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.
You obviously don’t have to pay your children 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.
As a family, decide on one major task that everyone can work on and that has a reward that offers something for the family. Maybe it’s shopping, eating out, going to a movie or getting ice cream. Not only can this build teamwork but can motivate everyone to do the best job possible to achieve one goal.
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 toward 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.