Financial basics for kids

Creative ways kids can earn pocket money: tips for parents

4 min read

Financial basics for kids

Creative ways kids can earn pocket money: tips for parents

4 min read

Household chores are a time-tested way to help kids earn their allowance. In this article, we’ll show you clever ways to make these tasks more fun and engaging. We’ll also share ideas on how kids can earn pocket money through activities that are both creative and educational. 

Tip #1: Gamify chores

When it comes to getting kids to follow through on chores, many parents learn that a financial incentive may not be enough to keep them motivated. This is where gamification comes in. It’s easy to turn what kids may see as tedious tasks into an exciting game.

Here's an example: 

  1. Instead of simply assigning chores, make a list of 'missions' and ‘rewards’. Make this list readily accessible, such as on the fridge door. You can assign missions or let your kids choose their own.
  2. For every mission your kids complete, they can earn rewards points they can 'redeem' each week.
  3. The rewards can be cash or experiences, such as 'a trip to the cinema with three friends'. You can even offer bonus rewards upon the completion of a certain number of missions.

You can adjust how this works depending on your kids’ ages, but however you ‘gamify’ chores into challenges, you can turn jobs around the house into something a lot more exciting.

Tip #2: Advertise tasks on a ‘job board’

This might seem like Tip #1, but it’s more about those unique 'odd jobs' or 'favours' that spring up, like babysitting and car washing.

Organise these jobs into something like a job advertising board. This could be a simple corkboard or notices attached to your fridge. Each job post should include details like how much it pays and when it needs to be done. You can even ask your kids to make a case for why they’re right for the job – almost like an interview!

A job board empowers your kids to choose tasks themselves. It can also help them understand how different tasks have different values. Cleaning the outdoor grill may be messier than organising a toy closet, but it may pay a lot better! 

Tip #3: Arrange sibling-to-sibling tutoring

If you have more than one child, older siblings can help younger ones with scheduled academic or sporting skills sessions. You can pay both your ‘in-house tutors’ and their siblings/students for their extra efforts.

This approach can help older siblings learn to be responsible and empathetic, as well as give younger kids more confidence. If it’s been a while since you hit a textbook or a cricket bat, you may also find your older kids are the best teachers in the house.

Tip #4: Turn crafts into cash 

Your children can develop their creativity by selling crafty creations to friends and family. From friendship bracelets and origami bookmarks to lemonade and chocolate chip cookies, the possibilities are essentially unlimited.

You can be their first customer. For instance, instead of buying Christmas and birthday cards in a shop, ask your kids to create them. They’ll have fun while learning about the value of their hard work and creativity.

Tip #5: Organise a garage sale

Do you have stacks of unwanted clothes, toys, books and gadgets? A family garage sale could be a great way to help kids earn money and learn practical skills. 

They can create posters to advertise the sale and plan every detail, from determining prices to displaying items to draw attention. After the sale, you can talk to your kids about what they’ve learned, what went well and how they could improve for the next time. You can also teach your kids about giving back by donating unsold items to a local charity shop.

Tip #6: Match your kids’ saving

You can introduce your kids to the benefits of saving with a 'savings matching program'.

Here's how it could work:

  1. Give your child a weekly allowance, such as $20.
  2. At the end of the week, check how much money they have left.
  3. Let's say they have $5 left over. The following week, you pay them 50% of these savings on top of their usual allowance, so they’d earn $22.50 instead of $20.

With older kids, you can track allowance in a shared spreadsheet. With younger ones, a piggy bank might be perfect. For more information on allowance and pocket money, check out our article, How to give your kids pocket money.

It all adds up to teaching kids to become responsible with money

Hard-earned cash is a lot more valuable to kids than a hand-out, so these ideas could help your children become better at saving money. You can experiment with different approaches to find out what works best in your family.

Kids bank accounts can also help them learn about managing and saving money. Suncorp Bank offers account options for kids, with no monthly account fees and great benefits.


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Published 26 March 2024

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