Raising Money-Conscious Kids – Teach Them to Earn What They Want


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?


Raising Money-Conscious Kids - Teach them to earn what they want through side hustles and other methods so they'll appreciate it more!

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Start Them Early

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.


money-conscious kids


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!)


Middle and High School Kids

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.

Around the House

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.

Need some more parenting inspiration and advice?  Click below and see some other amazing resources for parents!  Also, be sure to check out some of my other posts on saving money and budget living!


Side Hustles for Teens

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.

Surveys & Stuff

  1. Swagbucks – Anyone 13 and older can sign up for Swagbucks.  Swagbucks lets you earn points called SB for watching videos, completing surveys, playing games, and more.  Accumulate points and redeem them for gift cards to places like Amazon.
  2. Shopkick – While this one is really great for anyone, it is especially beneficial to those who are already driving.  You get points (kicks) for things like walking into stores, scanning products, and/or scanning receipts if certain products are purchased.  As you rack up the points, you can redeem them for gift cards to your favorite stores! Read more about it here.
  3. Ebates – While this isn’t necessarily a side hustle, it can generate a little extra money. Aside from getting cash back on their own purchases, they can earn significant money from referring others to use it. Read more about using Ebates here.
  4. Slice the Pie – This is perfect for any teen who loves listening to music!

For the Creative Teens

  1. Zazzle – If your teen is artistic in any way, they can create and sell their stuff on Zazzle and earn a commission on the items sold.  If they sign up as an affiliate, they can earn commissions on items they recommend by sharing on their own social media platforms.
  2. Fiverr – If you or your teen is a digital creative (graphics, video, etc) they can sell their services on this platform.  This is a really great way to build a professional portfolio for any teen looking to go into this type of field after graduation.
  3. YouTube – More and more teens are creating YouTube channels and earning significant income with ads and sponsored video posts.
  4. Instagram & SnapChat – Believe it or not, teens are quickly becoming social media influencers and brands will pay them to promote their products!!


Start a Teen Blog

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!








  1. Andrea | 28th Nov 17

    You had me at “side hustle.” 🙂

    I’m an old-timey writer-blogger and even I didn’t know about many of these ways that teens (and strapped-for-cash parents) can earn some cash! Kids should be all over these opportunities!Thank you for sharing your know-how!

  2. realfoodiefamily | 29th Nov 17

    I have a two and a four year old and I think the responsibility chart is a great way to start teaching them. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Natalie | Mama: Doing It All | 29th Nov 17

    My 5 and 3 year olds “earn” money by helping clean up the house. They have even saved up their money to buy a big toy they wanted! It was pretty fun to watch them learn about saving and counting down until they could get what they wanted. Teaching kids that earning and saving money is so important!
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Harassedmom (@laurakim123) | 29th Nov 17

    We are big advocates for this! Having to earn their money is the only way kids really learn the value of it. Great post

    • myveteranwoman | 30th Nov 17

      Thank you! We have to teach our kids so they can be fiscally responsible adults!

  5. Jenn | 29th Nov 17

    I really endorse the idea of teaching these values at a young age. It helps instill the sense of responsibility!

  6. Rosie | 29th Nov 17

    Great tips! Something I can start now with my todddlers ?

  7. sbrooks0387 | 29th Nov 17

    Love that you don’t pay your children for helping around the house. I don’t pay mine for performing normal, every day activities around the house, and I don’t like it when everyone else says to pay them for chores. I don’t get paid to pick up the living room (and it’s usually not even my stuff I’m picking up), why should they? I do pay when they go above and beyond my expectations and take initiative on their own.

    • myveteranwoman | 30th Nov 17

      Girl I’m right there with you! We all live here so we all should contribute to keeping the house in order. I give extra duties to earn money like washing my car or something like that. My daughter is at the age now where I want her to really earn it so that’s why she got started on the Pinterest thing.

  8. cupcake1007 | 29th Nov 17

    This is such a great idea. Money responsibility is so important especially in our world of debt. I have seen first hand the results of parents who did not teach this lesson and it’s not pretty! Thanks for sharing all these wonderful ideas! <3 Jamie

    • myveteranwoman | 30th Nov 17

      Yes, I’ve seen it too. We want to give our kids a better life but in doing so we often set them up for failure as adults. We just have to find a balance of spoiling and teaching!

  9. Jillian | 29th Nov 17

    Love this idea. We do allowances and have them pay for their own little toys just to teach the awareness of saving money and spending.

    • myveteranwoman | 30th Nov 17

      There are so many fun ways to teach them now. There are even apps they can use on a tablet or phone (if they have one).

  10. Chandra | 29th Nov 17

    Thank you so much for your ideas. I really do feel like I’m doing a disservice to my children by not teaching them how to be money smart.

    • myveteranwoman | 30th Nov 17

      It’s a struggle for most of us. We want to give our kids things that we didn’t have. I learned that lesson late so I’m making up for it now. But it’s never too late to start teaching them.

  11. Kindly Unspoken | 29th Nov 17

    This post has so many great ideas for teaching children responsibility and the importance of earning! My boys are 5 and 7 but we’ve been working on a chore calendar and they actually love “helping” mom!

    • myveteranwoman | 30th Nov 17

      That’s great! It’s so much easier as they get older if they’ve been taught this from an early age.

  12. elizabeth hurt | 29th Nov 17

    Great idea! My kids have to earn and help around the house! Great lessons!

  13. helloleahgrey | 30th Nov 17

    This is great!! My son is nine and we’re talking about opening him a savings account. It’s only for saving. But when he gets money I want him to get into the habit of saving it! I also want him to tithe. I think too often we don’t teach children about giving back to the Kingdom too. The other day, he found a dollar on the ground and he donated it to the shelter (put it in a little box) to help the animals and my heart just about BURST. Totally agree with you about the cleaning. My parents just made me clean, there was no payment for chores!

    • myveteranwoman | 30th Nov 17

      Your son is a gem! You know, some banks now have debit cards you can get for kids of any age for paying them their allowance. I got my kids one around 4th grade or so. Since the world doesn’t much use check registers anymore, I wanted them to understand using debit cards. You transfer their allowance to their card, they have their own account access (which you can see also) so they can see and track their deposits and purchases. Once they turn 18, it automatically turns into an adult account (so mom has to have permission to view it). My daughter is 13 now and that is how I give her report card money or if she gets a check from Grandma for her birthday/holidays, she can deposit it to her account.

  14. thenafranssen | 30th Nov 17

    We are trying this in our home. They can earn money for chores, etc. Its so important!

    • myveteranwoman | 30th Nov 17

      It’s so important we teach them from an early age to value working for what we have!

  15. withlovemamablog | 1st Dec 17

    These are such great tips! I only had toddlers but I love the idea of a chart to help them “earn” things they want. We also often have our three year old “pay” for things at stores and he loves it!

    • myveteranwoman | 1st Dec 17

      It’s great teaching them at that age because they learn it as being fun and it see as normal. So many creative ways to start teaching them early!

  16. 101foodtravel | 1st Dec 17

    These is such a great tips. I have a 14 years old and a 4 year old. My kids both have savings money, my husband and I taught both of our girls how to save their money. And when they want something we always let them work for it. Going grocery shopping we train them so when they get older enough to live on their own they know it.

  17. Heather | 3rd Dec 17

    It’s s important to teach financial literacy at young age. I’m not big on spoiling my kids, but my in-laws are and it is a constant battle to teach them to value things and that they need to earn things.

  18. carrieandkat | 3rd Dec 17

    Lots of good ideas here. My youngest is a teen and he did create a you tube channel and didn’t know he could make money at that with ads.thanks for the great list.

  19. mjndiaye | 4th Dec 17

    Great ideas here! Definitely need to start a chore chart with our tween. She’s begging for a phone and I think the best way for her to get one is to earn it.

  20. lisa | 9th Dec 17

    So so true, it really is a life skill that all children should learn, I wish I’d been taught more about how to handle and save money etc as a child.
    I LOVE the charts and planners, they’re amazing!

    • myveteranwoman | 9th Dec 17

      My parents really didn’t teach me anything about money either so I made a LOT of bad decisions with my money over the years. Really hoping to do better by teaching my kids some of it.

  21. Preeti | 17th Jan 18

    Hey thank you so much for sharing this.I have a 1.5 year baby girl and I think it’s the right time to start teaching them how to save money because saving money is so important.Really it was a great article

  22. beautifullyimperfectmama | 22nd Jan 18

    These are all such great ideas! I definitely think it’s time to start some sort of chart for my toddler with maybe an ice cream treat or new book at the end of the week! And I love the idea of helping teens find creative side hustles versus sending them out into the workforce while still balancing extra circulars and school work!

  23. tinacorzine | 22nd Jan 18

    This is a great article. I have a preteen and your recommendations for side hustle apps could motivate him.

  24. Kat | 22nd Jan 18

    This is a great breakdown! As someone who has been working since the age of ten I couldn’t agree with you more! It’s so important to teach kids to earn their money so they know how valuable it is!

  25. mamacashman | 24th Jan 18

    I love this! I definitely agree with getting the kids to be money conscious early. Also, great points on Pinterest! I’ve never really thought about using it before, but now I’ll definitely try it!

  26. A Side Of Crunchy | 27th Jan 18

    Those are some great ideas. I have my kids earn points so they can buy things.

  27. Alice | 7th Feb 18

    These are such great ideas. I always have my daughter pay for her own rides at the local mall. She knows that she has $3 to spend and decides how she wants to use that. She’s 3 so it’s a good start.

  28. Sarah | 8th Feb 18

    This is great. I love the ideas and I love the topic. It’s so important also to teach them to save. I’ve had a hard time learning this.

  29. Barbara | 8th Feb 18

    Great post! I love that you are encouraging kids to save!

  30. Amy | 12th Feb 18

    Great ideas, thank you for sharing!

  31. Pujarini | 20th Feb 18

    I love your ideas and totally agree with parenting tips on instilling sense of savings right from the beginning.

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