It's common for many teenagers to start thinking about how to earn money. UK laws say that young people can’t get a part-time job until they turn 13. However, for some teens, a popular way to make money is by doing chores. While not every family may feel comfortable paying their teenagers to do household tasks, this can be a great solution.
Paying teens to do household chores can be a useful way to learn real-life skills that will help them when they eventually leave home and have their own place. It also helps them recognise the link between work and earning money while they save for a car, put money aside for university or simply have some spending money. When accompanied with a GoHenry prepaid debit card, teenagers can develop practical money management skills and make informed choices about budgeting, spending and saving. This all helps to lay the foundations of a bright financial future. According to the latest GoHenry Youth Economic Report, 75% of young people say good money management skills help their future career.
Related: How much pocket money?
How teens can request pocket money
Rather than simply asking parents for money, it's often a good idea for teenagers to approach it based on what they want the money for and what they will do to earn it. For instance, it can help if teens explain their plan for the money. They might want to start saving for a car, putting money aside for when they move out, buying new clothes or having money to pay for cinema trips with their friends. They can then suggest ways to earn pocket money, such as doing housework. However, while our Youth Economic Report shows that 61% of children and teenagers in the UK are paid to complete household tasks, opinions on paying children for chores can vary from family to family. Some parents feel that everyone should pitch in with chores and not get paid, while others feel that teens should earn their pocket money.
How much pocket money should teens ask for?
There's no hard and fast rule as to how much pocket money teenagers should get at what age, which makes asking for a specific amount all that more tricky. How much pocket money teens might want to ask for may depend on the family's budget, what housework tasks they will be expected to do for it, their age and what the pocket money will pay for. Our research found that in 2021, the average weekly pocket money for teenagers in the UK by age was:
- 13: £8.09
- 14: £9.70
- 15: £11.34
- 16: £13.32
- 17: £14.52
- 18: £14.79
For some teenagers, pocket money earnings depend on the housework chores they do. We’ve listed some of the most popular tasks and the going rate for each task:
- Homework: £1.18
- Tidy room: £1.03
- Vacuuming: £1.20
- Feed pets: 88p
- Load/empty dishwasher: 88p
- Make the bed: 81p
- Empty bins/recycling: 76p
- Get ready for school: 74p
- Put clothes away: 70p
While teenagers shouldn't expect to get pocket money for everything they do, it does establish a helpful connection between work and money. Alternatively, teens can always consider making money in the summer and some choose to make money online.
What are the benefits of pocket money for teens?
When teenagers discuss pocket money with their parents, it can be helpful to highlight some of the many benefits of earning pocket money when you're a teenager. For example:
- Learn to prioritise: Earning pocket money teaches teenagers how to balance time and money and prioritise what's important to them. It lets them learn to balance what they want with what they need
- Financial planning: Pocket money is the foundation of a teen's financial education and helps them learn about careful spending, saving and money management
- Financial independence: With their own money, especially if they have a GoHenry prepaid debit card, they can have a greater sense of financial independence
- Creates a future saver: Through pocket money, teens can learn about delayed gratification and the benefits of saving
- Creates a sense of achievement: As teenagers gradually save towards their goals, they can develop a real sense of pride in their achievement
- Teaches the value of money and hard work: When teenagers earn pocket money for doing chores, they will be able to understand the value of hard work
5 chores you can do to make pocket money
When teenagers start to earn pocket money by doing housework tasks, it can sometimes be challenging to keep track of what to do. An app like GoHenry helps them remain accountable for their assigned tasks, which they can easily look at on their phone and even check off tasks once completed. If you're still wondering how to earn money as a teenager, there are plenty of housework tasks young people can do to earn money. For instance:
1. Babysit siblings
Many teenagers can earn pocket money by babysitting their young siblings, depending on their age and maturity. It could start with just a couple of hours during the day and then build up until both teenagers and parents feel confident to leave them home alone for longer periods. Even though some teens may be too young to be left alone at home with their siblings, they can still help out by looking after their younger siblings while their parents are busy doing other things in the home.
2. Become parents' personal assistant
Some parents run their own businesses and are extremely busy juggling all the tasks that need doing. Teenagers that are good at administration, organisation and tech-savvy could make great personal assistants.
3. Wash cars
Parents can save themselves the hassle and additional expense of taking their car to the car wash and pay their teens' pocket money to give the family car a good wash and valet.
Depending on their age and ability, many teenagers can help out with various gardening tasks, from mowing and weeding to watering and planting.
5. Housework tasks
Most teenagers can help with various housework tasks, including tidying, vacuuming and mopping floors, dusting, emptying bins, sorting, recycling and loading and unloading the dishwasher.
Send teens pocket money to a GoHenry account
Once parents decide to start paying pocket money to their teenagers, the next important step is setting them up a GoHenry account. A GoHenry account gives teens somewhere safe for their pocket money, and with their GoHenry prepaid debit card, they can pay for items online or in-store, just like any debit card.
With Money Missions, they can enhance their financial education through quizzes and games that help them learn about responsible spending, budgeting, saving and even investing.
Parents can make weekly pocket money payments to their teen's accounts and set up tasks for them to complete. They also have the added peace of mind of keeping an eye on their teen's spending and setting limits to help them make good financial decisions.