One of the most important roles that we fulfill as parents, besides showing our kids love and cutting the crusts off of their sandwiches, is teaching them the life skills that they’ll need to someday make it on their own successfully. I know, how could your child possibly ever grow old enough to move out, no they’ll always be the cute and perfect little child they are now forever and always. However, should that day ever come, they will need to know how to manage money. Really, it’s difficult to start too early. If your child understands the concept that you “buy” things at the store, then they’re old enough to start learning the basics of money management.
Money to Work With
First of all, determine what amount of money to start with. Will they earn their age in dollars for the week doing a given set of chores around the house? Or, will they perhaps earn more on a commission basis, a different amount of money for different chores? Either way, it’s important to keep in mind that in order to learn to manage money, to save and budget, they need something to manage with.
“Jobs” for Kids
Don’t feel like you have to stick with in-home chores either. You can encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship early in life by helping them to start their own neighborhood business or summer “jobs.” This will enable them to learn not only the value of earning money, but also teach them how to interact with others, present themselves, and the satisfaction of a job well done. Such skills will serve them well in any business environment in the future.
- Lemonade stands
- Bake sale
- Basic yard care
- Newspaper route
Once they have earned some money, help them to design a budget. Teach them how to set aside part of their earnings for saving and how to prioritize their spending.
Your kid’s most valuable possession will soon be whatever it is that they buy with money that they earned and saved from their own efforts. More valuable than any item or amount of money will be the values and work ethic that you instill in them through teaching them how to manage money.