Teaching our children about money and how to handle it to their benefit is hard! Children don't understand abstract ideas until they are in their early teens, so a concrete, hands-on, physical teaching aid is essential.
We've always encouraged our kids to earn their pocket/spending money and they've done so from an early age. We started them on pocket money and work around four years old, with simple, age appropriate chores that weren't things that should be done because they're a part of our family i.e. making beds, clearing tables, cleaning the bathroom etc.
Instead they had to do other work such as washing the car, gardening, helping with extra household tasks and so on.
I love Gary's idea of teaching his children to earn their pocket money, and encourage their entrepreneurial talents, they'll grow up with a wonderful worth ethic and a good appreciation of just how hard it is to earn the money they spend.
Earning Pocket MoneyWe have three children aged 6,8 and 9. One of my frustrations had been the weekly handing out of pocket money. Earlier this year I let the children know it would be a good idea to do something towards their pocket money, or even better still earn it themselves.
The kids threw in a few ideas of what they could do, most of which required mum and dad to pay. I then told them about the people in my office who daily buy coffee and cookies from a nearby coffee shop. As they were paying $1 for the cookies, I told the kids I was sure they would be happy to pay half that (50 cents). I told the kids I would ask my boss if it was OK to make cookies and put them in a container in the lunch room with a note asking for 50 cents towards the cost of each cookie. He said it sounded great to him.
Since then the kids (with help from dad) have been baking a selling about 60 choc chip cookies per week. The cost of the each cookie is about 20 cents, leaving 30 cents from each one to go to the kids. We are now experts and can make and bake them (60) in about 40 minutes.
We see three benefits:
1) have now saved on paying out pocket money
2) the kids have extra money to spend or save
3) the kids are learning that money is earned.
Contributed by Garry