Do you remember having a long list of chores that you were responsible for growing up? Were you paid an allowance to do those chores?
I remember doing my chores like it was yesterday… and I loved getting an allowance! I remember waiting until the last minute to do my chores (and I still catch myself putting off chores around the house which my wife Rebecca can attest to!). As I got older, I was more responsible for yard work and didn’t get an allowance for doing that. I had a lawn job in the neighborhood, though, so I’d do our yard after knocking out a few of the neighbors' yards.
I believe that giving children a job is a great way to teach your kids about money and responsibility. Remember, the education system doesn’t focus on financial education, so the vast majority of learning about money is done at home. Here are just a few of the positive things that happen when you teach your kids about money at an early age.
- They take better care of their stuff
- If kids have to do chores and work for their allowance, then they’re going to have a different feeling about the new toy or game they bought than if you just gave it to them. They’re going to take better care of it, and they may use it more. It’s going to hold more value to them because they worked for it.
- They have to choose between quality and quantity
- I remember really wanting new Scottie Pippen basketball shoes when I was younger, but they were about $150 bucks! Honestly, it felt like they were $500 bucks, but I know that’s a bit of an exaggeration. My point is, I had to forgo a lot of other things I wanted in order to save enough money for the one pair of shoes I really wanted.
- Prioritize their own wants vs. needs
- If they know they have a budget (or they are going to earn a certain amount of money for certain jobs they complete) then they have to prioritize where that money goes. If they worked hard for it, they may not want to spend it on things they previously thought they wanted or needed. Versus, asking you for it where it’s almost like a magic genie.
- Manage their time better
- If you give them an opportunity to earn more money for more jobs, then they are going to begin to learn how best to navigate this relationship that many adults struggle with of time and money.
- For example, I mentioned I had a lawn job growing up. I would try to get the yards done on Friday afternoon or early Saturday morning so I’d have the rest of the weekend to enjoy.
- Look for entrepreneurial opportunities
- Piggybacking on the last one, if they want to earn extra money, they’ll start getting creative and figuring out ways to do so. Whether it’s start a little business, sell some of their old items in a garage sale (that’d be online these days), wash cars, etc. They will start to figure out ways to earn more cheddah!
- Learn about banking systems
- This one is so important. The sooner they get their own bank account and learn how deposits, interest (what little there is right now), withdrawals and taxes work, the better off they’ll be. You’re likely to see some kids enjoy the feeling of watching their bank account grow so much that they become super savers from their youth! We need more super savers out there!
Teaching our kids about money is vital…but it’s important to first have your own financial house in order. We find that many people don’t know where to begin or even where to go to ask your questions. That’s why we built Wela in order to break down the barriers to access independent and objective financial advice. Check it out, yourwela.com. You can sign up for a free profile, securely aggregate all your accounts and get your questions answered by a human advisor.