A recent report suggests that on average, homeowners spend $2,000 every year on home maintenance, including landscaping, housekeeping and plumbing services. Parents can save money, as well as teach responsibility and financial skills, by hiring their own child to do household tasks.
Below are some tips for assigning home maintenance chores to kids and teaching critical skills along the way.
- Make a plan. Sit down as a family and discuss all of the home maintenance that is required throughout the year and the cost for each one. Then assign children tasks from the list that are age and skill appropriate.
- Schedule it in. Schedule a day when the job has to be completed and hold the child responsible for accomplishing it. Use a calendar or white board to help keep track of everyone’s chore schedule.
- Pay up. You obviously don’t have to pay your child the hundreds of dollars that you pay professionals, but you can treat this situation like their first job. Offer up an appropriate incentive for accomplishing it and if they don’t complete it they don’t get paid.
- Team up. As a family, decide on one major task that everyone can work on and where the reward is something for the family. Maybe it’s shopping, or dinner out, a movie or getting ice cream. Not only can this build teamwork, it can motivate everyone to do the best job possible to achieve one goal.
- Major savings. Put the money you saved by hiring your children to clean, mow the grass, paint a wall or wash the dogs, into a special family fund that can go towards family purchases (new TV anyone?!) or vacations. Setting goals and keeping track of how much you have saved will help motivate children to keep up the hard work.
Gregg Murset, CEO BusyKid
The co-founder & CEO of BusyKid, Gregg is best known as the groundbreaking inventor of My Job Chart which grew to nearly 1 million members in four years. Gregg is a father of six and a certified financial planner and consultant who also became a leading advocate for sound parenting, child accountability and financial literacy.