Is it me or does it seem that kids these days really have no appreciation for money? So many of us were raised by parents who struggled to provide the very basic provisions for us as children. Now that we’ve grown up, it’s only natural to want to provide a better quality of life for our own kids. Unfortunately, I think we may have caused our kids more damage than good by giving them so many things (things we wished we’d had as kids”. What I mean is that kid’s today seem to not understand the concept of “earning” what they have because many of us have just given them the things they want. Not earning it also tends to cause less appreciation for the item. I’m not here to judge – I’ve made these mistakes myself with my children!! But I’m trying to recalibrate their thinking when it comes to wanting “stuff” and also to care for the stuff they have. So how do we raise money-conscious kids and still provide a better life for them?
PIN ME FOR LATER!!
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It really is never too early to start teaching kids the importance of earning what they want in life. When they are toddlers, we teach them how to do many things like picking up their toys. I’ve always loved the idea of responsibility charts for this age group because it seems like a fun game to them. They don’t even realize they are learning!! The “payment” is usually their favorite toy or extra playtime or even a special treat. Regardless of what the payment is, they are learning that you get things when you “do” things.
Once they get to be school-aged, they have a little better understanding of the “if I DO this, then I’ll GET that” concept. This is the perfect age to start teaching them about spending money. You should upgrade from responsibility charts to “chore charts” for the whole family. When every member of the family has a responsibility (Mom & Dad included), it teaches them the value of teamwork. At this age, they are more aware of advertisements on TV as well as simply seeing stuff in the stores that they’d like to have. When my daughter was this age, I would let her order her own ice cream (or whatever food item she was wanting) and let her pay so she could start learning about counting money. Go a step further with financial ledgers for kids. This is similar to bank registers (do people still use those?). They enter when they’ve earned money (and from where) and also money they spend. I really wished I’d had something like this when my kids were younger! (Click below for more chore chart ideas!)
My daughter is now in 8th grade (13 going on 30)! News flash for those of you whose kids haven’t reached middle school yet – THINGS CHANGE DRASTICALLY!! She’ll always be my little girl but now she is also this mini-version of me – determined, headstrong and often defiant! The stuff she wants now is way more expensive and she has more avenues to learn of new things as well (social media). I haven’t allowed her to have a Facebook yet but she does use other platforms like Instagram and SnapChat. So how can teach her to be a money-conscious kid at this age? I’d say it’s probably much easier if you started with the chore charts as a toddler (but I did not). It’s a mother’s dilemma of wanting her to have the very best and also teaching her to earn what she wants. I’m a mother – I’m supposed to spoil her right? You have to find a middle ground on this one because, at this age, it is super-important to ensure they understand the idea of earning money and valuing what they’ve earned. I’ve found my happy middle ground with some simple strategies.
As long as your child lives in your house they should have household responsibilities – aka CHORES! It’s really easy to put up a chore calendar area on the wall where everyone can see it. My son is 20 and still lives at home but he pays rent AND has chores. So does my daughter. They don’t, however, get an allowance for chores. At this age, my personal thoughts are that it takes everyone in the home to keep the home up to par. Mom doesn’t get paid for cleaning the house so why should they? That’s just my personal opinion and each parent has their own on this matter. But beyond the general household chores, there are extras like certain spring cleaning tasks or washing the car that can be done to earn money. My daughter is quickly learning that when she wants something that costs money, she better come to me with an “if I do XYZ, could I have $$ to get this thing?” instead of just asking for it.
Don’t worry – these are all LEGAL lol! At 13, my daughter is too young to apply for a “real job” so we’ve come up with some creative (and little known) ways for her to earn extra money for herself. Also, many of these are great for stay-at-home moms looking for a little extra side income or for anyone struggling to find a job. Aside from your standard babysitting/dog-walking/mowing yards gigs, there are lots of great options out there that you wouldn’t normally think if. These are just a few of the ones I like and am getting my own daughter to try.
You are probably thinking “Yeah right!”? So many teens are bringing in some serious income from blogs. Not sure how to get started? You can check out my How to Start a Blog post to see how easy it is. (BTW’s Mom, a blog might be the side income answer you’ve been looking for too!) They can blog about literally anything! If they are particularly talented in a certain area like crafts or tech stuff or fashion/beauty or anything else, they can share that knowledge through a blog. Once the blog is up and running and getting good traffic, they can join advertiser networks to get sponsored posts and earn even more! You can also check out Eva at Teens Got Cents (she is a super awesome teen blogger and influencer!).
I bet you thought Pinterest was just for women to find cool recipes and cute decoration ideas right? Well, it IS used for that, BUT, did you know that most of those pins that you click on are actually making money for the person who made/pinned them? Pinterest is one of the best search engines around. I prefer it over Google! I started using it as a money-maker for just over a month (and I’m still learning the tips and tricks of the trade) but have already racked up over $75!! You can follow me on Pinterest (which is actually a combined account for both of my blogs) and see some of the stuff I’ve pinned. But how do you make money from it? You sign up for the affiliate program ShopStyleCollective, then pin stuff from that account or create custom pins using your unique affiliate URL. Each time someone clicks on your pin, you earn a little $$. Now, this isn’t a huge, overnight millionaire kind of side hustle, but over time it can begin to build momentum. If you are seriously interested in learning more you can check out How to Become a Profitable Pinner which goes a little more in detail about Pinterest affiliate marketing.
Easy-peasy right? Well, it may be a little difficult getting started but once you do, the momentum (and money) will encourage and entice them to want to earn more! I’ve got my daughter all over the Pinterest thing and she gets up every morning to check her earnings. She’s been doing it (honestly a bit half-arse) for almost a month and is averaging about 15 cents each day. But the more pins she creates and shares, her daily earnings increase. I’m certain by this time next year, she’ll be doing very well – in addition to the other side hustles I’ve got her doing. I just really want her to know that she has options for earning money. All too often I see young women struggling to put food on the table because they can’t “get a job.” The truth is that the hustle IS out there if you are willing to try it. For teens, this could mean a car that Mom and Dad don’t have to pay for or extra money for college (or to live off of during college).
The final thing I want to mention in raising money-conscious kids is to teach them to tithe on their earnings. I know some of you may raise an eyebrow to this but every good Christian knows the importance of tithing. When you teach them this concept from the beginning they will see it as a normal thing to do before blowing their money. Don’t have a church? No problem! You can check out my church online because we reach people all over the world! Or you could tithe to AirOne Radio. AirOne is a radio station that is broadcast all over the country and relies completely on donations. Why donate to a radio station? Listening to their music instead of the crap that tends to be on the radio is very uplifting and has changed many lives. Anywho, my daughter gives her tithe on any money she earns including report card money!