First Person: Dads Are Worth $20,000 Around the House?

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COMMENTARY | I just read an online article on about a dad's worth around the home. It appears -- according to that particular article at least -- that dads are only worth about a third of their female counterparts in and around the home. Sadly though, I've discovered that when comparing myself to this article's standards, I don't even pull this amount of financial weight in dad duties.

Due to our recent move to a condo, where my manly uses have been reduced, I now don't even garner the lowly $20,000 a year that the article reports dear old dad's services are worth. While I tend to make up for this by acting as a work-at-home parent, and in the process, take on many of the standard "mom duties" as well, here's why I'm just not pulling my financial weight as a dad around the house.

Lawn Maintenance and Home Repairs

In our condo, we pay a monthly association fee that covers most repairs and exterior maintenance, snow removal, tree trimming etc. While these duties used to be a part of my fatherly duties, I'm now reduced to the occasional kitchen drawer repair or picture hanging in our small condo.

While I still handle the yard duties for my in-laws, which saves them money, I'm no longer worth the $1,448 for "Mowing the lawn, landscaping, snow removal" duties as quoted in the report, instead only garnering the $990 combined total for "Handyman" and "Plumber" duties, and an additional $448 for the "Assembly of toys, Bookshelves, etc." category, $74 for "Moving furniture" and $62 for "Pest Removal" for a total of $1,574.


Since we don't have an outdoor space for grilling, I can't even pull the $1,884 assigned for the 3 hours per week "Barbequing" line on the dad duty report anymore. While I still get the occasional shot on the grill over at the in-laws' house, it only amounts to about half an hour a week on average at best, which would earn me about $314 a year.


While I've saved our family nearly $6,000 over the past five years by selling my vehicle, this means I can't pull my full weight as the family driver. We now live in an area where I can walk my son to places like the library, school, hot dog joint, etc. though. And while I do drive us to our weekend destinations and occasionally after work once my wife gets home, this only amounts to an average of about 3 hours a week as compared to the 9 hour average on the report, meaning I would only pull down around $1,844 in worth in this area.

Tutoring and Teaching

Here is one area in which I really step up to the plate. Although officially I'm not "Helping with homework" since our son isn't in school just yet, I take on a variety of other teaching duties when it comes to things like handwriting, reading, telling time, typing, counting, doing math, potty training, tying shoes, etc. Therefore, I hit the 10 hour average per week in this category, earning me the full $7,488 average presented in the "The Father's Day Index" itemized list.

Family CFO

I more than earn my keep in the "Family finances" category of dad's worth. I'd say that my services are much more valuable than the $862 a year that assigns this portion of the dad duties. In fact, I'd say that my services in this area are likely worth multiple thousands of dollars per year when you add in the fact that I clip the coupons, look for the deals, and handle all the banking, bill paying, cost cutting, saving, due diligence when it comes to purchases, and similar aspects of our financial lives. I'd say I put in at least an average of 2 hours per week, quadrupling that $862 total to $3,448 for my services.

Items Where I Don't Earn

Since I'm not big into repairing vehicles, I tend to leave that to the professionals. And I don't do the team coaching thing, so there are a few items on the "Dad's Worth" list where I receive nothing. These items include, "Car maintenance", "Coaching a team", and "Scout leader."

My Grand Total "Dad Worth"

If we total up my "dad worth" categories though, I still don't hit the average for the findings. My total falls at $14,435, but seeing as how I pull the at-home mom duties as well, I find other ways to bolster this total. Still, it's a slight downgrade from a time in which we owned a single-family home and my more manly abilities used to give me a boost in worth…but I'll make the trade off in lost worth versus the time, frustration and costs of such duties.

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Emmet, Pierce. "What's mom's work worth?" April 25, 2012.

May 1, 2012.

Pierce, Emmet. "The Father's Day Index: Dad is worth $20,415 around the house. June 5, 2011.

May 1, 2012.


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