra money when they were around the same age as your daughter.

    However I didn't include weekly housework type jobs partly because I felt they should do their share anyway and not expect to get paid for them (oooh I'm harsh) but also I was determined that they should be modern men and not Neanderthals.

    I also wanted them to see cooking, housework etc as normal lifeskills that you do automatically without being asked, nagged or cajoled. I wanted them to see housework as something you just do, for yourself and those you live with. Therefore they got a small amount of pocket money regardless that was not linked to doing household chores.

    So to give them the chance to earn money I gave them projects for the school holidays for which I paid them extra, over and above pocket money. They seemed to really like that. It worked really well, it made them feel grown up and it gave them something positive to do. Again I wanted them to learn how to use time productively and not spend their vacations frittering their time on social media or playing endless computer games.

    We started small and easy. Their first project was to decorate their own bedrooms. Just painting. Each year, as they grew older, they got more competent and acquired more diy skills, learning how to paint and decorate, renovate furniture, lay floors, build flatpack furniture, change plugs and simple light fittings, put up shelves and curtain rails etc and finally, when they were around 18 and had some decent muscle strength, helping to completely landscape a garden, including building a water feature. They were especially proud of that.

    By the time they left home to go to university they were quietly confident and could "adult" without supervision. Not only had they learned the domestic stuff like cooking and doing their own laundry but they had learned an impressive array of diy skills. They could even sew.

    They have both since told me how grateful they are that they got the chance to learn valuable life skills and that many of their friends have said that they were envious of their practical abilities. Their parents never let them near a cooker let alone power tools.

    A lot of their friends arrived at university completely unable to care for themselves, not even change a lightbulb, cook a decent meal or know how to operate a washing machine. Some of them have completely missed the boat and are now well into their 30s and still have no diy skills, instead having to employ tradespeople for the simplest home improvements because they have no confidence to even try.

    It's up to you how you go about it, but as MovingForwards says, the list of jobs is endless.

    I don't know if it would be different with girls, I never had daughters so I can't comment on gender differences but I know that if I had asked my boys to do household chores for pocket money they just wouldn't have been interested. They would have preferred to do without the money but by giving them projects and proper work that challenged them, they were excited. It ignited their imagination and creativity and they were so fired up that they became happy to learn how to cook etc almost as a by product and without me having to apply any pressure.

    I think it also prepared them for the world of work, giving them confidence, a sense of achievement and pride in a job well done. I'm not sure that doing domestic chores for payment would have had quite the same effect.
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 15-09-2019 at 8:55 PM.
    • suki1964
    • By suki1964 15th Sep 19, 8:53 PM
    • 12,249 Posts
    • 32,679 Thanks
    • #4
    • 15th Sep 19, 8:53 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Sep 19, 8:53 PM
    I never "paid" for the every day chores that the kids were expected to do

    My stepdaughter was 13 when she started to live with us full time an at that age I expected her to keep her room tidy, strip and change her bed, hang her clothes away and to lay the table and help clear it after - same as me and her dad did. Those were her every day chores as part of living in a family where we all worked/went to school.

    But I paid for anything she was willing to do extra on top off

    Such as cleaning out the kitchen cupboards, washing the stair spindles, polishing the things that needed polishing, give the bathroom a good clean, hoover the hall stairs and landing, things that were actually helping me out
    if you lend someone 20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it
    • purpleivy
    • By purpleivy 15th Sep 19, 10:16 PM
    • 3,431 Posts
    • 20,884 Thanks
    • #5
    • 15th Sep 19, 10:16 PM
    • #5
    • 15th Sep 19, 10:16 PM
    I'm a bit old fashioned, I'm sure, but not apologising for it. I'm a firm believer in everyone who lives in a house/home should be obliged to do their bit and take part in making life there comfortable and pleasant for everyone.
    "Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad"
    Trying not to waste food!
    • buildersdaughter
    • By buildersdaughter 16th Sep 19, 7:38 AM
    • 385 Posts
    • 1,242 Thanks
    • #6
    • 16th Sep 19, 7:38 AM
    • #6
    • 16th Sep 19, 7:38 AM
    I'm with everyone who says that there should be jobs that are expected simply because she is part of the household. We had a list of jobs that were expected of everyone, starting even from pre-school (clear your table place, put dirty things in the wash).
    But we paid for jobs that were 'over and above'. Of course this will vary with each family - I paid for car washing & cleaning, which others wouldn't. I sometimes had meetings at our home which included refreshments, and would pay for help in setting out & clearing up (my responsibility)
    I found 'spring cleaning' a good one to pay for - done in the Easter holidays, and other similar 'occasional' jobs.
    So I would begin by talking about what is part of her general responsibility - in our house, the pet was the kids' so I wouldn't have paid for that.
    And I think it will amuse MSEers to know that I paid my 15 year old neighbour to clean our house when we are away, whilst his mum was trying to find a cleaner for theirs!
    As for how much, I'd ask around, but you could begin by thinking of how long you'd expect it to take an adult, and work from minimum wage - of course she will take longer, but she will get quicker as she gets older!
    And whatever you pay or decide, tell her there will be a monthly review.
    • maman
    • By maman 16th Sep 19, 11:23 AM
    • 20,648 Posts
    • 122,718 Thanks
    • #7
    • 16th Sep 19, 11:23 AM
    • #7
    • 16th Sep 19, 11:23 AM
    I'm with the camp that expects anyone living in the household to pull their weight at an age appropriate level, whether that's putting away their own toys as toddlers or doing their own ironing as teenagers.

    When our DDs were slightly older than OP's DD (secondary school age) we gave them a monthly allowance. We sat down and took them through how we arrived at the figure such as out of school clothes, lunch money, hairdresser, cinema, swimming, comics etc etc. It was then up to them to budget and manage that money including the building society account where it was deposited.

    Personally I preferred our way of teaching them financial management than earning pocket money.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 16th Sep 19, 12:21 PM
    • 12,030 Posts
    • 84,008 Thanks
    • #8
    • 16th Sep 19, 12:21 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Sep 19, 12:21 PM
    Yes we did a monthly allowance too. When it was gone, it was gone. they cottoned on very quickly how to manage their budgets.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

200Posts Today

2,170Users online

Martin's Twitter