I have noticed somewhat of a disturbing epidemic going on in my hometown lately. No, it’s not a medical disease or plague, but it is something that I am very concerned about, and it seems to be affecting many more children today than it did in the not-so-distant past. Children seem to know nothing about money anymore.
Money is Handed to Them
I understand the thought process of parents. I really do. They grew up with only a couple of toys and lost much of their childhood days because they had to work and help provide for the rest of the family. They don’t want their kids to suffer like they did.
So, what do they do? They hand over cash to their children who did absolutely nothing to deserve it. They love the bright-eyed smile they get when their kids see them reaching for their wallet (or purse for you moms out there). The only problem is, they are hindering the future of their children because they know nothing about how that money got into your pocket!
Why Don’t Kids Work Anymore
Kids can’t find jobs anymore â€“ there are age restrictions.
My older brother is currently 35 years old. When he was a kid (I think as young as 8 years old), he could pick blueberries in the summer time to earn some extra money. I wasn’t able to find a job until I was 14 (I worked in the local greenhouses, trimming plants). Today, kids can’t get a job until they are at least 16! This makes it pretty tough for them to save up for a car!
So, How Can You Teach Them About Money?
- In order for kids to learn about money, they’ll have to earn some money. Here are some great ideas from a few parents I’ve spoken with.
- First and foremost, make sure that your children are doing chores pro bono (that’s right, no money). They need to learn about household responsibility before they can begin to respect their finances.
- Reward your child for reading certain leadership or finance books (your choice of titles)
- Encourage them to brainstorm some money-making ideas: mowing the neighbors’ yard, washing windows, weeding the landscape, washing cars, etc.
- They can earn money online. There are kids today that can program Apps in a few hours. Or they could start there own blog from their interests. There are lots of options online.
- Create a business venture yourself, and offer them some compensation for their help.
Kid’s Will Respect What They Earn
It’s amazing how much better kids take care of something that they paid for. I personally saved up enough money to buy a truck when I was 16 years old. It wasn’t brand new (it actually had 172,000 miles on it when I bought it), and it didn’t impress my friends, but I loved that truck. The kids that got trucks from their parents took them to Silver Lake and beat them up on the dunes. Personally, I didn’t go anywhere near Silver Lake. I knew that if I broke something on my truck, it was my bill.
Are you teaching your children about money? Have they responded well to something that I have not mentioned? What jobs can kids still do at a young age?
This is a guest post written by Derek from Life And My Finances. Derek currently has his degree in Finance and enjoys writing fresh, new financial ideas on his website. The purpose of his site is to help people “Get Out of Debt, Save Money, and Be Rich.â€