The idea that money is something that you must earn, is a valuable lesson that children and teens need to learn. (That’s right, Grandma and her cash-filled purse won’t be following you around forever.) But how do you actually put this teaching into words? Well, we’ve put together a few ideas, for children and teens of different ages, so you can help them understand that they won’t get money for nothing when they’re older.
8 to 12 years
Helping you around the house is a good way to get started. Start by allocating them a job. Dusting, hoovering, cleaning the car… whatever it is you really need them to do. Set them an amount that they’ll earn if they do it and offer them the job. If they decline, then you must make it clear they won’t get that payment and stick to your guns. If they do accept, then set them a time they must complete it by and leave it up to them to get on with it. On approval that the work has been completed, they can have their payment. But if the work isn’t done, make sure you explain to them, they only get the money if the work is done and give them a second chance to do it.
12 to 14 years
When your teens reach this age, you may want to introduce the idea that a portion of their regular pocket money is attached to a particular task that they must complete. This can be anything from cleaning out the rabbit to doing homework. Explain to them “now you’re a bit older, it’s time to start earning your money”. This will not only give them a feeling of responsibility, but hopefully help them to appreciate their money and be more inclined to save it for something they really want to spend it on.
14 to 18 years
Whether it’s a paper round or stacking shelves, a Saturday job really helps teens of this age appreciate the value of their money. When they become old enough to work, ask them if they want to get a job? What they want to do? And get them involved in looking for something they can do once or twice a week. They might not always be too keen, but if you explain to them that part of becoming and adult, is taking responsibility for themselves. Changing their pocket money or allowance payment to once a month will also help make the transition from relying on Mum and Dad, to budgeting for themselves.