Teach your children the value of money

Saving money is a discipline; teach them young

Saving money is a discipline that many adults lack. Yes, it is always possible to borrow money from a financial institution or a lender of instant payday loans when we need quick access to cash but, when all is said and done, it is so much nicer (and cheaper) to have our own little stash of money safely languishing in an interest bearing savings account.

Learning to save money and discovering the true value of money should start at our parent’s knees; this is the opinion of several of the parents interviewed for this article.

Some parents believe that pocket money paid each week teaches children how to budget and also teaches them to appreciate the money they receive.

Should children earn their pocket-money?

Other parents say that pocket money which is simply given is all very well but it does not teach a child that it is difficult to earn money. They believe that when the child has to work for the money there is an even greater appreciation. If the money is earned then the lesson is on more than one level. The child learns:

  • Money has to be earned by most people in the adult world
  • Budgets have to be made
  • Money needs to be saved for the more expensive items
  • Money has value

Most of us understand that if we don’t earn money life can be fairly grim. Welfare hand-outs are all very well but it is difficult to feel good about ourselves if we are constantly accepting charity. When we earn our own money we have a sense of worth and a reason to get out of bed each day.

How can children earn their own pocket-money?

There is a multitude of ways that you can “pay” pocket money to your children for services rendered. Of course some task are age dependent and tasks should be chosen so that the child is not overwhelmed and does not have a feeling of failure if he or she is unable to manage the task. Here are some basic ideas:

  • Washing the car or cars
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Raking leaves
  • Weeding the garden
  • Washing/ drying the dishes
  • Packing the dishwasher
  • Hanging up the laundry
  • Washing windows
  • Walking the dog
  • Cleaning out the kitty-litter
  • Vacuuming the floors
  • Taking out the rubbish

The list is endless but you get the point. Teach your children how to make simple budgets. Arrange a savings account for them and explain how interest compounds and how, in this way, money can work for them. It is genuinely exciting to discover that money can work for us after we have worked for money! There are many adults who have still not discovered this secret.

Teaching children the value of money and educating them on how to manage their money is one of the greatest gifts you can bestow on them. Teaching them the discipline of work is a huge bi-product of this little exercise. It may not be easy in the beginning but you are bigger, older and more determined than they are (or at least you should be)!