How to Offer the Kids Odd Jobs for Extra Bucks

Odd Job Reward Form

Few things stir up a room full of parents more than the great kiddie compensation debate: Should kids get paid for chores?

No, never!

Yes, of course!

Maybe — it depends on the task.

Or the age.

Or the child.

Or your family tradition.

Or as long as you call it a “commission”.

Or if you live on a farm.
Or have one long arm.
Is that bad?
I don’t know, go ask your dad!
(Oops — veered off into Dr. Seuss mode for a moment...)

My point is: there are as many opinions on paying-for-chores as there are parents.

But there is one thing I find most parents agree on when it comes to this topic: odd jobs are cool. Parents rarely raise an eyebrow when it comes to offering occasional extra paid opportunities for tasks that are out of the ordinary. It has to be something that’s above and beyond everyday expected chores — often stuff you would happily pay someone outside the family to do.

If you fall in the same camp, you can use our checklists to advertise what’s available.

In the simplest case, odd jobs are one-offs and can be set up as follows:

  1. Create a checklist that is owned by your child, shared with the parents, and has rewards enabled.
  2. Add a checklist alert that notifies your child whenever an item is added.
  3. As each opportunity arises, add an item to the list with a description, a reward amount, and a target account.

If the work needs to be reviewed before payment, you can deliver the proceeds to an IOU holding account first, and only sweep the funds to the target account after inspection. To set up such a system, see the article: How to Approve Chore Earnings Before Handing Over the Cash.

If an odd job opportunity is recurring — like “wash the car (but no more than once a month)” — then add a repeating item with the maximum allowable frequency. Be sure to include an expiration timeframe so missed opportunities fall off the list and reduce clutter.

If you want multiple kids to compete for the same paid opportunities, you can set up a “first dibs” chore chart.

And finally, if you want your kids to know just how much money they’re leaving on the table by missing opportunities, you can set up a money-you-could-have earned account to drive home the point. That rubbing-it-in-with-a-text-message part always make me snicker a bit.🤣

As Thomas Edison said:

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

Once you set up your Odd Job chart, those opportunities will be even harder for the kids to miss.

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