Chores For Kids That Will Help You Save Money
Giving your children chores can be a very beneficial parenting move. In addition to the fact that it teaches your children responsibility and self-worth (which are the most important of the reasons for chores), having your children pitch in can also save you time and money.
When thinking about chores for kids, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind. Be sure that your child’s age matches the responsibilities given. You don’t want to send a six year old out to shovel snow that may be taller than them, and a twelve year old can do more than just put away clean clothing.
All of this said, sometimes you can arrange for your children to help do chores that will ultimately save you money on the other side. These items can be those that will help your child learn as well as help cut into the costs of the household. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Cleaning the House
Do you have someone come to your house to clean? Whether you have them visit weekly, biweekly or monthly, you may be able to cut down on the number of visits if you dole some of the chores out to the kids.
If your kids have chores that include dusting and vacuuming, everyone is responsible for picking up the clutter, and you manage the bathroom, you may be able to have your housecleaner visit once per month instead of weekly or biweekly.
If cutting down on the number of times they visit isn’t an option, doling out the chores this way may give you the option of asking the housecleaner to do a deeper clean. Maybe they can help scrub the floor boards instead of vacuuming or help to organize some shelves instead of dusting. Either way, you would be getting more for your money.
You may be in the position where you have been considering hiring a housecleaner, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. Stave off the costs of having them come by adding chores that you can’t or don’t have time to do around the house. Let the kids pitch in on straightening up the bathroom, create a scenario where each person in the household (including you) has to clean the toilet in rotation every week, and see if you can arrange it so that you can hire someone to come in twice per year. Put the money that you would have used in a vacation fund or towards household debt.
Your time is worth money. No matter what you are doing, when you are doing one thing, you aren’t completing another. If your kids are older or more responsible, have them take a stab at creating the meal planning for the week.
Allow your child to have access to your favorite recipes or websites, ask them to write down the meals by day, and have them create the shopping list (making sure to check what is already in the cupboard). Not only will this allow you more time, but it will teach them about how to organize a household, how certain ingredients can be used for more than one dish, and – if they forget something – how to recover from that mistake (one we’ve all made!). While they are doing that, you can be cleaning the bathroom, working on bills or hiding in the bathroom with a book. Your sanity has value as well!
Checking the Grocery Ads and Coupon Clipping
Depending on the age and maturity of your child, they can be assigned a little more in terms of meal planning. A twelve year old can make a meal plan (in the example above) and look through the grocery store ad to see what is on sale. If they are a little older or really into puzzles, they may be able to look at the grocery ad first to see what’s on sale and create some of the meal plan that way. It is always best to make dinner based on what’s on sale at the store rather than the other way around.
For all children, coupon clipping is a great chore option. Have them look through the Sunday coupon inserts and clip the coupons for products they know you use or for brands that you specifically ask them to look for. They can do this on Coupons.com as well as many grocery store websites too. Remind them to check Ibotta and Checkout 51 to save even more after the purchases are made.
Doing the Laundry
Laundry is one of those chores that will fit children of any age. Whether you are asking your five year old to separate the laundry into piles, teaching your seven year old to fold clothes or giving your eleven year old the job of doing it all on specific days, there is a chore in this category that will fit your child.
If you are a family that has to send your laundry out to a service, this could definitely cut down on costs! If you are a family that does the laundry at home, you will not only be teaching life skills, but you will be freeing yourself up to do some of the other household work – or more of your paying job. If you know that some of the chores are being taken care of at home, maybe you will feel more comfortable with an extra few hours of overtime.
Lawn, Snow, and Leaves
If you pay for a service to shovel during the winter, mow your lawn in the summer or rake your leaves in the fall, think about how you can cut these expenses out.
An older child can be in charge of shoveling snow or mowing the lawn. In fact, if they have the time, they could turn it into a service for your block! There are many people who don’t have the time (or deal with health issues that prevent them from doing so) and they would much rather pay someone they know than an outside service.
When it’s time for a fall cleanup of leaves, children of any age can help. Older children can supervise the younger children or you can be outside to supervise everyone. Buy some garbage bags and let them go to work. If you’re a family that likes to decorate for Halloween, buy some of the orange themed bags and you can have them create some outside décor in the process!
Car Washing and Detailing
If you have your car washed and/or detailed regularly, cut down on those costs by assigning these chores to the kids. Particularly in the spring, summer, and fall (or whenever the weather is nice in your area), let the kids go out to the car with a hand-vac, some wet-wipes, and garbage bags and go to town on the interior.
For the exterior of the car, let the kids wash with the hose and sponges, but let them turn it into a water fight when they’re done. There’s no reason that chores can’t be fun!
I am not suggesting that children do all of these items, but hopefully this list of chores for kids that will help you save money will do just that. There are things that the kids can do around the house that will help the family, give them responsibility, and cut down on costs. In scenarios like these, everybody wins.
Whether you decide to give them an allowance in exchange for chores is up to you. It is reasonable for children to contribute to the household by helping out without being paid. That said, you can give them a small allowance with bonuses for larger items (like washing the car), a flat amount each week or whatever works best for your family. In the end, your children will be learning helpful life skills that will serve them down the road and you will have a lighter load – both financially and in terms of your time.