To pay or not to pay: kids helping around the house

Date: 10 July, 2017
Tags: pocket money, chores, household help

What’s your take on kids helping around the house? I remember growing up being expected to help on a regular basis – from tidying my bedroom to cleaning the stairs with a damp cloth to pick up dust!

I wasn’t given any pocket money for it and, to be honest, I didn’t expect any.

When my own kids were younger I tried a rota system, offering 2 pence for small chores like tidying away their plate when they had finished eating or putting away their shoes after they had come into the house.

It proved to be a lot of hard work having to watch them like a hawk and break up squabbles over who had done what, so the rota system didn’t last very long.

But the whole process did get me thinking – why should kids be paid to help out around the house? Perhaps they should just…well, help out!

This is easier said than done; I should know – my son requires a lot of bribery to get him to do anything without moaning about it, but if we start the kids young, they’ll know no different surely?

It’s a bit too late for my own kids; I do get them to help out – namely with tidying their bedrooms, helping prepare meals and sometimes even cleaning. 

Sometimes they do it because they want to help and sometimes they do it because there’s an underlying reason (on their part), which usually has something to do with getting extra playtime on the Playstation or being allowed to make some gooey mess in the kitchen.

As my tweens turn into teens I was interested to find out what other parents thought and chores and pocket money, so I decided to do a bit of detective work. 

It turns out that nine in ten teens help around the house but almost half are paid to help.

The study, from School Stickers, found that the most common chores for teens are tidying their bedroom (75%), cleaning the dishes (61%), vacuuming (50%), helping to cook meals (46%) and putting the bins out (44%).

By far the most popular way of paying for chores is per chore with almost two thirds (65%) being paid in this way.  Over a quarter (27%) are given treats for doing jobs around the house, and one in ten (9%) are paid to do a list of jobs each week.  

The best paid chores are babysitting, paying on average £2.67 per half hour and cleaning the car, paying on average £2.73 per car. All other chores pay on average between £1.22 and £2.21.  

Top ten chores done by teenagers



Average price per chore


Tidying Bedroom



Cleaning Dishes






Helping to cook meals



Putting bins out



Hanging washing out









Clean bathroom




£2.67 (half hour)